French Film & Cinema 

Our class in French cinema and film offers a diverse mix of classic and contemporary French language films.  The instructor, Manon Bellet, is a French cinephile who has a real passion for movies.  In this course, we watch French language films, examine their directors and actors, view excerpts of the films to analyze the themes and language, and learn vocabulary and expressions related to a specific film and to cinema in general.  Each class includes an open discussion in French and English.  The course provides a deeper understanding and analysis of French films in a relaxed environment on Zoom.  Because the class is virtual, the students are asked to watch the film before the lesson.

Each film is presented in its French audio with English subtitles. 

Class meets Wednesday night (see dates below) at 6:45 p.m. online on Zoom.

Fee: $80 for the full semester or $40 for 4 sessions.

To register for this class, click here.

Please find below the list of dates and films for this semester. For more information, please contact Manon Bellet at manon.bellet@gmail.com

Mercredi le 13 janvier – Wednesday, January 13

The Magnificent Tati, Michael House, 2009

This documentary traces Jacques Tati’s rise from the Parisian music hall stage to his Oscar winning films of the 1950s. The documentary then explains how Tati bet all he had on his fourth film ‘PlayTime’ and how this mammoth film ended prematurely the career of a genius while also giving the world one of the most beautiful films ever made.

Mercredi le 27 janvier – Wednesday, January 27

Trafic, Jacques Tati, 1971

Mr. Hulot is the head designer of the Altra Automotive Co. His latest invention is a newfangled camper car loaded with outrageous extra features. Along with the company’s manager and publicity model, Hulot sets out from Paris with the intention of debuting the car at the annual auto show in Amsterdam. The going isn’t easy, however, and the group encounters an increasingly bizarre series of hurdles and setbacks en route.

Mercredi le 10 février – Wednesday, February 10

Cinema theory course, introduction and discussion about François Ozon

François Ozon (born 1967) is a French film director and screenwriter.

He has achieved international acclaim for his films “8 femmes” (2002) and “Swimming Pool” (2003). Ozon is considered to be one of the most important French film directors in the new “New Wave” in French cinema such as Jean-Paul Civeyrac, Philippe Ramos, and Yves Caumon, as well as a group of French filmmakers associated with a “cinema du corps/cinema of the body”.

Mercredi le 24 février – Wednesday, February 24

Frantz, from François Ozon, 2017

Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, “Frantz” recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war’s “lost generation”: Anna, a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien, a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave.

Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany’s defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks.

Mercredi le 10 mars – Wednesday, March 10

Cinema theory course, introduction and discussion about Cedric Klapsich

Cédric Klapisch (born 1961) is a French screenwriter, director and producer for cinema and TV.

Alongside his work making films, Klapisch has also been involved in French professional organizations such as SRF and L’ARP.

Mercredi le 24 mars – Wednesday, March 24

Ce qui nous lie/Back to Burgundy, Cedric Klapsich, 2017

Anticipating their father’s imminent death, three siblings reunite at their home in Burgundy to preserve the vineyard that ties them together in this tender and modern tale of familial strife and resilience from director Cedric Klapisch.

Mercredi le 7 avril – Wednesday, April 7

Cinema theory course, introduction and discussion about Jacques Audiard 

Jacques Audiard (born in1952) is a French film director and screenwriter. He is the son of Michel Audiard, also a film director and screenwriter.

With his movies, Audiard has become the new master of the “polar” (French thriller) and inheritor of others great French directors like Jean-Pierre Melville (1917-1973) and Henri Georges-Clouzot (1907-1977).

Mercredi le 21 avril – Wednesday, April 21

The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard, 2018

Set in Oregon, 1851. Hermann Kermit Warm, a chemist and aspiring gold prospector, keeps a profitable secret that the Commodore wants to know, so he sends the Sisters brothers, two notorious assassins, to capture him on his way to California.

Mercredi le 5 mai – Wednesday, May 5

Voyage à travers le cinéma français/My Journey Through French Cinema, Bertrand Tavernier, 2016

Writer-director Bertrand Tavernier is truly one of the grand auteurs of the movies. His experience is vast, his knowledge is voluminous, his love is inexhaustable and his perspective is matched only by that of  Martin Scorsese. This magnificent, epic documentary has been a lifetime in the making.

Tavernier knows his native cinema inside and out, from the giants like Renoir, Godard, and Melville (for whom he has worked as an assistant) to now overlooked and forgotten figures like Edmund T. Greville and Guy Gilles, and his observations and reminiscences are never less than penetrating and always deeply personal.

Nominated for the Golden Eye at the Cannes Film Festival. Nominated for Best Documentary Film at the César Awards.

Mercredi le 19 mai – Wednesday, May 19

Un Dimanche à la Campagne, Bertrand Tavernier, 1984

Since the death of his wife, Monsieur Ladmiral, a painter of no genius, lives with his maid, Mercedes. But the traditional Sunday family reunion is disturbed by the arrival of his dynamic daughter Irene. Upon Irene’s departure, her father discovers that she has become what he would have liked to be.