• A still from the film "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
    A still from the film "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

The French Program at Southwestern University has received an $1,800 grant that will enable it to host its second annual community wide Tournees Film Festival.

The festival will feature five recent films from or about France. Films will be shown Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. beginning Sept. 10. The theme will be films on love, ranging in focus from warm recollections of friends and family, to first glances and flowering passions, to spiritual life in a monastery in the Alps. The series highlights both diverse approaches to the relationships that define us and an array of cinematic techniques that evoke how love shapes our lives.

The movies to be shown are as follows:

Wednesday, Sept. 10 – “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” An enthralling true story of a stroke victim’s reconnection with the world and his loved ones.

Wednesday, Sept. 17 – “Tell No One.” A fast-paced thriller in which a man deeply in love with his wife must lead his own investigation into her alleged murder.

Wednesday Sept. 24 – “‘L’origine de la tendresse’ and Other Tales.” A program of short films, including on love found in the Paris metro and a woman’s immigration to France.

Wednesday, Oct. 1 – “Lady Chatterley.” A stylish, sensual adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s controversial 1928 novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”

Wednesday, Oct. 08 – “Into Great Silence.” A transcendent look at spirituality quietly filmed at the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps.

All films will be shown in French with English subtitles, in room 105 of the F.W. Olin Building (Building 10 on the campus map at http://www.southwestern.edu/tour/campus-map.pdf). They are free and open to the public.

The events are being organized by Aaron Prevots, assistant professor of French in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Prevots received a grant to show the films from the Tournees Festival, a program of the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE). The program is made possible by support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Centre National de la Cinématographie, the Grand Marnier Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Franco-American Cultural Fund (SACEM, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Association), Highbrow Entertainment and Agnès B.

Southwestern University is one of about 100 universities receiving this national grant to host the 2008-2009 Tournees Festival. Since its inception, the Tournees program has made it possible for more than 300,000 students to discover French-language films.

“We are excited about this opportunity to expose the local community to other cultural perspectives through a wide range of stories and film genres,” Prevots said.

All of the films have won prestigious awards, including at festivals such as Cannes and Berlin in Europe and Sundance in the USA. According to Prevots, “The Diving Bell” and “Tell No One” are major recent releases that should appeal to the widest audience. “Tell No One” and “‘L’origine de la tendresse’ and Other Tales” are in fact still in their initial theatrical runs.

“The Tournees offerings that we have to choose from each year represent an exceptionally rich pool of cinematic talent,” Prevots said. “This year’s festival at Southwestern University features as much striking camerawork and approaches to light and color as it does bold insights into how we connect with the world around us.”

For more information on the festival, including synopses of each film, visit www.southwestern.edu/~prevots/tournees/.


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