3rd Annual Chicago French Film Festival

Friday, July 26th – Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The third annual Chicago French Film Festival is officially scheduled for July 26-August 1 this year! With an entire week dedicated to the festival, the Music Box will have the opportunity to program more titles, add additional screenings and present even more of the very best contemporary French film as well as some newly restored classics.

<cite>Fly Me to the Moon (Un Plan Parfait)</cite>

Fly Me to the Moon (Un Plan Parfait)

directed by Pascal Chaumeil

Isabelle’s (Diane Kruger) family suffers from a curse that dooms all of their first marriages to be disastrous while the second marriages are wonderful. In order to ensure the success of her imminent marriage to Pierre, Isabelle tries to quickly seduce the free spirited and eccentric Jean-Yves (Danny Boon) and rope him into a quickie, easily-dissolved first marriage.

A charming, fun romantic comedy, Fly Me to the Moon was one of the highest grossing comedies in France last year.

<cite>The Prey (La proie)</cite>

The Prey (La proie)

directed by Eric Valette in French starring Albert Dupontel

Franck Adrien (Albert Dupontel), a bank robber convicted of a heist and sentenced to six months in prison, shares a cell with the seemingly weak Jean Louis Morel who has been wrongfully accused of child abuse. Franck makes the mistake of defending the vulnerable Jean Louis from the other inmates once Morel is released, he learns that his former cellmate is actually a sadistic serial killer who now knows private details about Adrien’s life and the wherabouts of his family. In order to protect his wife and daughter, Franck must break out of prison and catch Morel before he gets to them all while France’s elite police detectives are hunting him down. Superbly tense, The Prey is a non-stop adrenaline rush that has kept audiences worldwide on the edge of their seats.

<cite>You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Vous n’avez encore rien vu)</cite>

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Vous n’avez encore rien vu)

directed by Alain Resnais in French starring Mathieu Amalric, Michel Piccoli, Sabine Azema

Based on two works by the playwright Jean Anouilh, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet opens with a who’s-who of French acting royalty being summoned to the reading of a late playwright’s last will and testament. In a videotaped message, the playwright (Denis Podalydes) asks his guests to evaluate a recording of an experimental theater company performing his Eurydice—a play they themselves all appeared in over the years. But, as the video rolls, these seasoned thespians can’t help but insert themselves in the work. Alternately wry and wistful, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is a valentine to actors and the art of performance from a director long fascinated by the intersection of life, theater, and cinema.

<cite>The Stroller Strategy (La Strategie de la poussette)</cite>

The Stroller Strategy (La Strategie de la poussette)

directed by Clément Michel in French starring Raphaël Personnaz, Charlotte Lebon, Jérôme Commandeur

A charming romantic comedy, The Stroller Strategy follows the adventures of the bachelor Thomas (Raphael Personnaz) who suddenly finds himself taking of a baby and has no idea what he’s doing. He soon realizes however that his new found role as a “father” may be just what he needs to win back the love of his life Marie (Charlotte Lebon). The plan could backfire or it could rekindle the romance!

<cite>Populaire</cite>

Populaire

directed by Regis Roinsard in French starring Deborah Francois, Romain Duris

21-year-old Rose (Deborah Francois) longs for a new life away from her grouchy widower father and the mechanic to whom she is engaged. So so she travels to Lisieux to find a job. Once there she meets the charismatic insurance agency boss Louis Echard (Romain Duris), who’s looking for a secretary. The interview is a disaster but Rose reveals a special gift — she can type at extraordinary speed and, unwittingly, the young woman awakens the dormant sports fan in Louis. If she wants the job she’ll have to compete in a speed typing competition!

<cite>Carre Blanc</cite>

Carre Blanc

directed by Jean Baptiste Leonetti

A bleak dystopian film set in an ultra-violent, cannibalistic society.

<cite>The Dandelions</cite>

The Dandelions

directed by Carine Tardieu in French starring Agnès Jaoui, Denis Podalydès, Isabelle Carré

It’s the 1980s, and the precocious nine-year old Rachel lives with her overprotective mother (Agnes Jaoui) and Holocaust survivor father (Denis Podalydes) and regularly visits her eccentric child psychologist Madame Trebla (Isabella Rossellini). Life gets even more interesting when Rachel finds a new best friend in her wild child classmate Valerie. The Dandelions brims with humor, charm and tells an unpredictable story with realism, pathos and fancy.

<cite>You will be My Son (Tu seras mon fils)</cite>

You will be My Son (Tu seras mon fils)

directed by Gilles Legrand in French starring Niels Arestrup, Lorànt Deutsch, Patrick Chesnais

Passionate about wine and his work, Paul (Niels Arestrup) is the proprieter of his family’s prestigious estate. Disheartened by the thought that his son Martin (Laurent Deutsch) will inherit the business and by the fact that his hard-working estate manager is dying, Paul rejects his own son in favor of Philip (Nicolas Bridet), grooming him to be the rightful heir. Work, love and wine all play key roles in this fascinating family drama.

“The parallel dramas underline the universal theme of primal jealousy, as fathers confront the prospect of their sons superseding them.” —Stephen Holden, New York Times

<cite>Wings of Desire</cite>

Wings of Desire

directed by Wim Wenders in French starring Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander

A special screening and event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, or Treaty of Friendship, which ushered in a new era of cultural and diplomatic relations between France and Germany. Co-presented with Goethe-Institut Chicago

A beautiful symphony celebrating the city of Berlin, Wings of Desire has become a timeless classic. The angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) perched on top of buildings high over the city can hear the thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams of everyone living below. But as one soul speaks to him louder than the others, he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist and realizes he is willing to give up his immortality and return to earth to be with her. Filmed not long before the fall of the Berlin wall, Wings of Desire is an unforgettable tapestry of sounds and images, that, with a German director and French actress, perfectly embodies the spirit of the Elysée Treaty.

Q & A with Sara Hall, Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at UIC and Lorraine Groleau Darrow, Director and screenwriting faculty at DePaul University, follows the screening on Sunday, July 28, 6 p.m

<cite>The Chef (Comme un Chef)</cite>

The Chef (Comme un Chef)

directed by Daniel Cohen in French starring Jean Reno, Michael Youn

Chef Alexandre (Jean Reno) of the three-star establishment Cargo Lagarde is facing a crisis. Much to his horror, Stanislaw, the son of his retired business partner, wants him to cut costs and introduce molecular gastronomy. Meanwhile, Jacky (Michael Youn), a self-trained cook with haute-cuisine ambitions, keeps getting canned from menial cooking jobs. His girlfriend Beatrice arranges a handyman position for him at an old folks home, but he can’t resist the siren call of the kitchen. These two masters of the culinary arts can no doubt cook up some comedy!

<cite>Un Flic</cite>

Un Flic

directed by Jean-Pierrre Melville in French starring Alain Delon, Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve

Two men, the piano-playing Alain Delon and nightclub owner Richard Crenna, are both in love with Catherine Deneuve. But one of them is a burn-out cop and the other is bent on the heist of a lifetime.

Legendary director John-Pierre Melville’s final film features iconic performances from the star trio: a jadedly detached Delon, a chillingly icy Deneuve, and a smilingly insinuating Crenna. With both the unforgettable performances and two legendary heist sequences, this dark atmospheric classic has returned to the big screen a huge, well-deserved success.

<cite>11.6</cite>

11.6

directed by Philippe Godeau in French starring François Cluzet, Bouli Lanners

11.6 is a heist film based on the real life story of criminal Toni Musulin, who pulled off one of the largest heists in France’s history without the aid of firearms.

“‘Intouchables’ star Francois Cluzet delivers the goods in this noir-style replay of a real-life heist.” —Bernard Besserglik, The Hollywood Reporter

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