The 2016 Chicago French Film Festival
Friday, July 22nd – Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Vive le cinema!
The 6th annual Chicago French Film Festival comes to the Music Box Theatre, July 22nd – July 28th 2016, celebrating the best in recent French cinema.
A Special Opening Night Reception will be held in the Music Box Lounge & Garden for Festival Passholders. Get your pass today & join us for the festivities!
Fri 22 Jul
directed by Jaco Van Dormael in French starring Pili Groyne, Benoît Poelvoorde, Catherine Deneuve
The Brand New Testament is an off-the-wall fantasy that sees God (Benoît Poelvoorde) as a curmudgeon from Brussels whose spiteful excesses are only restrained by the actions of his plucky 10-year-old daughter, Ea (the much acclaimed Pili Groyne).
Ea, on the advice of her brother JC, hacks her father’s computer and sends everyone on Earth a text message with the date God has planned for their demise. Pursued by her wrathful father, Ea flees to Earth, enlisting bored wife Martine (Catherine Deneuve) as one of her disciples. Meanwhile, after God decides to leave his apartment for the first time he becomes trapped in the outside world, powerless and alone.
“Irresistibly laugh-out-loud and feel-good.” —The Hollywood Reporter
Fri 22 Jul
directed by Arnaud Viard in French starring Arnaud Viard, Irène Jacob, Louise Coldefy
Arnaud is a movie director and the typical Parisian guy: charming, distracted, unsettled. As he struggles to convince bankers and producers to invest in his sophomore movie, his fiancée asks him to commit more to their relationship. At the exact same moment he falls in love for Gabrielle, a young and ambitious actress. And at the same time his mother passes away, leading to a turning point in Arnaud’s life.
Pitched somewhere between the sardonic humor of Woody Allen and the wry tenderness of Nanni Moretti, Arnaud Viard’s new film uses comedy and romance to depict a man’s crusade to understand his very personal feelings about love and life.
Sat 23 Jul
directed by Thomas Bidegain in French starring François Damiens, Finnegan Oldfield, Agathe Dronne, John C. Reilly
A vast prairie, a country and western gathering somewhere in the east of France. Alain is a central figure in this community. He’s dancing with his daughter Kelly, 16, as his wife and their young son, Kid, watch from the sidelines. But on this day, Kelly disappears, and the family falls apart. Alain embarks on a relentless search for his daughter, even though it costs him everything and takes him to some far-off places. Dark unsettling places, where his sole support is Kid, who sacrifices his youth to accompany his father on this seemingly endless quest. An inventive, dramatic update of The Searchers set amid France’s rarely explored modern cowboy subculture.
Sat 23 Jul
directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol in French starring Edouard Baer, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Audrey Tautou
The highly anticipated new film from the Academy Award®-nominated writers and directors of A Cat In Paris is a stylish noir caper, set in the shadowy streets and alleyways of New York. Leo has a secret. A mysterious illness has transformed him into a phantom boy, able to leave the confines of his body and explore the city as a ghostly apparition. While in the hospital, he befriends Alex, a New York City cop injured while attempting to capture a nefarious gangster who has taken control of the city’s power supply, throwing the metropolis into chaos. Now they must form an extraordinary duo, using Leo’s phantom powers and Alex’s detective work to foil the plot and save New York from destruction. Phantom Boy continues Gagnol and Felicioli’s fascination with animated film noir, in a heart-thumping adventure that pushes their trademark visual style to literal new heights, as Leo swoops and soars above the greatest skyline in the world.
Opens at the Music Box Theatre on Friday, August 12th.
“Delightful! Visually striking and surprisingly moving!” —RogerEbert.com
Sat 23 Jul
directed by Michel Gondry in French starring Ange Dargent, Théophile Baquet, Audrey Tautou
Microbe, a shy, aspiring artist, has trouble making friends at school until he meets Gasoline, a likeminded outcast. Together they hatch a plan to build a car and spend their summer on an epic road trip across France. This charming adventure from Michel Gondry (Mood Indigo, Be Kind Rewind) has been called his “most satisfying movie since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” reminding us how friendships can help us reach our true potential. Also starring Audrey Tautou (Amelie, The Da Vinci Code).
Opens at the Music Box Theatre on Friday, July 29th.
“An honest impression of youth” —Variety
Sat 23 Jul
directed by Alice Winocour in French starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger
Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) gives a tightly wound performance as a veteran with PTSD hired as a bodyguard for a wealthy man’s wife (Diane Kruger, Inglourious Basterds) in a sleek and tense thriller from Alice Winocour, writer of 2015 Oscar®-nominee Mustang.
Sat 23 Jul
directed by Eva Husson in French starring Finnegan Oldfield, Marilyn Lima, Lorenzo Lefèbvre
A heat wave isn’t the only thing in full swing in this steamy drama about rich kids in the coastal town of Biarritz stripping down and shaking off that mid-summer ennui. Young George (Marilyn Lima, think adolescent Bardot painted by Botticelli) unexpectedly falls for Alex after he coaxes her into a casual encounter. When the feelings aren’t reciprocated, George tries to remind him what he’s missing by instigating a game of truth or dare with enough dare in it to put a glint in the eye of a porn impresario. Aided by some selfies and the internet, word spreads, and what began as an attempt to spark a little jealously explodes into a furious wildfire of sexual discovery. George, Alex, and their growing circle of libertine teens are now determined to find their limits, consequences be damned.
Sun 24 Jul
directed by André Téchiné in French starring Nicolas Giraudi, Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux
30 Anniversary – Digital Restoration
Thomas is fourteen and perhaps because not much happens in his remote village in southwestern France, he likes to tell tales. But then one day, something really does happen to him, something that upsets his life and the lives of everyone around him. The lives of his grandparents. The life of his father Maurice. The life of Martin, a stranger and fugitive he meets one day. The life of Alice, the companion of the two brothers, attached to them by childhood love, an attachment she will break only in death. The life of Lili, his mother, above all. Lili loves Thomas more than anything, but she has never done anything she should have done. Dissatisfaction is brewing in her like the storm that hits the village that day; she was only waiting for a flash like Martin to leave everything behind and go off to follow her destiny.
Sun 24 Jul
directed by Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud in French
After traveling the world alongside migrating birds and diving the oceans with whales and manta rays, Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud return to more familiar ground, the lush green forests and megafauna that emerged across Europe following the last Ice Age. Winter had gone on for 80,000 years when, in a relatively short period of time the ice retreated, the landscape metamorphosed, the cycle of seasons was established and the beasts occupied their new kingdom. It was only later than man arrived to share this habitat, first tentatively as migratory hunter/gatherers, then making inroads in the forest as settled agriculturalists, and later more dramatically via industry and warfare. Seasons, with its exceptional footage of animals in the wild, is the awe-inspiring and thought-provoking tale of the long and tumultuous shared history that inextricably binds humankind with the natural world.
Sun 24 Jul
directed by Christian Carion in French starring August Diehl, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner
May 1940: German forces roll into France. Led by their reluctant mayor (Olivier Gourmet), the inhabitants of a small Northern French village are forced to flee along with millions of others throughout the country. The villagers take with them a German child whose father (August Diehl) opposed the Nazi regime and has been jailed for lying about his nationality. The father escapes into the fog of war in search of his son, accompanied by a Scottish soldier (Matthew Rhys, star of FX’s The Americans), who is trying to get back to England. With a transporting score by Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone and lush cinematography by Pierre Cottereau, Come What May celebrates everyday acts of resilience and heroism ordinary people carry out in the face of life-altering historical events.
Sun 24 Jul
directed by Pierre Godeau in French starring Adèle Exarchopoulos, Guillaume Gallienne, Stéphanie Cléau
Adéle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color) sizzles in this story of a young inmate who falls for her married prison director (Guillaume Gallienne, Yves Saint Laurent). The film is based on true events that occurred in a Versailles prison in 2011, causing a national scandal.
Sun 24 Jul
directed by Dominik Moll in French starring François Damiens, Vincent Macaigne, Veerle Baetens
Philippe Mars wants to please everyone. He wants to be a good father, a friendly ex-husband, a helpful colleague and an understanding brother. Unfortunately, his little world goes out of its planned orbit. His son becomes a hardcore vegetarian, his daughter a compulsive swot, whilst his sister exhibits giant paintings of their naked parents. At the office he must face the rampages of his mentally unstable colleague Jerôme who one night turns up at his door with a young woman in tow who has just been released from a clinic.
Individual tickets: $12 General Admission / $10 for Music Box and Alliance Francaise Members
Full Festival Pass: $80 General Admission / $70 for Music Box and Alliance Francaise Members (includes Opening Night Pre-Reception in Music Box Lounge & Garden)
Friday, July 22nd
Saturday, July 23rd
Sunday, July 24th
Monday, July 25th
Tuesday, July 26th
Wednesday, July 27th
Join the Music Box Theatre, Music Box Films and the Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France in Chicago for a selection of new French Cinema. This year’s festival will include Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story), the bold directorial debut by Eva Husson. Set on the beaches (and in the beds) of Biarritz, France, Husson’s film explores the sexual awakenings and exploits of a group of teens, chronicling in stark realism the joys and consequences of youth’s exuberance. In The Brand New Testament, Jaco Van Dermal’s widely inventive and witty new film, we learn that not only does God exist, but he lives in Brussels and is a real jerk! His son is well-known, of course, but God also has a ten-year old daughter who has had enough of her father using humanity as his plaything.
Other instances of the Chicago French Film Festival
Friday, July 31st – Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Thursday, July 31st – Thursday, August 7th, 2014
Friday, July 26th – Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Friday, July 27th – Sunday, July 29th, 2012
Friday, July 22nd – Tuesday, July 26th, 2011