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!




<cite>Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (une historie d’amour moderne)</cite>

Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (une historie d’amour moderne)

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.

<cite>Come What May (En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait)</cite>

Come What May (En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait)

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.



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.

<cite>Down by Love (Eperdument)</cite>

Down by Love (Eperdument)

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.

<cite>Les Cowboys</cite>

Les Cowboys

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.

<cite>Microbe and Gasoline</cite>

Microbe and Gasoline

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).

“An honest impression of youth” —Variety

<cite>News From Planet Mars (Des Nouvelles de la planete Mars)</cite>

News From Planet Mars (Des Nouvelles de la planete Mars)

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.

<cite>Paris, Love, Cut (Arnaud fait son 2e film)</cite>

Paris, Love, Cut (Arnaud fait son 2e film)

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.

<cite>Phantom Boy</cite>

Phantom Boy

directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol in English

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.

“Delightful! Visually striking and surprisingly moving!” —

<cite>Scene of the Crime (Le Lieu du Crime)</cite>

Scene of the Crime (Le Lieu du Crime)

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.

<cite>Seasons (Les Saisons)</cite>

Seasons (Les Saisons)

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.

<cite>The Brand New Testament  (Le tout nouveau testament)</cite>

The Brand New Testament (Le tout nouveau testament)

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

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