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Music Box Theatre
The Chicago French Film Festival Begins This Friday!
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Bonjour, French Film Lovers,

The Chicago French Film Festival is this week, July 26th – Aug 2nd! For the three years, we’ve been presenting the very best in contemporary and classic French cinema. Our exciting lineup this year features films starring Jean Reno, Diane Kruger and Matthieu Amalric, a special presentation of Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, special guests and receptions, and much more. The 3rd Annual Chicago French Film Festival promises to be the most comprehensive, diverse and exciting yet!

Check below for the full schedule and film descriptions, and Purchase advance tickets now.

Wednesday, July 24th – Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

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A film by Philippe Godeau 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

On November 5, 2009, Toni Musulin (Francois Cluzet) made off with 11.6 million Euros. It was the heist of the century that took years of planning and preparation including extracting himself from a marriage and breaking with his sole friend. But oddly, just a few days after pulling off his headline-grabbing crime, Musulin turned himself in. This fictionalized account of Musulin’s famous exploit is based on the book Toni 11.6 by Alice Géraud-Arfi, who is the only person to interview Musulin in prison, where he is currently serving a five-year sentence in isolation. In the tradition of French romantic crime figures comes this portrait of a man for whom going to jail may actually be part of the master plan.


The Chef (Comme un Chef)

A film by Daniel Cohen 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!


Carre Blanc

A film by Jean Baptiste Leonetti


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

In an austere dystopian future in which the population is rapidly declining and the weak are killed and used for meat, Phillipe (Sami Bouajila) and Marie (Julie Gayet) meet in a brutal state-run school where they form a connection based on survival. Years later they are married but estranged and both are struggling to endure the ruthless, cold, infernal world they live in.

Disturbing, dark and grim, Carre Blanc is an intense film that could best be described as a blend of surreal horror and dark sci-fi that frighteningly paints a picture of a future we could very well still face.


The Dandelions

A film by Carine Tardieu 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.


Fly Me to the Moon (Un Plan Parfait)

A film 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.



A film by Regis Roinsard 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!

A young, small-town office worker is catapulted to instant fame when her talent at the keyboard makes her a contender for the title “Fastest Typist in the World” in POPULAIRE, a delightful French homage to the playful romantic comedies of the 1950s.

Shy and awkward Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François) dreams of being a secretary, but in Normandy in 1958, life beyond the confines of wife and mother seems impossible. Determined to succeed on her own terms, Rose leaves her quaint village for the nearby town of Lisieux, where her nimble two-fingered typing prompts local insurance agent Louis Échard (Romain Duris) to hire her as his assistant.

Disorganized, clumsy and absent-minded, Rose proves to be a disaster as secretary, but a savant as a typist, even just pecking away with two fingers. The fiercely competitive Louis insists that she enter in a speed-typing contest if she wants to keep her job. Installing himself as her coach, he relentlessly drives her toward becoming the fastest typist in France—perhaps even the world!

But as the timid small town girl becomes a world-class contender under Louis’ tutelage, Rose realizes what she really wants and goes for it with the same verve and energy she brings to the keyboard. An effervescent comedy about a little-known, real-life sport, POPULAIRE evokes a period that became a turning point in the working lives of women around the world with the sly humor, vibrant color and spirited music of the era.


The Prey (La proie)

A film by Eric Valette 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.


The Stroller Strategy (La Strategie de la poussette)

A film by Clément Michel 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!


Un Flic

A film by Jean-Pierrre Melville 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.


Wings of Desire

A film by Wim Wenders starring Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander


An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal.


Sun, Jul 28 6:00pm

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

A film by Alain Resnais 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.


You will be My Son (Tu seras mon fils)

A film by Gilles Legrand starring Niels Arestrup, Lorànt Deutsch, Patrick Chesnais


“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

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.


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