The Tournées Film Festival will be offered March 30 through April 19 at Missouri Southern State University.
Last fall, the Honors Program and Spiva Library received a $2,200 grant through the French-American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation to stage the French film festival on campus. The program, now in its 20th year, has partnered with more than 450 universities to bring French cinema to campuses in the United States.
The films featured during the festival will be:
“Les Femmes Du 6eme Etage” (“The Women on the Sixth Floor”): 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 30.
A Parisian captain of industry learns that there’s much more to life than turning a profit in Philippe Le Guay’s charming movie about friendship across class and language divides. Set in 1962, it centers on the transformation of third-generation stockbroker Jean- Louis. The self-centered businessman starts to discover his altruistic side after he’s made aware of the inferior plumbing and other, graver hardships endured by the half-dozen Spanish maids, refugees from Franco’s regime, who live above him.
“The Artist”: 1 p.m. Friday, April 1
A delightful homage to silent-era Hollywood, Michel Hazanavicius’s mostly silent film, opens in 1927, when preening matinee idol George Valentin, is still the top draw at Kinograph Studios. George acts as a mentor to Peppy Miller, a chorus girl with big ambitions. The Artist tracks both Peppy’s ascent (through amusing montage) and George’s decline as he refuses to acknowledge synchronized-sound as more than a passing fad.
“La Guerre est Declaree” (“Declaration of War”): 1 p.m. Friday, April 8
Courageously mining harrowing autobiographical episodes, director Valérie Donzelli and her co-writer, co-star, and ex-partner Jérémie Elkaïm imaginatively relay the story of their own tumultuous romance—and the terrifying, real-life diagnosis that their son received when he was only 18 months old. Donzelli creatively plays with form, adding musical numbers, multiple omniscient narrators, and other nods to the French New Wave.
“La Grotte des Reves Perdus” (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”): 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 13
Werner Herzog’s breathtaking documentary gives viewers an unprecedented look at, as he accurately describes it, “one of the great discoveries in the history of human culture”: the prehistoric drawings in the Chauvet- Pont-d’Arc Cave in the south of France. First discovered in 1994, the images—including depictions of lions and mammoths—were made 30,000 years ago and are the earliest known human art.
“Conte D’ete” (“A Summer’s Tale”): 1 p.m. Friday, April 15
Gaspard, a recent math graduate and amateur musician in his early 20s, plans to enjoy three weeks of relaxation before starting a new job. While waiting for Léna, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, to show up, Gaspard becomes amorously entangled with two others: Margot and Solène. When Léna finally does arrive, Gespard finds himself in an impossible situation: He has promised each woman an excursion to a nearby island.
“Les Contes de la Nuit” (“Tales of the Night”): 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19
This collection of six marvelous, visually bold fairy tales is rendered in a “shadow puppet style,” with silhouetted characters set against gorgeously colored, Day-Glo backgrounds. Each episode introduces a host of amazing creations: werewolves, giant bees, dragons, sorcerers, talking horses, rival kings. And each, in telling the tale of how a young man overcomes obstacles to win the hand of a princess, takes a decidedly wry, ironic turn.
All screenings will be presented in Billingsly Student Center’s Phelps Theater. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.
The Tournées Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.