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The 14th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Returns To Open The Newly Renovated Alice Tully Hall with U.S. Premiere of “Paris 36”

Written by: FFT Webmaster | February 19th, 2009

The Film Society of Lincoln Center will help re-open Lincoln Center’s newly renovated Alice Tully Hall with the U.S. premiere of Christophe Barratier’s “Paris 36,” the Opening Night selection of The Film Society and Unifrance’s celebrated annual film series, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, on Thursday, March 5, at 8:00 p.m. Director Barratier, producer (and sometimes actor) Jacques Perrin, and breakout star Nora Arnezeder will attend the screening.

Image from PARIS 36 (Faubourg 36)

From left: Kad Merad as Jacky, Gerard Jugnot as Pigoil, and Nora Arnezeder as Douce in PARIS 36 / FAUBOURG 36
Directed by Christophe Barratier, France, 2008; 120m

Photo Credit: Jeremie Bouilon / The Film Society of Lincoln Center / Sony Pictures Classics

Says Mara Manus, the new executive director of The Film Society, “We are thrilled to be a part of the celebrations for the re-opening of Alice Tully Hall. The breathtaking new Grand Foyer and theatrical space will be an incomparable home for our community of film lovers for years to come.”

“Paris 36” (“Faubourg 36,” France/Germany/Czech Republic, 2008; 120m) screened at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. A vibrant period musical comedy from the writer/director of “The Chorus,” it stars veteran French comedian Gérard Jugnot as the manager of a threadbare ’30s music hall that is scheduled to close. Inspired by the electoral victories of socialist Léon Blum and The Popular Front, he leads a movement against a local gangster to take over the hall and transform it into a cooperative in which everyone, from the actors to the stagehands, has a stake. Their success hinges on a promising new act, the velvet-voiced chanteuse Douce (Nora Arnezeder). Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in the U.S. beginning April 3.

The 14th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema will continue through March 15th. Each year, the showcase–one of The Film Society’s most popular annual series–offers New Yorkers a decent overview of both popular and significant French films release throughout the previous year. These works from one of cinema’s most prolific and accomplished film cultures highlight both established cinematic masters and inspiring new talents.

Other filmmakers and guests who will attend screenings during the series include directors Claire Denis, Samuel Collardey, Patrick Mario Bernard, Pierre Trividic, Danièle Thompson, Costa-Gavras, Anne Fontaine, Jean-François Richet, Ilan Duran Cohen, Agnès Varda, Sylvie Verheyde, Martin Provost, Pierre Schoeller, Benoît Jacquot, and prizewinning actress Félicité Wouassi (“With a Little Help from Myself”).

“Rendez-Vous’s goal has been to provide as broad a panorama as possible of contemporary French cinema,” says Richard Peña, program director at The Film Society. “This year, the aesthetic and stylistic spread of the program is more impressive than ever.”

Frequent Rendez-Vous director Agnès Varda will present “The Beaches of Agnès,” a fascinating personal take on the beaches and cities that have influenced her creative life. Other long-time cinematic favorites complement newer voices, as Costa-Gavras tackles the economic hardships faced by illegal immigrants to Europe in his newest social critique, “Eden Is West,” and Samuel Collardey makes a lively directorial debut with “The Apprentice,” about the growth and family life of a young student in rural France.

Following similar social themes through more traditional methods, Pierre Schoeller’s lauded debut “Versailles” stars the late Guillaume Depardieu as a vagrant seeking redemption while caring for a five-year-old boy in the woods outside of France’s most opulent palace.

Catherine Deneuve and Émilie Dequenne provide the emotional heart of André Téchiné’s harrowing drama about class and racial identity in France, “The Girl on the Train,” receiving its world premiere in the series. And Vincent Cassel leads a dynamic cast that includes Cécile De France, Olivier Gourmet, Mathieu Amalric, and Ludivine Sagnier in Jean-François Richet’s whirlwind, two-part crime story “Mesrine,” already a winner of multiple honors at this year’s Lumière Awards and Globes de Cristal.

Richet’s film also offers the first of two appearances in the series by France’s most illustrious actor, Gérard Depardieu, who stars as the title police commissioner in legendary filmmaker Claude Chabrol’s latest thriller “Bellamy.”

“Avenue Montaigne” director Danièle Thompson also guides some of France’s finest actors through an appealing mix of social commentary and black comedy in “Change of Plans”—Karin Viard, Patrick Bruel, Patrick Chesnais, Marina Hands, Dany Boon, Emmanuelle Seigner, Pierre Arditi, and Marina Foïs.

Anchoring a slate full of strong women’s roles, Foïs also appears in Ilan Duran Cohen’s Rendez-Vous debut “The Joy of Singing,” a delicious spy thriller/comedy that takes a secret service couple into the world of amateur opera. Isabelle Huppert re-teams with Benoît Jacquot for the romantic tale “Villa Amalia,” based on Pascal Quignard’s Goncourt Prize-winning novel, and Yolande Moreau returns to Rendez-Vous as outsider artist Séraphine de Senlis in first-time director Martin Provost’s ambitious biopic “Séraphine.”

Moreau, Provost, and several “Séraphine” artists are currently nominated for top honors—including best picture—at this year’s César Awards, France’s equivalent to the Academy Awards. The film is one of several Rendez-Vous features and filmmakers to receive their country’s highest cinematic praise. Other notably honored titles in the series include: “Mesrine” (best picture, best actor Vincent Cassel, and best director Jean-François Richet), “Versailles” (best first film and best actor Guillaume Depardieu), “Paris 36” (best cinematography), “The Girl from Monaco” (best supporting actor Roschdy Zem and best female newcomer Louise Bourgoin), “With a Little Help from Myself” (best supporting actor Claude Rich and best male newcomer Ralph Amoussou), and “The Beaches of Agnès” (best documentary feature).

Image from BELLAMY

An image from BELLAMY
Directed by Claude Chabrol, France, 2009; 110m
Photo Credit: The Film Society of Lincoln Center / Unifrance

Claude Chabrol, whose “Bellamy” will receive its North American premiere during Rendez-Vous, was honored with the prestigious Berlinale Camera during this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Finally, new this year to Rendez-Vous, a program of prizewinning short films by emerging filmmakers will provide “an exclusive introduction to the next generation of French cinema,” says Peña. The seven titles in Tout Court: New French Shorts will screen together, Friday, March 13, at 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 15, at 3:15 p.m.

Regular tickets for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2009 screenings at The Film Society of Lincoln Center are $12.50; $8.50 for Film Society members, students, and children (6-12, accompanied by an adult); and $9.50 for seniors (62+).

Tickets for screenings at the IFC Center are $12.50; $9.50 for IFC Center members; and $8.50 for children and seniors. They are available online at and, and at the box offices at The Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater and the IFC Center.

Tickets for the Opening Night screening of “Paris 36” at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall are $20; $15 for Film Society members.

Tickets go on sale on February 19th at noon. For info on how to buy tix, visit or call (212) 875-5601 for Film Society screenings, or visit for IFC Center shows.

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2009 Schedule at a Glance (all times p.m.)

(see Film Society and IFC websites for more detailed Program descriptions)

At Alice Tully Hall
(Lincoln Center)

Thursday, March 5
8:00 Paris 36

At The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater
(165 West 65th St., near Amsterdam Ave.)

(note: Due to construction taking place around Lincoln Center, access to the Theater is near Amsterdam Avenue. Once there, take the escalator, elevator or stairs to the upper level.)

Friday, March 6
1:00 The Girl from Monaco
3:30 Versailles
6:20 Change of Plans
8:45 Séraphine

Saturday, March 7
1:30 The Beaches of Agnès
4:10 With a Little Help from Myself
6:35 The Girl from Monaco
9:00 Eden Is West

Sunday, March 8
12:30 Séraphine
3:30 The Joy of Singing
6:00 Versailles
8:45 Change of Plans

Monday, March 9
1:00 With a Little Help from Myself
3:30 Change of Plans
6:15 With a Little Help from Myself
8:45 The Beaches of Agnès

Tuesday, March 10
1:00 The Joy of Singing
3:30 The Girl on the Train
6:15 Mesrine Part 1
9:10 The Girl on the Train

Wednesday, March 11
1:30 Eden Is West
3:45 The Apprentice
6:00 Mesrine Part 2
9:00 The Other One

Thursday, March 12
1:00 Stella
3:45 Bellamy
6:15 Stella
8:45 The Apprentice

Friday, March 13
1:30 35 Shots of Rum
4:00 Tout Court: New French Shorts
6:15 35 Shots of Rum
8:45 Villa Amalia

Saturday, March 14
1:30 Mesrine Part 1
3:50 Mesrine Part 2
6:45 Villa Amalia
9:10 Bellamy

Sunday, March 15
1:00 Bellamy
3:15 Tout Court: New French Shorts
5:30 The Other One
8:00 35 Shots of Rum

at The IFC Center
(323 Sixth Ave., at West Third Street)

Friday, March 6
7:00 With a Little Help from Myself
9:30 Bellamy

Saturday, March 7
1:30 Versailles
4:00 Séraphine
7:00 Change of Plans
9:30 TBA

Sunday, March 8
1:30 The Girl from Monaco
4:00 Eden Is West
6:45 The Girl on the Train
9:00 TBA

Monday, March 9
7:00 The Apprentice
9:00 TBA

Tuesday, March 10
7:00 The Other One
9:00 TBA

Wednesday, March 11
7:00 The Joy of Singing
9:30 Stella

Thursday, March 12
7:00 35 Shots of Rum
9:30 Villa Amalia


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