The French Film Festival returns to Singapore starting November 9 until 19 featuring 16 critically-acclaimed French films. From a classic masterpiece on a pre-World War romance to a drama that was nominated in eight categories at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, films in this list all represent the spellbinding world of French cinema.
The annual event is organised by French Embassy, Institut Français Singapour and Alliance Française. In a statement to IBTimes Singapore, the team behind the festival vows to deliver "an eclectic selection of French films" representing varying genres that include hilarious comedies, heartwarming dramas, fantasy thrillers and inspiring biopics.
The 2017 edition proudly welcomes Singapore's very own Junfeng Boo as Festival Ambassador. Boo directed The Apprentice which earned praises at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Ambassador of France to Singapore Marc Abensour is optimistic that Singaporeans will be able to resonate with the films' themes and "inspire richer cultural appreciation and exchanges" between the two countries.
"Cinema is an important art form in France and we hope to share our love for it with Singaporeans through the French Film Festival," says Abensour.
1. Madame, 2017
Directed by Amanda Sthers
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Toni Collette, Rossy de Palma
November 10, 7 pm, Shaw Theatres Lido
November 11, 8 pm, Alliance Française
November 16, 8 pm, Alliance Française
November 18, 9:15 pm, Shaw Theatres Lido
Anne and Bob, an American couple living in Paris, organise a dinner party and invite 10 friends. To their surprise, Bob's son arrives, and the total number of people for dinner now becomes 13.
The superstitious Anne insists her maid Maria disguises herself as a mysterious Spanish noblewoman to even out the numbers. But a little too much wine and some playful chat lead Maria to accidentally endear herself to David, a dandy British art broker. Their budding romance will have Anne chasing her maid around Paris and finally plotting to destroy this most unexpected and joyous love affair.
2. From the Land of the Moon (Mal de Pierres), 2016
Directed by Nicole Garcia
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel
November 11, 7 pm, Shaw Theatres Lido
November 17, 9:15 pm, Shaw Theatres Lido
November 18, 8 pm, Alliance Française
Gabrielle grew up among the rural petit-bourgeois, where her dream of a passionate love is considered scandalous. At a time when women's role is to get married, Gabrielle's wild behaviour creates problems and people think she is insane.
Her parents married her off to José, a seasonal worker, whose job is to turn Gabrielle into a respectable woman. Gabrielle doesn't love him and feels as though she is being buried alive.
When she is sent away to undergo treatment for her kidney stones, she meets André Sauvage, a lieutenant wounded in the Indochina War, who reignites her desire for love. They make plans to run away together, and this time, they won't be able to take what she considers "the most important thing" from her – the ability to live out her dream.
3. Two Friends (Les 2 Amis), 2016
Directed by Louis Garrel
Cast: Golshifteh Farahani, Vincent Macaigne, Louis Garrel
November 11, 2 pm, Alliance Française
November 19, 2 pm, Alliance Française
Ever since he saw the mysterious and beautiful Mona, who works in a sandwich shop in the Gare du Nord train station, Clément, a film star, cannot get her out of his mind. But while she finds him kind, she is not in love with him. Moreover, she cannot envision any sort of love life because she is serving a prison sentence and is on a semi-liberty regime.
Desperate, Clement confides in his friend Abel, who tells him to act if he is sure of his feelings. The two men take the young woman out of the train station, breaking the conditions of her arrest. The two men try to find out more about the young woman, even as she is furious with them for making her a fugitive of the law.
4. Jules and Jim (Jules Et Jim), 1962
Directed by François Truffaut
Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre
November 19, 3 pm, The Projector
Since they met in 1912, two men, Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre), share a close friendship. Shortly before World War I, Jules marries Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), a willful young woman whom the two men have befriended.
However, after the war, his relationship with her deteriorates rapidly. When Jim comes to stay with the couple and their daughter, Jules encourages him to begin a relationship with Catherine, in hope that his wife will not leave him if she is involved with his friend. Catherine's carefree behaviour, however, soon creates further difficulties.