June 8, 2012
The 2012 French cultural season in Manila
A scene from The Artist.
Multi-awarded French film director Olivier Assayas is in town and is flying out of Manila tomorrow, Saturday.
Assayas is the director of "Irma Vep" and "Summer Hours." In the past few days, he conducted a Master class for film students at the University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) in UP, had lunch with Filipino film directors at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), and attended a screening of his film at the Shangri-La Plaza mall.
Seven acclaimed works which he produced in his 25-year directing career are being showcased at the Citi-Rustan's French Film Festival that's ongoing at the Shang Cineplex of the Shangri-La Plaza mall in Mandaluyong until the 17th of June. The screenings are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
On its 17th year, the festival is said to have garnered an unprecedented attendance of 15,000 film aficionados in just 10 days of screening last year, says French Embassy Audiovisual Attache Martin Macalintal.
The opening film was Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist," a moving story about a Hollywood silent film star in 1927 who used to perform to packed houses until the advent of talking pictures, and who eventually "fades into oblivion and self-destruction." It will be shown one last time at the festival at 7:30 p.m. on June 14 at Cinema 2.
Apart being adjudged Best French Film of the Year, and for reaping for Hazanavisius the Best Director and for actress Berenice Bejo the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, "The Artist" ran away with five Oscars at the Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score. Whew!
During last year's Fete de la Musique.
The other French films to be screened during the festival are Emmanuel Mouret's "L'Art d'Aimer" (The Art of Love), Geraldine Nakache's and Herve Mimran's "Tout Ce Qui Brille" (All that Glitters), Amos Gitai's "Roses a Credit" (Roses on Credit), Benoit Jacquot's "Au fond des Bois" (Deep in the Woods), Jacques Doillon's "Le Mariage a Trois" (The Three-way Wedding), Mathieu Kassovitz's "L'Ordre et La Morale" (Rebellion), Pascal Chaumeil's "L'arnacoeur" (Heartbreaker) and Francois Ozon's "Le Refuge" (Hideaway).
Also to be shown during the filmfest are works by our very own directors which have been screened or have won awards in France: Auraeus Solito's "Busong," Raya Martin's and Adolfo Alix's "Manila," Brillante Mendoza's "Captive," Sigrid Bernardo's "Au Revoir Philippe," and "Little," and Ralston Jover's "Bakal Boys."
Incidentally, there will be a screening of "choreographic movies" at Alliance Francaise on June 13, and the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) on June 28. In cooperation with the Goethe Institute, Alliance Francaise is also organizing a workshop on documentary filmmaking in mid-June, according to Astrid Renoux, Cultural Attache of the French Embassy.
FrancoPhil, the French-Filipino Cultural Program in Manila started in February and ends in December. Since February, it has featured pieces by Claude Debussy and Olivier Messiaen in a piano recital of Marie Vermeulin at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati; "Song and Symphony," a concert by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, French conductor Michael Cousteau and participants of the voice Master Class organized by the Paris Conservatory at CCP; dance performances by Elektro Kif-The Bianca Li company at CCP; workshops, art talks with Choreographic Center of Avignon Director E. Serafini, and dance film screenings focusing on European Contemporary Dance at Alliance Francaise de Manille, PETA, UP and LPU.
Dance performances by Electro Kif.
Upcoming are live performances by French DJ's collective Chinese Man and various Filipino bands at a street party in Makati City at 4 p.m. onwards on June 23 for the very popular Fete de la Musique; a workshop on the development and use of natural Filipino fiber nipa from July 10 to 14. An exhibit will be organized by the end of the year to showcase the pieces made during the workshop.
At 8 p.m. on October 18, the pioneer of Modern Circus in France, the Jerome Thomas Company will thrill audiences with "a musical and jugglery performance full of tenderness and poetry" at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.
And in cooperation with the Metropolitan Museum, Quezon City and the Nicephore Niepce Museum in France, there will be a French-Filipino photography and video exhibit from October 27 to November 27 in Quezon City.
Capping FrancoPhil is a jazz concert by the Sophie Alour Trio and the Jewelmer Band at 8 p.m. on December 6. Venue to be announced later.
For further information, visit www.alliance.ph.