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Annual French Film Festival Set

Released: 03/11/2008

Five acclaimed films will be shown starting March 28 at the third annual French Film Festival sponsored by LSU at Alexandria and the Arts Council of Central Louisiana, announced Dr. Shonu Nangia, festival coordinator and assistant professor of foreign languages. Four films will be shown on campus in the Science Building auditorium, and another, "Avenue Montaigne" (Fauteuil d'orchestre), will be seen in the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center in Alexandria at 7 p.m. April 4. Admission is free to all presentations, and the movies will have English subtitles.

"Paris, I Love You" (Paris, je t'aime) opens the festival at 7 p.m. March 28. The movie, R-rated for language, is a patchwork of 18 "witty and serendipitous narratives" that portray Parish through the perspective of foreign directors who were charged with creating a tight-budget story that lasts less than five minutes. All tell a story about sometimes fragile relationships that bind people who have met recently or know each other well.

"Bamako," an unrated drama set in contemporary Africa against a background of globalization, will be shown at 7 p.m. March 29. The film features strikingly warm colors and inspirational music while depicting a trial over debt pitting African civil society against international financial institutions. The theme is juxtaposed with the lives of ordinary African citizens which underscores the country's grievances against such institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

"Avenue Montaigne" deals with a beautiful, naive girl who follows her grandmother's footsteps by working at a Paris cafe that attracts an array of artistic figures. They include a soap opera star who tries to seduce a major Hollywood director in hopes of making a career change, an art lover who is selling a lifetime collection at auction, and an illustrious classical pianist in the midst of a career crisis who refuses to play in the posh concert halls to which he has been invited. A social and financial gap separates the waitress, Jessica, from the other characters, but her innocence contributes to a profound link between her and her clients. The film carries a PG-13 rating for strong language and brief sexuality.

"Days of Glory" (Indigenes), R-rated for war violence and occasional language, will be shown April 5 at 7 p.m. The World Ward II-based drama tells the story of some 150,000 North Africans who fought to liberate France, a country none of them had ever seen before. The film is presented through the eyes of four North African soldiers, each of whom as different motivation for joining the liberation movement. These soldiers not only fight a German and Italian enemy but also racism from the French army and society.

"The Moustache" (La Moustache) concludes the festival April 11 at 7 p.m. It's an unrated psychological drama about Marc, an architect who enjoys a wonderful relationship with his wife, Agnes. After impulsively shaving off a moustache that he has worn his entire adult life prior to a dinner with friends, no one notices, and they even insist that Marc hasn't had a moustache in years. At first he thinks he is being tricked by an elaborate group plot, but coworkers and other also support the notion that Marc hasn't worn a moustache. Eventually he concludes that his wife has lost her mind, and as other elements of his life start to erode Agnes and his friends conspire to have him committed to a psychiatric facility.

The festival also receives support from the French Ministry of Culture, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation, Highbrow Entertainment, Agnes B, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.