Cultural Agenda/Events - April 2007


April 2007



For a complete list of the cultural events in Chicago, see the April edition of LIAISON.

For a complete calendar of events for the French and French-speaking associationsin your area, please visit their respective web sites.

Please check BUREAU EXPORTS, The French Music Export Offices, for a monthly listing of all French artists in concerts in the U.S.



Save the Date! May 5: "How the French Really Do It" - Culinary Soirée
Join the Alliance Française and the Groupe Professionel Francophone for a "Soirée Culinaire". Enjoy a gastronomic dinner created by Cook Au Vin, followed by a presentation of French culinary products by Amuse Vie. $45/members, $50/non-members. Reserve your space, see the full menu for this event and even pay online! Click (here) for online form and enter password: repas0505. RSVP by April 20th. Alliance Française de Chicago,
54 W. Chicago Ave.


Save the Date! Sunday, May 6: French Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Winnetka
Join fellow Francophiles to celebrate France’s Catholic heritage and the anniversary of the end of World War II in France (May 8, 1945). The celebrant of the Mass (in French) will be Father Doug Martis. All are welcome. 5 p.m. at Sacred Heart, 1077 Tower Road (2 blocks West of Green Bay Road). 847.446.0856.


JPEG Through April 7: Theatre: AN IMAGINARY INVALID by Molière
Obsessed with his own well-being, Argan becomes the object of ridicule in Molière’s comedy of a hypochondriac sure of his imminent demise. Squandering his family fortune on pills and elixirs, Argan goes so far as to offer his mdaughter’s hand in order to acquire the most fawning medical attention. Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Tel: 217.333.6280.



April 25-May 7: Cinema: Indianapolis International Film Festival
Don’t miss the many films from around the world, including the presentation of 3 French and Francophone films such as:
Check website for complete details and venue information.

South Bend

April 22, 27-28: Cinema: Films at the Browning Cinema
JPEG CHILDREN OF PARADISE (1945): April 22, 2007, at 4:00 pm. Directed by Marcel Carne. The film won critical acclaim for its faithful recreation of Parisian street theater, as well as for Jean-Louis Barrault’s brilliant performance as Debureau.

JPEG THE RULES OF THE GAME (1939): Friday, April 27, 2007, at 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm; Saturday, April 28, 2007, at 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Aviator André Jurieux has just completed a record-setting flight, but when he is greeted by an admiring crowd, all he can say to them is how miserable he is that the woman he loves did not come to meet him.
University of Notre Dame. South Bend, IN.

West Lafayette

JPEG April 19: Dance: DIAVOLO
Fearless, astonishing, and unorthodox-that’s Diavolo! Their unique approach to dance examines the funny and frightening ways individuals interact with their environment. Everyday items such as doors, chairs and stairways provide the backdrop for dramatic and risky movement-leaping, flying, twirling-that creates metaphors for the challenges of modern human life. The Diavolo dancers, who are also trained as gymnasts, rock climbers, and actors, use large-scale architectural sculptures to defy gravity and astound audiences with their power and daring. Bold and cinematic, Diavolo will transport you to the edge of your seat and beyond! Loeb Playhouse, Purdue University. Tel : 494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW


Iowa City

April 27-May 3: Cinema: THE RULES OF THE GAME
Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s masterpiece is a devastating satire of the pre-WWII French aristocracy. Presented by Janus Films on the first 35mm print struck in decades, with complete digital restoration. Bijou Theater, University of Iowa.


Kansas City

April 23: Conference: "Engaging in Humanitarianism"
Dr. Alain Dubos, former Vice President of Doctors Without Borders completed numerous missions, often clandestine, in a number of war-torn countries: Afghanistan, Lebanon and Kudistan, to name but a few. From these mission experiences, Dr. Dubos produced a series of novels and non-fiction works. Kansas University Medical Center. Sponsored by l’Alliance française de Kansas City. For more info contact: or call 816-221-2049.


JPEG April 20-25: Cinema: DAYS OF GLORY (Indigenes de Rachid Bouchareb)
Following a small band of Algerian soldiers fighting in the French army against the Nazis, Days of Glory illuminates another chapter on the war that no other film has shown. It also makes some sharp points about racial discrimination and cultural imperialism as the heroic North Africans find themselves isolated and treated like dirt by their light-skinned, non-Muslim “superiors.” Indeed, director Rachid Bouchareb (born in France of Algerian parents) made this film in large part to bring attention to the fact that thousands of Algerian veterans were denied pensions because they were “non-citizens.” Salina Art Theater.



April 13-15 and May 4-6: Cinema: Films the the Detroit Film Theater
JPEG BAMAKO directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
In the courtyard of a communal dwelling in Mali, a remarkable tribunal is convened: The people of Africa have placed on trial the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions, alleging that their practices have contributed to the continent’s devastation. This spellbinding, thought provoking, and richly entertaining work of “what if” fiction has more relevance and immediacy than many documentaries. April 13-15.

JPEG INTO GREAT SILENCE directed by Philip Gröning
Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, sans crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months, filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and outdoor excursions. The transcendent, closely observed result-a film that seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one-is one of the most mesmerizing and poetic chronicles of spirituality ever created on film. May 4-6.
Detroit Film Theater, The Detroit Institute of Art.

Grand Rapids

An inventive essay presents the landscape of Paris never captured before or since on film. We follow a day in the life of a housewife from the suburbs of Paris. Director Jean Luc Godard himself asks us in a conspiratorial whisper, "Is she Marina Vlady or Juliette Janson?" She’s both: an actress in a film and a housewife from the Paris suburbs who turns tricks in the city once a month to make ends meet. This new print restores the widescreen photography by legendary Godard collaborator Raoul Coutard to its diamond bright colors of late 60s haute kitsch. Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.


GIF April 20-22: Film : FEAR AND TREMBLING Directed by Alain Corneau
A young Belgian woman arrives in Japan to work as a translator for a giant corporation. Eager to please her coworkers, she is enthusiastic but commits a series of cultural missteps that lead to her demotion. Unable to stop her downfall, Amélie suddenly stumbles upon her own extraordinary means of liberation. Flint Institute of Arts.



April 19-29: Cinema: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Film Festival
Presenting more than 11 French and Francophone films, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Internationals Film Festival is a cinematic event not to be missed. For complete schedule and list of venues click here.

Vieux Farka Touré’s debut represents a historic passing of the torch from father to son. A highly-talented guitarist, singer, songwriter and percussionist, Vieux Farka Touré crafts songs in the rich Sonrai tradition of his father, famed Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré. Vieux’s songs are globally-minded music for the new millennium, where ancient African melodies meet reggae and rock on equal footing. The music carries a positive message, and Vieux has spent the last several years promoting the UNICEF "Fight Malaria" campaign to spread awareness about malaria, the number one life-threatening disease for African children. 7:30pm, The Cedar.

JPEG April 11, 22: Film : ENOUGH! (Barakat!)
In director Sahraoui’s first feature, two feisty Algerian women share their spirit of resistance during the resurgence of war in the 1990s. A nurse with vivid memories of her nation’s fight for independence joins a young doctor on her tense yet poignant journey across the war-torn country as she searches for her husband-a journalist whose writings led to his disappearance. Walker Art Center.


April 24: Lecture: The Missouri River Before Lewis and Clark
Join Les Amis for this lecture and slide presentation by Professor W. Raymond Wood. Program begins at 5:30 pm at the home of Joelle and Bill Travis. RSVP and send a check for $6/person to: Mme. Joelle Travis, 6425 Wydown, Clayton, MO 63105 before April 20th.



April 15: Cinema: African American and African Studies Film Festival - Revolutionary and Post-colonial Movements
JPEG SUGAR CANE ALLEY (Rue Cases Negres) (1983). Directed by Euzahn Palcy. Panel Discussion and Q & A to follow the film, moderated by Jeannette Eileen Jones. University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.


JPEG Through May 13: Exhibit : Collecting the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Collecting the Impressionists features 12 works selected to highlight the strength of the Clark’s Impressionist holdings and the spectacular taste of the Institute’s founders. Artists are Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. This exhibition was organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA. Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street. (Photo: Degas, The Dancing Lesson, Collection of The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute).


April 12-22: Cinema: Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque

JPEG REGULAR LOVERS (LES AMANTS RÉGULIERS) : 1968 Paris is seen through the eyes of one who was there, longtime French filmmaker Philippe Garrel, in this essential new epic. Regular Lovers (shot in gorgeous b&w) is a gritty, authentic look at that watershed year that was defined for many by revolution and riots, sex and cinephilia. Garrel fils plays a 20-year-old poet who gets caught up in the turbulent events of May ’68 - participating in student protests, dodging military service, bedding an art student, getting stoned, etc. All are stumbling blocks on a rocky road to adulthood. April 12 and 14.

France’s Jean-Claude Brisseau makes sex films for thinking people. His latest movie tells of a fiftyish film director who discovers that a taste of the taboo can enhance an actress’s erotic performance. April 13 and 15.

GIF COMEDY OF POWER (L’IVRESSE DU POUVOIR) : Isabelle Huppert’s seventh film with Claude Chabrol finds her playing a French magistrate investigating corruption within a wealthy, powerful corporation. The friction between the upstart judge and her well-established, well-connected targets is further aggravated by class and gender issues. A typically suave, sophisticated, sardonic
Chabrol entertainment. April 21-22.
Cleveland Institute of Art. 11141 East Boulevard. Tel: (800)223-4700.

April 15-29: Cinema: Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque: JACQUES RIVETTE RETROSPECTIVE: PLAY’S THE THING

JPEG PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT : Jacques Rivette’s innovative but rarely-shown first feature is one of the landmarks of the French New Wave. (Fellow Nouvelle Vague directors Claude Chabrol, Jacques Demy, and Jean-Luc Godard make appearances in it.) Shot on a shoestring budget in fits and starts over a period of two years, the film follows a troupe of amateur actors in deserted summertime Paris whose efforts to stage Pericles are subverted by sexual and political tensions, death, and conspiracy theories. April 15.

JPEG CÉLINE ET JULIE VONT EN BATEAU : One of Jacques Rivette’s greatest and most accessible movies is also a surreal fantasy in which two young Parisian women, a nightclub magician and a librarian, enter a haunted mansion, interact with the house’s real-or-imaginary inhabitants, and get caught up in a Gothic melodrama that’s forever unfolding there - a melodrama involving a child in peril. Inspired by two Henry James stories, this dreamy, whimsical, delightful work also shows the influence of Borges, Proust, Kafka, Cocteau, Hitchcock, and Alice in Wonderland. Unmissable! April 20.

JPEG L’AMOUR FOU (MAD LOVE) : Undistributed in America and shown here in a 35mm print from France - this is a largely improvised, four hour and fifteen minute masterpiece that chronicles a married couple’s break-up during rehearsals for a production of Racine’s passion-filled tragedy Andromaque. The husband is the play’s director; the wife is the lead actress who crumbles under pressure and is replaced by her husband’s former mistress. The cataclysmic final act is astonishing! April 22.

JPEG SPECTRE : This ultra-rare masterpiece is a four-hour version of his virtually unseen 13-hour Out 1: Noli Me Tangere. Yet it should not be regarded as a condensation of that longer work, but as a completely different, stand-alone movie. Set in summertime Paris, the film records how a variety of characters - two theatre groups rehearsing Aeschylus plays, two outsiders (a male con man and a female swindler), and a boutique owner - get involved in elaborate codes, conspiracy theories, and intrigues that may (or may not) be figments of their collective imaginations. April 29.
Cleveland Institute of Art. 11141 East Boulevard. Tel: (800)223-4700.


April 12-27: Cinema: Jacques Rivette Retrospective

L’AMOUR FOU : see above. April 15

JPEG LA BELLE NOISEUSE : An incisive and exquisite adaptation of a Balzac novella, La Belle noiseuse is one of Rivette’s biggest commercial successes and most beloved films. This is another Rivette marathon that offers a hypnotically engrossing look at the creative process. An acclaimed but long inactive painter discovers a new muse in Beart, much to the unease of his wife. April 21

JPEG JOAN THE MAID, PART 1: THE BATTLES : April 26 and JOAN THE MAID, PART 2: THE PRISONS : April 27: Sandrine Bonnaire, one of France’s greatest actresses, gives the performance of a lifetime in Rivette’s adaptation of the Joan of Arc story. Rivette creates what may be the definitive version of this oft-told tale, skipping the trial that dominated the filmic interpretations of Carl Dreyer and Robert Bresson and focusing on the actual flesh-and-blood Joan.
Wexner Center For the Arts, Ohio State University. Tel: 614.292.0330.



April 12-15: Wisconsin International Film Festival

BAMAKO : See Detroit, MI events for description.

JPEG CLIMATES : During a sweltering summer vacation on the Aegean coast, the relationship between middle-aged professor Isa (played by Ceylan himself ) and his younger, television producer girlfriend Bahar (the luminous Ebru Ceylan, Ceylan’s real-life wife) brutally implodes. Back in Istanbul that fall, Isa rekindles a torrid affair with a previous lover. But when he learns that Bahar has left the city for a job in the snowy East, he follows her there to win her back.

JPEG LIGHTS IN THE DUSK : A study of a lonely guy, detached from his community full of moments of dark humor. Here, Koistinen is a reserved and withdrawn security guard, scorned by his coworkers and stoically accepting the hand that Fate has dealt. He meets Mirja, statuesque and blonde: will she show him the compassion and warmth that he needs, or will she change his life in more devious ways? It’s cinema, she’s of course too good to be true, and Koistinen get drawn into a heist planned by some pretty rough characters.

JPEG POISON FRIENDS : On the first day of a graduate literature program at the Sorbonne, Eloi and Alexandre meet André, a handsome and impossibly brilliant new student who captures the attention of nearly everybody. Seduced by his intelligence and charisma, the aspiring writers quickly fall under his influence and allow him to dominate their every action. André manipulates their fortunes with a touch of maliciousness worthy of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. A taut psychological thriller that would make Hitchcock proud, Poison Friends combines intrigue and academia in this razor-sharp exploration of the pretentious Parisian literary scene.

GIF ZIDANE: A 21ST CENTURY PORTRAIT : one of the most invigorating and mesmerizing films you will see all year. The international soccer superstar Zinédine Zidane is the subject, but this is not a conventional documentary of an athlete. It’s an entrancing real-time view of a match by training the camera (actually, 17 of them) on just one player. Lingering on his blunt expressionless face or following his footsteps across the grass, the image is matched by a lush billowing sound mix combining the Scottish band Mogwai, cheers of 80,000 screaming fans, and Spanish television announcers.
_Visit the website to order tickets, check venues and for the full festival schedule. Or visit the box office: Annex Room, 2nd Floor, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St. Tel: 608-265-2933.

April 19: Cinema: Films at the Wisconsin Union Theatre: THE FANTASTIC PLANET

The Fantastic Planet was a 1973 Cannes Film Festival Award Winner. See a newly restored 35 mm print of this hand-painted animation. By French director Rene Laloux, this psychedelic account of grim creature wars was initially a Czech project, but was banned for suspicions of subversive content to be completed in France. It is the story of a human-like Om who escapes service to lead a group of outlying Oms in a battle to fight the tyranny of the Traggs, blue hairy giants that rule the planet. Wisconsin Union Theatre, Madison.


April 23: Turn Off TV Week with the Alliance Française
Celebrate Turn Off T.V. Week by coming to the Alliance Française de Milwaukee to play games and sing songs in French. Free & open to the public - all children welcome
K4 - Grade 6. 3:30 - 4:30 pm. 1800 E. Capitol Drive. Tel:
(414) 964-3855.

April 27-29: Films at the Student Union Theater

THE ICEBERG (L’iceberg) directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon & Bruno Romy. April 27-29.
PLAYTIME directed by Jacques Tati. April 27.
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Union Theatre. 2200 East Kenwood Blvd. Tel: (414) 229-4070.

GIF Through May 6: Theatre: TARTUFFE
What do you call someone who attempts to drive away your son, seduce your wife, marry your daughter and have you thrown in prison? Why “a saintly man,” of course! Orgon, the patriarch who can’t see through Tartuffe’s scheming hypocrisy nearly destroys his family with his blind devotion to his pious friend. Will he ever see through Tartuffe’s holier-than-thou pose? Molière’s hilarious and timeless comedy holds the answer. Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Last modified on 24/04/2007

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