Grand Amour

THERE is a stellar line-up of classic and contemporary French cinema at this year’s Cork French Film Festival which has an action packed programme taking place in a host of venues throughout Cork city from March 4th to 11th.

Presented by Alliance Francaise de Cork, this year’s festival is centred on a retrospective of Oscar-winning French filmmaker and comedian Pierre Étaix.

Memorsion

Étaix’s films have only recently returned to the big screen following a legal battle over distribution rights which saw his celebrated body of work disappear from public view for over two decades.

Étaix travelled to Cork for the opening night, which was marked by a gala screening of his much-loved film YoYo, one of over 30 French films on the programme for the 23rd festival.

Highlights of the week include a live cine-concert of The Passion of Joan of Arc at Triskel Christchurch, where this milestone of silent cinema will be showcased with a specially commissioned score for the festival by Cork composer Irene Buckley.

Speaking at the launch, festival curator Paul Callanan commented on the recent surge in popularity of silent film, “Silent film is on a roll at the moment with the unprecedented success of The Artist and is something we have always championed at this festival with our cine-concerts. Étaix also pays homage to the silent era and has an incredible talent for physical, slapstick comedy.

“The first half-hour of our opening film Yo Yo is set in the 1920s and is shot without dialogue and at a slightly accelerated speed – just like The Artist only better”

Other highlights of the festival include a theatre adaptation of Sylvain Chomet’s Oscar nominated animation Belleville Rendez-Vous using puppetry, physical theatre and live jazz; a special screening at Cork’s English Market of Jacques Tati’s comedy classic Mr Hulot’s Holiday with a Breton-themed supper at the Farmgate Café to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Cork-Rennes twinning; an immersive live audio-visual installation by Montreal artist Manuel Chantre and a gala dinner followed by a screening of Max Linder’s silent slapstick masterpiece Seven Year’s of Bad Luck with live piano accompaniment by French pianist and composer Paule Cornet at the Grainstore in Ballymaloe House.

Joan of Arc

Nora Callanan, Festival Director and President of Alliance Française de Cork said, “Alliance Française de Cork is delighted to roll out the red carpet for the 23rd edition of this exciting and much-loved French Film Festival.

“The Festival is an exceptional opportunity to experience cinema in a personal and close-up sense in the presence of such remarkable talent as our legendary guest this year Pierre Étaix, Manuel Chantre together with a host of other multi-talented guests. “We express our deep gratitude to main sponsor Bord Gáis Energy – a festival of this size and scale would not be possible without their invaluable support.”

For full programme details and tickets visit www.corkfrenchfilmfestival.com. Information and tickets will also be available at the Cork French Film Festival Information Centre which is situated at Opera Lane from March 4th – 11th.