Cinema, "le 7ème Art", is one of the arts for which France is best known. Since the first short films by the Méliès brothers came to light, the French film landscape has developed into an internationally respected art form. Here at the French Cultural Center, we have been offering a monthly Ciné-Club for many years, presenting mainly a selection of contemporary works with a discussion of the films after the screenings. But on May 5th, we launched our very first Ciné-Rétro so that our audience could discover or re-discover French classics. We were fortunate to add to the experience with brand new chairs, a popcorn machine, and a choice of beverages (for both kids and adults).

We opened Ciné-Rétro with the series of movies featuring Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez, which are part of the French patrimony. Although the critics were never fond of these movies, they were massive public successes and broke many box office records, due to the unique performance by Louis de Funès. His energy, mimics, and deeply expressive faces made generations laugh for over 39 years and 6 films.

We could only find copies without English subtitles but were happy to welcome enthusiastic viewers who had a great time, due to the slapstick nature of many scenes that did not need any translation. Some in the audience were discovering the series for the first time while others came with their children to introduce them to the films that made them laugh years ago as kids. We did not go into a deep analysis of what was seen, but learned more about the actors’ careers (did you know that de Funès started as a jazz pianist?), the sometimes tedious process of screenwriting when movie star "politics" are involved, and how the musical theme, "La Marche des Gendarmes" was ordered as a spoof on the "Bridge of the River Kwai" score.

We enjoy sharing old and new films with you in our cinema programming and hope to see you on Wednesday, May 25th for the next Ciné-Club de l'Alliance, featuring the 2015 Franco-Turkish co-production that has earned many prizes and critical acclaim, Mustang!
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Barbara Bouquegneau

Chief Operating Officer

Much of Barbara's work happens behind the scenes, but you may know her from the monthly Ciné-Club de l'Alliance Française where she screens French language films and leads discussion. As a Belgian, she is passionate about spreading knowledge of the wider Francophone world.

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Upcoming Events

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Exhibition

Les Gardiens du Jardin

Gouache and ink drawings by Mary Beth McAllister

From May 18, 2017 To Jul 5, 2017

On view at the Center until July 5

This exhibition features a collection of whimsical gouache and ink drawings of French characters inspired by and fashionably dressed as French packets of garden seeds.

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Workshop

Special Parkour Workshop

L'art du déplacement

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 6:30 PM To 8:30 PM

Top Parkour French instructor leads a short presentation at the Center followed by a training on the Charles River Esplanade. Originating in Paris, Parkour is one of the world's fastest growing sports. This workshop is intended for ages 14+.

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Festival

Bastille Day Party 2017

A celebration of liberté, égalité and fraternité

Friday, July 14, 2017 6:00 PM To 11:00 PM

Bastille Day returns to Marlborough Street on Friday, July 14 for a celebration of Francophone cultures filled with live music, dancing, festive food and drinks. After a sold-out event in 2014, 2015, and 2016, you won't want to miss this signature Back Bay festival.

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