Sydney is set to host the inaugural Alliance Française Classic Film Festival from 3 to 6 September, 2015. Proudly presented by the Alliance Française de Sydney in association with StudioCanal, Event Cinemas George Street and Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, this celebration of vintage cinema will focus upon a talent, actor or director who has made an indelible contribution to France’s famed film industry. The iconic Catherine Deneuve, whose career spans half a century, will be the focus of the premiere season.
The Alliance Française Classic Film Festival will present 6 of the star’s most acclaimed films in Catherine Deneuve – Une Rétrospective which follows Deneuve’s impressive career from her 20s to 60s – the evolution of which is also a reflection of moral changes within French society. Additionally, the line-up will showcase many of the great filmmakers with whom Deneuve has worked, including Jacques Demy, Luis Buñuel, Jean-Pierre Melville, Régis Wargnier and François Ozon.
Born in Paris, 1943, Deneuve is considered one of the greatest actresses of her generation and has been the muse of many renowned directors. She has won two César Awards for Best Actress; received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress; a Best Actress BAFTA Award nomination and has been honoured with Awards by the most prestigious International Film Festivals in Cannes, Venice and Berlin.
Starring alongside Deneuve in these classic titles, will be esteemed actors such as Alain Delon, Gérard Depardieu, Françoise Dorléac (Deneuve’s sister), Fabrice Luchini, Vincent Perez, Gene Kelly and many more. Each film will screen once at Event Cinemas George Street and at Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, resulting in a total of 12 screenings.
The films being screened look a little like this:
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) – 1964
Director: Jacques Demy Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Anne Vernon, Nino Castelnuovo, Marc Michel
Geneviève Emery (Deneuve), whose mother runs an umbrella store, is in love with Guy Foucher, but her mother does not approve of her daughter’s romance with the dashing, young mechanic. When Guy is drafted into the army, Geneviève gives herself to him the night before he departs for the Algerian War, but is subsequently left alone and pregnant. At her mother’s insistence, Geneviève agrees to marry Roland Cassard, a wealthy jeweller, who loves her even though she is carrying another man’s child. But this act will have future consequences for all concerned.
PLEASE NOTE: Agnès Varda, the widow of Jacques Demy, completed a major restoration of the film in 1992, which is the version that will be screened.
THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT (Les Demoiselles de Rochefort) – 1967
Director: Jacques Demy Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac, Danielle Darrieux, Jacques Perrin, Gene Kelly
Delphine (Catherine Deneuve) and Solange (Françoise Dorléac) are twin sisters, each in search of romance and adventure beyond their home, the small seaside town of Rochefort, whilst their mother, Yvonne (Danielle Darrieux), runs the town’s café and dreams of her former love. Wanting a career as a songwriter, Solange falls for a charming American musician, Andy (Gene Kelly), while Delphine, unhappy with her beau, searches for her ideal man, who may be Maxence (Jacques Perrin), a visiting sailor, who is also a poet and a painter.
PLEASE NOTE: Agnès Varda, the widow of Jacques Demy, completed a major restoration of the film in 1996, which is the version that will be screened.
BELLE DE JOUR (Belle de Jour) – 1967
Director: Luis Buñuel Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Françoise Fabian
Séverine (Deneuve) is a beautiful young woman married to a doctor. She loves her husband dearly, but cannot bring herself to be physically intimate with him. Instead, she indulges in vivid, kinky, erotic fantasies to entertain her sexual desires. Eventually she becomes a prostitute, working in a brothel in the afternoons while remaining chaste in her marriage.
A COP (Un Flic) – 1972
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville Cast: Alain Delon, Catherine Deneuve, Richard Crenna, André Pousse
A bank robbery in small town ends with one of the robbers being wounded. However, the loot from the robbery is just an asset for an even more spectacular heist. With trouble on the horizon, Simon, the gang leader and a Parisian night club owner, must also deal with police commissioner Edouard Colemane, who happens to be his good friend.
INDOCHINA (Indochine) – 1992
Director: Régis Wargnier Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Linh-Dan Pham, Jean Yanne
Eliane Devries (Deneuve) was born in Indochina, she has never been to France. Her father Emile, a widower for many years, has obtained a vast domain of red soil, on which he has planted the hevea brasiliensis, the rubber tree. A rigorous woman, Eliane has organized every part of her life! There is the plantation with the whitish sap that the coolies extract from the trees -latex; she rules over it with her father. She has power, but has lived for years without love…
POTICHE (Potiche) – 2010
Director: François Ozon Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Judith Godrèche
North of France, Sainte-Gudule, 1977. Suzanne (Deneuve) is the submissive, housebound wife of wealthy industrialist Robert Pujol, who oversees his umbrella factory with an iron fist and is equally tyrannical with his children and ‘trophy housewife’. When the workers go on strike and take Robert hostage, Suzanne steps in to manage the factory. To everyone’s surprise, she proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action. But when Robert returns from a restful cruise in top form, things get complicated…
Dates and venues for the 2015 Alliance Française Classic Film Festival are:
Event Cinemas George Street: 3 – 6 September
Hayden Orpheum Cremorne: 4 – 6 September
Festival schedule and tickets available from 23 July at: http://www.afsydney.com.au