BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons and the Department of English, with support from the Albertine Cinémathèque Festival Grant, is hosting “Féroce et Formidable: A Francophone Film Festival” on seven Tuesdays throughout the 2022-2023 school year. All screenings will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenbriar Theatre on the second floor of the Plemmons Student Union, and will include program notes, guest speakers, and other surprises along with the films. Admission is free and open to the general public. No ticket is required. For a disability accommodation, visit odr.appstate.edu.
“We’ve organized the films around a couple of themes,” says Dr. Whitney Bevill, Assistant Professor and Humanities Librarian at Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons. “One major theme is called ‘Defiant Women, Insurgent Desires,’ with movies that tell stories about women’s bodies enmeshed in social issues and controversies.” Happening (2022) and Lingui: The Sacred Bonds (2022) address abortion and reproductive rights, while Benedetta (2021) chronicles an affair between two 17th-century nuns and Little Girl (2020) is a documentary about an eight-year-old trans girl growing up in rural France.
Another theme is “French Film Flashbacks,” featuring two classics: Stolen Kisses (1968), one of director François Truffaut’s inimitable films about his semi-autobiographical character Antoine Doniel, and The Red Circle (1970), a suspenseful caper movie directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and starring Alain Delon and Yves Montand. One film in the series that doesn’t fit into a theme is Josep (2022), an animated film about a guard and a Spanish artist who bond in a French internment camp during World War II.
Below are specific dates and descriptions for all the films:
Tuesday, September 6, 2022:
Happening (L’Evénement, Audrey Diwan, 2021)
I got knocked up like a poor girl. Anne is a young university student who gets pregnant, and decides to seek an abortion so she can finish school and escape the limitations of her working-class family. But in early-1960s France, abortion is illegal and Anne risks going to prison...
Tuesday, September 20, 2022:
Stolen Kisses (Baisers Volés, François Truffaut, France, 1968)
When young, directionless Antoine Doniel (played by French New Wave icon Jean-Pierre Léaud) is dishonorably discharged from the army, he returns to Paris and tries out a number of odd jobs while beginning a comedic quest for the love of his life.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022:
Lingui, The Sacred Bonds (Lingui, Les liens sacrés, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France / Chad, 2022)
On the outskirts of N’djamena in Chad, single mother Amina lives with her teenage daughter Maria. But Amina’s already fragile world collapses when she discovers Maria is pregnant with an unwanted child, in a country where abortion is prohibited by both religion and law.
Tuesday, November 15, 2022:
Josep (Aurel and Aurélien Froment, France / Spain, 2020)
February, 1939. Spanish Republicans are fleeing to France to escape Franco’s dictatorship, even as the French government builds internment camps to imprison the refugees. In one of these camps, an unusual friendship develops between a French guard and a freedom-fighting artist.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023:
Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven, France, 2021)
In the late 17th century, with plague ravaging the land, Benedetta Carlini joins the convent in Pescia, Tuscany, as a novice nun. Capable from an early age of performing miracles, Benedetta’s impact on life in the convent is immediate, irreverent, and scandalous.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023:
The Red Circle (Le cercle rouge, Jean-Pierre Melville, France, 1970)
An aristocratic thief, a fugitive and an alcoholic ex-cop plan to carry out the ultimate robbery, and become locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with an inscrutable but dedicated police inspector. The heist scene is a tour de force that plays out in almost complete silence.
Tuesday, March 21, 2023:
Little Girl (Petite Fille, Sébastien Lifshitz, France, 2020)
Seven-year-old Sasha has always known she was a little girl. As society fails to treat her like the other children her age—in her daily life at school, dance lessons, or birthday parties—her supportive family fights to make her difference understood and accepted.
French film is central to the history of the medium, from the pioneering accomplishments of Étienne-Jules Marey and the Lumière brothers through the 1950s French New Wave and the 1980s Cinéma du look. The “French Film Flashbacks” in the “Féroce et Formidable” series revisit past achievements, even while the “Defiant Women, Insurgent Bodies” selections reveal that contemporary French cinema remains provocative, innovative, and socially engaged.
For more information, like the “Féroce et Formidable” Facebook page here.
For more information about French cinema in general, consult Dr. Bevill’s Library of Congress research guide “French & Francophone Film: A Research Guide” here.
“Féroce et Formidable: A Francophone Film Festival” is sponsored by Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons, the Department of English, and the Albertine Cinémathèque Festival Grant, important support that makes French films accessible to students at U.S. colleges and universities. The Albertine Cinémathèque is a program of Villa Albertine and the FACE Foundation with the support of the CNC (Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée) and the Fonds Culturel Franco-Américain.
About University Libraries
University Libraries at Appalachian State University contributes to the campus mission of learning, teaching, advancing knowledge, engagement and effectiveness. Belk Library and Information Commons along with the Nicholas Erneston Music Library provide academic resources for all students and faculty. Within the library, students and faculty find group and quiet study spaces, the Digital Media Studio, the inspire lab, the Idea Factory, digital devices to check out, and special collections such as the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection and Instructional Materials Center. Learn more at https://library.appstate.edu.
About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at https://english.appstate.edu.