From Feb. 26 to March 7, the 2019 Tournées Film Festival at JHU will bring six contemporary and classic French-language films to Hopkins’ Homewood Campus. This year’s screenings–all free and open to the public–include a rousing drama about political activism, a groundbreaking work of ethno-fiction, and important documentaries from masters of the form.
The festival opens February 26 with the winner of the Grand Prize of the Jury at the 2017 Cannes, BPM, the urgent, energizing, life-affirming fiction film that follows the political and private lives of activists in French Act-Up in the days when a diagnosis of HIV meant a death sentence. Professor Nicholas Papageorge (Economics) presents.
On February 27, the festival continues with 12 Days, in which Raymond Depardon, one of the most important documentarians working in France today, takes on the French legal system that requires that each person involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital meet face-to-face with a judge twelve days after their admission: that judge will determine whether the patient will remain in the hospital or be released. The film will be presented by Zvezdana Ostojic.
Up next on Sunday, March 3 is Jaguar, which follows three high-spirited, engagingly funny young Songhay men as they travel through Africa from Niger to Accra during the last years of colonial presence. In this ground-breaking work of ethno-fiction, the three lead actors collaborated with the director, improvising the voice-over narration and participating in the creation of what director Jean Rouch called shared anthropology. The film will be presented by Ousseina Alidou, Professor of African Languages at Rutgers University, who grew up in Niamey, Niger, regularly attending screenings organized by Jean Rouch at the local Centre culturel and Maison de la culture.
In the next film on the program, Metamorphosis, presented on March 5, the innovative director Christophe Honoré takes of the challenge of a reimagining of Ovid’s tales of transformations and of gods walking among mortals for the twenty-first century in a retelling of the well-known stories that is full of surprises. The film will be presented by Professor Shane Butler (Department of Classics).
Next in the lineup on March 6 is Makala, from the Swahili word for charcoal, Emmanuel Gras’s immersive look at the struggles of a charcoal salesman trying to make a living in the constantly shifting landscape of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is both a compelling narrative of one man’s plight and a lucid account of account of the economic reality of the country. Professor Pier Larson (History) will present the film and lead a discussion following it.
On March 7, the festival will conclude with Faces Places (Visages villages, following the 88-year old Agnès Varda, one of the greatest living French film makers, as she hits the roads of rural France with her co-director, the young photographer JR, photographing the people they meet and blowing the pictures up into giant murals for a road trip that is simultaneous playful, lighthearted, and elegiac. Professor Molly Warnock of the Department of Art History will present.
The Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), the French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.
Festival sponsors include the Johns Hopkins University Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures, the Program in Film and Media Studies, the Center for Advanced Media Studies, the Alexander Grass Humanities Center, and the French language program.
For more details see the festival website: https://frenchfilmfestival3.wixsite.com/mysite
Tuesday February 26
7:00 PM in Hodson 110
BPM (Beats Per Minute)/120 battements par minute
Presented by Professor Nicholas Papageorge (Economics)
Wednesday, February 27
7:00 in Maryland 110
12 Days/12 jours
presented by Zvezdana Ostojic
Sunday, March 3
3:00 pm in Gilman 50
Presented by Professor Ousseina Alidou (African Languages, Rutgers University)
Tuesday, March 5
7:00 pm in Hodson 110
Presented by Professor Shane Butler (Classics)
Wednesday, March 6
7:00 pm in Hodson 110
Presented by Professor Pier Larson (History)
Thursday, March 7
7:00 pm in Hodson 110
Faces, Places/Visages, villages
Presented by Professor Molly Warnock (History of Art)