Friday, 20 July 2007

July 20th, Friday - French Short Film Festival

Playground Shorts – on the 20th of July 2007

Direction: Didier Barcelo
Screenplay: Jean-Loup Seuret, Patrice Dumas, Didier Barcelo
Photo: Glinn Speeckaert
Editing: Aurelien Dupont
Music: Jean Dindinaud
Actors: Philippe Amaury Corbisier, Sarah Metzmacker
Production: Quad Productions

France - 2004 - Animation - 3 mn

The Pencils
A pretty little girl is in love with a little boy, but is she as charming and sweet with everybody else?


Direction: Georges Le Piouffle
Screenplay: Zoe Galeron, Georges Le Piouffle
Photo: William Waterlot
Actors: Serge Hazanavicius, Axelle Laffont, Bernard Haller, Benjamin Gabbey, Jules-Angelo Bigarnet
Production: Antiprod

France - 2004 - Fiction -16 mn

Ten-year-old Martin must take an alley he doesn't know to get to his new school. Mysterious Manitout signals to him from behind a dusty window. The old man can make Martin's satchel come to life. And what if everything left in the old man's hands could start to work? Thus a world somewhere between the imaginary and wishful comes to life for Martin.


Direction: Chloe Miller
Screenplay: Chloe Miller
Editing: Camille Maury
Music: Christophe Heral
Production: La Poudriere Ecole du Film d' Animation

France - 2004 - Animation - 4 mn

Fed-up of waiting, a princess takes over the situation


Direction: Marie-Louise Mendy
Screenplay: Marie-Louise Mendy
Photo: Laurent Rauty, Laurent Pauly
Editing: Ulrich Teiger
Music: Martin de Manneffe
Actors: Vogan Gomis, Manuelle Molinas, A"issa Maiga
Production: Killers Film

France - 2005 - Fiction - 10 mn

Safi, is a young woman from Africa, she goes to get her son at school. He looks at her face and hands closely as though he was seeing her for the first time. Strangely distant and depressed since this day, she slowly discovers the reason for his trouble: the difference of their skin colours.


Direction: Benoit Razy
Screenplay: Benoit Razy I Sylvie Plessy
Editing: Herve Guichard
Production: Les Films du Nord, FolPhoto Valence Production

France - 2005 - Animation - 14 mn

Céline's parents leave for a few days. The ten-year-old girl remains behind with her two brothers, watched over by Rosalie. During her parents' absence, an unusual number of meetings take place between Céline and Valentin, a young, unstable boy given to violent spells who lives in the same village. Their games and vastly different backgrounds create a mixture of mutual curiosity and fear between them.


Direction: Cedric Babouche
Screenplay: Cedric Babouche
Editing: Amandine Moulinet
Music: Thierry Malet
Production: Sacrebleu Productions

France - 2005 - Animation, 3D - 12 mn

Antoine, 8 years old, has lost his father in a plane crash. Unable to accept his death, he finally starts living again and accepts his loss through a metaphorical dream. And thus, he's able to grieve.


Direction: Thomas Wagner, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin, Aurelie Frechinos
Screenplay: Thomas Wagner, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin
Photo: Thomas Wagner, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin, Aurelie Frechinos
Editing: Aurelie Frechinos, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin, Thomas Wagner
Music: Poum T chack
Production: Supinfocom Aries Ventes internationales: Premium films

France - 2005 - Animation - 6 mn

Logic event in robots party language teapot and splat atmosphere.


Direction: Emilie Sengelin
Editing: Catherine Aladenise
Music: Christophe Heral
Production: La Poudriere. Ecole d' Animation

France - 2005 - Animation 20 - 4 mn

In a train, everyone is deep in their own thoughts. During an incident, their eyes meet, and their tongues are loosened in song.


Direction: Xavier de Choudens
Screenplay: Xavier de Choudens, Pascale Monforte
Photo: Gordon Spooner
Editing: Sophie Reine
Music: Franck Louise
Actors: Jean Senejoux, Guillaume Denaiffe, Faygal Zeghadi, Franck Bruneau, Silong, Hakim Djaziri, Olivier Gueritee
Production: Agat Films & Cie

France - 2005 - Fiction - 10 mn

A group of boys, aged from 12 to 23, is at a station waiting for the last train. One of them, Sacha, contemplates the heavens and speculates about how the planets move within the universe.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

French Short Film Festival

The Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad, in concert with the Film Club, brings you a six-day package of short films, from the 20th to 25th of July '07. The venue is, as always, the Auditorium. The timing each day will be 7:00 p.m. Francophiles rejoice! The rest of us can look forward to a real treat. See you all there, and be careful to grab your seats well in advance - these screenings typically pack the Audi.

A reproduction of the mandate we received:

As part of its policy of promoting French cinema around the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has regularly proposed programmes of short films.

In 2006, it wished to bring together three of the main actors in the area of support and promotion for short films – the Agence du Court Métrage, the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival and UniFrance in order to offer a selection of forty or so recent short films (made in 2004 or 2005).

The richness and diversity of production in terms of both form and subject, revelatory as it is of the vitality of cinematographic creativity in France, have at times made selection extremely difficult, and led us to define four main focuses:
-Young audiences: the "Playground Shorts" programme
-The weird and fantastic: the "Strange Shorts" programme
-The feminine: the "Elles" programme
-A selection from the 2006 Clermont Ferrand Festival: the "Clermont-Ferrand 2006" programme
-"World Shorts" programme; collected short films from around the world

In addition, we wanted a fifth focus for our selection to illustrate the second priority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where cinema is concerned -the promotion of films from the South: this is the "World Shorts" programme.

We wish you a happy "Voyages en courts" journey into the world of short films!

The Subdirectorate for French Language Promotion has partnered this operation in order to offer two programmes to teachers of French as a foreign language: the first is intended for pupils from age 7 learning French, "Playground Shorts", and the second is for a teenage audience, "Strange Shorts". This special film selection has been arrived at with the help of CAVILAM and will be accompanied by a teacher's booklet supplemented by information on ways of reading the screen image provided in conjunction with the French Agence du court métrage.

Nothing would give us greater pleasure than for teachers and students to enjoy discovering these short films in the classroom and then watching them on the big screen!

This programme is available on NTSC DVD all zones.

English, Spanish, Brazilian and French subtitles.

Chintan Pandya
Administrator / Cultural Coordinator Alliance Française d' Ahmedabad
Opp. Gujarat College, Shahid Vir Kinariwala Marg, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad -380 006 Ph: 2656 0271, 2640 1551

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

July 19th - Wong Kar-wai's "IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE"

A man. A woman. Both away from their marriages and their homes. Both lonely. Both with the feeling that their respective spouses are cheating on them, and this feeling, in a weird but understandable way, brings them together. Just how far will this misbegotten “friendship” go? The awkwardness of the whole thing is accentuated by having two otherwise good people in morally unsound positions. You may notice editing tricks the director has used to distort the perception of time. (Or not. You shall sense their effect all the same.) A beautiful film, one that makes us face the ambiguities of life, the grey areas through which we must sometimes tread.

About the director: Wong Kar-wai (b. 1958) is a Hong Kong-based filmmaker, now a regular on the art house circuit. His stylized, elegant films rarely make it big at the box office, an exception being AS TEARS GO BY (1988). IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE follows DAYS OF BEING WILD (1991) and precedes 2046 (2004) in a trilogy of sorts. He has had to work within a sometimes intrusive system, and had to shift the locations for this film when confronted with the whims of officialdom. His work has been honoured, most notably at Cannes (for HAPPY TOGETHER (1997), Best Director).

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

July 17th - Sergei Eisenstein's "OCTOBER"

Flush from the success of THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, Eisenstein undertook to refine and develop his ideas of film language, in particular of what he called “Intellectual Montage”. This form of editing put together shots of things without obvious relation so as to foster comparisons between them. Emotional, abstracted, multilayered, this film is a torrent, a roaring onslaught from start to finish that bewildered Soviet audiences and brought crashing censure from the government. Originally commissioned to commemorate the Revolution, a revolution of the collective, it became a conduit for the personal visions of a powerful filmmaker. As you watch this, certain things may be beyond your knowing, as with any film rooted in the events of the distant past. A great film, in any case.

About the director: Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) can hardly be overestimated in terms of his influence on early cinema. Not only did he make some of the best films the world has seen, but his was a probing intellect of the highest echelon. His film theories touch on every facet of existence, filling the pages of his many books. One such, EISENSTEIN ON DISNEY (1986), posthumously published, has a priceless photograph of the man shaking hands with Mickey Mouse (!) and reams of incisive thought. The KMC has a copy – go see it. His oeuvre includes THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925) and IVAN THE TERRIBLE (Part 1, 1944).

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

July 12th - Sai Paranjape's "KATHA"

12th July 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

KATHA (1983)

Directed by Sai Paranjape
Runtime: 2 hours 21 minutes

Set in the chawls of Mumbai, KATHA is a well-crafted, straightforward tale about two men, who could not be more different, and the woman they are after. Rajaram (Naseeruddin Shah) is a simple man always ready to do a good turn; his friend, Bashu (Farookh Shaikh) is prone to bluster and has a roving eye. Trouble begins when the object of Rajaram’s affection (Deepti Naval) gets swayed by Bashu’s charms. All in all a very warm, human film, with a focus on character development. For those not familiar with life in the chawl, this is a good socio-cultural vehicle – the ‘neighbours’ of the characters are actual localites, and are far more than extras or set-dressing. They lend an authentic touch to this picture.

About the director: Sai Paranjape (b. 1938) has always advocated the importance of a good story. She ought to know, having written her first book when only eight years old. Her career properly began with AIR, and then theatre, TV and films. Success in a cut-throat, predominantly masculine industry attests to her abilities. The middle class has long been subject and audience with this director, but she retains her versatility.

Monday, 9 July 2007

July 10th - Robert Wiene's "THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI"

Another Tuesday, and yet another step forwards in time and sophistication. The film we bring you is a classic in all senses of the word, bringing together sublime artistry and plain good storytelling in a seamless presentation. An excellent introduction to the German Expressionist school of filmmaking, a style which was lost to its native country, its chief exponents having fled to foreign lands before the rising Nazis. The film is fairly polished in its approach, using such things as the story-within-a-story and psychological metaphors. All commonplaces in literature, but fairly novel for motion pictures at the time. The name this school shares with the famous art movement is no accident. They are interlinked, both in philosophy and appearance. A mad tale, of a mad mystic who goes around killing people by using a man who is under his control. And just where does the madness truly lie? Watch this; if nothing else, it shows what you can do even within a limited budget.

About the director: Robert Wiene (1873-1938) started out the industry as a screenplay writer, having tried stage acting and law previously. It was with this film and CRIME AND PUNISHMENT - RASKOLNIKOW (1923) that he would make a lasting impression on German cinema, and by extension, the world. As with his colleagues, he felt compelled to abandon Germany in the 1930s. His short career abroad was cut short by his death in Paris. His legacy, though, lives on.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

An Interview with Marziyeh Meshkini

Here is a link of an interview with the director of The Day I Became a Woman- Marziyeh Meshkini.

Do post your comments on the film!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Thursday Screening - THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN

This Thursday we bring you a film that expresses the female view of life in a society that usually stifles this perspective. A telling insight into how things are with the “other” other. The film is spare in its treatment, the austerity, characteristic of Iranian cinema, befitting the subject matter. There are three parts, each depicting one of three different people (presumably contemporaries) at different stages of life. So you have a young girl, whose story directly connects to the film’s title; a young wife, the one you see on this poster; and a wheelchair-bound old woman giving vent to her fancies. These episodes, tenuously bound by shared themes, give the viewer sufficient space to wonder and think. What is left unsaid and is hidden away beckons to us from the shadows.

About the director: Marzieh Meshkini (b. 1969), a relative newcomer to the scene, studied at the Makhmalbaf Film Institute and then worked as an assistant-director to her husband, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. This was her debut feature.

Monday, 2 July 2007


An assorted mix of silent shorts have we for you. They could throw you for a loop, they might provoke or make you giggle, or they may leave you cold. You will never know if you stay away.

3rd July 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

AVANT GARDE FROM 1920s-30s. The name says it all. This is a package of short films that were once considered cutting edge. They may seem quaint now; stay with us.

UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1929). Directed by Luis Bunuel (and Salvador Dali). More people would have heard of Dali, we're willing to bet. Well, this film is not unlike the eccentric painter's famous works. In true Surrealist vein, the thing has no coherent plot whatsoever, jumping from situation to crazy situation. Dali himself makes an appearance - see if you can spot him. Deeply disturbing even for today's audiences, at its premiere Luis Bunuel reportedly had his pockets laden with stones, to defend himself should any outraged people assault him! Don't pelt us, please. A must watch.
and finally
A series of Lumiere Brothers shorts. An enterprising lot, true pioneers who did a lot to get the public involved in the moving image. A selection of their work. These, and others like them, might seem crude to our jaded modern selves. All the same, they deserve our respect.

Schedule for July '07

Hi everybody!

The first proper schedule for this semester, and the first implementation of our new agenda. Starting from now, we will sweep a hundred years of the motion picture in a pincer movement on both ends. On Tuesdays we go from the very beginning towards the future, and on Thursdays we start with the recent and then head backwards. Do see all of these. It should be quite a trip.

Screening schedule for July '07:

3rd July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
A selection of short silent films including:
AVANT GARDE FROM 1920s-30s, dir: various
UN CHIEN ANDALOU, dir: Luis Bunuel
and some Lumiere Brothers shorts.

5th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN, dir: Marzieh Meshkini

10th July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi

12th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
RUSSIAN ARK, dir: Alexander Sorukov

17th July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi

19th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, dir: Wong Kar-wai

24th July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
M, dir: Fritz Lang

26th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
SALAAM CINEMA, dir: Mohsen Makhmalbaf

31st July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi

Feel free to leave comments on the films you have seen. We would like to get you thinking, that we would. Talk, read up, watch.

And enjoy yourselves!