Film Series

Transitions: Coming of Age in French Film

Mondays at 7pm; February 11, 17 and 25

Images Cinema

Titled Transitions: Coming of Age in French and Francophone Adolescent Film, this year's Williams College French Film Festival offers three films of personal growth and change.

Admission is free and open to all. All films will be presneted in Franch with English subtitles.

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The Man by the Shore

Starring: Jennifer Zubar, Toto Bissainthe, Jean-Michel Martial

Set in Haiti in the early '60s during the outset of Francois Duvalier's reign of terror and ineptitude, The Man by the Shore (L'homme surle quais), the third feature written and directed by acclaimed international Raoul Peck relates the dreamlike yet tension-filled remembrances of Sarah, then eight years old. Her father, an ineffectual military officer, has fled the country with his wife, leaving Sarah and her two sisters in the care of their grandmother. Sarah's hometown is now controlled by Janvier, the ruthless leader of the local militia, and the three sisters spend much of their time hiding in their grandmother's attic while she tries to find a way to get them safely out of Haiti.

The semiautobiographical storytelling by the Haitian-born, Zaire-reared Peck has an authentic feel to it, from the keenly observant child's point of view to the pastel-colored buildings fronting the streets that incongruously evoke tropical cheerfulness. Understated yet forceful, it personalizes universal themes of free will versus oppression without resorting to political rhetoric, making one girl's experience of a brutal time bracingly immediate.

Presented on our Main Screen

  • Director: Raoul Peck
  • Runtime: 1 hour 6 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“★★★★! A touching portrait of disturbed childhood mixed with stern political polemic. This is a gripping, beautifully composed and acted treatment of a terrifying era.”

– Empire

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Tomboy

Starring: Zoé Héran, Malonn Lévana, Sophie Cattani, Mathieu Demy, Jeanne Disson

Named one of the top five LGBTQ films of the 21st century by IndieWire, this award-winning film tells the story of 10-year-old Laure, played by the amazing Zoe Heran, who moves to the suburbs and decides to pass as a boy amongst the pack of neighborhood kids. As "Mikael” she catches the attention of leader of the pack Lisa, who becomes smitten with her. At home with her parents and younger sister Jeanne, she is Laure; while hanging out with her new pals and girlfriend, she is Mikael. Finding resourceful ways to hide her true self, Laure takes advantage of her new identity, as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret.

Writer-director Céline Sciamma brings a light and charming touch to this contemporary coming-of-age story which deftly explores relationships between children and their peers; between children and their parents; and the even more complicated relationship between one’s heart and one’s body.

Preceded by the short film Mother(s)/Maman(s), directed by Maïmouna Doucouré

Presented on our Main Screen

  • Director: Céline Sciamma
  • Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“Moving. Sciamma deserves great praise for what she has accomplished with a simple film addressing a complex subject."”

– Toronto Star

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Polina

Starring: Anastasia Shevtsova, Niels Schneider, Juliette Binoche, Jérémie Bélingard, Aleksei Guskov

A gripping insider’s look at the world of ballet and contemporary dance, this is the story of a young Russian ballerina whose lifelong dream of joining the Bolshoi Ballet is derailed when she discovers modern dance. Beautifully capturing the sacrifices, competition, and physical pain of the dance world, as well as the thrill of stepping on stage, Polina is also, most importantly, a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman forging an artist’s path by learning to look at the world in her own way.

The first feature by leading French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, written and directed in tandem with documentarian Valérie Müller, Polina mixes professional actors such as Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche with leading dancers such as Anastasia Shevtsova, a nineteen-year-old ballerina from Saint Petersburg who learned French to play the titular part, and Jérémie Bélingard, a former danseur étoile at the Paris Opera Ballet. Together, the filmmakers and actors pull off the rare feat of telling a fictional story that feels documentary in its detail and sweepingly romantic in its heart.

Presented on our Main Screen

  • Director: Valérie Müller, Angelin Preljocaj
  • Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 1 hour 48 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“The creative process is always an elusive thing for filmmakers to capture, but amid all the startling visuals and the splendid acting, Polina rises, gloriously, to the challenge.”

– Wall Street Journal

This festival is made possible with the generous support of the Williams Department of Romance Languages and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Special Showing

Audition

Thursday, February 14 at 7:30pm

Sick of candy hearts? Ready to tell Cupid where he can stick his arrows? Celebrate the most romantic day of the year at this 20th anniversary screening of one of the most well-crafted, impactful and infamous J-horror films ever made, Takashi Miike's Audition.

Be warned. This movie is not for the faint of heart, no matter what day it is.

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Audition

Starring: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura, Renji Ishibashi, Miyuki Matsuda

Sick of winged cherubs and candy hearts? Take a stand against Valentine's Day and come to the one-show only, 20th anniversary screening of Takashi Miike's unnerving classic, Audition, one of the most well-crafted, impactful and infamous J-horror films ever made.

When recent widower Shigeharu Aoyama is advised by his son to find a new wife, he reluctantly agrees, although he's nervous about how long he's been out of the dating scene. On the advice of a film company colleague, Shigeharu stages a fake "audition," secretly looking for a girlfriend under the guise of casting a movie. Interviewing a series of women, Shigeharu becomes enchanted by Asami, a quiet, 24-year-old woman, who is immediately responsive to his charms. But soon things take a very dark and twisted turn as we find that Asami isn’t what she seems to be.

Pulling the audience into a story that will lead to one of the most harrowing climaxes in cinema history, Miike twists and turns us through delirious editing and shocking visuals for one of the most depraved nightmares of all time!

  • Director: Takashi Miike
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Genre: J-Horror

“A horror film masquerading as a deeply disturbing meditation on the war between the sexes. It's enough to make you give up dating altogether.”

– Austin Chronicle

Film Series

The View From Here

January 19, February 23 + March 9

In conjunction with Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape, Images Cinema and the Clark Art Institute present The View from Here, a film series exploring three different approaches to the role of landscapes in cinema: as subject, as inspiration, and as a means to explore character and emotion.

The View From Here
January 19: Days of Heaven (1978)
February 23: Columbus (2017)
March 9: Leaning into the Wind (2018)

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Columbus

Starring: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin

Introduction by Robert Wiesenberger, Associate Curator of Contemporary Projects at the Clark

When a renowned architecture scholar falls suddenly ill during a speaking tour, his son Jin finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana - a small Midwestern city celebrated for its many significant modernist buildings. Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey, a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library. As their intimacy develops, Jin and Casey explore both the town and their conflicted emotions: Jin's estranged relationship with his father, and Casey's reluctance to leave Columbus and her mother.

  • Director: Kogonada
  • Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“The quietly stirring, exquisitely photographed Columbus is an art-house gem that beautifully illuminates not only the architecture of a small Indiana town, but also the characters that inhabit it. ”

– San Franicisco Chronicle

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Leaning into the Wind

Starring: Andy Goldsworthy, Holly Goldsworthy

Introduction by Alexis Goodin, Curator of Turner & Constable: the Inhabited Landscape at the Clark

Leaning into the Wind is a vibrant journey through the diverse layers of Andy Goldsworthy's world. From urban Edinburgh and London to the South of France and New England, each environment he encounters becomes a fresh kaleidoscopic canvas for his art. A lushly-visualized travelogue, Goldsworthy's work and Thomas Riedelsheimer's exquisite cinematography redefine landscape and inextricably tie human life to the natural world.

  • Director: Thomas Riedelsheimer
  • Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“Like Rivers and Tides, also directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer, Leaning Into the Wind is a study in seeing, in subordinating one’s self to the elements, in creating with nature rather than from it. It's a contemplative beauty, a chance to consider and be moved by a richer sort of connectedness than our lives typically allow. ”

– Village Voice

Presented by the Clark Art Institute and Images Cinema.