Film Series

Williams College French Film Festival

Mondays, February 13 through 27 at 7pm

School Stories: Diversity and Adversity in New French Film

Titled “School Stories: Diversity and Adversity in New French Film,” this year’s Williams College French Film Festival examines the challenges facing students and teachers both in and beyond the classroom. From immigrant children in the primary schools of Paris, to students of color in the secondary schools of Strasbourg, to student activists in the universities of France, these films dramatize the potential benefits and difficulties of French education, where teachers and students must negotiate the complexities of integration and assimilation, authority and resistance, faith and belief, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity.

Amid recent debates this year in both France and the United States on immigrants and refugees, misogyny and homophobia, racism and violence, these films serve as both cautionary tales and exemplary models for tolerance and intolerance in the classroom. Between the American presidential elections last fall and the upcoming French presidential elections this spring, we hope that this film festival on classroom diversity and adversity will encourage discussion and debate on the role of schools and education in France and beyond.

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La Belle Saison/ Summertime

Starring: Cécile de France, Izïa Higelin, Noémie Lvovsky, Kévin Azaïs

It’s 1971 and Delphine, the only child of a farming couple in the Limousin, stuns her rural community by moving to Paris to go to university. Once in the city, she quickly gets swept up in the feminist movement and falls in love with the sophisticated activist Carole. But when her father has a heart attack, Delphine must return to help her mother on the farm—and Carole follows.

Through the love story between two women who must struggle not only against homophobia but class divisions, Catherine Corsini’s Summertime presents a gripping portrait of an age of political and social ferment, pungently bringing to life the political and social movements familiar to contemporary viewers through the work of the great French thinkers of the last half century.

But as its title indicates, Summertime also has a lightness befitting both the newfound freedoms and occasional zaniness of the urban seventies and a timeless, tender idyll in the countryside. In this respect, the film strikes an interesting contrast with Abdellatif Kechiche’s 2013 Palme d’Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color, another love story between two women from different backgrounds. Where Kechiche took a formalist, nearly anthropological approach to depicting sex between two women, Corsini shows her characters together in a relaxed manner that has the ring of authenticity—and suggests that love is love, no matter who is doing the loving.

  • Director: Catherine Corsini
  • Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“Insists that female desire can be understood only in relation to the larger social question of women’s freedom. This is still a radical proposition, in France and elsewhere.”

– New York Times

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Qu’Allah bénisse la France! /May Allah Bless France!

Starring: Marc Zinga Sabrina Ouazani Larouci Didi

May Allah Bless France! is the invigorating first feature by acclaimed French rapper and novelist Abd Al Malik, a coming-of-age story and redemption tale based on the writer-director’s own youth in the beleaguered projects of Strasbourg. The film follows the struggles of Régis, a budding rapper who relies on petty crime to fund his passion for music. But as his fellow musicians get lured into drug dealing, teenage Régis finds salvation in the classics of French literature and his conversion to Sufi Islam.

While Abd Al Malik’s edifying hymn to education and tolerance is first and foremost a boldly idealistic statement, it is also a profoundly satisfying cinematic experience, shot in high-contrast black and white and full of powerful stylistic devices that break with convention to heighten the impact of everyday violence and injustice. Fluidly adapting his talents as a storyteller to the screen, Abd Al Malik revisits the “banlieue film”—the sub genre of films dealing with restless youth in France’s tough suburbs, launched by Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine in 1995—not only to give an insider’s update, but to break with the genre’s suffocating pessimism. In these challenging times for France, and particularly for French Muslims, this intelligent and accessible call for a potential way forward is nothing short of essential viewing.

  • Director: Abd Al Malik
  • Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

This festival is made possible with the generous support of the Williams College Department of Romance Languages, the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and the Dively Committee for Human Sexuality and Diversity. The festival was co-organized by Jane Canova of the Center for Foreign Languages and French Professor Brian Martin who will introduce the films. All films are in French with English subtitles, and are free and open to the public. Images Cinema is located at 50 Spring Street in Williamstown, MA. For more on these films and screenings, see: http://imagescinema.org and http://cfllc.williams.edu.

Film Series

Fresh Fest 2017

Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 5

Friday, March 3 at 7pm: Forgotten Farms, with filmmakers David Simonds and Sarah Gardner. Film will be followed by a reception at The Log.

Saturday, March 4 at 2:30pm: A Small Good Thing with producer Paula Kirk.

Saturday, March 4 at 4:30pm: Peter and the Farm.

Sunday, March 5 at 12:30pm: Seed: The Untold Story.

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Forgotten Farms

Starring: Win Chenail, Louis Escobar, Carl Sweet

In affluent communities, farm-to-table restaurants, farmer's markets and CSAs are booming, and the new farmers are celebrated. Meanwhile the numbers of New England dairy farms and dramatically decreasing. Forgotten Farms is a locally produced documentary that explores the cultural divide between the new food movement and traditional New England dairy farms. The film highlights the need to examine differences, develop mutual understanding, and find common ground. A truly sustainable local food system will benefit everyone.

  • Director: David Simonds
  • Runtime: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

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A Small Good Thing

A Small Good Thing examines how our ideal of the American Dream has come to the end of its promise. The film tells the stories of people moving away from a philosophy of “more is better” toward a more holistic conception of happiness—one based on a close connection to their bodies and health, to the natural world, and to the greater good.

This documentary is set in western Massachusetts in the Berkshires, long a destination for change-seekers, spiritual explorers, artists, and musicians seeking solace and stimulation amid the pastoral landscape—the perfect setting for a story about renewing personal and universal bonds.

  • Director: Pamela Tanner Boll
  • Runtime: 1 hour 11 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“If you’re disillusioned by the American Dream and fascinated by people who’ve found their own unique path to happiness, I highly recommend you check it out.”

– Tiny Buddha

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Peter and the Farm

Starring: Peter Dunning

Peter Dunning is the proud proprietor of Mile Hill Farm, which sits on 187 idyllic acres in Vermont. Over the years, the land's 38 harvests have seen the arrivals and departures of three wives and four children, leaving Peter with only animals and memories. The arrival of a film crew causes him to confront his history and his legacy, passing along hard-won agricultural wisdom even as he doubts the meaning of the work he is fated to perform until death.

  • Director: Tony Stone
  • Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“It is the film’s cosmic dimension that makes it so special. To borrow the title of a Tom Wolfe novel, Mr. Dunning is “a man in full,” by turns majestic and cantankerous, and unafraid to look into the void and to ask the deepest, most personal questions about the purpose of life. As the camera surveys the glorious landscape of rural Vermont with the same dispassion that it focuses on a cow defecating, the film evokes the natural world with a grand poetic awareness of the primal connectedness of things. From the rapturous to the gross, you can’t have one without the other.”

– New York Times

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Seed: The Untold Story

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds—worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. This documentary follows passionate seed keepers who are protecting a 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94 seed varieties have disappeared. A cadre of 10 agrichemical companies control over two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits. Farmers and others battle to defend the future of our food in this acclaimed film that has been called “the most essential, illuminating and enraging film since Food, Inc.”

  • Director: Taggart Siegel, Jon Betz
  • Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

This festival is supported by the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, the Massachusetts Cultural Council Festival Fund, Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, Zilkha Center, and Storey Publishing.

Special Showing

Difret

Wednesday, March 8 at 7pm

From executive producer Angelina Jolie Pitt comes the award-winning drama Difret, based on the inspirational true story of a young Ethiopian girl and a tenacious lawyer embroiled in a life-or-death clash between cultural traditions and their country’s advancement of equal rights.

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Difret

Starring: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere

From executive producer Angelina Jolie Pitt comes the award-winning drama Difret, based on the inspirational true story of a young Ethiopian girl and a tenacious lawyer embroiled in a life-or-death clash between cultural traditions and their country’s advancement of equal rights. When 14-year-old Hirut is abducted in her rural village’s tradition of kidnapping women for marriage, she fights back, accidentally killing her captor and intended husband. Local law demands a death sentence for Hirut, but Meaza, a tough and passionate lawyer from a women’s legal aide practice, steps in to fight for her.

With both Hirut’s life and the future of the practice at stake the two women must make their case for self-defense against one of Ethiopia’s oldest and most deeply-rooted traditions. Difret paints a portrait of a country in a time of great transformation and the brave individuals ready to help shape it.

  • Director: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
  • Runtime: 1 hour 39 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

Difret is painful but profound, skirting the pitfalls of the inspirational biopic for something more grounded and remarkable. Its authenticity extends beyond its central characters, conveying a very real sense of what is at stake.”

– Village Voice

This film is presented by the Williams College Davis Center as part of their year-long Social Change Film Series.

Special Showing

Miss Hokusai

Saturday, March 11 and 12

Saturday, March 11 at 2pm - English dubbed version

Sunday, March 12 at 12pm & 8pm - In Japanese with English subtitles

The 12pm show on Sunday, March 12, will be followed by a discussion with Jay A. Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Clark Art Institute.

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Miss Hokusai

From award-winning director Keiichi Hara (Colorful) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (creators of Ghost in the Shell) comes a remarkable story of the daughter behind one of history’s most famous artists.

As all of Edo flocks to see the work of the revered painter Hokusai, his daughter O-Ei toils diligently inside his studio. Her masterful portraits, dragons and erotic sketches – sold under the name of her father – are coveted by upper crust Lords and journeyman print makers alike. Shy and reserved in public, in the studio O-Ei is as brash and uninhibited as her father, smoking a pipe while sketching drawings that would make contemporary Japanese ladies blush. But despite this fiercely independent spirit, O-Ei struggles under the domineering influence of her father and is ridiculed for lacking the life experience that she is attempting to portray in her art. Miss Hokusai‘s bustling Edo (present day Tokyo) is filled with yokai spirits, dragons, and conniving tradesmen, while O-Ei’s relationships with her demanding father and blind younger sister provide a powerful emotional underpinning to this sumptuously-animated coming-of-age tale.

  • Director: Keiichi Hara
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Genre: Animation, Drama

“In its ruminations on artistic tradition, creation, and vision, Miss Hokusai is something close to a minor masterpiece.”

– The Film Stage

This film is presented in partnership with the Clark Art Institute, where Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Collection is on view through April 2.

Special Showing

Moana

Saturday, March 18 at 2pm

This free film is presented by the Williamstown Community Chest.

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Moana

Starring: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement

Moana, a spirited teenager and born navigator, sets sail from the ancient South Pacific islands of Oceania in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.

  • Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes
  • Genre: Animation, Family, Adventure

“An inspired, spellbinding, wonderfully-realized tale and a dazzling, visually/morally beautiful treat for the eyes, ears, heart and soul that richly weaves an all-inclusive journey based in culture, heritage, and friendship.”

– The Playlist

This free film is presented by the Williamstown Community Chest

Special Showing

Embrace

Wednesday, April 5 at 7pm

When body image activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photo in 2013, it was seen by more than 100 million people worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. EMBRACE follows Taryn’s crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.

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Embrace

At home in Adelaide, Australia, Taryn Brumfitt is a wife and mother of three. Internationally, however, she is a highly recognised body image activist whose powerful message has reached over 100 million people worldwide. After receiving more than 7000 emails and messages from people all over the world, Taryn realised that there was a global body-hating epidemic and felt compelled to find answers. EMBRACE follows Taryn as she traverses the globe talking to experts, women in the street, and well-known personalities about the alarming rates of body image issues that are seen in people of all body types. In her affable and effervescent style, Taryn bares all (literally) to explore the factors contributing to this problem and seeks to find solutions in this film that is relevant, relatable, highly engaging and, above all, life changing.

  • Director: Taryn Brumfitt
  • Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“A highly accessible and refreshingly honest Australian-made documentary, Embrace is transmitting a valuable message all women should be hearing loud and clear.”

– Herald Sun (Australia)

This film is presented through support from Williams College Health Services. Discussion to follow film.

Special Showing

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Saturday, April 8 at 2pm

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series, and presented as part of our Science on Screen® is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

Williams College Visiting Associate Professor of Chemistry Patrick Barber will talk about the chemistry of chocolate.

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Starring: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum

This movie brings to the screen the endlessly appetizing delights of Roald Dahl's cherished book. Coated with flavorful tunes and production designs that are a visual treat for the eyes, this effervescent musical never fails to enchant young and old. On a whirlwind tour of Willy's incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, elfish Oompa-Loompas and industrial-sized confections, a boy named Charlie will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart. With this heart-warming fan favorite, audiences will rediscover all the timeless magic as it was meant to be seen on the big screen.

  • Director: Mel Stuart
  • Rating: G
  • Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy

“It is everything that family movies usually claim to be, but aren't: Delightful, funny, scary, exciting, and, most of all, a genuine work of imagination. Willy Wonka is such a surely and wonderfully spun fantasy that it works on all kinds of minds.”

– RogerEbert.com

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series. This Spring, as part of Science on Screen®, an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION, four adventure films made for and about kids will be presented, preceded or followed by an interactive science talk or activity.

Special Showing

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Saturday, April 22 at 2pm

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series, and presented as part of our Science on Screen® is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

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Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin

Bill Preston and Ted Logan are two totally excellent dudes facing one most heinous history exam. With the help of Rufus an ultra-cool messenger in a time traveling phone booth, the triumphant two-some bag a bevy of historical heavy weights like the "Bodacious Philosopher Socrates, "One Very Excellent Barbarian" Genghis Khan, the "Short Dead Dude" Napoleon and Noah's Wife Joan of Arc to stage the most hysterical high school project ever. History's about to be rewritten by two guys who can't even spell.

  • Director: Stephen Herek
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Adventure

“Extremely silly and good natured.”

– Time Out

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series, and presented as part of our Science on Screen® is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

Special Showing

Jurassic Park

Saturday, May 13 at 2pm

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series, and presented as part of our Science on Screen® is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

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Jurassic Park

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello

paleontologists Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, and mathematician Ian Malcolm are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park's mastermind, billionaire John Hammond, assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt.

  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 2 hours 7 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction

“For dinosaurs to rule the earth again, the monsters needed majesty as well as menace. And Spielberg got it all right.”

– Time

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series, and presented as part of our Science on Screen® is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

Special Showing

A Birder's Guide to Everything

Saturday, June 10 at 2pm

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series. This Spring, as part of Science on Screen®, an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

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A Birder's Guide to Everything

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, James Le Gros, Katie Chang, Ben Kingsley

Join Leslie Reed-Evans for a bird walk, to learn about bird behavior and bird watching skills, and maybe we'll find our own rare bird! This bird walk will start at 7:30 AM by the pond at Cole field, the Williams College playing field. Please register by emailing janet@imagescinema.org. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear shoes that can get wet or muddy. Heavy rain cancels.

Naturalist Leslie Reed-Evans has been leading bird and nature walks around the area for more than 20 years. She is currently Executive Director of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation.

David Portnoy, a 15-year-old birding fanatic, thinks that he's made the discovery of a lifetime. So, on the eve of his father's remarriage, he escapes on an epic road trip with his best friends to solidify their place in birding history. In an uncharacteristic lucky break, the pretty new girl in school winds up joining David and his posse as they steal a cousin's Cabriolet and set out on a journey of adventure and mishap.

  • Director: Rob Meyer
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 1 hour 26 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy

“This gentle comedy, the first feature directed by Rob Meyer, is an eye opener for anyone who takes the everyday natural world for granted. It is also a quiet brief for the cultivation of intellectual curiosity and scientific exploration.”

– New York Times

Bright Young Things: Exploring the World Around Us is a continuation of our monthly family friendly film series. This Spring, as part of Science on Screen®, an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION, four adventure films made for and about kids will be presented, preceded or followed by an interactive science talk or activity.