Organised by the French Embassy and the Institut Français Singapour, the festival comprises over 40 events that highlight French artistic, literary, culinary and technological achievements. The theme of this year’s festival is “France Imagines, France Innovates”.
Four films that won the Palme d’Or, the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honour, will be screened for festivalgoers. The films are The Class (Entre les murs), Love (Amour), Dheepan and Blue is the Warmest Colour (La vie d’Adèle).
2008’s The Class, directed by Laurent Cantet, is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by François Bégaudeau. Bégaudeau also stars in the film as Marin, a middle school French language and literature teacher in 20th arrondissement of Paris, depicting his interactions with the “problem children” who are his students.
2012’s Amour, written and directed by Michael Haneke, took home several other awards besides the Palme d’Or – including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The film stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as elderly couple Georges and Anne Laurent, retired music teachers whose adult daughter has moved overseas.
2015’s Dheepan is a crime drama directed by Jacques Audiard, partially inspired by Montesquieu’s classic Persian Letters. Antonythasan Jesuthasan plays a Tamil Tiger soldier who moves to France as a refugee after his side loses the Sri Lankan Civil War. To gain passage to France, he is given the passport of dead man named Dheepan, and is grouped with people he barely knows to pose as a family unit. In France, he winds up as the caretaker for a housing project ruled over by ruthless drug dealers.
2013’s Blue is the Warmest Colour is a coming-of-age erotic drama directed by Abdellatif Kechiche. It is based on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel of the same name. The film is controversial for its graphic sex scenes, as well as allegations of poor working conditions on set and the mistreatment of actors by Kechiche. The film chronicles the relationship between shy high school student Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and sultry graduating art student Emma (Léa Seydoux).
In addition to the four Palme d’Or-winning films, the 2016 film Open at Night (Ouvert la nuit) will also be screened. The comedy-drama is written and directed by Édouard Baer, who also plays the lead role of theatre impresario Luigi. Over the course of one crazy night, Luigi and his intern Faeza (Sabrina Ouazani) must save the theatre from being abandoned, pay the salaries of angry cast and crew, and track down a live chimpanzee to star in an avant-garde piece. The film is partly inspired by Martin Scorsese’s 1985 dark comedy After Hours. Open at Night is being screened as part of both Voilah and the European Union Film Festival.
Films screened at The Projector:
The Class (Entre les murs) (NC16) – 7 and 20 May
Love (Amour) (NC16) – 6 and 14 May:
Dheepan, (NC16) – 13 and 21 May
Films screened at the Alliance Française de Singapour
Blue is the Warmest Colour (La vie d’Adèle) (R21) – 11 May
Film screened at the National Gallery Auditorium
Open at Night (Ouvert la nuit) – 13 May
Please visit http://voilah.sg/event/?oaq%5Btags%5D%5B0%5D=cinema for tickets and more details.