In honor of Bastille Day – the French national holiday – and “Matisse in His Time: Masterworks of Modernism from the Centre Pompidou, Paris,” the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA) will celebrate French cinema during July. An expansion of the Museum’s annual French Film Week, French Film Month will include 11 French films with screenings throughout the month.
“In honor of ‘Matisse in His Time,’ the biggest exhibition in the Museum’s history, we thought it only appropriate to present our biggest program of new and classical French cinema as well,” said Michael J. Anderson, Ph.D., director of curatorial affairs. “And of course, with two Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings in the exhibition, what better time than now to show those masterpieces by his son Jean that most directly reference and pay homage to the Impressionist’s world?”
For this special showcase of the best in new and classic French film, OKCMOA is offering moviegoers an all-access French Film Pass that provides entry to all 11 films and a complimentary (and transferable) guest admission ticket for the “Matisse in His Time” exhibition. The pass is $40 for OKCMOA members and $60 for non-members and can be purchased in person at OKCMOA or over the phone. Individual tickets are also available.
French Film Month includes:
Winner of the Palme d’Or, at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, “Dheepan” tells the story of a Tamil soldier Dheepan (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) and a young refugee Yalini (Kalieaswari Srinivasan) who pose as husband and wife to escape their war-ravaged homeland. Friday, July 1 at 5:30 and 8 p.m., Saturday, July 2 at 5:30 and 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 3 at 2 and 5:30 p.m.
“A Day in the Country” (1936) and “The Lower Depths” (1937) (double feature)
Originally conceived as a short feature, “A Day in the Country” follows the extended Dufour family as they leave the city for an afternoon idyll in the French countryside. Nearing the end of the production, Jean Renoir was called away to direct his version of Maxim Gorky’s proletariat play, “The Lower Depths.” In the latter, French film icon Jean Gabin (“The Grand Illusion”) stars as Pépel, a thief who plans to rob a destitute baron. Thursday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m.
“The Rules of the Game” (1939)
Conceived and shot under the looming cloud of war, Renoir’s film-which centers on a group of “haute bourgeoisie” and their servants brought together for a hunting weekend at a country house-draws on the rich tradition of French Comic Theater. “The Rules of the Game” was voted the fourth greatest film of all time in the 2012 “Sight and Sound” poll. Thursday, July 14 at 8 p.m.
“Les Cowboys” (2015)
“Les Cowboys”opens at a country music festival in 1994, somewhere in rural France. Alain (François Damiens) is asked to perform his thickly accented version of “Tennessee Waltz” on stage. He then dances with his teenage daughter, who will disappear before the afternoon is over in this Islamic terrorist-themed neo-Western. Friday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m.
“My King” (2015)
“My King” stars Emmanuelle Bercot (winner of the the Best Actress prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival) as a middle-aged mother and attorney who faces a difficult rehab after a serious skiing accident. Friday, July 15 at 8 p.m.
“The Measure of a Man” (2015)
Following a prolonged period of unemployment, a former factory worker (Vincent Lindon, “La Moustache”) finds new work as a security guard at a big-box retailer. Lindon won the Best Actor prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Saturday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m.
“Diary of a Chambermaid” (2015)
In this sumptuous restaging of the 1900 Octave Mirbeau novel previously filmed by Jean Renoir and Luis Buñuel, ambitious, cosmopolitan Célestine (Léa Seydoux) is installed as a servant in a provincial home. Saturday, July 16 at 8 p.m.
Baroness Marguerite Dumont dreams of becoming a famous opera singer. But there’s a problem: not one of her indulgent loved ones, tactful friends or opportunistic hangers-on will tell her she is hopelessly tone-deaf. Sunday, July 17 at 2 and 5:30 p.m.
“French Cancan” (1955)
It’s Paris in the 1890s, and Henri (Jean Gabin) owns an unsuccessful café. While visiting the city’s Montmartre neighborhood, he discovers the old-fashioned cancan dance is still being performed. This gives rise to a business scheme that culminates in the opening of the famed Moulin Rouge. Thursday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m.
“Elena and Her Men” (1956)
Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, “Elena and Her Men” (a.k.a. “Paris Does Strange Things”) stars Ingrid Bergman as the titular impoverished Polish princess who drives rich men and poor alike to fits of all-consuming passion. Thursday, July 28 at 8 p.m.
For additional information, visit http://www.okcmoa.com/visit/events/french-film-month/