Organisers of the 24th annual festival have adopted a “Blanc et Noir” theme and have lined up a screening programme of movies shot exclusively in atmospheric black and white.
They have promised the diverse programme — of feature films, short films, special screenings with live musical accompaniment — will take lovers of the film in its classic form on a timeless journey through French cinema classics right up to groundbreaking contemporary films.
“Black and white film invites us to look deeper, to see how reality can be composed with the characteristics of poetry and dream,” the festival’s artistic director, Paul Callanan, said.
“The legacy left by filmmakers such as Carné, Truffaut and Godard shows us that the essential value of black and white cinema is its curious, but easily forgotten establishment of a new way of seeing.”
The festival opens on Mar 3 with Marcel Carné’s newly restored classic of ‘poetic realism’, Quai des Brumes, and will include Godard’s Alphaville, the Oscar-nominated Persepolis and the gritty modern classic La Haine, and will close on Mar 10 with the superb futuristic Luc Besson tale, Le Dernier Combat.
One of the key events will be a special tribute to Chris Marker, who died last summer, with an exhibition based on his seminal science fiction film La Jetée.
Co-produced by Cine-Tamaris in Paris, it features a photographic exhibition of La Jetée stills, as well as installations from artists such as his close friend, Agnès Varda.
There will be a special live performance at the exhibition launch by electronic duo, I Am The Cosmos, performing tracks from their debut album, Monochrome.
Following its recent sold out performance at the Glasgow Cathedral during the Glasgow Film Festival, the amazing cine-concert of The Passion of Joan of Arc will be performed in the magnificent setting of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.
This specially commissioned production features a live score by Irene Buckley, played in tandem with the 1928 film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer.
Westminster Abbey organist and Philip Glass collaborator, James McVinnie, the official organist for Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding, will play St Fin Barre’s Cathedral’s stunningly restored pipe organ during the concert.
“The festival is honoured to have the patronage of Yamina Benguigui, French Minister for Francophonie,” Cork French Film Festival director, Nora Callanan, said. “She is herself a filmmaker and has been hugely supportive of the festival.”