Sierra Nevada College is hosting The Tournées Festival, featuring contemporary French cinema May 1-4. The Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture. The films will be free to all students and the public is encouraged to attend for a suggested $10 donation, which will support future programming.
Wednesday, May 1 | 7:30pm — 35 RHUMS | 35 SHOTS OF RUM
Claire Denis | 2008 | 100 min | NR
Films about families and their complications all too often pierce eardrums with shrieks of dysfunction. Amid the din, Claire Denis’s sublime 35 Shots of Rum stands out all the more for its soothing quiet, conveying the easy, frequently nonverbal intimacy between a widowed father, Lionel, and his university-student daughter, Joséphine. An homage to Yasujiro Ozu’s similarly themed Late Spring (1949), 35 Shots is Denis’s warmest, most radiant work, honoring a family of two’s extreme closeness while suggesting its potential for suffocation.
Thursday, May 2 | 7pm — LE GAMIN AU VÉLO | THE KID WITH A BIKE
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne | 2011 | 87 min | PG-13
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s sublime tale of love and redemption begins with an 11-year-old boy in frantic, desperate motion. Refusing to acknowledge that he’s been abandoned by his father, Cyril escapes the children’s home where he’s been living, hoping to be reunited with his dad—and to find his lost bicycle. He returns to the apartment complex where they once lived, only to find a deserted flat. As the authorities from the children’s home catch up with him and try to bring him back, Cyril, refusing to return, tightly grips a total stranger, a kind, patient woman named Samantha, who will prove to be the heartbroken boy’s savior.
Friday, May 3 | 6:30pm — LA GROTTE DES RÊVES PERDUS | CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS
Werner Herzog | 2011 | 90 min | NR
Werner Herzog’s breathtaking documentary gives viewers an unprecedented look at, as he accurately describes it, “one of the great discoveries in the history of human culture”: the prehistoric drawings in the Chauvet- Pont-d’Arc Cave in the south of France. First discovered in 1994, the images—including depictions of lions and mammoths—were made 30,000 years ago and are the earliest known human art. Herzog and his tiny crew were granted special permission to enter the cave, which remains off-limits to the public, by the French minister of culture.
Friday, May 3 | 6:30pm — DANS LA VILLE DE SYLVIA | IN THE CITY OF SYLVIA
José Luis Guerín | 2007 | 84 min | NR
José Luis Guerín’s mysterious, enthralling film unfolds with the simplest of premises. An anonymous young man returns to the unnamed French city where he first saw, six years ago, a beautiful woman named Sylvia. He sits in a café, where he people-watches, eavesdrops, and occasionally sketches in his notebook. Spotting a woman he’s convinced is Sylvia, he follows her; she finally tells him she’s not the one he’s searching for. But the seeker is not to be deterred: The next day, he continues his ritual of café-visiting, wandering around, and looking.
Saturday, May 4 | 7pm — NANNERL, LA SOEUR DE MOZART | MOZART’S SISTER
René Féret | 2010 | 120 min | NR
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, Lakeside Ballroom
Reception @ 6pm | Screening @ 7pm
Opening at the end of a music tour in 1763, René Féret’s assured biopic poignantly relays the little-known story of Nannerl Mozart (Marie Féret, the director’s daughter), born in 1751, five years before her little brother, Wolfgang. A musical prodigy just like her younger sibling, Nannerl— a gifted pianist, harpsichordist, and singer—is soon overshadowed by Wolfgang’s increasing fame. Her father, who has strictly but lovingly overseen his children’s musical careers, succumbs to the social codes of the 18th century and refuses to let his talented daughter continue studying the violin or compose; she is consigned to be Wolfgang’s accompanist.