by Ken Korman
It's another enticingly strong and varied lineup for this year's New Orleans French Film Festival, which happens August 10-15 at the Prytania Theatre courtesy of the New Orleans Film Society and Consulat général de France à La Nouvelle-Orléans.
Highlights include Farewell, My Queen, a lavish period piece focusing on Marie Antoinette in the days leading up to the French Revolution; Delicacy, a romantic comedy starring Audrey Tatou (Amélie); A Burning Hot Summer, which features a score by John Cale of Velvet Underground fame; and musical drama Beloved, which stars Catherine Deneuve and her real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni.
Rounding out the Festival are two classic films that put the whole experience in perspective. Stanley Donen's 1957 Funny Face stars Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and the music of George and Ira Gershwin. It's a American film that celebrates Paris, and it's widely regarded by as a pinnacle of the Hollywood musical. The 1945 Children of Paradise is the all-time classic of French cinema. This epic tale of 19th-century Parisian theater artists sometimes gets compared to Gone With the Wind, but honestly, the film has few equals. A newly restored print will get a 4K digital presentation at the Prytania, and we can hardly wait.
Tickets for each screening are $10 for Film Society members and $11 general admission. You can see the full schedule complete with plot summaries and links to trailers here.