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Film Series
New French Shorts Nationwide US Theaters and Virtual Cinemas

Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender

Little Girl by Sebastien Lifshitz (Music Box Films)

“Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender” presents nine fiction films and documentaries that were produced or co-produced in France and have never or rarely been shown in New York.  Seven of these are recent films, while the two films that open and close the series are classics. These films take questions of gender identity and sexual orientation head on, through emancipatory explorations and revolutionary projects, often intimately and politically combative, presenting collective portraits and personal biographies as well as character-driven stories.

Produced and presented by Columbia Maison Française - Shanny Peer, Festival Producer - Curated by Nora Philippe

With additional support provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

This event is featured as part of the film festival, Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender organized by the Columbia Maison Française and curated by Nora Philippe. 

Screenings introduced or followed by panel discussion with film directors and invited scholars (All films subtitled in English)

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP required

For program information and to RSVP, please visit www.maisonfrancaise.org

FEATURED FILMS

Thursday, October 7, 7:00–9:00 PM    Cléo from 5 to 7 by Agnès Varda (1962) Cowin Auditorium (Horace Mann 147), Teachers College - Fiction, 90 minutes *In French with English subtitles -The screening will be introduced with messages from Agnès Varda’s daughter, Rosalie Varda, and Nora Philippe

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the 1960s with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits, from 5 pm to 7 pm, the results of a worrying medical test. A spirited chronicle of these minutes of one woman’s life, Cléo from 5 to 7 mixes vivid cinéma vérité and melodrama to tell a story of maturation and emancipation. Selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 1963, the film contributed to elevating Varda as a prominent - and feminist - filmmaker in the otherwise all-male Nouvelle Vague movement, and it subtlely questions the roles and clichés a Parisian woman copes with, then and today.

Agnès Varda (1928–2019) was a Belgian-born French film director, screenwriter, photographer, and artist. Her pioneering work was central to the development of the widely influential French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s. She directed nearly 30 films and her oeuvre focused on achieving documentary realism, addressing women's issues, and offering other social commentary, using a distinctive experimental style.

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Tuesday, October 12, 7:00–9:00 PM Out by Denis Parrot (2018) Cowin Auditorium, Teachers College - NYC Preview - Documentary, 63 minutes *In English and other languages subtitled in English -The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Denis Parrot and Nora Philippe.

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

Through a montage of compelling videos posted on the Internet by young gay, bi, lesbian, or transgender people from different parts of the world, Out makes us experience from within the groundbreaking moment of their coming out – after which their intimate and social lives shall be forever changed. Denis Parrot’s powerfully transformative film explores empathy, online and in real life, showing moments of solidarity, apprehension, and hope.

Denis Parrot is a film editor, graphic designer, and animation artist. Out is his first documentary film as a director, based on the research and viewing of 1200 videos of coming out “live,” published on the web.

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Thursday, October 14, 7:00-9:00 PM  Delphine and Carole by Callisto McNulty (2018) - Cowin Auditorium (Horace Mann Hall 147) in Teachers College - Documentary, 70 minutes - *In French with English subtitles - The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Callisto Mc Nulty and Professor Christia Mercer, moderated by Nora Philippe

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

Callisto McNulty, granddaughter of feminist director and activist Carole Roussopoulos, retraces the encounter of actress Delphine Seyrig and Roussopoulos in 1974. Both members of MLF, the Women’s Liberation Movement, and the FHAR, The Homosexual Front of Revolutionary Action, Seyrig and Roussopoulos used the small video cameras that had appeared on the market to make disruptive, radical feminist films and document their actions with incisive humour. The association they created, “Les Insoumuses” (a pun on “insoumise,” or insubordinate, and “muse”) produced hundreds of films that remain landmarks in the story of French feminism, and in the history of cinema.

Born in Paris in 1990 and graduated with a degree in  sociology from Goldsmiths University of London, Callisto McNulty is a writer, director and performer. Her research in the fields of feminism and cultural studies takes the shape of cinematic, editorial and performance projects. After Eric’s Tape, a short film she made in 2017 about a mysterious tape recorded by Andy Warhol, Delphine and Carole is her first feature film, which premiered in the Forum section at 2019 Berlinale.

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Thursday, October 21, 7:00-9:00 PM  Bambi by Sébastien Lifshitz (2021) - NYC Preview - Cowin Auditorium (Horace Mann Hall 147) in Teachers College - Documentary, 83 minutes - *In French with English subtitles

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

From her earliest childhood in Algiers, Marie-Pierre only wants to wear dresses and stubbornly refuses to use the first name given to her at birth, Jean-Pierre. Marie-Pierre’s life takes a radical turn at age seventeen upon discovering a review about a transvestite cabaret on tour, "le Carrousel de Paris." In a few years, Marie-Pierre moves to Paris and becomes Bambi, a mythical figure of Parisian cabarets of the 1950s and 1960s; she performs by night, while teaching  French in middle school by day. By gathering the shimmering testimony of one of France's first public transgender people on film, Sébastien Lifshitz pursues the work he started in Les Invisibles, and documents the fate of an outstanding personality.

Sébastien Lifshitz is an award-winning French screenwriter and director. Born in 1968, Lifshitz has navigated between fiction films (Come Undone, Wild Side and Going South) and documentaries, with a particular focus on  identity quests, queer, gay and lesbian characters, as well as coming-of-age stories (Adolescentes, 2019). His work has received the most prestigious awards in France and has been featured in international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. In his life-long effort to document marginalized communities and sexualities, Lifshitz has collected an exceptional photographic archive that has been exhibited and published under the title Mauvais genre, to which the title of this film series pays tribute.

To watch the trailer, please click here. RSVP here

Monday, October 25, 7:00-9:00 PM  Little Girl by Sébastien Lifshitz (2020) - Cowin Auditorium, Teachers College - The screening will be followed by an in-person discussion with director Sébastien Lifshitz and Nora Philippe - Documentary, 80 minutes - *In French with English subtitles

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP, click here

7-year-old Sasha has always known she was a girl, even though she was assigned male at birth. As society fails to treat her like the other children her age – during her daily life at school, dance lessons, or birthday parties – her supportive family leads a constant battle to make her difference understood and accepted. Released in 2021, Lifshitz’s documentary film has been the recipient of multiple awards and has been viewed several million times in France.

Sébastien Lifshitz is an award-winning French screenwriter and director. Born in 1968, Lifshitz has navigated between fiction films (Come Undone, Wild Side and Going South) and documentaries, with a particular focus on  identity quests, queer, gay and lesbian characters, as well as coming-of-age stories (Adolescentes, 2019). His work has received the most prestigious awards in France and has been featured in international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. In his life-long effort to document marginalized communities and sexualities, Lifshitz has collected an exceptional photographic archive that has been exhibited and published under the title Mauvais genre, to which the title of this film series pays tribute.

To watch the trailer, please click here. RSVP here

Tuesday, October 26, 7:00-9:00 PM  The Lives of Thérèse by Sébastien Lifshitz (2016) - Cowin Auditorium (Horace Mann Hall 147) in Teachers College - The screening will be followed by an in-person discussion with director Sébastien Lifshitz and Nora Philippe - Documentary, 60 minutes - *In French with English subtitles

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

Thérèse Clerc was a famous French feminist activist who, after divorcing her husband, abandoned traditional domestic life and Catholicism. She provided  clandestine abortions in the 1960s, opened a center against gender-based violence and, at the end of her life, founded an alternative women-only retirement home. Featured in Sébastien Lifshitz's cult film The Invisibles (2012), dedicated to elderly homosexual couples, Thérèse Clerc called Lifshitz in 2016 after receiving a cancer diagnosis, and asked him to film her during her last months of life. The formal sobriety of Les vies de Thérèse makes her radical wisdom all the more vibrant.

Sébastien Lifshitz is an award-winning French screenwriter and director. Born in 1968, Lifshitz has navigated between fiction films (Come Undone, Wild Side and Going South) and documentaries, with a particular focus on  identity quests, queer, gay and lesbian characters, as well as coming-of-age stories (Adolescentes, 2019). His work has received the most prestigious awards in France and has been featured in international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. In his life-long effort to document marginalized communities and sexualities, Lifshitz has collected an exceptional photographic archive that has been exhibited and published under the title Mauvais genre, to which the title of this film series pays tribute.

To watch the trailer, please click hereRSVP here

Thursday, November 4, 7:00–9:00 PM  Adam by Maryam Touzani (2019) - Cowin Auditorium (Horace Mann Hall 147) in Teachers College - Fiction, 88 minutes - *In Arabic with English subtitles - The screening will be followed by a discussion with Professor Madeleine Dobie.

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

Abla, a widow and mother of eight-year-old Warda,  runs a popular bakery in the narrow streets of Casablanca's old town. When her routine is interrupted  by a knock on the door, she is unaware that her life is about to change forever. On the doorstep stands Samia, a pregnant young woman asking for a place to stay, and, in fact, to deliver her baby. Adam is a bittersweet drama on the fate of single mothers in Morocco, and a tale of intense sisterhood, carried by the exceptional Belgian-Moroccan star actress Lubna Azabal. Coproduced by French and Moroccan production companies and distributed in France, but written and shot in Morocco, Adam is one of the two international films featured  in this festival.

Born in 1980 in Tangiers, Morocco, Maryam Touzani first worked as a film critic and a journalist, specializing in gender issues and women’s rights. Her first short fiction films, When They Slept (2012), and Aya Goes to the Beach (2015) received numerous awards worldwide. She directed several documentaries about prostitution and children’s rights, and co-writed Nabil Ayouch’s greatly acclaimed Much Loved (2015) and Razzia (2017), in which she plays a leading role. Adam is her first feature-length film, selected at the Cannes Film Festival (section 'Un Certain Regard').

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Tuesday, November 9, 7:00-9:00 PM Ladies of the Wood by Claus Drexel (2021) - NYC Preview - Cowin Auditorium (Horace Mann Hall 147) in Teachers College - Documentary, 90 minutes - French and Portuguese subtitled in English - The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Claus Drexel, curator Nora Philippe, and Professor Tey Meadow.

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

Bois de Boulogne, Paris. In this green park bordering the city, between dusk and dawn, wandering among  joggers, horse riders and policemen, transgender sex workers share their life stories and their visions of the world on camera with both wisdom and flamboyance. These are the “Ladies of the Wood.”

France-based German director Claus Drexel is best known internationally for his award-winning documentaries America (2017) and On The Edge Of The World (2013), which have played at film festivals worldwide. First trained as a painter, he has also conceived theater plays, staged operas, and directed several feature films (Under The Stars of Paris, 2019).

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Thursday, November 11, 7:00-9:30 PM Hyenas by Djibril Diop Mambéty (1992) - Cowin Auditorium (Horace Mann Hall 147) in Teachers College - Fiction, 110 minutes - *In French and Wolof with English subtitles -The screening will be followed by a discussion with Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne and Professor Mamadou Diouf.

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. To RSVP click here

Linguère Ramatou fled her native land in Sahel and acquired a legendary fortune; now she is returning by train to her former village, and she announces that she will make a fabulous donation, subject to certain conditions. Dramaan, Linguère's former lover, who denied paternity of their child and caused young Linguere’s initial departure, could well be the target of her revenge… Adapted from Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit of the Old Lady (1955),  this visually fascinating and fiercely anti-patriarchal and anti-colonialist feature is the second and last film by Djibril Diop Mambéty. Produced in France, selected in Cannes in 1992, and recently restored, it is considered a masterpiece of Senegalese cinema.

Djibril Diop Mambéty (1945–1998) was a Senegalese film director, actor, orator, composer and poet. Though he made only two feature films and five short films, they received international acclaim for their original and experimental cinematic technique and non-linear, unconventional narrative style. His niece, director Mati Diop, paid tribute to his first feature, Touki Bouki, in her film Mille Soleils.

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