NEW YORK, May 2, 2007—This year marks the 10th anniversary of Films on the Green, the free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City parks by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks.
Launched in small community gardens of lower Manhattan in 2008, Films on the Green now holds free screenings in French with English subtitles at parks throughout the city, from Greenpoint, Brooklyn to Washington Square Park to Upper Manhattan. Since its inception, the festival has sought to reach a broad range of communities and neighborhoods with classic and contemporary French films. With this in mind, the 2017 edition will add a special screening in French with Spanish subtitles: The Science of Sleep, directed by Michel Gondry and starring Gael García Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will be projected at J. Hood Wright Park in Washington Heights. Presented in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, the initiative aims to bring the best of French cinema to the dynamic and growing Spanish-speaking community in Manhattan.
In its landmark 10th year, Films on the Green will present French cinema through the eyes of 10 guest curators and some of the most creative and compelling filmmakers, actors, and artists of our time: Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, James Ivory, Saul Williams, Isabella Rossellini, Wanda Sykes, Laurie Anderson, Matthew Weiner, Matías Piñeiro, and Amy Hargreaves.
Kicking off the Festival on June 2nd, comedian and actress Wanda Sykes will share her “love [of] satire and stories with strong female leads” by presenting Francois Ozon‘s lighthearted comedy, Potiche (Trophy Wife) in Central Park. Then, from classics like François Truffaut’s The Wild Child, a favorite of director James Ivory who thinks the film “brings out […] all the classic values of the best French art,” to the French-Senegalese drama Tey (Today) by Alain Gomis, selected by poet and performer Saul Williams, who stars this movie, the chosen features will reflect the diversity of perspectives of the curators who chose them.
Each curator has selected a film that has in some way deeply influenced them or their work. For example, Director Wes Anderson chose Mauvais Sang by Leos Carax because, in his words, it “cast a powerfully strong spell over [him]” the first time he saw it. Creator of the series Mad Men, Matthew Weiner, selected La Cérémonie by Claude Chabrol, which he considers “an unnerving mixture of kindness and evil” with “unforgettable social commentary.” Actress, filmmaker and author Isabella Rossellini selected Elena and Her Men by Jean Renoir, which stars her mother Ingrid Bergman. In this film, Rossellini states, Renoir manages to “capture an aspect of [her] mother who [she] adored and often was not put forward in other films.”
Some of the guest curators took the outdoor setting or the context of a French film festival into account in their choice of film. Argentinian director Matías Piñeiro described the beautiful impact that Jean Grémillon’s Lumière d’été would have “once the summer lights of the city dim down” in the park. Writer, director and visual artist Laurie Anderson selected Marcel Carné’s Port of Shadows for its “amazing glistening cinematography and beautiful dialogue”. Amy Hargreaves of 13 Reasons Why, chose La Traversée de Paris by Autant-Lara because “it is at times hilarious and heartbreaking, and through the duo’s courage and cunning we find a window into the lives of two very different French worlds.”
Director Jim Jarmusch selected Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt for its “mesmerizing cast,” which includes Michel Piccoli and Brigitte Bardot. Many other great French actors will be featured throughout the 2017 program, from Isabelle Huppert to Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Gabin, and Juliette Binoche, among others.
Eleven screenings in total are scheduled for this year’s festival. Most of the screenings will be accompanied by DJs from New York University’s radio station, WNYU 89.1 FM and Hunter College’s WHCS, who will spin French music on-site before the screenings.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks would like to thank Films on the Green’s 2017 lead sponsor, Le Petit Marseillais™, and the festival’s 2017 official sponsors, Air France, Atout France-France Tourism Development Agency, BNP Paribas, JC Decaux, and TV5 Monde
Films Of The Green
2017 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
All films are in French with English subtitles, except for the film that will be screened on July 12th, which is in French and English with Spanish subtitles.
Screenings begin at sunset.
June 2 – Central Park (79th St & Fifth Ave): Potiche (Trophy Wife), by Ozon, selected by Wanda Sykes
June 9- Washington Sq. Park: Tey (Today) by Gomis, selected by Saul Williams
June 16 – Washington Sq. Park: La Traversée de Paris by Autant-Lara, selected by Amy Hargreaves
June 23 – Transmitter Park (Brooklyn): Mauvais Sang by Carax, selected by Wes Anderson
June 30 – Transmitter Park (Brooklyn): Contempt by Godard, selected by Jim Jarmusch
July 7 – Tompkins Sq. Park: La Cérémonie by Chabrol, selected by Matthew Weiner
July 14 – Tompkins Sq. Park: Port of Shadows by Carné, selected by Laurie Anderson
July 21 – Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St): Lumière d’été by Grémillon, selected by Matías Piñeiro
July 28 – Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St): A Trip to the Moon by Méliès followed by Elena and Her Men by Renoir, selected by Isabella Rossellini
Sept. 7 – Columbia University (at 116th St): The Wild Child by Truffaut, selected by James Ivory, presented in partnership with the Columbia Maison Française
July 12 – J. Hood Wright Park (West 173th St): The Science of Sleep by Gondry (2006), presented in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York (screening in French and English with Spanish subtitles).
Friday, June 2 | 8:30pm – Central Park, Cedar Hill
Wanda Sykes’ selection: POTICHE (Trophy Wife)
Directed by François Ozon, with Catherine Deneuve, Fabrice Luchini, Gérard Depardieu
2010 | Comedy | R | 1h43 | France | Music Box Films
It’s 1977 and women’s liberation is in the air but Suzanne is still the self-effacing, elegant housewife of wealthy industrialist Robert Pujol. When Robert is taken hostage by his employees, who are in strike, Suzanne steps in to manage the factory. To everyone’s surprise, she proves to be a remarkably effective leader. But when Robert returns to the factory, things get complicated.
Friday, June 9 | 8:30pm – Washington Square Park
Saul Williams’ selection: TEY (Today)
Directed by Alain Gomis, with Saul Williams, Aïssa Maïga, Anisia Uzeyman, Djolof Mbengue
2013 | Drama | 1h26 | France-Senegal | BelleMoon Productions
Today is the last day of Satché’s life. Though he is strong and healthy, he knows this to be true. Walking through the streets of his home town in Senegal, Satché takes in the sites of his past as if he were looking at them for the last time: his parents’ house, his first love, his friends, his wife and children. He greets these final moments great fear but also with a sense of joy.
Friday, June 16 | 8:30pm – Washington Square Park
Amy Hargreaves’ selection: LA TRAVERSÉE DE PARIS
Directed by Claude Autant-Lara, with Bourvil, Jean Gabin, Louis de Funès
1956 | Comedy | 1h20 | France | Rialto Pictures
Two unlikely companions, the straight-laced Martin and the bombastic Grandgil, must smuggle four suitcases filled with contraband pork across Nazi-occupied Paris. While Martin tries to make it through efficiently, Grandgil seems to create, and then surmount, obstacles for the fun of it.
Friday, June 23 | 8:30pm – Transmitter Park, Brooklyn
Wes Anderson’s selection: MAUVAIS SANG
Directed by Leos Carax, with Michel Piccoli, Juliette Binoche, Denis Lavant, Julie Delpy
1986 | Drama | 1h50 | France | Carlotta Films US
Marc and Hans, two old gangsters, plan to steal the vaccine for a mysterious virus which affects those who make love without being in love. After the death of their associate, the two accomplices call on his son, Alex, a talented conjuror. But Alex falls madly in love with a girl he sees on a bus. Her name is Anna and she turns out to be Marc’s mistress…
Friday, June 30 | 8:30pm – Transmitter Park, Brooklyn
Jim Jarmusch’s selection: CONTEMPT (Le Mépris)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, with Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang
1963 | Drama | PG | 1h43 | France | Rialto Pictures
Parisian screenwriter Paul Javal and his wife Camilla join director Fritz Lang and American film producer Jeremy Prokosch on the set of an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey in Italy. Camille is bored and unhappy about this long journey away from home and among strangers…
Friday, July 7 | 8:30pm – Tompkins Square Park
Matthew Weiner‘s selection: LA CÉRÉMONIE
Directed by Claude Chabrol, with Isabelle Huppert, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jacqueline Bisset
1995 | Crime-Drama | 1h52 | France | Janus Films
When Catherine Lelievre hires rigid, taciturn Sophie, she thinks she has found the perfect housekeeper for her family’s remote mansion in Brittany. But, detached and automated, Sophie displays odd behavior that becomes inexplicably disturbing. When she becomes friends with the impertinent, outspoken busybody Jeanne who runs the post office, the tension between Sophie and her employers increases.
Friday, July 14 | 8:30pm – Tompkins Square Park
Laurie Anderson’s selection: PORT OF SHADOWS (Quai des brumes)
Directed by Marcel Carné, with Jean Gabin, Michèle Morgan, Michel Simon
1938 | Drama-Romance | 1h31 | France | Rialto Pictures
Jean, an army deserter, hitchhikes his way into Le Havre looking for a place to hide until he can leave the country on one of the many ships anchored there. He never expects to become embroiled in a dispute between local “tough” guy Lucien and wealthy but shady shopkeeper Zabel. Nor does he expect to fall in love with the beautiful Nelly…
Friday, July 21 | 8:30pm – Riverside Park, Pier I
Matías Piñeiro’s selection: LUMIÈRE D’ÉTÉ
Directed by Jean Grémillon, with Madeleine Renaud, Pierre Brasseur
1943 | Drama | 1h50 | France | Janus Films
Arriving at a remote mountaintop hotel in Provence, the Parisian Michèle is involved in a love triangle with a worker and an aristocrat whose neighboring castle will be the scene of a show-stopping costume ball.
Friday, July 28 | 8:30pm – Riverside Park, Pier I
Isabella Rossellini’s selection: ELENA AND HER MEN (Elena et les hommes)
Directed by Jean Renoir, with Ingrid Bergman, Jean Marais, Mel Ferrer, Juliette Gréco
1956 | Comedy-Romance | 1h35 | France | Janus Films
In a pre-WWI Paris, Elena is a beautiful, but impoverished, Polish princess who drives men crazy. When a famous general falls for her charms, Elena finds herself entangled in both romantic intrigue and political conspiracy—with the hearts of several men, and the future of France, in her hands.
Preceded by THE TRIP TO THE MOON (Le voyage dans la lune) by Georges Méliès (1902, 14min) | Institut français
Thursday, September 7 | 7:30pm – Columbia University
James Ivory’s selection: THE WILD CHILD (L’enfant sauvage)
Directed by François Truffaut, with Jean-Pierre Cargol, François Truffaut
1970 | Drama | PG | 1h23 | France | The Film Desk
A scantily clothed and dirty young boy is admitted to the National Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Paris. Having been found in the forest, the child is unable to speak, communicate or function in society. His case is taken up by Doctor Itard, a lone physician who has unyielding dedication to re-integrating the lad into society. But the road to tame the beast is a rocky one…
Presented in partnership with the Columbia Maison Française
Wednesday, July 12 | 8:30pm – J. Hood Wright Park
THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP (La science des rêves)
Directed by Michel Gondry, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Gael García Bernal
2006 | Comedy | R | 1h45 | France-Italy | Warner Bros.
The whimsical and imaginative Stéphane has a mundane job at a calendar company in Paris and wishes for a more creative outlet. He becomes enamored of his neighbor, Stéphanie, but the relationship is threatened by the constant seeping of his fantasy life into his real world.
Screening in French and English with Spanish subtitles
Presented in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org
FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE promotes artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. FACE focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language. FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange) is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by the state of New York. www.face-foundation.org
NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 650,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals. www.nycgovparks.org
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