NEW YORK, July 10, 2017— On July 28th, 2017, the free outdoor French film festival Films on the Green will screen Jean Renoir’s 1956 drama Elena and Her Men (Elena et les hommes) preceded by Georges Méliès’ 1902 classic A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune). The films have been selected for the festival by guest curator Isabella Rossellini. The screenings will take place at 8:30 PM at Riverside Park, Pier I.
Elena and Her Men takes place in a pre-WWI Paris where 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.
Elena and Her Men stars Ingrid Bergman, Jean Marais, Mel Ferrer, and Juliette Gréco. Also known by the title Paris Does Strange Things, the film is the third in a series including The Golden Coach (1953) and French Cancan (1955). The son of famous impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jean Renoir received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1975 for his film accomplishments.
The celebrated silent film A Trip to the Moon is known as one of the most influential films in the history of cinema. It features a group of scientists who famously propel themselves from a canon and land on the surface of the moon. The director of 520 films, Georges Méliès is known as a pioneer of filmmaking. In creating A Trip to the Moon, he was inspired by Jules Verne’s novels From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and Around the Moon (1870). Today, the film is recognized by its iconic image of a rocket capsule on the face of a grimacing moon.
Isabella Rossellini on her selected films, Elena and Her Men and A Trip to the Moon:
“Jean Renoir was a very good friend of my mother Ingrid Bergman. In this delightful film they did together, Jean captured an aspect of my mother I adored and often was not put forward in other films: her vivaciousness, the sparkle in her eye, her playfulness. Jean was an incredible kind and sensitive man.”
“George Méliès’ special effects might seem nowadays naïf, but they still have the power to make me dream and transport me in a playful, fantastic world. When I direct my short films this is the director I look to for inspiration.”
Isabella Rossellini made her cinematic debut as an actress in 1979 in the Taviani brothers’ film Il Prato (The Meadow) and has appeared in numerous other films, including the American features Blue Velvet, White Nights, Rodger Dodger, Cousins, Death Becomes Her, Fearless, Big Night and, in 2015, Joy.
She is also a successful television actress and filmmaker, with a keen interest in animals and wildlife conservation. Her recent work on television includes Master of Photography for European channel Sky Arts, and the American series Shut Eye for the platform Hulu which was released in December 2016.
The screening of A Trip to the Moon (14 minutes) and Elena and Her Men (1h35) is free and open to the public and will take place at Riverside Park, Pier I (park entrance at 70th street) on Friday July 28th, 2017 at 8:30pm. DJs from Hunter College’s radio station, WHCS, will spin French music on-site before the screening. The feature films will be shown in French with English subtitles.
Films on the Green is a free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City parks since 2008, presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks.
In its landmark 10th year, Films on the Green has invited 10 guest curators—some of the most creative and compelling filmmakers, actors, and artists of our time–to select one film each for the summer program. The guest curators include: Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, James Ivory, Saul Williams, Isabella Rossellini, Wanda Sykes, Laurie Anderson, Matthew Weiner, Matías Piñeiro, and Amy Hargreaves.
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 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).
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
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
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
Camille Desprez – + 1 (212) 439-1417, email@example.com
Frenchculture.org – @franceinnyc – facebook.com/frenchculture