American Cinema: A Fine Romance
Presented in association with Ile de France Film Commission.
With the support of the French Film & TV Department of the
French Consulate, Los Angeles.
A fine romance rhymes with Ile de France in the song
Dorothy Fields created for Fred Astaire in the George Stevens film SWING TIME, and
popularized by Frank Sinatra. In American Cinema, from Ernst Lubitsch (NINOTCHKA) to Billy
Wilder (LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON) and beginning with the master work of Charlie Chaplin (A
WOMAN OF PARIS), Paris means love and passion triumph under the Eiffel Tower. This great
love affair between American cinema, Paris and the Ile de France has created some of the
most fascinating romantic comedies but also intense drama from the likes of Richard Brooks
(THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS) and Vincente Minnelli (LUST FOR LIFE). When architect
Haussmann conceived the modern Paris in 1860, he was obsessed by the spectacular
performance he wanted to give. He would have fully appreciated the way Hollywood
interpreted its vision of the city. Here to illustrate just a handful of those
interpretations, join us for screenings of GIGI, FUNNY FACE, CHARADE and WHATS
Thursday, November 10 - 7:30 PM
New 35 mm print!
GIGI, 1951, Warner Bros., 119 min. Director Vincente
Minnellis GIGI is an absolutely delightful, spirited musical adaptation of
Colette's novel about a sweet young girl (Leslie Caron) trained by her aunt for the
world's oldest profession in turn-of-the-century Paris. Winner of nine Oscars including
Best Picture. With Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan.
Friday, November 11 - 7:30 PM
CHARADE, 1963, Universal, 113 min. No one
is who they seem to be when Audrey Hepburn arrives in a radiant Paris to unravel
the mystery of her husbands death in Stanley Donens masterful homage to
Alfred Hitchcock (in particular the maestros NORTH BY NORTHWEST and THE 39 STEPS).
When Hepburn meets Cary Grant, supposedly one of the men who helped her late spouse
rob a post-WWII payroll, the two engage in a cat-and-mouse game of
wheres-the-missing-loot?, not only with each other, but also a gang of
eccentric villains (including Ned Glass and an especially menacing George Kennedy
and James Coburn). When bodies pile up and Hepburn seems at her wits end, Walter
Matthau offers his help but can he be trusted? The emphasis is on romance and
comedy as well as suspense and thrills, and Donens previous track record of
seemingly effortless, effervescent entertainments stands him in good stead here. With a
captivating score by Henry Mancini.
Saturday, November 12 - 7:30 PM
FUNNY FACE, 1957, Paramount, 103 min.
Dir. Stanley Donen. Young Audrey Hepburn agrees to travel to Paris to model
gowns for famous fashion photographer Fred Astaire, but her real motivation is to
meet the founder of emphaticalism (a spoof on the then-new concept of
existentialism), Professor Flostre (Michel Auclair). But she doesnt
count on falling-in-love with shutterbug, Astaire. Theres a surfeit of great tunes
by George Gershwin and others, including "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and
WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT,
1966, UA (Sony) 108 min. Dir. Clive Donner. Emotionally frazzled Peter O'Toole
goes to analyst Peter Sellers for guidance with his complicated love-life, not
counting on Sellers own hilariously-overheated sex-drive and a merry-go-round of the
Sixties most beautiful women, including Romy Schneider, Capucine, Paula Prentiss
and Ursula Andress. Co-starring and written by Woody Allen, with another brilliant
Pop score by Burt Bacharach, WHATS NEW PUSSYCAT? is the ultimate Mod confection.