Tournées Film Festival begins March 25

A publicity photo from Emmanuel Laurent’s “Two in the Wave”The Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb will host the Tournées Film Festival, a showcase of contemporary European cinema, from Sunday, March 25, through Thursday, March 29.

Organized by the Northern Illinois University Film Society, the event is supported by grants from the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Additional support is provided by the departments of English, Foreign Languages & Literatures and Communication, and Women’s Studies.

For its third annual festival, Tournées-DeKalb will screen seven films over four days.

The event opens on Sunday, March 25, with a double-feature matinee of Olivier Assayas’ “Summer Hours” (2 p.m.), an impeccably observed family drama featuring actress Juliette Binoche, and Alain Resnais’ “Wild Grass” (4 p.m.), a surreal romantic comedy by one of the masters of French cinema. The films will be introduced by Scott Balcerzak, assistant professor of film and literature at NIU, and Elizabeth Bowman, a Ph.D. candidate in NIU’s Department of English.

The festival continues Tuesday, March 27, with an evening celebrating female directors.

Lois Self, NIU professor emerita of communication, will introduce “The Sleeping Beauty” (7 p.m.), director Catherine Breillat’s unconventional deconstruction of the classic tale. Lindsay Massie, co-president of the NIU Film Society, will present remarks prepared by Barbara Peters about “Coco Before Chanel” (9 p.m.), Anne Fontaine’s thoughtful exploration of the pre-fame life of the world’s greatest fashion designer.

Wednesday, March 28, will open with French animator Sylvain Chomet’s acclaimed adaption of an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati, “The Illusionist” (7 p.m), introduced by Julie Moteau, a master’s degree candidate in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, with remarks prepared by associate professor Philippe Willems.

Next, the festival presents Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami’s first Western production, “Certified Copy” (9 p.m.), an intriguing Tuscany-set story about love and miscommunication, introduced by Paul Petrovic, a Ph.D. candidate in NIU’s Department of English.

A photo of the front exterior of the Egyptian TheatreThe festival holds its reception night Thursday, March 29, with Emmanuel Laurent’s “Two in the Wave” (7 p.m.).

This engaging documentary traces the friendship and tragic split of French New Wave pioneers François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. The film will be introduced by Jeffery Chown, a professor in NIU’s Department of Communication and a documentary filmmaker. The screening will be followed by a casual reception, where those in attendance can discuss the movie while enjoying delicacies provided by Inboden’s Meat Market.

The grant supporting the Tournées Festival is given each year to a select number of American universities wishing to bring the festival to their towns. The NIU-based organizers and the Egyptian Theatre have teamed up to make the festival a DeKalb regional event, free to all area high school, college and university students who present valid student identification at the box office.

The entire community is invited to attend either individual nights or purchase package tickets for the whole festival.

Ticket prices for individual nights are $7 for adults and $5 for senior citizens, and package tickets for the entire festival are $21 for adults and $15 for seniors. Tickets are available for purchase at the theater, 135 N. Second St.

More information on individual films, including show times, reviews, ratings, casts and filmmakers, as well as information about the festival, its participants and its sponsors is available online.

For more information, email sbalcerzak@niu.edu.

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