Taking a long view with French film

Local | Bernard Charnwut Chan 30 Oct 2019

Most regular arts and cultural events in Hong Kong date back no more than a decade or two. So the Hong Kong Arts Festival, founded in 1973, is a relatively old one.

But few can beat the Hong Kong French Film Festival. That dates from 1953, when Alliance Francaise started it to promote French cinema. It became an annual event in 1972.

This year's festival in November and December will feature more than 40 movies divided into two sections: "Cinepanorama" made up of new releases; and "Retrospective" to show old classics based on a theme.

One of the many interesting new films is Spread Your Wings, about a father and son who plan to teach orphaned geese how to migrate from Norway to France using an ultralight plane.

Another is Fahim, the Little Chess Prince about a poor Bangladeshi child and illegal immigrant in France, who finds success through his skills on the checkered board.

There are several animated productions, including Terra Willy, about a little boy space traveler marooned on a distant planet, and The Prince's Voyage, about an outsider arriving to live in a new and intolerant society.

Among the classics are the drama Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961), the romantic tangle Jules and Jim (Francois Truffaut, 1962) and the comedy Cleo From 9 to 5 (Agnes Varda, 1962).

The festival runs from November 7 to December 10, and the films are being screened at various major theaters around town.

Check out the whole selection at www.hkfrenchfilmfestival.com

Bernard Charnwut Chan is chairman of The Jockey Club CPS Advisory Committee


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