By BELLE WEINER, Staff Writer
If you wander across either Bryn Mawr or Haverford’s campus on a Friday night and hear voices echoing in French, don’t worry, you are not losing your mind. The colleges’ French departments are hosting weekly film screenings as part of the French Mutations Film Festival.
The festival received funding from the FACE/Tournees Film Festival, the Bryn Mawr Film Studies Department, and Haverford College’s Provost’s office. The first two screenings featured the classic 1946 rendition of La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast), and Avril et le Monde Truque.
I attended the showing of La Belle et la Bête and was surprised by how much I enjoyed myself.
Leeds Green had a picturesque feeling that was reminiscent of a drive-in theater. The smell of popcorn wafted through the admittedly small crowd, giving movie-watchers a cozy guard against the chillier weather.
The highlight of the movie itself was the comically dramatic acting. From the overly conniving sisters to the outrageous stage slaps, it’s no wonder the audience could barely contain its laughter.
The characters’ wardrobe didn’t help matters. Clearly costume design was a more difficult job before the introduction of CGI technology. The Beast’s puffy feet, winged shoulders, and fluttering cape made him look more like a mutated cat than a ferocious monster.
The Beast’s idiotic appearance ultimately overshadowed the actor’s hammy acting skills – but it all just added to the humorous charm.
All viewers can appreciate these screenings, regardless of personal interest in French cinema. Everyone who attended the first screening was captivated by the simultaneous majesty and comedy of La Belle et la Bête and it was a great way to celebrate the timelessness of film and its enduring power to entertain.
On Sept. 22, Bryn Mawr will feature Examen D’etat, a documentary about high school students in the Democratic Republic of Congo as they struggle to complete their education. Alice Lesnick and Kalala Ngalamulume, professors of Education and History and Africana Studies at Bryn Mawr, respectively, will lead a post-viewing discussion.
The following week, on Sept. 28, Haverford will present La Vie D’Adele in Chase Auditorium, room 104. The film tells the story of a high school student as she struggles to understand her own sexuality as well as the workings of society around her. A talk with Bryn Mawr History of Art professor Homay King will follow the film.
On Oct. 5, Bryn Mawr will show Little Go Girls in College Hall 110. After the screening, acclaimed director Eliane de Latour will participate in a master class on Little Go Girls and documentary filmmaking.
On Oct. 6, Haverford will show Eastern Boys in the VCAM Screening room. Professor Philippe Met from the University of Pennsylvania will lead a post-show discussion.
The French Mutations Film Festival will conclude with a screening of Timbuktu on Oct. 11 in Haverford’s Chase Auditorium.
All screenings begin at 7 p.m.