French Embassy
May 2018

MAY 2018

French Culture in May



The Cultural Services of the French Embassy is pleased to announce a selection of French cultural events that will be presented in Washington, DC and its consular district this month.


Godard Mon Amour

May 8 | 7:00 p.m. | 2017 - France - 102 min | Embassy of France - La Maison Française

Paris 1967. Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), the leading filmmaker of his generation, is shooting La Chinoise with the woman he loves, Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), 20 years his junior. They are happy, attractive, in love. They marry. But the film’s reception unleashes a profound self-examination in Jean-Luc. The events of May ’68 will amplify this process, and the crisis that shakes the filmmaker. Deep-rooted conflicts and misunderstandings will change him irrevocably. Revolutionary, off-the-wall, destructive, brilliant, he will pursue his choices and his beliefs to the breaking point… As he did with The Artist, Academy Award® winning director Michel Hazanavicius delivers another tribute to classic cinema, both wildly funny and deeply moving. In French with English subtitles.

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Something in the Air

May 22 | 7:00 p.m. | 2012 – France – 122 min | Embassy of France - La Maison Française

In the months after the exhilarating weeks of May ’68, a group of young people search for a way to continue the revolution. For Gilles (newcomer Clément Mettayer), this means having to balance his political commitments with his desire to explore painting and filmmaking; for his girlfriend Christine (Goodbye, First Love star Lola Créton), this means throwing herself wholeheartedly into the task of organizing. Olivier Assayas (Carlos, Summer Hours) here describes the sentimental education of a generation that was too young to have been on the barricades, conveying the sense of history as lived experience. In French with English subtitles.

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Paris, May ’68: Zanzibar and Philippe Garrel

May 12 - 27 | National Gallery of Art - East Building Auditorium

During the volatile late 1960s in Paris, the filmmaking collective known as Zanzibar began creating outsider underground movies, many of which are now lost or neglected. The group (consisting of Philippe Garrel, Jackie Raynal, Serge Bard, Daniel Pommereulle, Olivier Mosset, Frédéric Pardo, Patrick Deval, Caroline de Bendern, Zouzou) resembled a clique of Warhol Factoryesque characters. Though all were cinephiles, jointly they had only modest movie-making experience. Yet the Zanzibar films, with their refreshing lack of regard for revenue, are infused with the countercultural energy and restlessness of May '68.

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The French Cinématheque at the Avalon Theatre presents: Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc

May 16 | 8:00 p.m. | 2017 - France - 115 min | Avalon Theatre

In this musical from Bruno Dumont, the young Jeannette, at the still tender age of 8, looks after her sheep in the small village of Domremy in the midst of the Hundred Years’ War.

One day, she tells her friend Hauviette how she cannot bear to see the suffering caused by the English. Madame Gervaise, a nun, tries to reason with the young girl, but Jeannette is ready to take up arms for the salvation of souls and the liberation of the Kingdom of France. Carried by her faith, she will become Joan of Arc.

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28th Washington Jewish Film Festival

May 2 - 13 | Multiple venues

One of the largest and most respected Jewish film festivals in North America, the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) is an international exhibition of cinema that celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and experience through the moving image.

This year the WJFF presents 8 French productions and co-productions including Mr. and Mrs. Adelman by Nicolas Bedos, The Starry Sky Above Me by Ilan Klipper, and a restored version of Claude Berri's The Two of Us.

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Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival CineMonday: Mr. and Mrs. Adelman

May 7 | 7 p.m. | 2017 - France/Belgium - 120 min | Ritz East

Nicolas Bedos and Doria Tillier co-write and co-star in this stylish and witty award-winning French dramedy about the highs, lows, passions, and betrayals of a 40-year marriage. Sarah, a vivacious journalism student, is determined to make Victor fall in love with her. Unfortunately, after a one-night-stand, Victor gives her the cold shoulder and refuses her attempts to make contact. Instead of longing after Victor, Sarah opts to date his brother and his best friend to spur his jealousy. When her plan succeeds, Sarah and Victor begin a passionate love affair...

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Opera Lafayette: Visitors to Versailles

May 2 | 7:30 p.m. | John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Versailles has welcomed visitors—from royalty to riff raff—since Louis XIV turned a small hunting lodge into the splendid palace and gardens the world knows today. This concert, inspired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition “Visitors to Versailles – (1682 – 1789),” offers a regal program ranging from the time of the Sun King to the French Revolution and featuring music from Lully’s Acis et Galatée and Grétry’s Richard, Coeur de Lion, alongside works by Gluck, Monsigny, and Rameau.

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French Waves

May 10 | 7:00 p.m. | Dupont Underground

Come to celebrate French Touch, a style of music that has been pivotal in the recognition of electro music around the world. The evening will start with the screening of the 2017 documentary French Waves (65’,) by French filmmaker Julian Starke. Based around a series of interviews with iconic artists from the origins and the present of French Touch, French Waves tracks the American roots of techno and house music, the era of illegal raves and showcases the newest generation of French electro artists. The screening will be followed by a presentation on the origins of French electronic music and an all-French Touch DJ set (Daft Punk, Justice, Cassius, Laurent Garnier, Mr. Oizo…) by DJ Maxime.

This event is part of the EUROBEATS Music Festival and is organized in partnership with Dupont Underground.

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Renoir: Father and Son

May 6 - Sept. 3 | Barnes Foundation

Father and Son examines the artistic exchange between the renowned impressionist painter and his son, celebrated filmmaker Jean Renoir. The exhibition brings together over 120 works, including paintings, drawings, ceramics, films, costumes, photographs, and posters—many never before shown in the US—for an illuminating exploration of Pierre-Auguste’s role in his son’s oeuvre and the relationship between painting and cinema.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the International House Philadelphia presents the Film Series The Films of Jean Renoir from May 11 to August 24.

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Louise Bourgeois: To Unravel a Torment

May 10, 2018 - January 2020 | Glenstone Museum

The trailblazing work of French-born American artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) will be the subject of a five-decade survey exhibition featuring more than 30 works, all from Glenstone’s collection, including a recently acquired master piece that was realized at a pivotal moment in her career: the 1974 installation The Destruction of the Father.

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Joanathan Bessaci: Spaces Between the Roads

Until May 18 | Gallery O on H

French artist Joanathan Bessaci works with old Michelin maps dating from roughly 1920 to 1970. He prefers these vintage French maps because of their color and texture and because they symbolize the roads that various family members have taken to get to France. His maternal grandmother immigrated to France from Vietnam and his paternal grandmother emigrated there from Kabylia (Northern Algeria). Bessaci's current work consists of cutting portraits and other images from several different old maps. The maps are chosen very carefully. Certain visual elements of the finished images are highlighted by integrating the map's geography, including lakes, rivers, oceans, roads, highways, parks and city centers. Each of his pieces uses multiple layers of the cut maps. Each layer is individually placed between sheets of glass to create depth and texture.

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Until May 28 | National Museum of Women In The Arts

Women Artists deconstruct domesticity in Women House exhibition at the NMWA. The exhibition presents work by 36 global artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Mona Hatoum, Zanele Muholi, Leticia Parente, Martha Rosler, Miriam Schapiro, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Rachel Whiteread, and Francesca Woodman. Continuing the dialogue with their artistic foremothers of the 1970s, the contemporary artists in Women House recast conventional ideas about women through painting, photography, sculpture, installation, and video. NMWA is the only U.S. venue for the exhibition, which is organized by La Monnaie de Paris and curated by Camille Morineau and Lucia Pesapane.

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