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FIAF Announces Programs with Melissa Errico & Adam Gopnik, Molière in the Park and More


Upcoming programming begins in October.

FIAF Announces Programs with Melissa Errico & Adam Gopnik, Molière in the Park and More

This fall the French Institute Alliance Française, New York's premier French-language center, will continue to present a line-up of thought-provoking cross-cultural virtual events, featuring an array of world-renowned artists, writers, thinkers, and presenters from across film, live music, theater, performance, animated storytelling, literature, and media.

Acclaimed Broadway actress and singer Melissa Errico and New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik-two long-standing friends of FIAF-embark on an extraordinary three-concert and conversation series, Il Parle, Elle Chant-Love, Desire, and Mystery, exploring the love song and its transatlantic history October 14. On the heels of acclaimed virtual productions of The Misanthrope and Tartuffe, FIAF teams up again with Molière in the Park to present a radical all-female production of The School for Wives on October 24. Kicking off the month, Ronald Guttman's solo performance of Albert Camus's The Fall on October 1 will be the first event staged at FIAF and streamed live since March.

In their virtual cinema, FIAF presents a pair of new French films: the U.S. premiere of De Gaulle, a biopic of the great figure at the dawn of la Résistance (Oct. 15-22), and Sibyl, a chic psychodrama starring Virginie Efira (through Oct. 9). Meanwhile, FIAF's popular CinéSalon series honoring the life and work of Michel Piccoli, who passed away in May 2020, has been extended through October, featuring a selection of six more of his beloved films, available on The Criterion Channel. In conjunction with the series, Criterion has offered its streaming service to FIAF members for half price.

Following his successful presentation of She No Princess, He No Hero director Johanny Bert teams up again with writer Magali Mougel to present an animated adaptation of his critically hailed new play Shivers on October 10. Following the screening, artist Charlotte Melly, who created the work's live-captured illustrations, will participate in a Q&A with New York Times theater critic Laura Capelle.

And FIAF:Talks continue on October 7 with a discussion of the #MeToo era between Lindsey Tramuta, author of the newly published The New Parisienne: the Women & Ideas Shaping Paris, and two of her profile subjects: journalist and host of feminist podcast La Poudre Lauren Bastide and entrepreneur Ariane Bernard.

Live Performances:

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 7pm

New series: Il Parle, Elle Chante-Love, Desire and Mystery
Words, music and ideas with Melissa Errico & Adam Gopnik
Tedd Firth on piano
Part I: Love

Chanteuse Melissa Errico, working in collaboration with New Yorker essayist and lyricist Adam Gopnik, presents a series of three concerts weaving together music and conversation. The trio of concerts delves into every aspect of the great French obsession: l'amour fou, or crazy, overpowering, all-consuming love. Through these evenings Errico and Gopnik investigate and illuminate the cycle that France first offered the world-of how love becomes desire, how desire is cloaked in mystery, and how then the mystery of desire reveals the madness of love again.

The first concert of this series centers on love, a special preoccupation in France. It begins with the invention of the love song in the feminist medieval court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and winds its way through the long history of the French cult of love. Errico will present her favorite French love songs-including Michel Legrand's "Valse des Lilas," among others-as well as examples of the American love of France, including Cole Porter's "I Love Paris," Sondheim's portrait of Seurat, and additional delectable surprises.
Errico will also perform the world premiere of a love song written by Gopnik and David Shire from a musical they are developing about Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Errico previously collaborated with FIAF in 2019, curating the popular CinéSalon series Summer of Michel Legrand that honored the great French composer.

Part II: Desire and Part III: Mystery will be announced at later dates.

More information is available here.

The School for Wives by Molière in the Park

Saturday, October 24 at 2pm & 7pm
Starring Tonya Pinkins, Kaliswa Brewster, Mandi Masden, Tamara Sevunts, Corey Tazmania
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien
Translated by Richard Wilbur
In English with closed captioning in English and French

After the success of virtual productions of The Misanthrope and Tartuffe, Moliere in the Park and FIAF team up for a radically inventive and refreshing take on the classic play, The School For Wives. At its core, Moliere's biting 17th-century satire about a privileged but misguided man so intimidated by femininity that he attempts to control it, is about gender power dynamics.

In this contemporary all-female retelling, Tony Award-winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly's Last Jam, Caroline, or Change) stars as the patriarch Arnolphe, obsessed with keeping his 17-year-old ward Agnes ignorant so that she will be faithful to him. Director Lucie Tiberghien examines this classic tale with an all-female cast as they shine a light on the ultimate absurdity of similar American systems of oppression. Like Agnès, no one's humanity can be snuffed out.

A recording of the stream will be available on Molière in the Park's YouTube channel through 2pm, Thursday, October 29.

Co-presented by FIAF in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance and LeFrak Center at Lakeside.

More information and RSVP here.

Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7pm

The Fall
Adapted for stage by Alexis Lloyd
Directed by Didier Flamand
Performance by Ronald Guttman
Based on La Chute by Albert Camus, copyright 1956, Editions Gallimard
LIVE on Vimeo

"You can never really prove anybody's innocence, but you can be sure we're all guilty. Every man bears witness to the crimes of all the others." - Jean-Baptiste Clamence, The Fall by Albert Camus.

New York-based, Belgian-born actor Ronald Guttman inhabits the role of anguished, exiled Parisian lawyer Jean-Baptiste Clamence in Alexis Lloyd's solo theatrical adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning French author Albert Camus's The Fall.

In this elegant production, Clamence transports the audience to Mexico City, a bar in Amsterdam's seamy Red Light district, circa 1956. Positioned within the city's concentric rings of canals-paralleling Dante's circles of Hell-Clamence confesses his own descent that transformed him into a judge-repentant and postmodern prophet of the human condition. Set against the backdrop of post-Second World War Europe, this adaptation of Camus's last complete work of fiction invokes the fall of man from the Garden of Eden as it explores themes of culpability, shame, and regret.

Presented in partnership with the Lycée Français de New York.

More information and RSVP here.

New French Cinema:

Wednesday, October 14-Tuesday, October 20

US Premiere: De Gaulle
Dir. Gabriel le Bomin, 2020, 108 min
With Lambert Wilson, Isabelle Carré, Olivier Gourmet, Gilles Cohen
In French and English with English subtitles

May 1940. As the war intensifies, German forces launch their invasion of France. They will soon reach Paris as the French army crumbles underneath unrelenting Luftwaffe and Panzer attacks. Once unthinkable, the prospect of defeat has caused panic within the French government. One man, Charles de Gaulle, a newly minted general, refuses to surrender. As his wife, Yvonne, and three children flee the city, he leaves for London where he'll give rise to another voice-that of "la Résistance."

Presented in partnership with Focus on French Cinema. This special screening is made possible with the generous support of BNP Paribas.

Through October 9, 2020

Dir. Justine Triet, 2019, 101 min
With Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel
In French, English and Italian with English subtitles

A sly, sultry character study from filmmaker Justine Triet, Sibyl follows a psychotherapist (Virginie Efira) who decides to quit her practice and return to writing instead. As Sibyl starts dropping patients, she begins to struggle with excess time and a lack of inspiration-until she gets a call from Margot (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a young actress wrapped up in a dramatic affair with her costar, Igor (Gaspard Ulliel), who happens to be married to the film's director (Sandra Hüller). Becoming further enmeshed in Margot's life, Sibyl starts to blur past and present, fiction with reality, and the personal with the professional as she begins to use Margot's life as source material for her novel.

More information is available here.

Virtual CinéSalon Presents
Michel Piccoli ... Tenderly, Tragically, Totally

One of the most esteemed and versatile actors of his generation, Michel Piccoli embodied a wide range of memorable characters etching an indelible impression across the seven decades of cinema in France and beyond. Over the course of his career, he imbued tenderness, passion, and dedication in roles as varied as popes, cops, artists, and ordinary men. To commemorate Piccoli who died in May at the age of 94, FIAF continues its retrospective of his work, showcasing the gravity and humor, cynicism and humanity he brought to roles in the following films:

• May Fools (Milou en mai) by Louis Malle
• Belle de Jour by Luis Buñuel
• The Young Girls of Rochefort by Jacques Demy
• Dillinger Is Dead by Marco Ferreri
• Les Créatures by Agnès Varda
• One Hundred and One Nights by Agnès Varda

The films are available through the subscription streaming service, The Criterion Channel. FIAF members receive 50% off the first three months of a Criterion membership.

A full press release on the series Michel Piccoli ... Tenderly, Tragically, Totally and a special virtual Classics of French Cinema with Olivier Barrot program about the actor's life and work of Michel Piccoli on October 29 at 6:30pm is available here.

CinéSalon is supported by BNP Paribas and Sofitel. CinéSalon is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Live Family Program:

Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11am

US Premiere: Shivers
Conception and direction by Johanny Bert
Text by Magali Mougel
Translation by Nicholas Elliott
Illustrations by Charlotte Melly
Ages 4 and older

Magali Mougel and Johanny Bert, the team behind the acclaimed play She No Princess, He No Hero, reunite to bring Shivers to U.S. audiences. This digital adaptation of their play Frissons, which premiered to wide praise this past January in France, has been animated and translated to English and will be available for free for young American audiences. Charlotte Melly's creative process is on display as the camera captures her drawing beautiful illustrations in concert with they narrative. This allows Bert to combine storytelling and soundscape to follow a young boy as he struggles to welcome his younger brother into his life.

Anis is about to become an older brother and worries about sharing his room, his toys, and his parents' love with his new sibling. Shivers plunges young spectators into Anis's world, as he anxiously meets his adoptive brother to forming a friendship through mutual discoveries and overcoming fears of one and other.

A Q&A with Charlotte Melly and New York Times theater critic Laura Capelle will follow. Shivers will be available to stream online for free through October 17.

Co-produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and by Théâtre de Sartrouville et des Yvelines-CDN.

More information and RSVP here.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 6:30pm

From New York to Paris: Building a New Feminism
Lindsey Tramuta in conversation with Lauren Bastide and Ariane Bernard

Since 2017, the #MeToo movement has exposed various forms of abuse that women have suffered, as well as existing inequalities that remain throughout society. Though women are still largely under-represented in leadership and public-facing roles, more and more activists across sectors and geography are working tirelessly to usher in change. Their actions support and harness feminine power while breaking down historical stereotypes.

Lindsey Tramuta, an American based in Paris since 2006, shines a light on activists currently at work in the city in her new book The New Parisienne: the Women & Ideas Shaping Paris, published this past July by Abrams. She will be joined in conversation by fellow feminist and journalist Lauren Bastide, who hosts the podcast La Poudre and authored the acclaimed new book Présentes, and Ariane Bernard, a product management consultant and entrepreneur.

More information is available here.

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