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French Institute Alliance Française Announces January & February Events

Events begin January 12.

French Institute Alliance Française Announces January & February Events

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) kicks off 2021, building on its ambitious virtual programming to bring the best of French and Francophone culture to audiences in the US and abroad.

January starts with a pair of talks featuring noted figures from beauty and fashion. Frédéric Malle marks the 20th anniversary of his industry altering perfume brand, Editions de parfum Frédéric Malle, on Tuesday, January 12. The following Tuesday, January 19, a panel including trendsetters Lola Rykiel and Rebecca Leffler discuss the outrageous fashions showcased on the popular Netflix series Emily in Paris.

Broadway star Melissa Errico and New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik premiere the second part of their concert series, Love, Desire & Mystery - Il Parle, Elle Chante, on Thursday, January 28. Following their award-nominated first performance, this second evening of music and conversation continues to delve into the idea of amour fou-this time through desire.

In February, FIAF's fourth annual Animation First Festival celebrates the enduring legacy and trailblazing innovation of French animation. Running from February 5 to 15, this year's program includes more than 15 programs of features and shorts to stream, as well as live talks with noted filmmakers, works-in-progress presentations previewing highly anticipated films, and much more.

As so many Francophiles are trying to satisfy their wanderlust this winter, FIAF's Virtual CinéSalon transports viewers to Paris with a series about the City of Light this January and February. Additionally, La Boxeuse amoureuse (available Feb. 16-28) takes us inside Boulogne-Billancourt's new venue, La Seine Musicale, for a stirring genre-bending performance by singer/songwriter Arthur H and former Paris Opera Ballet étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot.

A chronological listing of events follows:

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Rendez-Vous Live: Frédéric Malle

Live on Zoom
In English

Born into the world of perfume, Frédéric Malle's deep knowledge of scents and his radical vision of perfumes led him, in 2000, to establish Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. At a time when the self-service sale of perfumes was on the rise, Malle chose to open a boutique that would provide a luxurious setting for the perfumes he "publishes" with the world's greatest perfumers. To mark the 20th anniversary of his brand, Malle released a new book, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years from Rizzoli. In it, he offers an intimate glimpse of the brand's history as well as stories behind four of his most successful scents in graphic-novel form. For this livestreamed program, Malle, who received FIAF's 2015 Art de Vivre award, will talk about his journey to the pinnacle of perfumery, as well as the future of the industry. A Q&A session with attendees will follow.

Click here for more info.

Tuesday, January 12 through Monday, March 1, 2021
Virtual CinéSalon: Paris on Film


Curated by Richard Peña

FIAF's trademark film series continues this winter with a transporting and transfixing look at Paris on film. The City of Light has left an indelible mark on celluloid since the invention of cinema. This series is curated by Richard Peña, a film studies professor at Columbia University and the former program director of Film Society of Lincoln Center. It offers a look at the French capital from unconventional angles and through the eyes of filmmakers who have used Paris as a rich tapestry for their work. A full list of included films will be announced at a later date.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 6:30pm
FIAF:Talks: Emily in Paris-Fashion fantasia or faux-pas?

With Lola Rykiel and Rebecca Leffler
Live on Zoom
In English

In the Netflix hit show Emily in Paris, Emily's wildly colorful and revealing fashion choices are often mocked by her chic neutral-clad Parisienne boss Sylvie. Is this a cliché or the reality of the Paris fashion scene? Lola Rykiel, founder of French fashion brand Pompom Paris, influencer, and granddaughter of noted designer Sonia, will share her perspective on Parisian fashion today with Rebecca Leffler, an American publicist who inspired the role of Emily. Additional guests will be announced shortly.

Click here for more information.

Wednesday, January 28, 2021 at 7pm
Love, Desire & Mystery - Il Parle, Elle Chante


Words, music, and ideas with Melissa Errico & Adam Gopnik
Tedd Firth on piano
Part II: Desire
In English

Chanteuse Melissa Errico, working in collaboration with New Yorker writer 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. Both Errico and Gopnik bring sterling reputations forged in the U.S. and France to this project.

This evening of music and conversation about desire considers the French art of seduction and its American responses. In particular, it dives into the ways sex has become entangled in other matters of pleasure and life. Appetites for love and food, a classic French pairing, take up much of the evening, with songs from Adam Gopnik's musical Our Table and the Broadway adaptation of The Baker's Wife. The second half of the evening focuses on the equally potent French duo of seduction and fashion. Selections include Funny Face, Coco, French art songs, and the best of Broadway.

Melissa Errico and Adam Gopnik will present the third part of the series, Mystery, on Thursday, May 6, at 7pm.

Click here for more information.

Friday, February 5 through Sunday, February 15, 2021
Animation First 2021


Virtual Film Festival

The only film festival in the US dedicated to artistry of French animation returns for a fourth edition. Shifting to an online platform, Animation First brings its exhilarating mix of US premieres, new restorations of classics, eclectic shorts, and provocative documentaries to its broadest audience ever. Additionally, a complimentary schedule of works-in-progress presentations of highly anticipated films, talks with acclaimed filmmakers, and participatory workshops will be presented. A full schedule will be announced at a later date.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, February 16 through Sunday, February 28, 2021
La Boxeuse amoureuse


Recorded dance performance to live music from La Seine Musicale in Boulogne-Billancourt
With singer-songwriter Arthur H and dancer Marie-Agnès Gillot
In French with English subtitles

French singer-songwriter Arthur H-three-time winner of France's Victoire de la music, the country's highest musical honor-and former Paris Opera Ballet étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot combine for a symbolic battle, filled with emotion and ambiguity. In 2017, Arthur H released a music video portraying a poetic sparring match between Gillot and actor Roschdy Zem. The clip has been viewed more than 4 million times. Three years later, the Seine Musicale invited musician and dancer to develop the video into a live performance. Gillot transforms the Seine Musicale into a boxing ring where she stages a series of confrontations with Olympic boxing champion Souleymane Cissokho and athletes Staiv Gentis and Tom Duquesnoy. They are accompanied by Arthur H performing his varied and eclectic catalogue drawing influences from Bach, jazz, blues, gypsy, and Middle Eastern music with instrumentalist Nicolas Repac. These six performers, through their various styles, combine music, dance, and physical prowess to create a unique and total performance.

Click here for more information.


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