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French Film Festival set for Feb 25-28 at Waccamaw

February 12, 2010

Coastal Carolina University's Osher Institute of Lifelong Learning (OLLI) will host its sixth annual French Film Festival from Thursday Feb. 25 to Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Universitys Waccamaw Higher Education Center at 160 Willbrook Blvd. off U.S. 17 in Litchfield.

The event, organized by OLLI's contemporary foreign film instructor Josette Sharwell, is made possible with the support of the American Association of Teachers of French, the Qubec Delegation in Atlanta and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and CulturesFrance. Admission for students and OLLI members, free; others, $2 donation at the door.

Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. Oscar-winner Claude Lelouchs thriller-romance "Roman de gare" ("Crossed Tracks"), 2007 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection. The film focuses on three lives about to cross in the still of the night: a woman abandoned at a service station, a stranger who may be a killer or a ghostwriter or a runaway husband, and a bestselling author who imagines the thriller of the year.

Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. 2009 Best French Film "Sraphine," winner of seven Cesars (French Oscars) and Lumire & Etoile dOr Awards for Best Actress. The film tells the life story of visionary maid/painter Sraphine de Senlis who was discovered in 1913 by German avant-garde art dealer Wilhem Uhde. In her spare time, cleaning lady Sraphine immerses herself in the wonders of nature, and the natural world inspires her to express her feelings on canvas. Desperately poor, she makes her own paints from the earth, blood from the butcher shop and oil stolen from the votive candles at church. When the new tenant Wilhelm Uhde takes over the house where she works, her life takes a turn.

Saturday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. "L'Heure Zro" is an old-fashioned mystery transposed to the present from Agatha Christies "Towards Zero." Guillaume, his ex-wife Aude and current wife Caroline head to his aunt Camillas Pointe aux Mouettes clifftop manse in the beautiful Brittany resort of Dinard and right into an explosive mix of murder, twists and turns. Low-key retro-fun and thoroughly French, the film remains faithful to the spirit of Agatha Christie.

Saturday, at 4 p.m. "Paris," written and directed by Cedric Klapisch ("L'Auberge espagnole") stars Juliette Binoche and Romain Duris in a love letter to the City of Lights and its inhabitants. While Pierre, a professional dancer just diagnosed with serious heart disease, waits for a heart transplant, he observes the people around him from the balcony of his Paris apartment and witnesses their lives.

Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m. "C'est pas moi, je le jure" ("Its Not Me, I Swear"), called Home Alone in Montreal by some critics, a 10-year-old in 1960s' Qubec who does just about anything (arson, larceny, vandalism) to prevent his parents from splitting up. The film received Best Cinematography Award and four nominations at the 2009 Jutra (Qubec Oscars), and Best Feature and Grand Prize at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival.

Sunday at 4 p.m. "Le Couperet" ("The Ax") is a black humor comedy in the vein of "Kind Hearts and Coronets," directed by fabled filmmaker Costa-Gavras who also wrote the script based on a novel by Donald Westlake. Bruno is a hard-working man in his 40s when he loses his job due to restructuring. After spending two years looking for work without success, he is pushed to contemplate getting rid of the competition literally.

All films are in French with English subtitles. Seating is limited. For directions or more information, call 843-349-4030.