Classic French Film Festival

March 13, 2015 to March 29, 2015
Webster U./Moore

The Seventh Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival -- co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series -- celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1930s through the early 1990s, offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations.

This year features recent restorations of eight works, including an extended director’s cut of Patrice Chéreau’s historical epic “Queen Margot”; a New York-set film noir (“Two Men in Manhattan”) by crime-film maestro Jean-Pierre Melville, who also co-stars; a short feature (“A Day in the Country”) by Jean Renoir, on a double bill with the 2006 restoration of his masterpiece, “The Rules of the Game”; and the wild comic adventure “That Man from Rio” with New Wave icon Jean-Paul Belmondo and the tragically short-lived Françoise Dorléac. The fest also features a trio of other newly restored films -- Robert Bresson’s “A Man Escaped,” Leos Carax’s “Boy Meets Girl,” and Eric Rohmer’s “A Tale of Winter” -- and the 2002 restoration of Jean Cocteau’s timeless version of “Beauty and the Beast.” Every program features introductions and discussions by film scholars and critics. The discussions will place the works in the contexts of both film and French history and provide close analyses. All films are in French with English subtitles.

Venue: Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood Ave.

Tickets: $12 general admission; $10 for students, Cinema St. Louis members, and Alliance Française members; free for Webster U. students.

Advance tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at In the “Find an Event” search box, type “Classic French.” A service charge will apply, and only full-price $12 tickets are available in advance.

Download a PDF of the program book here.

Friday, March 27 at 7:30pm
Director: Jacques Tati
1958, 116 min., color, new restoration

Slapstick prevails again when Jacques Tati’s eccentric, old-fashioned hero, Monsieur Hulot, is set loose in Villa Arpel, the geometric, oppressively ultramodern home of his brother-in-law, and in the antiseptic...

With an introduction and post-film discussion by Jean-Louis Pautrot, professor of French and international studies at St. Louis University.

Saturday, March 28 at 7:30pm
Director: Eric Rohmer
1992, 114 min., color, new restoration

Eric Rohmer was unsurpassed at creating intelligent romantic comedies and intelligent female characters. “A Tale of Winter,” one of his most genial and audacious films, is a superb example of both. With Rohmer’s...

With an introduction and post-film discussion by Robert Hunt, former film critic for the Riverfront Times and former adjunct professor of film studies at Webster University.

Sunday, March 29 at 7:30pm
Director: Robert Bresson
1956, 101 min., B&W, new restoration

With the simplest of concepts and sparest of techniques, Robert Bresson made one of the most suspenseful jailbreak films of all time in “A Man Escaped.” Based on the account of an imprisoned French Resistance leader...

With an introduction and post-film discussion by Pier Marton, video artist and self-designated unlearning specialist at the School of No Media.