The following post is student work from the WICE feature-writing course – Paris, Mai 2019
L Adieu a la Nuit (Farewell to Darkness)
film review by Mo. Amaudry
Andre Techine’s latest movie, which stars the iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve, is an intense and poignant thriller about a dysfunctional family facing contemporary cultural issues.
Inspired by journalist David Thomson’s series of interviews with French radicalised youth, the film tells the story of an attractive and well bred young man, who comes to visit his grandmother before taking off to seek his fortune in Canada, or so we are led to believe.
Deneuve is his only family left and as a grand mother, the actress breaks away from the ice- queen image, for which she is known since appearing on the cover of Time magazine a couple of decades ago as the most beautiful blonde in the world. Here she plays a dark-haired grandma ‘to look more authentic’ she claims, wearing riding boots and plaid shirts, running a ranch in the wild Basque country.
The story is set against the rough, sunny and beautiful coastline in Southwest France. We initially watch a lunar eclipse quickly clearing up to show a large cherry tree orchard in full bloom where Deneuve is stalking a wild boar with her rifle. She intimidates them but lets him get away.
The carefully crafted story line shows sunny life on the ranch, where young kids riding thorough bred horses are celebrating a horse race. But Deneuve’s grandson Alex, is conspicuously absent, as he is planning his pending departure to new horizons.
We soon discover the dark menace ahead when Alex goes to meet his muslin girlfriend. She is a social worker, but has also become a member of a group of jihadists. She is the leading force behind Alex’s indoctrination to radical Islam.
Techine s film flows smoothly from one scene to another to set off the intergenerational conflicts, in today’s society. Deneuve tries everything to prevent her grandson from leaving, while Alex is determined to do whatever it takes to pursue his goal.
The beauty and intensity of the movie is found through cinematographer Julian Hirsch camera which criss-crosses the emotional and physical paths followed by the protagonists, while the tension and the passion mounts on both sides to lead to a conclusion which will leave both sides deeply bruised but with a ray of hope.
Techina, who is 76 and has previously shot 8 movies with Deneuve, sticks successfully to his detached approach to story telling and does not pass judgement on the characters, leaving the viewer to think hard and long about the issues facing a dysfunctional society.
Deneuve gives a poignant performance as a grandmother attempting to save her grandson from his deadly fate. She leads the film with grace and dignity and her unabashed determination. Turning 75 this year, still attractive and ageing gracefully, she is one of the most important actresses of our time having worked with the greatest film directors such as Luis Bunuel, Roman Polanski, Jacques Demis, and Francois Truffaut. Today, she keeps playing leading roles in films dealing with serious societal and cultural issues with the talent and skill that have infatuated her viewers for the past 7 decades!
L’ Adieu a la Nuit, (Farewell to Darkness) DVD will be out next August.
New date: June 20 2019 // 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Location : Meeting point: Le Centquatre entrance, 4 rue Curial
WICE Members & Their Guests – €35.00 (Bring additional €6 for entry fee)Registration >
Examples of architectural works by Le Corbusier, Guimard, and Mallet-Stevens are represented in the 16eme district. With ornate 19th century building, large avenues, museum, and various parks, the 16eme has been one of French high society’s favorites residential neighborhoods. The walk and visit will take you to the house “Maison la Roche” and to Rue Mallet-Stevens, which demonstrated many examples of his style. You’ll also discover the Art Nouveau work of architect Hector Guimard. This visit is guided by the knowledgeable art historian, Catherine Estivalezes.
June 6, 2019// 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Location: 55, rue du Docteur Blanche, 75016 PARIS
WICE Members, €35.00
Jamika Ajalon is an Inter-disciplinary artist working as a poet, songwriter, performer and artist. She's published and performed internationally both solo and collaboratively. Jamika's words display a particular reverence for the sheer musical quality built-in to words. Often in both her writing and spoken word, she sculpts language into unique objects that come fresh to our ears. As result, her texts encourage us to meditate on tone and the percussive nature of words as single note or a connecting phrase – and of course, the overall meaning and power within the alternating delivery of her language.
Jamika will be presenting selected works from her latest book of poetry at WICE Saturday, April 13, 6-8pm combining spoken word alongside improvised electronic soundscape. Refreshments will be served. Words will be served to your ears!
Join instructor, Catherine Estivalezes, on this guided tour of the open air garden that is the infamous Père Lachaise cemetery for fascinating look at the final resting place for the Who’s Who of artists, musicians, actors, composers, scientists, and inventors. Among those buried there are Molière, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Édith Piaf and Jim Morrison.
Père Lachaise, founded in 1804 by Napoléon, was one of the first garden cemeteries. With more than 3.5 million visitors annually, it is the most visited necropolis in the world. The garden is a mix between an English park and a shrine with a mix of styles featurturing Gothic graves, Haussmanian burial chambers, and ancient mausoleums.
Enjoy a glass of wine and meet, greet, and catch-up with fellow WICE members, friends, and volunteers.
Tuesday, April 30th / 5:30pm-7pm
Register here >
Vertical tastings, for those like me that aren't in the know, is when you’re tasting one bottling from one winery over the course of years, with multiple vintages. By making sure everything else stays the same (the land, the varietal, etc), you can simply examine between the years themselves. The influence of yearly climate is more present in this type of tasting.
Join wine expert Hélène Goble in this sampling of five different vintages from Château Corbin Wines, which is one of the oldest estates of Saint-Emilion, in Bordeaux. The 13-hectare Corbin vineyard is mainly planted with the merlot grape variety.
April 18, 2019 / 7:30PM-10:30PM
Location: Instructor's Residence, 75016 Paris: metro Boissière
WICE Members & Their Guests €70.00
Home made nibbles to be served
Military and art enthusiasts alike will be sure to enjoy this guided visit to the Musée de la Légion d’Honneur – an elegant neoclassical mansion first built in 1782 as Hôtel de Salm. Since 1925, it has been both home and museum for France's honors, medals, decorations – as well as knightly orders from Louis XI to the present. Not to mention Napoleonic relics and hundreds of portraits. Join WICE on a guided tour and discover this wonderful collection of military and civil decorations from France and beyond.
17 Apr 2019, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
2, rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris
Fellow scribes, WICE has some exciting wordy courses and events coming up in March and April for prose and poetry…
Begin with what I call the 3Ps (Pain, paper, and pen!) where former Paris Writers Workshop participants and published authors poet Pamela Manché Pearce and memoirist Debra Whittam impart their personal experiences on taking painful experiences and putting them into words in "Writing Their Hearts Out: Women Writers on Love, Loss and Recovery".
Then my poetry pets, join David Barnes for a 6-week course where you can develop in-class and home your own poetry writing “Craft and Inspiration” – a motivating class to get both the pen and artistic spirit flowing!
And to round things up, WICE author and multi-talented artist Jamika Ajalon, will be reading a select works from her latest book of poetry along with live improvised electronic soundscape. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.
Visit the following page for all writing course information or click the links below for more info and registration...
Writing Their Hearts Out: Women Writers on Love, Loss and Recovery: Sunday, 31 March 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Writing Poetry: Craft and Inspiration: Thursdays, 4 April - 9 May 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM (six sessions)
Jamika Ajalon Presents: Take Back the Narrative
(Refreshments served)Saturday, 13 April 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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