May 03 2011
For most of the year, pickings are rather thin for film buffs in Kuala Lumpur. Unless you are happy with the most mainstream of Hollywood fare, and the occasional Asian martial arts movie, the choice on offer at the city’s many cinemas is distinctly disappointing.
Which is why this May is a special month for anyone who wants to see the silver screen lit up by something a little less ordinary. The key reason for this is Malaysia’s 10th French Art and Film Festival, which runs from May 12 to 31.
Put together by the Alliance Francaise, the festival will showcase a range of French culture. As well as movies, the programme includes live music, dance and theatre performances. It’s certainly an eclectic offering, with everything from a rock concert, to a French/Indonesian dance and poetry recital. Several of the events are free, while admission to others costs between 20 and 50 ringgit.
The core of the festival is the film section, which will give big screen outings for six French-language movies. It runs from May 12-21 in KL, and from May 26-31 in Penang. Tickets go on sale two days before each showing, and cost 10-12 ringgit. They need to be bought directly from Golden Screen Cinemas, the co-organiser of the film section. Follow this link for the full schedule.
The pick of the offerings are: L’Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker, 2010), a romantic comedy about a man whose job it is to break up couples; Micmacs a Tire-larigot (Micmacs, 2010), a black comedy centred on a personal revenge campaign against the arms industry, by the acclaimed director of Delicatessen and Amelie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet; and La Fille de Monaco (The Girl from Monaco, 2008), a comedy/drama about a hot-shot lawyer trying to defend an old man who’s been accused of murder.
In KL, the films will be shown at three different GSC outlets: The Pavilion, Midvalley Megamall and One Utama. In Penang, they will be shown at GSC Gurney Plaza.
Outside the festival, the Alliance Francaise gives people the opportunity to see the best of French movies, both classic and contemporary. Screenings are held most Fridays at 20:30. Admission is free for members of Cinem’alliance, which costs 50 ringgit a year to join.
Moving on from French-language offerings, May also provides the chance to see a selection of movies based on the works of William Shakespeare. First up is Peter Brook’s stark interpretation of King Lear (1971) on May 8; followed by Michael Hoffman’s star-studded take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999) on May 22; and rounded off by Julie Teymor’s radical re-imagining of The Tempest (2010) on May 29. All the performances start at 15:00, at the KL Performing Arts Centre. Admission is free.
15 Lorong Gurney, Kuala Lumpur.
T: (03) 2694 7880
Golden Screen Cinemas
T: (03) 8312 3456
Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre
Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 4047 0910 (enquiries); (03) 4047 0900 (box office)
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