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March 24th, 2008
French film festival to be held at Alkek Library

By Marc Speir

The Department of Modern Languages at Texas State University-San Marcos is hosting the Tournées French Film Festival and Symposium March 25 to April 3.

The festival consists of five screenings of recent films from France, including one French, German, Austrian and Italian co-production. All films start at 6:30 p.m. in the Alkek teaching theatre on campus.

Each film is the center of an informal presentation and post-screening discussion by a professor from Texas State. A symposium on European Cinema comparing and contrasting styles of film and cultural perceptions will also take place April 3 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Southwestern Writers Collection on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library. All events are free and open to the public.

The symposium highlights speakers from several departments within Texas State, including modern languages, art history and philosophy. Maria Elena Solino from the University of Houston will deliver a lecture on Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Michael Harney, professor of Spanish and comparative literature from the University of Texas at Austin, will be the keynote speaker discussing a film by British director Ridley Scott, “Kingdom of Heaven.”

Carole Martin, associate professor of French, says that the festival will give students ways of looking at film from an international perspective.

“Studying European cinema and comparing it to American film is a good way to get a better understanding of the medium, even from the standpoint of Hollywood standards,” said Martin. “Films from around the world allow you to assess these standards by presenting the audience with a different set of expectations, both in terms of tempo and psychological treatment. Seeing a European film is an experiment in cultural differentiation.”

The festival is sponsored by the French American Cultural Exchange, the Department of Modern Languages, the Mitte Honors Program, Multicultural Students Affairs, the College of Liberal Arts, the University Print Shop and Cool Mint Café

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