Clap! _ that's what the French Film Festival is called now, and clap-worthy it's likely to be with a parade of eight French films from award-winning titles to comedy and animation.
The festival runs from Wednesday to Feb 20 at SFX Emporium, with a special programme on Feb 14 for Valentine's Day, featuring a double bill fit for lovers of all temperaments at Museum Siam: The Artist and The Intouchables, two of the most successful French films from last year.
Other highlights _ screened at SFX Emporium _ include Michael Haneke's Amour, a Palme d'Or winner starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as an old couple facing the ultimate test of their love, Polisse, a gripping, propelling story of a police precinct facing all kinds of public horror and personal problems, and Happiness Never Comes Alone, a romantic comedy starring Sophie Marceau.
For those wanting to take les enfants along, there's The Rabbi's Cat, and haute-cuisine fans will enjoy The Chef, a story about neverending kitchen aspirations.
Whilst the open-air Valentine's Day screening is free, tickets for the other films will be 120 baht, and 100 baht for students.
Call 02-268-8888 or visit the SF (www.sfcinemacity.com) and Clap! (www.cooperation-ambafrance-th.org/clap) websites, or go to the tickets area at SFX cinema Emporium (6th floor).
Wednesday at 7pm and Feb 16 at 4.10pm
- From Paris in the 60s to 21st-century London, Madeleine and her daughter Vera waltz in and out of the lives of the men they love. But not every era allows us to love blithely and light-heartedly. How are we to resist the sands of time that erode our deepest feelings?
Valentine's Day at 7pm
- Winner of the Oscar for best picture, the story takes place in 1927 Hollywood. George Valentin is a very successful silent movie star, but the arrival of talking films will mark the end of his career. Peppy Miller, a young female extra, becomes a major movie star. This movie tells the story of their crossed destiny, and how celebrity, pride and money can be obstacles to their love story.
Valentine's Day at 9pm
- The biggest hit in France last year, this drama/comedy follows two seemingly opposite characters. After a paragliding accident, Philippe, a rich aristocrat, hires Driss, a young guy from the projects, recently released from prison, as his caregiver. In other words, the person least suited for the job. Together they blend Vivaldi and Earth, Wind and Fire, elegant diction and street jive, suits and sweatpants.
Feb 15 at 7pm and Feb 17 at 7.10
- The daily grind of the cops at the Police Department's Juvenile Protection Unit means taking in child molesters, busting underage pickpockets, chewing over relationship issues at lunch, interrogating abusive parents, taking statements from children, confronting the excesses of teen sexuality, enjoying solidarity with colleagues and laughing uncontrollably at the most unthinkable moments _ knowing that the worst exists and living with it.
The Rabbi's Cat
Feb 16 at 2pm and Feb 17 at 5pm
- Algiers, 1920s. Rabbi Sfar has more than one problem: his beautiful daughter is becoming a teenager and above all, his parrot-killing cat has just started talking!
Happiness Never Comes Alone
Feb 16 at 7pm
- Sacha loves his friends, his piano, partying. At night, he plays in a jazz club and seduces beautiful women. He lives for the moment, for pleasure; no alarm clock, no commitments, no taxes. Charlotte has three children, two ex-husbands and a professional career to manage. She has no place for a love affair. They have nothing in common. They are different in every way. They're made for each other.
Feb 17 at 2pm
- Jacky Bonnot, 32, a fan of haute cuisine with a definite talent, dreams of success and opening great restaurants. However, because he is struggling financially with his wife, he has to take menial cooking jobs that lead nowhere _ until the day he meets Alexandre Vauclair, a renowned chef, whose comfortable situation is endangered by the financial group that owns his restaurants.
Big Is Beautiful
Feb 18 at 7pm
- Nina is young, pretty and plump. Unfortunately her husband Gaspard only likes very slender women. To try to seduce Gaspard once again, Nina reluctantly accepts her husband's gift: a slimming treatment at the Brides-les-Bains spa _ the last resort for fat folks who have tried everything else.
A Gang Story
Feb 19 at 7pm
- What became of the Gang des Lyonnais, the most famous French gang who left its mark on France's history in the 1970s with its spectacular operations? How can you cast out old demons and get back to a normal life when you have committed one of the biggest armed robberies of organised crime in French history?
Feb 20 at 5pm
The Palme d'Or winner from Cannes Film Festival last year (and a contender at the Oscars), the French-speaking film by Austrian director Michael Haneke works like silent poison. Georges and Anne are in their 80s. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple's bond of love is severely put to the test.