by John Tarpley
Little Rock may be a burgeoning hub for movie appreciation, but it's still a rough place for staunch cinefiles. Netflix, Hulu, Mubi and, a new favorite, Fandor, are invaluable freeways for film geeks, but as our way of accessing hard-to-find greats gets easier and easier, one fact remains truer than ever: Movies are meant to be seen, studied, enjoyed and appreciated with others, at once, on a screen. That's why I'm thrilled about Fete du Film, a small-but-mighty series of three French films, chosen by UALR's Department of World Languages and the Arkansas Arts Center as part of the museum's ongoing Francocentric exhibit, "The Impressionists and Their Influence." The series begins on Thursday with an enormously entertaining classic from early master Rene Clair, "Under the Roofs of Paris." (No, I'm not typing out the French title; my pretentiousness actually does know an end, y'all.)
The series returns on May 5 with "The Story of Adele H.," new wave icon Francois Truffaut's period piece about Victor Hugo's daughter, and ends on June 2 with "Seraphine," Martin Provost's 2008 film about turn-of-the-century art figures Seraphine Louis and Wilhelm Unde, which took home the "Best Film" Cesar Award, the French equivalent of the Oscars.