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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    New Wave classics crash into The Loft


    The French are invading Tucson this month at the Loft Cinema with four must-see French New Wave films every week.

    “”New Wave a Go-Go,”” the Loft’s French film series, encompasses 50 years of “”quasi-experimental French films,”” Loft representative Jeff Yanc said. Four diverse films will adorn the Loft’s screen every Wednesday during the month of October, as a tribute to the zany genre.

    The New Wave film movement became a blanket term among critics describing certain French filmmakers’ characteristics in the 1950s and ’60s.

    “”New Wave is a lot different than what was happening in Hollywood in the ’50s and ’60s,”” Yanc said. “”They have a lot of jazz influence, really interesting editing and weird songs that pop up throughout the films.””

    The first of the series, “”The 400 Blows,”” is marking its 50th anniversary this year, giving film aficionados and The Loft a reason to celebrate. Directed by Francois Truffaut, “”The 400 Blows”” is considered ground zero of the genre. The semi-autobiographical film tells the story of Antoine Doinel, a troublemaker among his teachers and mother. When he starts getting in trouble for the most minor offenses, he turns his lies into larger ordeals.

    The other three films in the series, Jean-Pierre Melville’s “”Le Doulos,”” (“”The Informant””), Claude Chabrol’s “”Les Bonnes Femmes,”” (“”The Good Girls””) and Jean-Luc Godard’s “”Band of Outsiders”” (a favorite of Quentin Tarantino, who named his production company after it), round out the event. The Loft specifically picked these films to support “”The 400 Blows.”” This selection also includes all the big directors of the movement in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

    Not only do attendees get to enjoy the genre’s racy topics, but each movie begins with a French-pop music video. “”They are kind of sexy and weird,”” Yanc said of the music videos. “”We called it ‘New Wave A Go-Go’ to make it fun and not a bunch of stingy old art films.””

    Incorporating other mediums is exactly what The Loft is aiming to do. On top of the French music videos, The Loft is also giving out French passports to attendees of the first film. With the passport, film watchers are entered into a drawing where they can win prizes such as DVDs.

    The Loft loves the genre so much that they are extending the films to other regular series held at the theatre. Essential Cinema, a free series the theatre holds every month on Sundays at 1 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. is hosting the 1960 French horror film “”Les Yeux Sans Visage”” (or “”Eyes Without a Face””). The critically acclaimed film is yet another addition to the month-long tribute to classic French cinema.

    “”The Beaches of Agnes”” also makes an appearance as part of the Tuesday night “”One Hit Wonders”” series. The documentary tells the autobiographical tale of filmmaker Agnes Varda, who revolutionized French New Wave cinema with films like “”Cleo From 5 to 7.”” The film explores her looking back on her experience and influence in New Wave. Just in time for audience members to go back the next night and enjoy the genre on the screen.

    “”People should be really excited to see it,”” Yanc said of the series. “”There is a big audience for French films in Tucson.””

    But Yanc hopes that the younger crowd will also show up. The series isn’t about showing boring black and white art films to an older audience; the Loft selected films to appeal to everyone from long-time New Wave lovers and people who have never heard of the genre before.

    “”We probably shouldn’t have waited until the 50th anniversary””, Yanc said. “”But here we are doing it, and we are excited.””

    “”New Wave A Go-Go”” screens every Wednesday in October at 7 p.m. at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd. Admission is $6.00 for general and $4.75 for Loft members. Call 795-7777 for more information.

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