Gounod – Faust

Broadcast from the Opéra de Paris

Opera in five acts | 1859 | music: Charles Gounod | libretto: Jules Barbier and Michel Carré | conductor: Alain Altinoglu director: Jean-Louis Martinoty | orchestra: Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus performers include: Roberto Alagna, Inva Mula, Paul Gay | running time: 205 mins including one interval | sung in French with English subtitles

The emblem of French opera and one of its greatest successes. Few works have been loved and respected as this Faust… More faithful than we might imagine to Goethe, it inspired in Gounod a turbulent lyricism and unforgettable trepidation.

£15, conc. £12, students £8
opera-de-paris     fondation-orange     fra-cinema

The New Digital Wave – How Has New Technology Impacted on the Arts in the UK and France?

Bureau Export, the Institut Français, Noise of Art and Mairie de Paris are collaborating on a series of events, French Digital Waves, in and around this year’s Convergence Festival (12th-20th March), highlighting French pioneers and new talent working at the bleeding edges of art, technology and music.

This discussion looks at what it means to be an artist in the digital age in the UK and France, how new multi-disciplinary works are funded, and how they’re received by critics and the public.

On the panel are Pierre Lefeuvre aka electronic artist Saycet; visual artist Hugo Arcier; academic and researcher Jean-Paul Fourmentraux; programmer of the Lyon-based festival Nuits Sonores Pierre-Marie Oullion; James Bulley (Living Symphonies, Goldsmiths Sound Practice Research Unit, New Radiophonic Workshop); and Graham Daniels of British duo Addictive TV.

2.30pm – 5.30pm | Free but reservation compulsory: london@french-music.org

It’s All About Piano

Let’s make our own portrait gallery!

Join Jacky Bahbout and Hannah Warren, author and illustrator of Funny Face!, for a hands-on workshop. Inspired by famous portraits throughout art history, kids will use collage and other techniques to create their own fun portraits. They’ll also contribute to a large-scale mural, together creating their very own gallery of funny faces!

As part of VIEW: A Festival of Art History

Vikings – Live from the British Museum

This filmed guided tour of the British Museum’s spectacular 2014 Vikings exhibition, offers an extraordinary insight into how these great warriors shaped modern life. Curator Gareth Williams brings the exhibition to life, alongside experts on Viking ships and swords, burial and beliefs, language and legacy in a private tour presented by historians and broadcasters Bettany Hughes and Michael Wood and featuring British Museum Director Neil MacGregor.

Preceded by a Q&A with exhibition curators Peter Pentz (National Museum of Denmark) and Gareth Williams (British Museum)

As part of View: A Festival of Art History

Photo credit: Pin with Dragon’s Head. Hedeby, Germany, AD 950–1000. Wikinger Museum Haithabu, Schleswig. Background photo: Jan Steiner.

Girl with a pearl earring and other treasures from the Mauritshuis Museum

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is one of the most enduring yet mysterious paintings in the history of art. Who was this girl? Why and how was it painted? Why is it so revered? Enjoying unparalleled access to the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, the film takes the audience on a journey as it seeks to answer many of the questions surrounding this enigmatic painting and explores the other masterpieces housed in the collection.

As part of View: A Festival of Art History

Gamekeeper turned poacher: From art historian to artist

Ancient Egypt: The faces that defined a civilisation

The spirit of Versailles: Contemporary art at the Palace

Can art history help define civilisations?

What does ‘avant-garde’ mean for the art historian?

How do the preservation and restoration of artworks determine the course of art history?

This is (not) a masterpiece: Challenging and re-defining the artistic canon

Fresh Out of School

En sortant de l’école is a collection of 13 animated short films – 3 minutes each – which aims at matching 13 poems from Jacques Prévert with the talent and graphic creativity of young directors, just out of French animation schools. The collection is a real tribute to the free spirit of Prévert.

As part of Totally Serialized festival

Le Rêve de Galiléo

Le Rêve de Galileo presents five delightful short animation films about the sky and the stars. Come explore the galaxy with us!


A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realise that city life is not at all what he had imagined…

Le Petit monde de Léo

Frogs, fish, field mice: animals are celebrated in this programme of five cartoons adapted from the wonderful stories of Leo Lionni.

Match d’Improvisation

Vous l’avez adoré ou manqué l’an dernier, il a eu un fort succès, le match d’improvisation est de retour cette année !
Inventée par Robert Gravel et Yvon Leduc à Montréal en 1977, la règle de ce jeu théâtral est simple et le divertissement est garanti. Des équipes internationales unies par l’amour de la langue française s’affrontent dans la bonne humeur pour être sacrées reines de l’improvisation par un public qui valorisera l’humour et la créativité par-dessus tout.
Des acteurs venus spécialement de Belgique, du Canada, de France, du Québec, de Suisse et de Tunisie devront concevoir des saynètes dans la bonne humeur et l’amour de la diversité francophone !

£10, tarif réduit £8



Max Linder and Fantômas in Music

With live musical accompaniment by Pierre-Yves Plat

Les Débuts de Max au cinéma

France | 1910 | b&w | 7 mins | dir. Max Linder | cert. U | silent

Fantômas, à l’ombre de la guillotine

France | 1913 | b&w | 54 mins | dir. Louis Feuillade | cert. PG | silent

Pierre-Yves Plat will improvise on Les Débuts de Max au cinéma and Fantômas, à l’ombre de la guillotine, two French classics respectively created by Max Linder and Louis Feuillade in 1910 and 1913.

£15, members £12 Piano Pass and students £8

Part of It’s All About Piano Festival

Hôtel du Nord

This much-loved classic of poetic realism is shot on a beautiful set in a corner of working-class Paris, with most of the action taking place at the seedy, canal- side hotel of the film’s title. The drama centres on two pairs of lovers – a sad young couple who have checked into the hotel to carry out a suicide pact, and a prostitute and her gangster boyfriend played by Arletty and Louis Jouvet in performances of impressive emotional depth.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Ciné Salon with Nick Walker

La Traversée de Paris

Paris, 1943. Martin, a taxi-driver out of work because of the petrol shortage, scrapes a living by transporting black- market beef. He meets Grandgil, whom he takes for an unemployed painter and decorator, and suggests they should work together. Grandgil goes with him in Jambier, a grocer, who asks them to deliver a pig (packed in four suitcases) to the other side of Paris.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Ciné Salon with Nick Walker

Porte des Lilas

L’Artiste is an unemployed impoverished man who dwells in his own, derelict house with his likewise unemployed best friend Juju. One day they come across the wanted criminal Barbier hiding in their home. Juju admires the threefold murderer, yet when he witnesses him bragging about having compromised a girl for financial benefit, his feelings turn straight into the opposite and he shoots Barbier dead.

Entr’acte & Paris qui dort


France | 1924 | b&w | 22 mins | dir. René Clair, with Jean Börlin, Inge Frïss, Francis Picabia | cert. U | silent

Paris qui dort

France | 1924 | b&w | 35 mins | dir. René Clair, with Henri Rollan, Charles Martinelli, Louis Pré Fils | cert. U | silent

Possibly the only purely ‘Dadaist’ film in history, René Clair’s 1924 Entr’acte features Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp, with a score composed by Erik Satie. It will be followed by the screening of Paris qui dort, René Clair’s 1925 surreal science-fiction comedy.

As part of View: A Festival of Art History

Pelo malo

Follow the story of nine-year old Junior who lives with his frazzled, irritable single mother and baby sister. He can do no good in his mother’s eyes. Thus he longs for straight hair in the hope it will give her a change of heart, but she doesn’t seem remotely interested in his efforts. Junior and his friend – another outsider – then try to secure the funds to have their school photos taken in the idealised roles of a crooner and a beauty queen in an attempt to fit in their community. Artist and filmmaker Mariana Rondón offers a distinctive and highly engaging commentary on mother love grounded in a trio of committed performances.

As part of the ‘Did You Miss It?’ strand
Special price: £8, conc. £6

The Lack

With its four variations on the theme of ‘absence’, The Lack is a film featuring six female characters: six women immersed in a silent and primitive natural environment, who undertake a journey of self-discovery in a sublime, mysterious setting. They experience abandonment, separation, courage and exertion and, through this inner voyage, try to put the broken pieces back together and fill the emptiness in their lives.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Q&A with directors Iacopo Bedogni and Niccolò Massazza aka Masbedo (tbc)

So Far So Good

This is the last weekend for five guys who studied and lived in the same house. That naive, exciting and protected time of life is about to end, and they will have to become responsible adults. Each of them will go in a different direction, making choices that will change everything. This is the story of the last three days during which five friends share what might be the best time of their life, a moment they will never forget.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Q&A with director Roan Johnson (tbc)

Darker than Midnight

Fourteen years old Davide’s delicate and effeminate looks do not fit in with his father’s ideas of what a boy should be like. Fleeing the constant conflicts at home, he is drawn to Catania’s biggest public park, a world apart whose regulars live on the margins of society. But his double life becomes untenable, and Davide is inexorably pushed into impossible choices that he has to face alone.

Followed by a Q&A with director Sebastiano Riso (tbc)

Good for Nothing

Giovanni has moved to a far away office, which forces him to leave his beloved neighbourhood. Between his officemates, a hellish neighbour, and his ex-wife’s impossible demands, Gianni has his share of aggravation. Meanwhile, Marco, a gentle soul, is in love with Cinzia, his young colleague who walks all over him and strings him along. He joins forces with Gianni embarking on a silent crusade against the world’s evils.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Q&A with actress Valentina Lodovini (tbc)

Quiet Bliss

A playing-out of the economic crisis afflicting our ‘global village’ takes place in a small town in the Salento, at the tip of the heel of Italy. In grazia di dio tells the story of four women from one family who face crisis as their small textile factory on the fringe of western Europe heads for bankruptcy. Obliged to sell their house and their factory, they have no other choice but to move back to the land to start a new life.

Followed by a Q&A with director Edoardo Winspeare and actress Celeste Casciaro (tbc)

The Mafia Kills Only in Summer

The day the Mafioso Vito Ciancimino is elected mayor of Palermo is also the day Arturo is born, and this coincidence will have many consequences on his life. He has two obsessions: his love for Flora and the frightening connections between his city and the Mafia. This second obsession isolates him from everybody, including Flora, until events prove him right.

Followed by a Q&A with director Pierfrancesco Diliberto (tbc)

The Ice Forest

A mystery lurks behind the apparent tranquillity of an Alpine village. As a storm approaches menacingly in the background, Pietro, a young expert technician, comes to the valley to repair a malfunction at the high-altitude electrical plant. He is suddenly involved in a strange disappearence. When the young man figures out the origin of the secrets hidden in the heart of the valley, the tensions explode with extreme cruelty and spark a play of distorting mirrors in which everyone falls under the lens of suspicion.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Q&A with director Claudio Noce (tbc)


With no love or job, Angelo daydreams of a very normal life. Peppino, his father, never took great interest in his son. But after the death of his wife, he finally realises he knows nothing of his son. Perfidia is the story of father and son becoming closer too late.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Q&A with director Bonifacio Angius (tbc)

9×10 Novanta

The Istituto Luce turned ninety in 2014, its decades- long history intertwining with that of Italy itself, through cinema and that unique treasure trove of images known to all as the Luce Archives. To celebrate its anniversary, some of the most acclaimed rising filmmakers in Italy were invited to make a small film, with each director selecting ten minutes of footage from the archives. The result is an album of different narratives. The film footage speaks of the outbreak of war, implorations of peace; building collapses and reconstruction; recollections of (possibly) lost landscapes, and lost realities; miracles, superstitions and dreams.

£8, conc. £6

Greenery Will Bloom Again

1917. We are on the north-eastern front, following the last bloody battles on the Altopiano. Events follow one another without any kind of pattern: at times the waiting goes on so long that fear has one counting the minutes as they pass until the moment comes when it’s one’s turn to fight. And subsequently, the peaceful mountains become a scenery of dying men… Fiction meets history in this true story paying tribute to the memory of those who fell on these blood-drenched rocks.

Preceded by an introduction and followed by a Q&A with actor Claudio Santamaria and director of cinematography Fabio Olmi (tbc)

The Tree, the Mayor and the Médiathèque

The mayor (Pascal Greggory) of this unpolished provincial town has plans to replace a field with a ‘sport and cultural’ center, along with a large parking lot. The only overt opposition to this plan at the outset comes from an environmentally sensitive grammar school teacher (Fabrice Luchini). Meanwhile, the mayor who has fallen in love with one of the local dignitaries (Arielle Dombasle) finds his plans thwarted when his daughter and the daughter of the schoolteacher become friends.

Preceded by an introduction with French critic Antoine de Baecque, author of a biography of Eric Rohmer

Dior and I

Get a privileged, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the first haute couture collection by Raf Simons for the Christian Dior fashion house. Melding the everyday, pressure-filled, components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand’s past, Dior and I is also a colourful homage to the labour of love of the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision.

Continues in April

Elle l’adore

Muriel is a beautician. Talkative, a bit of a liar, she likes to tell fanciful tales. For twenty years, Muriel has also been the number one fan of a successful pop singer, Vincent Lacroix. His songs and concerts almost fill her entire life. When Vincent, her idol, knocks on Muriel’s door one night, her life is turned upside down. She is dragged into a tale that she never would have dared invent.

french film first exclusive


Based on a French comic book series, starring Ludivine Sagnier and Lola Lasseron, Lou! tells the charming and funny story of a creative twelve-year-old, living alone with her mother. She hangs out with her best friend Mina, and Tristan, her neighbour that she has been in love with since kindergarten. It is a tale on the exhilarating discoveries of adolescence.

french film first exclusive

Cinema Made in Italy

Cinema Made in Italy 2015 will kick off on 5 March at Ciné Lumière, celebrating its 5 th edition. The event has become an annual rendezvous, and is organised by the Promotion Office (Filmitalia) of Istituto Luce Cinecittà. It offers a 5-day showcase of the best recent Italian productions, most of them followed by Q&A sessions with directors and actors.

The festival’s programme includes a selection of eight titles made by the Italian film critic Maurizio Di Rienzo and a special choice of two films by Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London. Istituto Luce Cinecittà is also pleased to present a special screening to the audience of Cinema Made In Italy by showing 9×10, a collection of 9 short films by some of the most acclaimed rising filmmakers in Italy, who were invited to select and edit ten minutes of footage from the Istituto Luce Historical Film Archive.

Screenings as part of the Cinema Made in Italy festival are £12, conc. £10, unless otherwise specified


London’s Children Book Swap

Drop in and swap your old books for new favourites at La Médiathèque. It’s Valentine’s Day and we also want to show and declare our love for books and stories with some special crafty activities planned up!

From 12.00pm | Free | All ages

Zola’s Priests

With Dr Aude Campmas (University of Southampton), Professor Alison Finch (University of Cambridge), John Hackett (University of London) and Professor Patrick Pollard (University of London).

Info & booking: chantalsmorel@googlemail.com

Zola and Vizetelly

Translator’s Nightmare or Nightmare of a Translator?

With Dr Geoff Woollen (University of Glasgow)

£3, free for members of the Emile Zola Society

Info & booking: chantalsmorel@googlemail.com

The Passenger

Masterclass with actress Caroline Proust

Xavier Dolan Complete Retrospective

Aged only 25, the talented French-Canadian Xavier Dolan is the blue-eyed boy of the biggest international cinema festivals all around the world.

To celebrate the release of Mommy, which won the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Festival, Ciné Lumière dedicates to this already world acknowledged writer-director a complete retrospective of his five outstanding movies (I Killed My Mother, Laurence Anyways, Heartbeats, Tom at the Farm and Mommy). And surely, the best is yet to come.


Canadian whiz kid Xavier Dolan returns to his original oedipal obsession with Cannes Jury Prize winner Mommy. A feisty widowed single mom finds herself with the full- time custody of her rambunctious 15-year-old ADHD son. As they try to make ends meet and struggle with their unpredictable ménage, Kyla, the new neighbour offers her help. Together, they find a new sense of balance.

Continues in April

See also Xavier Dolan Complete Retrospective


Francis and Marie are close friends. One day, during lunch, they meet Nicolas, a young man from the country newly arrived in town. As one rendezvous leads troublingly to another, each of the two friends slides deeper into obsessive fantasies around the same object of desire. And the deeper they slide, the more their once cast-iron friendship begins to crack under the pressure of competing for the new kid on the block.

J’ai tué ma mère

Visually stunning, with exquisite performances from Dolan himself and a highly acclaimed cast, I Killed My Mother was the winner of two international film awards in 2009. The seventeen-year- old Hubert Minel hates his mother. Confused by a love/hate relationship which obsesses him more and more each day, and desperate to escape the suffocating atmosphere of his mother’s working- class, suburban home, he drifts through the mysteries of an adolescence both marginal and typical: artistic discoveries, illicit experiences, the opening-up to friendship, sex, and ostracism.

Marguerite Duras: Two Films on Voice & Image

Aurélia Steiner (Vancouver) France | 1979 | b&w | 48 mins | dir. Marguerite Duras
Aurélia Steiner (Melbourne) France | 1979 | col | 27 mins | dir. Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras is known best as a pillar of modernist French writing. But she also made distinctive experimental films, notably India Song in 1975, in which she detaches a voiced text from image, an effect that makes for a prayerful, meditative mood. She uses the same process in these two Aurelia Steiner films, blending her words to the images photographed by Pierre Lhomme, casting incantatory spell, in which we experience a state of waking dream.

Followed by a Q&A with Jonathan Whitehall & Sophie Mayer

Jonathan Whitehall is an artist whose practice explores temporality and desire. He completed his PhD by practice at the Royal College of Art, writing on the work of Duras; his article L’Image menaceé: Trois moments d’ Aurélia Steiner, was published in Photographies (Routledge). Working principally with video, drawing and photography, Whitehall’s work is informed by psychoanalytical theories of fantasy and subjectivity. He has exhibited internationally, most recently in /seconds, at Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah. His most recent publication is a collaboration with the artist Peter Fillingham, co-writing an article entitled Beyond Language: At the Seams of Seduction, in Derek Jarman Super 8, Ed. James Mackay, (Thames and Hudson). He currently teaches on the BA Fine Art, at Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design, London Metropolitan University.

Sophie Mayer is the author of The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love (Wallflower, 2009) and Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema (IB Tauris, 2015), as well as several collections of poetry. She is currently a lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University London, a member of queer feminist film curators Club des Femmes, and a regular contributor to Sight & Sound and The F-Word.

Ciné Lumière is delighted to partner with cinema collective A Nos Amours for this special screening.

The Duke of Burgundy

The Duke of Burgundy is a dazzling exploration of romance, relationships and desire from the multi-award winning director of Berberian Sound Studio. Every day Evelyn cycles to Cynthia’s mansion to work as a lowly maid – and every day the cruel, vindictive Cynthia inflicts countless sadistic humiliations upon her. But as the days go by and the pair begin to reveal themselves, it soon becomes clear that the humiliation may not all be of Cynthia’s design…