PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU
2019, Neon, 121 min, France, Dir: Céline Sciamma

Winner of the Queer Palm and the Best Screenwriting Award at Cannes, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE unfolds on a remote island off the coast of 18th-century Brittany. There, young painter Marianne is commissioned to create a portrait of reluctant bride-to-be Héloïse. She must do so in secret, however, posing as a lady’s companion because Héloïse refuses to sit for a portrait. As their hours together lengthen, Héloïse kindles a new flame in Marianne - one that time and circumstance will conspire to extinguish. This vividly shot and quietly turbulent film finds new possibilities in the age-old vein of forbidden love.


LADY OSCAR
1979, Ciné Tamaris, 124 min, Japan/France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Adapted by director Jacques Demy and writer Patricia Knop from the Japanese manga The Rose of Versailles, this drama centers on an aristocratic young woman brought up as a man just prior to the French Revolution. With a father who’d hoped for a male heir, Oscar François de Jarjayes (Catriona MacColl) is raised to follow his footsteps in a military career; when she is eventually appointed to lead the Royal Guard, Lady Oscar enters the secluded and decadent court at Versailles. But as the plight of the common people deepens and popular tensions flare, she finds herself torn between a sense of duty and a young love committed to the cause of change (Barry Stokes). Quintessentially Demy in its aesthetics and subject matter, LADY OSCAR features lavish visuals and a score by the director’s longtime collaborator, Michel Legrand.


THEY LIVE BY NIGHT
1949, Warner Bros., 92 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Nicholas Ray’s directorial debut is a deeply felt tale of young love struggling to survive in a cruel, unforgiving world. Farley Granger and Cathy O’Donnell are memorable as star-crossed lovers Bowie and Keechie in this darkly romantic and melancholy adaptation of Edward Anderson’s Depression-era crime classic Thieves Like Us. In Ray’s hands, it’s Romeo and Juliet for the film noir era.


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