Spring 2013 Calendar of Events

Bowdoin and the Common Good: a Celebration of Community
Bowdoin and the Common Good: a Celebration of Community

May 9, 20133:30 PM – 5:00 PM
David Saul Smith Union, Morrell Lounge

Thursday, May 9, 3:30-5:00 pm
Morrell Lounge, Smith Union

This celebration provides an opportunity for students involved in communities through service and research to share their projects and stories about what they have learned as a result of working in partnership with organizations throughout Maine and around the globe.

Join us for local foods including gelato from Gelato Fiasco and Maine-made root beer, and enjoy posters and displays that chronicle a year of the College's public engagement.

All are welcome!

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French Film Festival Earth Day Screening
French Film Festival Earth Day Screening

April 22, 20137:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Nenette

7:00 P.M.
Kresge Auditorium
Visual Arts Center

Nenette is an enchanting lady in her fortieth year, and the oldest resident of the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris. She is also an orangutan. Famed documentarian Nicolas Philibert (To Be and to Have) sensitively captures her engaging personality in this "fascinating study" (San Francisco Chronicle) of life lived behind a zoo's walls.

Born in 1969 in Borneo and brought to France in 1972, Nenette has spent the vast majority of her life in captivity, but it has not been a bore. She has outlived three husbands, borne four children, and baffled zookeepers with her inscrutable mood swings. Philibert fixes his camera on her for the entire running time, revealing both a disdainful diva and a kind, mournful soul. Her enigmatic gaze begs for interpretation, raising serious questions about the morality of caging animals. Even her keepers speculate as to the thoughts percolating behind her aged brow.

NENETTE is an "absorbing, contemplative film" (The Guardian), and essential viewing for animal lovers the world over. It searches for the spirit of an orangutan, and finds it.

Free and open to the public.  Discussion to follow.

Sponsored by the Departments of Romance Languages, Biology and Education, the Film Studies Program, the Counseling Center, the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund, and with support from the Bowdoin French Club.

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The Bowdoin French Film Festival

The Bowdoin French Film Festival

February 21, 20135:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

IL Y A LONGTEMPS QUE JE T’AIME

(I've Loved You So Long)


7:00 P.M.
Kresge Auditorium
Visual Arts Center

The women-in-prison film has a long, glorious and tawdry history; what’s more difficult to pull off is the story of a lady sprung from the slammer. In his helming debut, director-screenwriter Philippe Claudel, a novelist and professor of literature, crafts a solid woman’s picture that, as a wonderful star vehicle for Kristin Scott Thomas, suggests a kinship with Warner Bros. weepies from the 1940s. First seen rather conspicuously without makeup, her skin color resembling three-day-old institutional grub, Scott Thomas plays Juliette Fontaine, a former physician who’s just completed a 15-year jail sentence for murdering her young son (though the reason for her incarceration isn’t revealed until the final act). Her younger sister, literature professor Léa, takes her in, anxiously trying not to upend the snug comfort of her middle-class clan with this new addition. As she reacclimates to civilian life, Juliette slowly thaws, becoming closer with her nieces, but her calm is punctuated by believably spiky outbursts. Scott Thomas gives a remarkably deft performance, being careful not to outact Zylberstein, who particularly shines during a seminar discussion about Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. Throughout, Claudel and his cast smartly reimagine melodramatic conventions, creating a film that fully earns its moments of emotional excess.

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The Bowdoin French Film Festival

The Bowdoin French Film Festival

February 20, 20136:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

TOMBOY


7:00 p.m.
Beam Classroom, Visual Arts Center

A sensitive portrait of childhood just before pubescence, Tomboy, the second film by writer-director Céline Sciamma, astutely explores the freedom of being untethered to the rule-bound world of gender codes. About 20 minutes elapse before we learn the real name and biological sex of Laure, a gangly, short-haired kid about to go into fourth grade. Her family has just moved to a suburban apartment complex a few weeks before the school year starts. The clan’s relocation provides Laure an opportunity for re-invention, introducing herself to her playmates as Michaël —an identity that gives her the liberty to go shirtless and wrestle with the other boys, attracting the attention of crushed-out Lisa. Sciamma shows a real gift for capturing kids at play, filming the August afternoons devoted to soccer and water battles as their own otherworldly time zone. But the director doesn’t present an uncomplicated view of childhood: Laure/ Michaël, beginning to reciprocate Lisa’s smitten feelings, lives in anxiety of being found out as much as she revels in being a boy. Extremely empathic, Tomboy isn’t simply an earnest plea for tolerance: Childhood itself, the film intimates, is full of ambiguities, of sorting out what you are drawn to and what repels you.

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