Workshop Welcomes The Wunderkinden

EVENT

Avignon/Cambridge Film Workshop

at the Harvard Film Archive, Museum of Fine Arts,

Coolidge Corner Theater, Boston Film/Video Foundation, The French Library, The Brattle Theater and The Charles Hotel

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to have your ear cut off, you could watch "Reservoir Dogs," or you could always ask the film's director, Quentin Tarantino. And if you ever want to know what the titles to Madonna's songs meant, you could watch the movie, or you could ask Quentin. Normally you would have to track him down on the set of his latest high-power neo-noir film, or play phone tag with his agent. Now you can forget about he headache and instead of receiving a form letter, you can meet Tarantino in person. In fact, at the Avignon/Cambridge French--American Film Workshop starting today and running through April 11, you can ask Tarantino or any of the many other notable film makers whatever crosses your fancy. Unlike most film festivals, this is not a festival, but a workshop. You can touch, smell hear, see many of the big names in French and American cinema who are descending on the Boston area to show and discuss their work.

The French-American Film workshop started last year under the tutelage of Jerome Henry Rudes and Bruce Posner. Rudes has been running the Avignon film Festival in Avignon, France, for the past 10 years. He wanted to bring his down-to-earth, meet and learn-to-appreciate concept across the Atlantic and hooked up with Posner, the curator of the Harvard film Archive. Unlike last year, the festival has spread to other areas of the Boston area, now including (with the Harvard film Archive) the Museum of Fine Arts (where the French director, Guy Jacques' film , "Je m'appelle Victor" is opening tonight), the French Library and Cultural Center, the Brattle Theater, the Boston Film/Video foundation and the Coolidge Corner Theater. A series of informal, free discussions will be taking place throughout the weekend at The Quiet Bar of The Charles Hotel and other locations.

The schedule of film includes a wide variety by some notable esteemed film makers and producers such as Sam Fuller, John Bailey, Olivier Assays. Jean Pierre Gorin and David Brown; some that are the rising stars on both sides of the Atlantic such as Quentin Tarantino and other fledgling director such as Guy Jacques, Agnes Merlet, Nora Jacobson Matthew Harrison and Filip Forgeau. Tarantino's neo-noir, soon-to-be-classics. "Reservoir Dogs" and "True Romance" are to be shown. And even more notable is the premiere of Mika Kaurismaki's Amazonian adventure of a film within a film, "Tigrero: A Film That was Never Made" and Jean-Pierre Melville's 1955 cop drama, "Bob Le Flambeur." Themes which seem to be running through the selections for this year's extravaganza are the over-the-top violence of some modern film makers as well as a look at how it was done 40 years ago. Adolescents seem to form the basis of many of the film's plots (including "Je m'appelle Victor," which stars the infamously outlandish Jeanne Moreau). And with the screening of Robert Altman's 1992 wry look at Hollywood, "The Player," and the panel discussion on April 9, "To Hell with Hollywood," workshop participants should get a healthy dose of what its really like to be on the edge in film making these days. In addition, the 2nd annual Tournage Awards will be awarded to two directors who are "confronting the difficulties of producing original, independent--minded projects." This year's winners will be Filip Forgeau and Maryel Ferraud who directed "L'Iguane." the somber, grey fantastical portrayal of Frag, a man who has just gotten out of jail and Matthew Harrison for his "darkly comic tale of an outlaw bowler's search for his long-lost father" entitled "Spare Me."

The multitude of films being shown during the workshop are guaranteed to shock, intrigue and thrill you. The high concentration of talent in one place may intimidate you. But don't let it. They've come to answer your question and help you to appreciate their work. And this may be your only chance to debate the true meanings Madonna's work.

For a complete schedule of screening, workshops and ticket information, please contact:

The Harvard Film Archive,

24 Quincy Street,

Cambridge MA 02138,

(617)495-4700.