Film series commemorate May 1968 student-led protests in France

Cinemas News

Fifty years after the May ’68 student-led protests in France, universities and cultural institutions across the country are presenting diverse programs and events that revisit the spirit of the ’60s in all of its facets. These include a series of film screenings at Columbia University, La Maison Française in Washington, DC, and other venues. Highlights include:

May '68 in French and Italian Cinema
April 5 - May 3, 2018
The Department of French & Italian at the University of Minnesota is hosting a film series with five French and Italian films for the 50th anniversary of May 1968.


A Grin Without A Cat (Le Fond de l’air est rouge)
Part of Revolution in the Air
Chris Marker, 1977, 180 min 
La Maison Française, Washington, D.C.
April 10, 7:00 PM
Beginning in 1967 and spanning a decade of political upheaval, this groundbreaking documentary darts at breakneck speed between revolutionary hot spots on four continents.


May Fools (Milou en Mai)
Louis Malle, 1990, 107 min

Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall
Columbia University, New York, NY 
April 12, 6:30 PM
An eccentric French family meets in the country for the funeral of their matriarch (Paulette Dubost), which takes place at the same time as the 1968 student revolts in Paris.


The Cinema of May 68 (Le Cinéma de Mai 68)
Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall
Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY 
April 19, 6:30 PM 
A selection of short documentaries filmed in May 1968. 


In the Intense Now (No Intenso Agora)
João Moreira Salles, 2017, 127 min
Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall
Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY 
April 25, 6:30 PM 
A.O. Scott says viewers “will find solace, enlightenment and surprise in João Moreira Salles’s In the Intense Now, a bittersweet, ruminative documentary essay composed of footage from the era of the 1960s, accompanied by thoughtful, disarmingly personal voiceover narration […]” 


Godard Mon Amour (Le Redoutable)
Part of Revolution in the Air
Michel Hazanavicius, 2017, 102 min  
La Maison Française, Washington, D.C.
May 8, 7:00 PM 
Paris, 1967. Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), the leading filmmaker of his generation, is shooting La Chinoise with the woman he loves, Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), 20 years his junior. They are happy, attractive, in love. They marry. But the film’s reception unleashes a profound self-examination in Jean-Luc… 


Ciné-Tracts and Soulevement de la Jeunesse
Ciné-Tracts: Anonymous directors including Chris Marker, Jean Luc Godard & Alain Resnais; Soulevement de la Jeunesse: Maurice Lemaître, 1968, 85 min.
Logan Center for the Arts - University of Chicago
May 18, 7:00 PM
In the wake of the uprisings of May 1968, French filmmakers addressed the turmoil through short political and experimental works. Maurice Lemaître’s Soulèvement de la jeunesse juxtaposes footage of the uprisings with an abstract soundtrack of Lettrist spoken word and song. Meanwhile, filmmakers including Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and Jean-Luc Godard anonymously created silent, political “ciné-tracts” using leftist and French modernist film techniques.


Après mai (Something in the Air) 
Part of Revolution in the Air
Olivier Assaysas, 2012, 122 min 
La Maison Française, Washington, D.C.
May 22, 7:00 PM 
Something in the Air tells the story of the after-May ’68. It shows a group of high school students taken in by the political and creative turmoil of the times. Through romantic encounters and artistic discoveries, they will have to make definitive choices in order to find their place in these turbulent times.


Mourir à 30 ans (Half of A Life)
Romain Goupil, 1982, 97 min  
Logan Center for the Arts - University of Chicago
June 1, 7:00 PM 
Rarely seen in the United States, Romain Goupil’s documentary chronicles his and his friends’ firsthand experiences as militant, teenage Trotskyites in 1960s France during the heyday of French student movements that culminated with the events of May 1968. Michel Recanati was a part of Goupil’s activist entourage who committed suicide in 1978. Prompted by his death, Goupil crafts a vibrantly raw autobiographical essay-style film that uses found footage and a range of sources including photographs, hoe movies, and interviews.

Schedule courtesy of Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City.