New York's Films on the Green series focuses on gastronomy

Cinemas News

Films on the Green, the free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City parks by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks, announced the lineup for the 11th edition, focused on gastronomy and with an additional screening this year in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

In 2018, Films on the Green will explore the profound relationship between French culture and gastronomy, an integral part of France's social fabric. Featuring 12 classic and contemporary films, the selection will explore various aspects of this multifaceted theme, from cuisine as an art (Le Grand Restaurant by Jacques Besnard, Haute Cuisine by Christian Vincent) and wine-making as a traditional family savoir-faire (You Will Be My Son by Gilles LeGrand), to the meal as a social event (a family Christmas gathering in La Bûche by Danièle Thompson). In The Rules of the Game by Jean Renoir, the meal scenes, with their tacit social rules and governing etiquette, display a corrosive critique of the French society. French cinema often centers around the staging of meals, like in Claude Chabrol’s Hitchcockian thriller Le Boucher and Claude Sautet’s Garçon!, set in a popular Parisian bistro. Luis Buñuel, on the other hand, plays with this French obsession with food in the ironic film The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, where the guests, already seated, are not permitted to eat.


Showcasing the diversity of French cinema, this year’s selection features a screening of The Scent of Green Papaya, directed by Vietnamese-born French director Trần Anh Hùng, in Vietnamese with English subtitles. Additionally, for the second year in a row, a special screening will be presented in French with Spanish subtitles at J. Hood Wright Park in Washington Heights: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, shown in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and the Instituto Cervantes.


“Films on the Green is one of the most community-oriented programs of the Cultural Services,” says Bénédicte de Montlaur, cultural counselor of the French Embassy. “It offers a selection of both classic and contemporary films that, we hope, speak to both the identity and interests of the local communities. As the birthplace of the motion picture industry, Fort Lee, New Jersey, seemed like a natural next step. We’re thrilled this year to partner with the Fort Lee Film Commission to bring the best of French cinema right to their doorstep.”


Twelve screenings in total are scheduled for this year's festival in eight different locations in New York City and New Jersey. Most of the screenings will be accompanied by DJs from New York University’s radio station, WNYU 89.1 FM, and Hunter College’s WHCS, who will spin French music on-site before the screenings.


The 2018 official sponsors are Air France, BNP Paribas, JC Decaux, and TV5 Monde.


Here is the schedule: 

June 1—Central Park (79th St & Fifth Ave): Le Grand Restaurant

June 8—Washington Sq. Park: The Scent of Green Papaya by Trần Anh Hùng,

June 15—Washington Sq. Park: The Rules of the Game

June 22—Transmitter Park (Brooklyn): La Bûche

June 29—Transmitter Park (Brooklyn): Garçon!

July 6—Tompkins Sq. Park: Le Boucher

July 11—J. Hood Wright Park (West 173th St): The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie by Luis Buñuel, presented in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and the Instituto Cervantes (in French with Spanish subtitles).

July 13—Tompkins Sq. Park: Romantics Anonymous

July 20—Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St): You Will Be My Son

July 27—Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St): Haute Cuisine

Sept. 1—Fort Lee Community Center (Fort Lee, NJ): Donkey Skin by Jacques Demy, presented in partnership with the Fort lee Film Commission as part of their “Music & Movies under the Stars” series

Sept. 6—Columbia University (at 116th St.): The Grocer’s Son by Eric Guirado, presented in partnership with the Columbia Maison Française