We saw our last French Festival film (no. 8) on Friday evening at the ARC Cinema at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA). "Cafe de Flore" was a joint Canadian (Quebec) and French production so the Canadian High Commission hosted a reception prior to the screening in the beautiful courtyard space at the NFSA.
Friday was a perfectly clear warm Autumn day in Canberra and this courtyard setting in the early evening light was just the perfect place to enjoy the fine wine and cheese, prawn and fresh fig platters so generously provided by the High Commission.
After attending our 8 French films in the past two weeks I recognized lots of familiar faces in this crowd and my French has improved so much I could pick up the odd word or two in the conversations going on around us. We enjoyed our chat with the principal of the French program at Telopea Park School and his Australian born wife (in English!) and the bouncing dynamo (French) Director of the festival (wearing a jaunty fedora tonight) is like our new BF.
Cafe de Flore came with a lot of hype especially because of its big name star (Vanessa Paradis) but we found it less engaging than most of the other films in the festival program and we were left wondering exactly what it was meant to be about!
Then for another culture fix we saw "Midsummer (a play with songs)" yesterday. A play from Edinburgh with more than a hint of Scottish toughness......a rom com with attitude. I admired the staging - just two characters and a bed and two (three including the red Fender) guitars and a "memorable scene with Elmo". Apparently it is true that "change is possible" just as the parking stations in Edinburgh claim.