Prague French Film Festival – English friendly programme tips

By Ryan Keating-Lambert

This year, the Prague French Film Festival boasts a number of titles with both Czech AND English subtitles. From competition films like Cannes hit comedy On a Magical Night to Ladj Ly’s visceral Parisian gang thriller Les Misérables, and a retrospective on French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot. Prague based cinemas Kino Lucerna, Kino Svetozor, Kino 35 and Edison Filmhub will host the festival from November 20th – 27th.

Les Misérables (Credit: Be2Can)

The competition films section of the festival, selected by Czech critics from major European festivals like Cannes, Berlinale, Venice and more, include standout titles like Christopher Honore’s Cannes Un Certain Regard competitor and hotel-room comedy On a Magical Night (Chambre 212), Nicholas Pariser’s dramedy Alice and the Mayor (Alice et le maire), about a politician in an existential crisis, Berlinale Jury Prize winner By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) which deals with the topic of abuse in the Catholic church, and André Téchiné’s family drama Farewell to the Night starring Catherine Deneuve.

In the recent hits section is this year’s Cannes Jury Prize winner Les Misérables, a superb thriller and insight into gang violence and police brutality in Paris, and award-winning documentary Solo, centred around Argentinian piano virtuoso Martin Perino and his journey into coping with schizophrenia. Both films will screen with English subtitles in Edison Filmhub.

Related: Solo – documentary on pianist Martin Perino wins Czech Joy Award at Jihlava

Also this year, the festival will have a focus section on French actress Adèle Haenel who is fast becoming a staple to quality festival films from France and surrounding regions. Catch English friendly screenings of Arnaud des Pallières’ award-winning 2016 drama Orphan (Orpheline) and the Dardenne Brother’s Belgian thriller The Unknown Girl (La fille inconnue). This year’s multi award-winning period love story and Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) will have its Czech premiere at the festival, but WILL NOT screen with English subtitles… not that that should stop you. How’s your Czech? And your French?

There will also be a retrospective on French director and auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot. The festival will screen a number of the director’s critically acclaimed films like The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942), The Wages of Fear (1953), documentary The Mystery of Picasso (1955), his unfinished masterpiece Inferno (2009) with Romy Scheider (pictured) and classic crime thriller Diabolique (1955).

Inferno (2009) (Credit: IMDB)

For full programme details and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website.

Feature photo: ŽIEMOS EKRANAI

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