With its theme “A Summer in Paris,” the Films on the Green offered a striking portrait of the City of Lights, its urban landscape, and its cultural diversity. A selection of classic, New Wave, and contemporary films by directors such as Agnès Varda, Céline Sciamma and Luc Besson, showcased the city’s aesthetic, cultural, and cinematic history from dramatically unconventional angles. Discover stories of love, adolescence, female identity, and urban life in Paris and its surrounding suburbs!
Below you will find the curated film descriptions as well as links to watch them on U.S. streaming platforms!
Girlhood (Bande de filles)
Directed by Céline Sciamma, 2014, 1h52
Girlhood, which opened the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, is Céline Sciamma’s third feature film (Water Lilies, Tomboy) to deal with female adolescence and identity.
Fed up with her abusive family situation, lack of school prospects and the “boys’ law” in the neighborhood, Marieme (Karidja Touré) starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her style, drops out of school and starts stealing to be accepted into the gang. When her home situation becomes unbearable, Marieme seeks solace in an older man who promises her money and protection. Realizing this sort of lifestyle will never result in the freedom and independence she truly desires; she finally decides to take matters into her own hands.
Directed by Luc Besson, R, 1985, 1h44
Subway is Luc Besson’s (Lucy, The Fifth Element) ultra-cool and stylized romantic adventure which won French Award César in 1986 for Best Actor (Christophe Lambert), Best Production Design (Alexandre Trauner) and Best Sound.
Fred (Christophe Lambert) is a hipster thief who falls in love with the bored and beautiful wife of the millionaire (Isabelle Adjani) he just robbed. She wants her stolen papers back and he wants her heart. With gangsters and Metro police on their tail, the two seek refuge in the wild labyrinth beneath the subway and team up with the strange characters who inhabit the subterranean world.
The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire)
Directed by Yves Robert, PG, 1972, 1h30
A frothy French farce, The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe is a classic madcap comedy about espionage, surveillance, and mistaken identity. When Francois (Pierre Richard), an unsuspecting violinist, is misidentified as a superspy by national intelligence, outrageous antics ensue. As everyone (including Mireille Darc, playing a knock-out henchwoman) falls over each other in their misguided attempts to discover the tall blond man’s secrets, his best friend complicates matters even further when he overhears a salacious recording of Francois with his wife. The whole merry-go-round comes crashing to a halt in one final showdown, pitting spy versus supposed spy with hilarious results. Elegantly filmed and accompanied by a memorable score, The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe is one of the most seminal comedies of the 1970s.
Cléo from 5 to 7 (Cléo de 5 à 7)
Directed by Agnès Varda, 1962, 1h30
Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman’s life, Cleo from 5 to 7 is a spirited mix of vivid vérité and melodrama, featuring a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and cameos by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina.