BLANCHE
1972, 92 min, France, Dir: Walerian Borowczyk

In the title role, Ligia Branice plays the beautiful wife of an aging nobleman in 13th-century France. When the king visits their castle, both he and his page fall madly in love with the innocent Blanche, and the men of the castle soon are pitted against one another. A Grand Prix winner at the Berlin International Film Festival, and one of Borowczyk’s best, the film’s medieval visuals and music reflect the eye and ear of a master craftsman.


PEAU D’ÂNE
DONKEY SKIN
1970, Janus Films, 90 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Jacques Demy's strange, lovely film tells the story of a devoted king (Jean Marais) who promises his dying wife (Catherine Deneuve, a Demy favorite) that his new queen will be equal to her in beauty. Of course, no one can compare to Deneuve, which leaves the queen’s daughter (also played by Deneuve) as the sole contender. Heeding the advice of a bizarre fairy godmother (Delphine Seyrig), the princess delays her father's incestuous advances using a series of impossible dressmaking challenges. In French with English subtitles.


CINEMA PARADISO
NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO
1988, Miramax, 123 min, Italy, Dir: Giuseppe Tornatore

A young Sicilian boy who loses his father to war strikes up a friendship with an aging projectionist. Eventually the boy takes over his mentor's job and becomes a filmmaker himself - but he loses the love of his life along the way. A gloriously romantic and unabashedly sentimental love letter to the romance of the movies. With Philippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin. In Italian with English subtitles.


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