CINE CLUB – Thursday, May 11th
Les Choristes by Christophe Barratier
One night, the celebrated orchestra conductor Pierre Morhange receives an unexpected visit from Pépinot, someone he has not seen since his days in a grim boarding school during the late 1940s. Pépinot brings with him the diary of Clément Mathieu, the reluctant teacher who succeeded in changing both their lives. As they read the diary, both men are transported back to 1949, to the day when Clément arrived at the school, an establishment which was run with an iron fist by a despotic headmaster and where the pupils ran riot. The new teacher is dismayed by the animosity and brutality that surrounds him. But then he sees an opportunity to make a change for the better – by introducing his class of miserable rebels to the beauty of choral music…
For all its homespun simplicity, overly safe narrative style and occasional moments of shameless sentimentality, Les Choristes is a beautifully rendered and achingly effective film, one that will move virtually any audience to tears. The story is a simple one, a kind of latter day parable, in which a man who has failed in his own life manages to make a positive impact on the lives on others. Gérard Jugnot is perfectly cast as the film’s main character, playing the kind of modest, downtrodden yet sympathetic hero which has become his trademark and which has earned him his reputation as one of France’s best loved film actors of his generation. This is the first full length film to be directed by Christophe Barratier, a trained musician whose uncle, Jacques Perrin, makes a brief appearance in the film.
Presented in French with English subtitles
A discussion will follow the film. Refreshments provided!
Free for Members – $10 for non-members