Feast of French films

Gugu Sibiya

The Air France Film Festival runs at Nu Metro cinemas at Hyde Park Shopping Centre in Johannesburg from Friday until October 4.

Director Claude Lelouch is a special guest at the festival.

Movie lovers can see his A Man and a Woman, one of the most romantic films of all time, and his latest film Crossed Tracks, Roman de Gare, which was screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Fans can enjoy Lelouch's 1993 All This For That (Tout Ca Pour Ca), 1998 Chance Or Coincidences (Hasards Ou Coincidences), 1988 Itinerary Of A Spoiled Child (Itineraire D'un Enfant Gate) and 1990's There Were Days And Moons (Il Y A Des Jours Et Des Lunes).

The son of an Algerian Jewish confectioner, he spent his early childhood hiding from the Nazis with his mother. They were captured and sent to the Dachau concentration camp three months before the end of the war. They were reunited with his father in Paris after the war.

After making short films while serving in the military, he established Les Films 13, a production company, and produced, co-wrote, directed and appeared in his first feature, The Right of Man (Le Propre de l'homme) in 1960.

He became famous after A Man and a Woman (Un Homme et Une Femme) for which he won a Palm d'Or, a Grand Prix and an Oscar.

Many of his subsequent films dealt with the symbiotic relationship between sex and crime, sex and politics, or crime and politics.

Gerard Depardieu stars in three films which brilliantly demonstrate just what a remarkable actor he is. Audiences can see him in his break-out performance in Francois Truffaut's The Last Metro (Le Dernier Metro), which the New York Times named one of the best 1000 films of all time.

He can also be seen in a hysterical performance as Obelix in Asterix andObelix: Mission Cleopatra and in the elaborately plotted 36 (36 Quai Des Orfevre).

Two new French films include Costa Gavras' The Ax (Le Couperet) and the Bafta Award thriller The Beat That My Heart Skipped (De Battre Mon Coeur s'est Arrete).

There are also films from French-speaking directors from Africa. Rachid Bouchareb's Little Senegal is about a man's search for the descendants of his enslaved family 300 years later.