The French have a certain, um, I know not what — style, let's say? Hollywood may be the great exporter of American culture, but even as the French absorb it, they retain their own Gallic sensibilities. French films reflect and refract Hollywoodisms in kaleidoscopic, funhouse fashion, revealing much of our own strangeness even as they demonstrate their alien panache. The ineffable Frenchness of France is on full display in Cinema St. Louis' French Film Festival. Five features are screened across three nights (Friday, August 28, to Sunday, August 30) at Washington University's Brown Hall Auditorium (Forsyth Boulevard and Chaplin Drive; 314-289-4150 or www.cinemastlouis.org), ranging from Philippe Ramos' Capitaine Achab (a biographical prequel starring Melville's ultra-American antihero; 7 p.m. Friday) to Jean-Luc Godard's Made in U.S.A., the French New Wave icon's deconstruction of the Cold War, America, France and movies themselves (7 p.m. Saturday). Admission to each film is $8 to $10.
Aug. 28-30, 2009

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