Paris arrives at L.A.’s doorstep for COL*COA @ the DGA


BAIS-DES-ANGESWe love the annual French film festival, COL*COA [City of Lights * City of Angels]. It’s a deep plunge, every April, into the latest of French cinema and, increasingly, the schedule is studded with digitally restored classics.

The two viewing rooms at the Director’s Guild are among the loveliest in town; both are sparkling clean, feature humongous screens, no drinks or popcorn allowed. The festival attracts a crowd of cool international film buffs: a great audience, quiet, respectful, open-minded.

It’s French, so there’s food. There are wine-and-cheese receptions; if you attend certain talks they come as a bonus. If you’re a v.i.p., it qualifies you for pert salmon canapes and tiny little hamburgers.

We’re looking forward this Friday’s special screening of a 50th anniversary restoration of a classic, BAY OF ANGELS (La Baie des Anges) (1963), a film noir written and directed by Jacques Demy. The peerless Jeanne Moreau stars in a whirlagig of casinos, roulette wheels and the Cote d’Azure. What’s not to love?

la-baie-des-anges-03-1963-2-gDirectly following the screening, a panel discussion on “The World of Jacques Demy.” Leading the talk, film writer David Ehrenstein. Participants include:

  • Patricia Knop, writer
  • Serge Toubiana, director, Cinémathèque Française
  • Beverly Walker, critic
  • George Chakiris, actor

Chakiris sang and delivered dialogue in French in making Demy’s LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT (1967), co-starring with Gene Kelly, Catherine Deneuve, her sister Francoise Dorleac and Grover Dale. The Oscar-winning singer/dancer/actor will share stories of his work for Demy, the great nouvelle vague auteur now enjoying a strong revival.

“La Baie des Anges” & Jacques Demy panel | COL*COA film festival | Friday Apr 19, 1:30 pm | schedule here

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