Beyond Normal Films' Cinema Sessions Finale!  Wednesday, November 15th, 2017. Over 100 BNF members and guests attended the final cinema event for Beyond Normal Films. BNF’s first film in 1996 was Il Postino and its last film in 2017 was The Player.

At the end of December, the BNF organization will disband after a good 21-year run supporting quality cinema in Central Illinois!


The Player (1992) Director: Robert Altman |  Stars: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, and many more  |  R Rating.  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 25 nominations. Rotten Tomatoes offers these notes. "Robert Altman's provocative satire of the movie industry stars Tim Robbins as Griffin Mill, an unscrupulous Hollywood studio executive who finds himself threatened not only by up-and-comer Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher) but by the stranger sending out postcards calling for Mill's death. Having concluded that the mysterious correspondent is screenwriter David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), whose film treatment Mill rejected, the producer arranges a meeting that ends with Mill killing Kahane, resulting in a murder investigation."

C’est Magnifique! A Festival of French Films. The last Farlee Film Festival offered by Beyond Normal Films in the Fall of 2017 saluted the tradition and enduring artistry of French films, showcasing such influential directors as Louis Malle, Jean-Luc Goddard and Francois Truffaut, as well as the late actress Jeanne Moreau. Featured films span 56 years of groundbreaking cinema with selections chosen in 20-year increments to celebrate the creative progression of French filmmaking from 1945 to 2001. 

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Children of Paradise (1945), 
190 min. (one intermission)  |  Not Rated

Les Enfants du Paradis, released as Children of Paradise in North America, directed by Marcel Carné. Made during the German occupation of France during World War II, the film is set among the Parisian theater scene of the 1820s and 1830s. It tells the story of a beautiful courtesan, Garance, and the four men who love her: a mime artist, an actor, a criminal and an aristocrat. François Truffaut once said, “I would give up all my films to have directed Children of Paradise.” The film was voted "Best Film Ever" in a poll of 600 French critics and professionals in 1995.

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Jules et Jim (1962)
107 min. |  Not Rated

Directed, produced and written by Francois Truffaut, this romantic drama, Jules et Jim, is set around the time of World War I. It focuses on a tragic love triangle between French Bohemian Jim (Henri Serre), his Austrian friend Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jules’ girlfriend and later wife Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). The film won the 1962 Grand Prix of French film prizes, the Étoile de Cristal, and Jeanne Moreau won that year's prize for best actress. The film is considered one of the seminal works in the French New Wave movement with Moreau considered thereafter the French Wave’s “Femme Fatale.” This selection honors the memory of the legendary Moreau, who died in July 2017. 

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Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) 
104 min. | Rated PG

Director, writer and producer Louis Malle brought this story to the screen, an autobiographical film set during World War II in occupied France. Julien (Gaspard Manesse) is a student at a French boarding school. When three new students arrive, including Jean Bonnett (Raphael Fejto), Julien believes they are no different from the other boys. What Julien doesn't know is that the boys are actually Jews who are evading capture by the Nazis. The boys develop a tight bond while the head of the school, Père Jean (Philippe Morier-Genoud), works to protect them from the Holocaust. The film is based on events in Malle’s childhood who, at age 11, attended a Roman Catholic boarding school near Fontainebleau. Nominated for several awards, the film won France’s top film award (the Céasar) for directing and writing. 

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Amélie (2001)
122 min. | Rated R

A romantic comedy directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life. It tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better while struggling with her own isolation. One of the biggest international successes for a French movie, the film is to date the highest-grossing French-language film released in the United States. Amélie won Best Film at the European Film Awards. It also won four César Awards in 2002 (including Best Film and Best Director) two BAFTA Awards (including Best Original Screenplay) and was nominated for five Academy Awards. The New York Times considers Amélie one of “The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.”

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