Free Film Series at the Clark Surveys Boldini’s Paris

For Immediate Release

March 04, 2010

Giovanni Boldini made a name for himself painting portraits of the fashionable high society of Belle Époque France. The free films series “Portraits of Society: Films of Boldini’s Paris” looks at the styles of dress and décor, as well as the passions and decorum of that particular class, time, and place. Films are screened on Saturdays at 2 pm at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Gigi (1958, 116 min.)
March 20, 2:00 pm
Lerner and Loewe follow the stage success of My Fair Lady with this made-for-film musical, shot on location in Cinemascope, from a novel by Colette. Vincente Minnelli directs and Cecil Beaton designs the sets and costumes. Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan, Maurice Chevalier, and Hermione Gingold star in a story about a young girl raised to be a courtesan, but aiming higher. Winner of nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Earrings of Madame de... (1954, 105 min., in French with subtitles)
March 27, 2:00 pm
Max Ophuls’s direction glides with the swirl of French society through ballrooms and opera houses, in a story that revolves around the affair between Danielle Darrieux and Vittorio De Sica. She has received the titular diamond earrings from husband Charles Boyer, but they make the rounds in a way that reveals all, in one of the gems of cinema history.

Swann in Love (1984, 110 min., in French with subtitles)
April 3, 2:00 pm
Jeremy Irons stars as Swann, an aristocratic aesthete who loses himself in passion for the courtesan Odette, in a story excerpted from Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. Director Volker Schlondorff’s impressive international production does not bite off more than it can chew, and the great cinematographer Sven Nykvist renders the drawing rooms and gala occasions of that society with elegant attention to detail.

Gabrielle (2005, 90 min., in French with subtitles)
April 10, 2:00 pm
Patrice Chéreau adapts a Joseph Conrad story about the disintegrating marriage of a wealthy Parisian couple into a penetrating psychological study. Will she leave him or not? Will he take her back or not? Isabelle Huppert and Pascal Greggory inhabit the couple’s vicious dilemma with wrenching intensity, even while the soirée must go on.

Currently on view at the Clark, the exhibition Giovanni Boldini in Impressionist Paris illuminates Boldini’s early career when he lived in Paris and painted the city’s bustling streets, cafes, and concert halls, as well as charming scenes of its sunny suburban landscapes, while developing his unique style. Through approximately seventy oil paintings and drawings, the exhibition presents an innovative look at Boldini’s Paris—its places of entertainment and leisure, its inhabitants, and its environs—at a time when the Impressionists were investigating the same sites and subjects. The exhibition is on view through April 25.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

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