Start your day at COLCOA with a free and very exclusive program of digitally restored French favorites. The COLCOA Classics Series will run from Tuesday April 25 to Saturday April 29.

 COLCOA offers a unique opportunity to rediscover French masterpieces on the big screen, some rarely shown in the United States, some shown for the first time in a digitally restored version. All films are in English or presented with English subtitles. One of them was chosen by Academy Award® winner Damien Chazelle (Carte Blanche).

This program is free of charge with no reservation needed (on a first come first served basis.)


Tuesday, April 25 – 1:25 pm – Renoir Theater


Drama • West Coast Premiere (restored film) • France, Egypt, 1985

COLCOA is pleased to present this beautifully restored historical fresco from Egypt’s most celebrated filmmaker, Youssef Chahine.  In 1798, the Turks have retreated and Napoleon’s army occupies Egypt. Arriving with the science expedition, General Caffarelli (Piccoli) falls under the spell of Egypt’s exotic aromas and people, especially Aly and Yehia, two young and idealistic Egyptian brothers, both refugees in Cairo, and both fascinated by Caffarelli’s extravagance and worldliness. While Napoleon, in a ferocious turn by Patrice Chéreau, sells his military adventure as liberation, Aly and Yehia see it as trading one oppressor for another, and seek ways to resist. Caffarelli, torn between his passions and his duty, must decide whose side he is on. Alternating between historical landscape and intimate portraiture, Farewell Bonaparte paints a prophetic picture of Egypt’s strained relationship with the West.



Wednesday, April 26 – 1:30 pm – Renoir Theater

THE LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE (Les Amants du Pont-Neuf) 

Drama • Los Angeles Premiere • France, 1985

(Carte Blanche to Academy Award® winner writer/director Damien Chazelle)

Léos Carax’s ecstatic ode to doomed romance stars Juliette Binoche and Denis Lavant as tramps courting love and disaster on the streets of Paris. Alex makes his home amid the construction chaos of Pont-Neuf, Paris’ oldest bridge, closed for renovation. He relies on a meager income from fire-breathing street performances to keep him on a steady supply of barbiturates and booze. Michèle is a young artist from a well-off family who leaves home in an apparent attempt to outrun the illness that is slowly making her go blind. Alex is immediately smitten with the distraught Michèle and invites her to share his squat on the bridge. Their romance seems to defy every obstacle, but his impulse to protect her eventually morphs into a dangerous and impulsive possessiveness. By turns luridly squalid and feverishly lyrical, The Lovers on the Bridge was the most expensive film in the history of French cinema at the time of its making.

Click here for a presentation of the film by Damien Chazelle. [link to the page of THE LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE]



Thursday, April 27 – 2:00 pm – Renoir Theater

NOT HERE TO BE LOVED (Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé) 

Drama • Special Presentation • France, 2006

(Followed by a one-hour discussion with writer/director Stéphane Brizé)

As part of our focus on filmmaker Stéphane Brizé, COLCOA is pleased to reprise his deft romantic drama, Not Here To Be Loved, presented at the festival as a U.S. Premiere in 2006.  This deceptively simple story centers on Jean-Claude, a weary, middle-aged divorcee whose life isn’t exactly going anywhere. Circling the drain is more like it. As a court bailiff, his daily routine brings misery to others in the form of eviction notices and property seizures. His only outlet is the weekly rest home visit to his craggy, belligerent, ungrateful father, who had Jean-Claude’s thankless job before him. To top it all off, Jean-Claude’s doctor informs him that his health is failing. Looking for an exercise regimen, Jean-Claude signs up for tango lessons, where he meets the too young, too pretty, and too betrothed Françoise. Despite the obstacles, a romance blossoms, and the connection soon has them both re-thinking life’s possibilities. Georges Wilson (father of Lambert Wilson) brilliantly channels rage and fear at the ravages of old age as Jean-Claude’s father, while Patrick Chesnais and Anne Cosigny bring a heartrending chemistry to the screen. César nominations went out for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor.



Friday, April 28 – 1:20 pm – Renoir Theater


Film Noir • Special Presentation • France, 1970 • Film Noir Series


In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Jean-Pierre Melville, the filmmaker who transformed the crime thriller into high art, COLCOA is proud to present his most acclaimed picture, Le Cercle Rouge. With a formidable cast including Alain Delon, Yves Montand, and Bourvil, the boilerplate plot involves a suave criminal mastermind, a vicious escaped convict, a washed-out ex-cop with a knack for hitting bulls-eyes before he started hitting the bottle, and a relentlessly nasty, cat-loving detective methodically hunting them down before they can knock off a prominent jewelry store on Place Vendome. Ostensibly a heist movie, what elevates it is the Melvillian flourishes – finely-honed visuals, poignant fatalism, and an explicit code of honor and loyalty. In Melville’s universe, a Gauloise cigarette is as essential as a gun, and which side of the law you’re on is less important than whether or not you betray trust. Another signature touch, balletic precision, is on glorious display in the film’s 20-minute show-stopping robbery sequence. Presented with the World Premiere of Melville’s restored first film, 24 hours of a Clown’s Life.



Saturday, April 29 – 10:50 am- Truffaut Theater


Comedy • Special Presentation (restored version) • France, 1967


On the occasion of the film’s 50th anniversary, COLCOA is pleased to present Playtime, Jacques Tati’s most inventive and ambitious film.  Completed in 1967 after nearly three years in production, this was Tati’s droll response to Charles De Gaulle’s push to remake Paris into a modern city. The sparse plot unfolds in a series of six set pieces over a 24-hour period. American tourist Barbara and a certain bemused local, Monsieur Hulot, have several chance encounters. Barbara tries to discover authentic France in an homogenized city whose iconic monuments have been replaced by photographic simulations. Meanwhile, Hulot blunders through a sterile world of glass and steel, a traditionalist bull in the china shop of modernity. Daring in scope and concept, the film establishes a society regimented by soulless conformity, and then proceeds to break that down through a series of silly mishaps. For Tati, the sublime optimist, these moments of comic chaos and whimsy were the humanizing elements that make joyless dystopian futures bearable.