French film director
Shutter speed. Sound recording. Framing. The vernacular of documentary
filmmaking has come into focus for R-MC students enrolled in the ground-breaking
2009 J-term course, “Documentary Filmmaking.” The course is being taught by French
film director Françoise Marie, whose 2007 feature-length film, “On dirait que…”
(“What if…”), was selected for showing last year at several film festivals in China
and at the Festival International de Rome as well as in the United States. Her documentary,
“Petites Histoires de Reins du Tout” (“Little Stories of Kids and Kidneys”) was
selected for showing at numerous film festivals and has been shown on French television.
The documentary is a moving, unscripted account of children coping with kidney disease.
R-MC will host a public showing of "Petites Histoires de Reins du Tout" on Thursday,
January 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Topping Room, located in Old Chapel. A reception
Marie is guiding students through the basic techniques of documentary filmmaking,
paying special attention to the editing process and how it affects a film’s message.
According to Marie, “Students are learning that the images they create are not reality,
but a way to represent reality and that framing and editing shots can modify the
meaning of an image or even the whole film.”
Professor of Romance Languages Amy deGraff, Ph.D., met Marie in spring 2002 at a
French Film Festival in Richmond, Virginia. As co-president of the Virginia Chapter
of the American Association of Teachers of French, deGraff invited the director
to return to Virginia in fall 2003 to present her work at colleges and universities
throughout the state. Marie then agreed to come to R-MC to teach a J-term filmmaking
course, which delights deGraff. “Françoise Marie is the sixth French film director
to come to R-MC, but the first to teach a J-term course,” said deGraff. “This cultural
exchange is truly exciting—and a wonderful addition to R-MC’s liberal arts curriculum.”
Marie holds a degree from the prestigious Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques.