The 8th Odesa International Film Festival will be held from 14 to 22 of July. On July 15th a traditional open-air cinema performance will take place on the Potemkin Stairs. This is one of the largest open-air screenings in Europe, which annually attracts more than 15 thousand viewers. This year, Odesa’s citizens and guests will have a chance to see a silent film by French director Julien Duvivier “The Ladies’ Paradise” (1930). The screening will be accompanied by a musical arrangement by Canadian composer Gabriel Thibodeau, and the vocal parts will be performed by soloist Sophie Fournier.
“The Ladies’ Paradise”, based on the eponymous novel by Emile Zola, is one of the last silent French films. It is a real gem of French silent cinema which remained underappreciated until its restoration in the early 21st century. The events of the film unfold in a department store called “The Ladies’ Paradise”. The film was shot on the territory of a special Parisian landmark – in the old shopping centre Galeries Lafayette.
The director of the film is the winner of the Venice Film Festival Julien Duvivier, a representative of the “Big Five” of leading French directors of the 1930s, along with Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné, René Clair and Jacques Feyder. Julien Duvivier made more than 70 films. It was Duvivier who formed the cinematic image of the actor Jean Gabin that brought him worldwide fame. His film “Pele le Moco” (1936) is considered one of the first films created in the style of noir. The main role in “The Ladies’ Paradise” was played by the star of European cinema of the first half of the 20th century Dita Parlo, known for such film masterpieces as “L’Atalante” (directed by Jean Vigo) and “The Great Illusion” (directed by Jean Renoir).
The original musical accompaniment to “The Ladies’ Paradise” was lost. In Odesa, the film will be accompanied by the music of Canadian composer Gabriel Thibodeau, who previously wrote music for Duvivier’s silent film “The Red Head” (1925) and the film “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925, directed by Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney Sr., Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick). The performance will also star French opera singer Sophie Fournier (mezzo-soprano), who performed in Singapore, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Slovenia and other countries.
For the first time in the history of the Odesa Film Festival, the screening on the Potemkin Stairs will be accompanied not only by a symphony orchestra, but also a vocalist.
We remind you that we had recently announced a change in one of the locations of the Odesa International Film Festival – instead of the Lanzheron descent, open-air screenings will now be taking place at the Stella Artois Green Theatre.