Wesley College’s Department of Literature and Languages is bringing the charm and intensity of French films to Dover for the second year in a row.


    Wesley College’s Department of Literature and Languages is bringing the charm and intensity of French films to Dover for the second year in a row.

    The Tournées Festival started last year to mixed success, according to Dr. Linda De Roche, English professor and chair of the department of literature and languages. The series of films didn’t draw huge crowds, which did not stop De Roche from bringing the festival back.

    “I just am determined to make this opportunity available to our community,” she said.

    De Roche said those who attended last year’s series appreciated the chance to see movies that may not be seen on the big screen locally. Francophiles also got to practice their French, although all films were subtitled.

    De Roche spends her summers in London and, as a fan of foreign films in general, has seen many of the movies showing.

    One of the ones she thinks will resonate is “Tell No One” (“Ne le dis a personne”), which is actually based on a book by American author Harlan Coben. It starts the series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3.

    “Who would have thought that the French would adapt an American suspense novel, but they did and it’s so good,” she said.

    The movie centers on the emotionally tortured man whose wife was murdered eight years ago. Although a serial killer was convicted, the husband can’t let it go. Now, when more bodies are found and the case is re-opened, the husband receives a mysterious email that raises more questions about the murders past and present.

    The next movie is “The Duchess of Langeais” (“Ne touchez pas la hache”) on Thursday, Feb. 5. It is set during the French Restoration, a period mired in hypocrisy and appearances. The movie dramatizes the ill-fated love between the wife of the Duke de Langeais and a free-spirited soldier unwilling to conform to society.

    De Roche chose the next film, “Heartbeat Detector” (“La question humaine”), because of its themes of ethics and morality in business, topics she thought Wesley business students might find interesting.

    In “Heartbeat Detector,” which plays Tuesday, Feb. 10, questions about big business come to the forefront when the main character finds himself investigating his company’s past, which has ties to the Holocaust.

    In general, De Roche appreciates the fact that many movies from other countries are thought-provoking.

    “I think that foreign films, and probably foreign films that probably get wide distribution ... tend to be more serious, they’re more than just entertainment,” she said.

    One of the movies that intrigued De Roche was “The Page Turner” (“La tourneuse de pages”), which plays Tuesday, Feb. 17. It focuses on a gifted piano player who, after a professional failure, becomes consumed with the idea of revenge.

    According to De Roche, the movie exemplifies the subtlety found in French films.

    “We would definitely have some shoot ‘em ups,” if the movie were American, De Roche said.

    The last film in the series is “The Last Mistress” (“Une vieille maitresse”) on Thursday, Feb. 19. “The Last Mistress” involves class wars, this time features the secrets and betrayal surrounding the union between a dissolute man and virtuous, aristocratic woman.

Wesley College’s Department of Literature and
Languages will offer a series of French films through the month. All films are free, and at the Schwartz Center for the Arts.

“Tell No One” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3

“The Duchess of Langeais” 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5

“Heartbeat Detector” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10

“The Page Turner” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17

“The Last Mistress” 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19

Email Sarika Jagtiani at sarika.jagtiani@doverpost.com