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French Film Festival Review: The Dancer


French Film Festival Review: The Dancer

Erin Gear

Alliance Française held a preview screening of The Dancer (La Danseuse) on Wednesday night at Palace Nova Cinemas, in anticipation of the French Film Festival, due to commence on the 30th of March.

We were greeted upon arrival with a flute of champagne and an array of French hors d'oeurves, which were a delightful surprise. The cocktail atmosphere was accompanied by a couple of guitarists performing some folk tunes to enhance the 'French-ness' of the evening. 

Director of Alliance Françise D'Adelaide, Laurent Pointud, introduced the festival and the film, sharing that the key purpose of the organisation is to promote French culture abroad. This year's French Film Festival, in its 28th year of running, will feature an incredibly diverse program ranging from animation, to historical drama and romance - there's something for everyone!

Diversity was a key theme Pointud mentioned in relation to this edition of the festival. For the first time in nearly thirty years, seventeen female directors will be featured in the program, giving this edition a 'special flavour' he says. 

Have a look at the trailer for the French Film Festival here:

The Dancer (2016), is the first full length feature film directed by female filmmaker Stéphanie Di Giusto, and it was and excellent achievement. Taking inspiration from true events, The Dancer, set at the end of the 19th century, follows the story of Loie Fuller (Soko); a dance pioneer who gave real meaning to the term 'tortured artist'. From the very beginning, Loie's story begins on a rather sombre note, which set the tone for entire film. It is an incredibly powerful, and visually rich film that brilliantly managed to capture the essence of live dance on screen. 

The now iconic poster advertising Loie's dance in 1893,  via

The now iconic poster advertising Loie's dance in 1893, via

The Dancer is a truly mesmerising and enchanting film that you could easily watch again and again. Supporting actors Gaspard Ulliel and Lily-Rose Depp in the roles of Louis d'Orsay and Isadora Duncan, respectively brought astonishing depth to the already beautifully poetic film.

Revelling in the temptations and tortures of the entertainment and performance industry of the 1890s, The Dancer is a must see during this season of the French Film Festival.

Running from the 30th March to the 23rd April, you can look at the schedule of show times here. 

Watch the trailer for The Dancer below and prepare for a spectacle!

Header image via