Spotlight: Li'l Quinquin

Spotlight is a program dedicated to films that stand on their own as innovative and revelatory. The spotlight program presents individual films from around the world to be discussed, selected by filmfront and the community.

01.09.16

We begin the new year by looking not too far back at one of 2014’s cinematic highlights. Initially released as a four-part mini-series for French television, Bruno Dumont’s LI'L QUINQUIN follows a boy and his sweetheart, Eve, as a series of surreal murders take place in a rural farming community in northern France. Alongside the children are Commandant Van der Weyden and his sidekick Lieutenant Carpentier, a slapstick duo of neurotic detectives, sent to the countryside to investigate the odd crimes and an even more bizarre ensemble of townspeople.

LI'L QUINQUIN
by Bruno Dumont
2014, DVD, 206 min

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John Ford Today: A Controversial Conversation?

01.17.16
01.24.16

Some consider John Ford to be one of the most influential and important directors of American cinema; others take his films as stale, politically incorrect, naive or even ignorant works. Beyond STAGECOACH and THE SEARCHERS, Ford made hundreds of movies; many of them Westerns. Here the conversation has often turned to the depiction and treatment of Native Americans as Indians with feathered arrows, dying in large groups at the hands of Ford's cowboys. But were his Native Americans really so simple? It could be said that Ford's great interest was history, and his interest didn't end with the American frontier. It looked forward to the post-Civil War South where Confederate veterans looked back with nostalgia. What are we, as viewers today, to make of a film like JUDGE PRIEST, whose appearance is tainted with dated racial stereotypes and paternalism?

JUDGE PRIEST
by John Ford
1934, DVD, 81 min

FORT APACHE
by John Ford
1949, DVD, 128 min