Sugar Cane Alley
Texas Premiere of New Restoration
with dir. Euzhan Palcy
Sugar Cane Alley begins with sepia-toned postcards views of old Martinique, as if to emphasize that the film which follows is going to take us far beyond nostalgic distance and exotic local color. An audience pleasure as well as an adventurous work of cinema, Euzhan Palcy's Sugar Cane Alley established her as a major new filmmaking talent. Set in Martinique in 1931, the film paints a rich impasto of native life under French colonial rule, filtered through the coming-of-age of a bright, sweetly, opportunistic black boy learning to reconcile the value of his shanty-town roots with the educational opportunities that beckon him to the big city. Although Palcy displays a masterful command of storytelling, atmosphere, comedy, and characterization, this rainbow of a movie is anything but sedate and old-fashioned: keyed on kinetic, offbeat cutting rhythms that refract the graceful arc of the action into pointillist flurries of movement, textures and color, it achieves a blend of artful casualness, unsentimental humanism, and clear- eyed social consciousness whose like has perhaps not been seen since the early masterpiece of Jean Renoir and Vittorio De Sica. Adapted from Joseph Zobel's 1950 novel La Rue Cases-Nègres.
Film followed by Q&A with dir. Euzhan Palcy.
Supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
|Country, Year||France, 1983|
|Cast||Darling Légitimus, Garry Cadenat, Douta Seck, Joby Bernabé, Laurent Saint-Cyr|
|Producer||Michel Loulergue, Alix Régis, Claude Nedjar, Jean Luc Ormières|
|Language||English Subtitles, French|
|Runtime||103 MINS, 0 SECS|
|Event Type||Film, Panel|
When she directed Sugar Cane Alley in 1983, Euzhan Palcy put the French Caribbean on the cinematography map, winning The Silver Lion, Best Actress Award at the Venice International Film Festival and a Cesar (French Oscar), breaking the directorial glass ceiling in French cinema. She continued her journey as a film trailblazer in 1989 with A Dry White Season, a bracing drama made at the height of apartheid and in so doing became the first black female director produced by a Hollywood studio, MGM/ UA. Among her other films is the colorful musical fantasy Simeon.