February 27, 6:30 pm (Closing Reception: 6pm) — Taylor Hall 203

Metamorphoses / 2014 / Christophe Honoré / 102 min

Introduction: Sigal Yona (Jewish Studies, Vassar College)

Respondent: Curtis Dozier (Greek and Roman Studies, Vassar College)

Arthouse favorite Christophe Honoré takes a surprising and invigorating turn away from his bittersweet tales of modern-day love with this contemporary adaption of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Honoré’s take on the Roman poet’s essential narrative poem is anything but a stuffy tribute beholden to a classic work of literature: on the contrary, he uses Ovid to portray the multicultural France of today, setting his story not only in lush natural landscapes but among the housing blocks of the French suburbs, and casting a high school student of North African descent in the central role of Europa, the young woman who encounters a series of gods and mythological characters. Naturally, Ovid’s work is not adaptable in its entirety—it features over 250 myths—but Honoré is true to its spirit, selecting representative tales including those of Orpheus, Narcissus, and Tiresias, played here as a transgender doctor. He also makes a virtue out of working with a low budget, implicitly underlining the wonder in everyday life by avoiding special effects and finding simple means to portray transformations and deities. The outcome is a light, lyrical film, whose unforced sensuality and formal rigor is reminiscent of nothing less than Pasolini’s
great literary adaptations.


This Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), the French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.

The festival is cosponsored by the Department of Film, the Women’s Studies Program, the Dean of Faculty and the VSA French Club.