Ciné Cult Classic

Francophiles gather at Starz to watch a festive French film.

Tonight, the Alliance Française de Denver — founded in 1897, it’s one of the area’s oldest non-profit organizations — screens one of France’s most beloved screwball seasonal comedies, Le Pére Noël Est une Ordure. The title, which can be loosely translated as “Santa Claus Is a Scumbag,” created such a stir when it was released in 1982 that the City of Paris and its public transit authority, the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, refused to lease billboard space for its movie posters. Nevertheless, the off-the-wall burlesque, with its bizarre cast of characters and even more bizarre setting — the offices of a social-services hotline called the “SOS Détresse” — became a cult classic that many a Parisian knows by heart. And thanks to Nora Ephron, Anglophiles have their own version of the tale: Mixed Nuts, starring Steve Martin.

The Alliance’s Ciné Club screens a French film every third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli. The group’s mission is to encourage the study of French language and culture, so the $7 ticket includes a reception following the film with wines, hors d’oeuvre and conversation en français. To learn more about AF events, visit www.afdenver.org or call 303-831-0304.
Tue., Dec. 16, 7 p.m., 2008

 
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