The Voilah! festival returns in April and May bringing the best of French cinema and fashion

The Voilah! festival returns in April and May bringing the best of French cinema and fashion

Calling all Francophiles

Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Getty Images,
Pierre Boulat

Food, fashion, cinema — it could only be the triple threat that is France. Voilah! 2016 will make you fall in love with all things French over and over again

Hands up if you love French cinema — and no, it doesn't make you a true fan if you only subscribe to Jean-Luc Godard's work or can recite some lines off Amelie. The wealth of French cinema extends beyond films starring Tumblr favourites Audrey Tautou and Anna Karina or sex symbols Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot. If a few cinematic greats have managed to slip through your fingers, Voilah! 2016 promises to bring some of those flicks onto our radar with some of France's best works to be shown at the 'Gaumont: 120 Years of Cinema' retrospective next month.

Renowned as the first and oldest film company in the world, Gaumont predates major studios such as Pathé, Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures. It's been the backbone of films which starred some of cinema's most notable names: Federico Fellini's direction in Huit et Demi (1963), Miles Davis' music work in Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958) and Jeanne Moreau's appearance in Feu Follet (1963). 

Yves Saint Laurent at a model fitting
On the fashion front, expect to get intimate with Yves Saint Laurent. 'Yves Saint-Laurent: Birth of a Legend' is a photo exhibition that features 49 original pictures from photographer Pierre Boulat, the only fashion lens that was allowed to go behind-the-scenes into the making of the late designer's first solo fashion show in 1962. It's kind of a big deal — for that's the year the house of Yves Saint Laurent was launched after his departure at Christian Dior. Amassing over five weeks worth of material, Boulat has captured the creative juices surrounding the making of the designer's first collection.

Feu Follet will be shown on 16 April; Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud will be shown on 24 April and Huit et Demi will be shown on 30 April at The Projector. 'Yves Saint-Laurent: Birth of a Legend' will be shown from 27 April to 21 May at the Alliance Français Gallery.