Movies at the Flint Institute of Arts traverse the world in February, traveling to elaborate state dinners in Paris, joyous wedding ceremonies in South Africa, and recording studios that represent the deep musical culture of a place called Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
The Friends of Modern Art film series presents its usual eclectic international lineup of cinema, with the first full weekend of the month (Feb. 7-9) featuring Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, a crowd-pleasing romantic comedy from South Africa (96 min., not rated). A white Afrikaner and a Zulu woman pose as a couple at a wedding – then decide to see if their budding relationship can survive their cultural differences.
Another unusual look at romance can be found in Blue Is the Warmest Color (playing Feb. 21-23), an NC-17-rated drama from France. In a 179-minute film that won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a teenager finds her perceptions of sexuality challenged upon meeting an older woman who encourages her to assert her individuality.
Another French entry in the FOMA series is Haute Cuisine (set for Feb. 14-16). Comedy and cuisine mix tastefully in a tale (95 min., PG-13) of a celebrated chef faced with creating culinary miracles after being appointed the personal cook for the President of France. Before the screening of Haute Cuisine on Saturday, Feb. 15, FOMA will present a French dinner catered by Fandangles’; the deadline for reservations is Feb. 10.
Rounding out the month (playing Feb. 28-March 2) is Muscle Shoals, about the distinctive music created decades ago in the titular city that brought blacks and whites together in the South’s cauldron of racial hostility. Gregg Allman, Bono, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger and many others bear witness in this resonant documentary (111 min., PG).
All FOMA screenings are at 7:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays. Tickets, available at the door, are $6 general admission, $5 for FIA members, and $4 for FOMA members. For more details on the films (and the dinner), call the museum at 810.234.1695 or visit flintarts.org.
Associate curator of Film at the Flint institute of arts, Ed Bradley was entertainment editor and film critic at the Flint Journal from 1989-2007. He teaches Journalism at the University of michigan-Flint and Film appreciation in the Fia art School, and has authored two books on early Hollywood cinema.