King’s annual Arts and Humanities Festival has come around again and this year the theme is Play. The festival explores all manner of play through all forms of performance from music to poetry to sport but many of the events this year have been using film to express this theme.
Highlights have included screenings of ‘The Madness of King George’ (1994) and the Mexican documentary ‘Milote’ (2012), both with the film maker’s attendance, as well as a very exciting screening of short films made by both undergraduate and postgraduate students at Kings. This highlights an important element of the festival in allowing Kings student themselves to take part and express themselves through the art of film, letting an audience see their talent and creativity.
I attended one of the many film screenings whilst the festival was on, a showing of Jean Renoirs 1936 short film ‘A Day in the Country’ (‘Partie de Campagne’). This particular event was actually run by a lecturer in French at Kings, Dr Claire White, who I spoke to prior to the screening. More than just a simple presentation of the film she intended to “recreate the history behind going on daytrips to the countryside around Paris” and show what Renoir “does in adapting the original story by Maupassant”.
The screening let us witness a beautiful French film but also offered a free education on the topic to a large group of both King’s students and the public with Dr White giving a detailed analysis of the film and its relations to paintings and the history of the time. Depicting both “leisure and pleasure”, Renoirs film and Dr Whites talk are just a small part of the wealth of passion and creativity that this festival holds each year.