COVID-19 Update

Based on the latest recommendations re: Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 from the⁣⁣ Chief Medical Officer of Ottawa Public Health, the ByTowne is closed. ⁣⁣
If you have tickets to any of our upcoming events, we will be offering refunds or exchanges. More info as soon as we work out some details.

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Thank you all for your support and we hope to see you very soon!

(Updated April 20)



Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

(Portrait de la jeune fille en feu)

2019 Cannes Film Festival Winner – Best Screenplay and Queer Palm

Céline Sciamma’s Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, a romance set in late 18th-century France, works on all sorts of levels: It’s a tender but complex love story, a slice of social commentary about the kinds of life and work opportunities historically available to women, and a gorgeous period piece. The picture is thoughtful and intense, a great example of how a well-told story, with vivid characters, can seep into your bones and keep you thinking for days afterward.

Poster for the romantic period drama Portrait Of A Lady On FireA painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), arrives on the coast of Brittany to produce a portrait of a young woman, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). The portrait is meant to assure a prospective future husband of the charms of his wife-to-be. Upon her arrival, Marianne learns that a previous painter has failed in his mission, driven away by Héloïse. Marianne is instructed to pose as a companion to Héloïse, and paint her in secret.

The two young women begin their tentative friendship by going out walking. And right away Marianne begins to see how Héloïse must have broken the other painter: social niceties don’t concern her; she never obliges with a smile. Beyond that, she’s so intensely cryptic and self-possessed that Marianne can’t help wanting to know more.

What Marianne and Héloïse find in one another speaks volumes about the constraints of the larger world around them.  This radiantly sensual film ends on the perfect note, a rush of emotional intensity that’s wrapped in a secret, as hushed as the rustle of silk.

– Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Avec Portrait de la jeune fille en feu, récompensé par le prix du meilleur scénario à Cannes, Céline Sciamma raconte une histoire d'amour interdite entre deux femmes aux destins opposés, dans un XVIIIe siècle corseté.

Sortie du couvent pour se marier à un homme dont elle ignore tout, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) doit, selon les conventions de l'époque, poser pour un portrait de mariage. Refusant de prendre la pose, elle a eu raison d'un premier peintre. A charge pour Marianne (Noémie Merlant), la nouvelle peintre, de mener à bien la commande. La jeune artiste à qui l'on demande de se faire passer pour une dame de compagnie va gagner progressivement la confiance de son modèle, qui baisse la garde et se laisse apprivoiser par la peintre dont elle envie la liberté. De cette complicité va naître un amour brûlant.

Céline Sciamma est très impliquée dans le collectif ‘50/50 pour 2020’ qui a pour objectif de promouvoir la parité et l'égalité dans le monde du 7e art. Dans ce film, la cinéaste féministe défend une fois de plus la liberté des femmes.

– Le Nouvel observateur


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