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Directed by Jean Renoir

France 1954 102 mins. In French

Jean Renoir’s return to France in the early 1950s, following more than a decade of self-exile, culminated in his first film back on home soil: the legendary, extremely colorful French Cancan. The can-can, an old-fashioned dance in the world of the film (circa the 1890s), experiences a massive revival at the hands of Henri Danglard (Jean Gabin, magnificent as always), a womanizing Montmartre café owner and habitually risk-taking businessman. Down on his luck, Danglard hatches a plan to re-introduce this national dance to the masses, with the substantial help of his new star dancer and love interest Nini (the fantastic Françoise Arnoul), who is plucked from a life as a laundress and thrust into the spotlight. Part romance, part comedy, part musical, part backstage drama—French Cancan features some of the most unforgettable group choreography of the period and is one of Renoir’s most energetic, entertaining films. “A delicious musical comedy that deserves comparison with the golden age Hollywood musicals of the same period.”—Roger Ebert. Imported 35mm print!

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.