On location in Brittany

The Chateau de Kerjean opens its doors this year with an exhibition celebrating the movies that have been filmed here and the filmmakers that have chosen the location as setting for their work.

Filming  Remorques (1941) / © Ministere de la Culture, Mediatheque du Patrimoine / Rene Jacques 

The intention is quite simply to show the different faces of Brittany and the fascinating region around Finistere - "the land at the end of the world" - which has been used in the filming of over 250 movies in the last century, including works by Roman Polanski, Claude Chabrol, Jean Epstein, Jacques Demy and Alain Resnais.

Filmmakers have been drawn to the coast of Brittany by the wonderful natural setting, and have found inspiration for many dramatic tales in the region's rugged landscape. Now, until November 2010, the area pays tribute to their efforts. Classical films such as Remorques (1941), Dieu a besoin des hommes (1950) and Traitement de choc (1973) have exploited the symbolic elements of this coastal setting with its breathtaking cliffs, solitary islands and lighthouses and its quiet and secluded beaches. Others, such as A Very Long Engagement (2004), with Audrey Tautou and Jodie Foster, depict the stereotypes and caricatures of this westernmost tip of France with its marine traditions and unspoiled seaside villages.

Film shows, concerts and lectures all figure among the exhibition's programmed activities. Cinemas in the region will also be joining in the celebrations and there will be open-air showings, as well as a unique and unprecedented programme of silent films, accompanied by singer Barbara Carlotti. Other activities include a discussion with the author of the book Cinema in Brittany, and concerts of Breton music.

The event is the perfect excuse to visit the Chateau de Kerjean, one of the Renaissance jewels of the Nagorno-Leon region. Dating from the second half of the sixteenth century, its thick walls are a reminder of the difficult times in which it was built, and the architecture, strongly influenced by Italian architects, follows the traditional style of the region with a large square courtyard surrounded by a number of different buildings.

Throughout the year, the Chateau - described by Louis XIII as "one of the most beautiful mansions in the kingdom" - offers visitors the chance to participate in a variety of activities including guided tours, dramatisations, exhibitions, special performances and workshops for children. All this, of course, in addition to the simple pleasure of strolling around the chateau's beautiful 19-hectare parkland.

Further information:
Leon Region www.paysduleon.com