By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Francois Ozon's film "Swimming Pool" was a favorite around here when it appeared in theaters in Milwaukee in 2003. His latest film, "Potiche," starring Catherine Deneuve as the trophy wife of the title, opens Friday, May 13 at The Downer Theatre.

The period film – set in a French provincial town in 1977 – was as smash in France, where it was nominated for four French "Oscars," and was selected for the 2010 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.

Based on a play of the same name, "Potiche" is the story of Suzanne Pujol, a submissive wife (played by Deneuve) of the owner of an umbrella factory inherited from her father. When he is taken hostage by workers during a strike, his failing heart takes him out of service for a while.

Suzanne steps in to run the company in his absence and does a great job, earning the workers' loyalty, collaborating with communist MP Babin (Gerard Depardieu) and even bringing her children into the business – something her husband has been loathe to do. The daughter helps manage the factory and the son creates intriguing and well-received new products.

But when, Mr. Pujol returns, all hell breaks loose in this satirical and comedic film, which boasts some real laugh out loud moments.

Past affairs come to light, political intrigue takes unexpected turns and everyone is surprised to learn that Suzanne Pujol – beyond her unexpected management skills – is nothing like the image she has projected.

UWM Union Theatre also has a couple interesting films screening this week, too (unsurprisingly).

On Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m., you can see a free showing of "The Arbor," director Clio Barnard's 94-minute video documentary on the life and work of late British playwright Andrea Dunbar. Dunbar, best known for her work "Rita, Sue and Bob, Too," died tragically at age 29 in 1990.

Barnard spent two years talking to the people around Dunbar -- her family, friends, neighbors -- to tell the story of an admired artist who struggled in her relationship with her daughter. Then, she created this unusual film in which actors perform the anecdotes collected, lip-syncing and interpreting them in staged scenes.

Then, on Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14, at 11 p.m. you can catch free screenings of Bruce LaBruce's "L.A. Zombie."

The filmmaker's synopsis declares that "'L.A. Zombie' is a hardcorn zombie splatter / gore porn movie. It exists in softcore and harcore versions."

UWM will screen the 63-minute softcore, theatrical version. Don't worry, you'll still get some "gory gay zombie sex."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.