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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: French-language cinema   Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:54 am

I’m no authority on French-language cinema. Anything but. The 10 films below are just ones I enjoy or admire and which stand up to repeat viewing. Moon in the Gutter may be the only controversial choice, but I say every rich girl has the right to a red Ferrari and a bit of rough trade...



Battaglia di Algeri, La (1966)(Pontecorvo)
Belle de Jour (1967) (Bunuel) (Carrière)
Bout De Soufflé, A (1960) (Godard) (Truffaut)
C'est arrivé près de chez vous  (1992) (Belvaux/Bonzel)
Dentellière, La (1977) (Goretta)
Lune dans le caniveau, La (1983) (Beineix)
Nuit Americane, La (1973) (Truffaut)
Salaire de la Peur, Le (Clouzot)
Tenant, The (1976) (Polanski)
Yeux sans visage, Les (1959) (Franju) (Boileau)

Or in English…

Battle of Algiers, The (1966) (Pontecorvo)
Belle de Jour (1967) (Bunuel) (Carrière)
Breathless (1960) (Godard) (Truffaut)
Man Bites Dog  (1992) (Belvaux/Bonzel)
The Lacemaker (1977) (Goretta)
The Moon in the Gutter (1983) (Beineix)
Day For Night (1973) (Truffaut)
Wages of Fear (Clouzot)
Tenant, The (1976) (Polanski)
Eyes Without A Face (1959) (Franju) (Boileau)

My only rule in compiling this list was that directors could only appear once, which, of course, ruled out a lot of Godard, Franju, Clouzot and Bunuel. That said, Truffaut crept in twice, but as a director and a screenwriter. Also, I’ve just got a Claude Chabrol boxset, which may change things. I’ve hardly seen anything of Chabrol’s work, but once it was not unusual to find ‘the French Hitchcock’ appended to his name.

Maybe someone here (Sabine?), could fill me in on what’s going on in French cinema these days. I’d like to believe there’s a renaissance if only for selfish reasons. Science fiction apart, there isn’t much to interest me in most contemporary English-language films.
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Largo's Shark
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:03 am

No Resnais, Demy, Bresson, Rohmer, Rivette, Melville or Renoir?

Chabrol's 'French Hitchcock' label was always lazy journalistic shorthand. His cinema was much more visceral.

Francois Ozon's a great contemporary French director, and I've longtime defender Luc Besson.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:29 pm

Largo's Shark wrote:
No Resnais, Demy, Bresson, Rohmer, Rivette, Melville or Renoir?

Can't see any. And should I add 'No Cocteau?'

I'm hardly claiming my list is definitive, just trying to get a non-nutcase discussion going. Besides, your suggestions would require replacing 70% of my choices.

Largo's Shark wrote:
Chabrol's 'French Hitchcock' label was always lazy journalistic shorthand.

Well, it worked. Only reason I bought the set. wink
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:52 am

I love Resnais more than any other French filmmaker.

As far as contemporary French cinema goes, you have a lot of work from aging great filmmakers, as well as middle-aged types like Xavier Beauvois, who got attention for Of Gods and Men in 2010, and Leos Carax, whose Holy Motors made a big splash in 2012. I'm not sure as to who would be designated as the up-and-comers. I'm told I need to see Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake, but he fits squarely in the group of middle-aged filmmakers.
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bitchcraft
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:52 am

French horror cinema, such as Haute tension and Martyrs certainly took the genre to another level. There are multiple clips on youtube but they're too graphic to post here. They were recommended to me by a horror aficionado who got fed up of the CGI crap that's regurgitated by Hollywood and they really left an impression.
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Control
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:54 am

Renoir's GRAND ILLUSION is one that everyone should see.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:00 am

Control wrote:
Renoir's GRAND ILLUSION is one that everyone should see.

I remember seeing that at the NFT (as was) 25 years ago. Didn't do much for me back then. Maybe I'd be more appreciative now.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:37 pm

Starting this year I'm finally gonna dive into some Frenchie films, mixing it with what I already have on my Netflix queue. What's a good start?
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:47 pm

Makeshift Python wrote:
Starting this year I'm finally gonna dive into some Frenchie films, mixing it with what I already have on my Netflix queue. What's a good start?
How arthouse do you wanna get?
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:18 am

David Lynch is probably about as arthouse as I ever got, to be honest. I'll probably just start with where French New Wave arguably began.
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:29 am

Makeshift Python wrote:
David Lynch is probably about as arthouse as I ever got, to be honest. I'll probably just start with where French New Wave arguably began.
There are two groups of French New Wave directors. There's the Cahiers du Cinema crowd (Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Éric Rohmer, François Truffaut) and the "Left Bank" crowd (Henri Colpi, Jacques Demy, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda). I like the latter more than the former.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:50 am

I'm taking advantage of the library Criterion has on their Hulu deal, so I've been adding a whole bunch onto that queue.
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:32 am

Rififi
Le Samourai
Le Cercle Rouge
La Passion de Jeanne D'Arc
Le Salaire de la peur
Les 400 coups
La belle et la bête
La Haine (getting more relevant with each passing year)
Les yeux sans visage
L'armée des ombres

In no particular order.
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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: French-language cinema   Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:15 am

In terms of more contemporary work, I have to say that I have seen very few French movies in the past five years, and those I have seen aren't necessarily features I would recommend.

"La Tourneuse des Pages" is probably the last French feature I would even deem to consider "great".

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