Category Archives: French Film

Happy Bastille Day! Now Go Watch a French Movie

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This Sunday is Bastille Day. It’s a holiday that speaks to my (sort of) French heritage.* And more importantly, it speaks to my love of French cinema. And why shouldn’t it? In terms of quality per quantity, you can stack French movie history up against any other country. If you don’t believe my claim, perhaps it’s time to do some digging. Continue reading

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Filed under French Film, Movies

French Follow-Up: More About the 2012 Edition of the 50 Greatest French Films

Whenever you make a list featuring the 50 greatest of anything, there are bound to be a lot of tough decisions, at least if you take the endeavor seriously. Unless it’s a list of the 50 greatest Journey songs, which would be really easy. But I digress. Along the way, there are sure to be a lot of extra thoughts about the process that lead to the decisions you make. In other words, this article is a DVD bonus feature for The 50 Greatest French Films of All-Time. Continue reading

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The 50 Greatest French Films of All-Time

It’s time yet again for my favorite feature at TDYLF- my annual list of the 50 greatest French films of all-time. One aspect I’m starting to really enjoy about this list is how organic it is. Each year, movies rise and fall thanks to re-watches, exposure to new films, and new insights. Keeping and maintaining this list throughout the year also serves an important function for me. It motivates me to continue learning, and grow as a French film enthusiast. A few notes before we get started:

  • I am not an authority on this. I’m just a Francophile with a Blu-ray player, Netflix and Facets subscriptions, and a love of movies.
  • As much as I try, I am not a completist. There are a lot of films I simply haven’t seen. I’ve done my best to make it as comprehensive as I could but there’s always room to see more. There are still some relatively glaring omissions. Please feel free to recommend others, as I am always on the lookout to improve this list. It’s a labor of love for me.
  • There is obviously a lot of personal preference involved. However, I’ve given a lot of weight to objective aspects like a film’s influence, importance, creativity, and how much they embody the spirit of French cinema and history.
  • To qualify, the film has to be a French language film. There are non-French directors on this list but every movie is a French language film.

With that out of the way, I present to you  the 50 greatest French films of all-time: Continue reading

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The Ten Most Influential Directors of All-Time

Michaël Parent, who operates one of my favorite sites- Le Mot de Cinephiliaque– has been taking submissions for his annual “Most Influential Directors” poll. Michaël gets an impressive list of contributors each year, and I’m sure this year will be no different. Today is the final day for submissions, and my ballot is going to beat the buzzer, just barely. Here’s my ballot, along with a brief write-up on each director detailing why I chose them, along with a representative film from each director. Continue reading

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Filed under Foreign Film, French Film, German Films, Movies

The Recurring Motifs of French Cinema

Watch any genre or sub-genre enough and you’ll eventually pick up several recurring elements and themes. Prime example: cop films and low angle shots, occasionally of helicopters. Hot Fuzz (2007) famously spoofed it from Bad Boys (1995). Having watched an absurd amount of French films in the last 50 days, I can assure you that French cinema is no different. Here are some recurring themes that appear all over the history of French cinema. Continue reading

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A Trip to the Moon, Far Away from Aurora

There is nothing I can offer but mostly empty platitudes about the horrible events in Aurora, Colorado just after midnight on Friday. All I can say is that the victims, and families and friends of the victims, are all in my thoughts. With that in mind, after a full day of hearing news updates about the tragedy, I wanted something that could take me as far away as possible. The moon, circa 1902, turned out to be the perfect place. Continue reading

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Filed under French Film, Movies, Silent Movies

Re-Watchterpiece Theatre: Children of Paradise (1945)

Re-Watchterpiece Theater is a series that explores the organic way that attitudes about films change after you watch them a second time, a third time, or more, further down the line than the original viewing. Thanks to Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series, I had an opportunity to re-visit Marcel Carnés poetic realist masterpiece, Children of Paradise (1945), over the weekend. It’s a film held in very high esteem, often ranking at the top of French film lists. Cahiers du Cinéma placed it as the 9th best film ever made, regardless of nationality or genre, in 2008. It’s often referred to as “the French Gone with the Wind“. I had it at #10 in the first iteration of my 50 Greatest French Films list, and then it fell to #28 in the second iteration. Seeing it on the big screen would surely give me a proper context of the film. Continue reading

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Filed under Foreign Film, French Film, Movies, Re-Watchterpiece Theater