Monday, June 02, 2008

Spotlight on France: the line-up

A healthy line-up of different genres and time periods forms a spotlight on French cinema.

Format: Film (Year, Director)

Early films: 40's-50's
  • La Belle et la bête/The Beauty and the Beast (1946, Jean Cocteau)
  • Le Salaire De La Peur/The Wages of Fear (1953, Henri - Georges Clouzot)
  • Rififi (1955, Jules Dassin)

  • Director Profile: Jacques Tati
  • M.Hulot's holiday (1953)
  • Mon Uncle (1958)
  • Playtime (1967)

  • Director Profile: Louis Malle
  • Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
  • Murmurs of the Heart (1971)
  • Lacombe Lucien (1974)
  • Au revoir les enfants (1987)

  • Was Louis Malle part of the French New Wave or not? As I have seen articles arguing for either case, I just had to find out for myself. Although, I only picked one movie which forms a genuine contender for the New Wave: Elevator to the Gallows.

    Director Profile: Catherine Breillat
  • Romance (1999)
  • Brief Crossing (2001)
  • Anatomy of Hell (2004)

  • Catherine Breillat certainly fits the bill of "New French Extremity" cinema, a term coined by James Quandt. I wanted to visit some of the films which earned her that tag. Previously, the only two Breillat films I had seen were Fat Girl and Sex is Comedy.

    Newer films: Comedy, Horror, Action & some Romance
  • The Valet (2006, Francis Veber)
  • Sheitan (2006, Kim Chapiron)
  • OSS 117: Le Caire nid d'espions (2006, Michel Hazanavicius)
  • Coeurs (2006, Alain Resnais)

  • A spotlight won't be the same without a dash of comedy, a pinch of romance or some horror to stir the pot up. And when all is said and done, a simple action is required to serve the dish.

    As it stands, I still have to see 4 films from the above list. So far the most satisfying films have been Elevator to the Gallows, The Wages of Fear & Rififi.

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