France

Marcel Pagnol – La fille du puisatier aka The well-digger’s daughter (1940)

The Well-Digger’s Daughter served to reunite star Raimu and writer/director Marcel Pagnol, who’d earlier scored an international hit with the “Marseilles trilogy” (Fanny, Marius, Cesar). The title character played by Josette Day, is impregnated by aviator George Gray. Her father, Raimu, orders Josette out of the house so that her younger sisters won’t be likewise “corrupted”. There’s many a moment of pathos and hilarity before Raimu realizes the folly of his behavior. Filmed in 1940, just after France’s acquiescence to their Nazi conquerors, The Well-Digger’s Daughter didn’t make it to the US until 1946. (Hal Erickson@All Movie Guide) Read More »

Alexandre Volkoff – Kean (141-minute version) (1924)

Quote:
This is a biopic of the 19th Century actor, Edmund Kean.

You may remember him for his famous last words: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”

Made some 90 years after his death, the film tells of the greatest actor of his time, a man toasted as the greatest actor of all time.

Great though he may have been on the stage, his personal life was a wreck.

He was hounded by creditors, had a problem with alcohol, and to make matters worse, had fallen in love with the wife of an ambassador. Read More »

Christian Marquand – Candy (1968)

Candy is a 1968 sex farce film directed by Christian Marquand based on the 1958 novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, from a screenplay by Buck Henry. The film satirizes pornographic stories through the adventures of its naive heroine, Candy, played by Ewa Aulin. It stars Marlon Brando, Ewa Aulin, Ringo Starr, John Huston and Enrico Maria Salerno. Popular figures such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Anita Pallenberg, and Florinda Bolkan appear in cameo roles. Read More »

Jean Cocteau – Le testament d’Orphée, ou ne me demandez pas pourquoi! AKA Testament of Orpheus (1960)

Synopsis
“Criterion” wrote:
In his last film, legendary writer/artist/filmmaker Jean Cocteau portrays an 18th-century poet who travels through time on a quest for divine wisdom. In a mysterious wasteland, he meets several symbolic phantoms that bring about his death and resurrection. With an eclectic cast that includes Pablo Picasso, Jean-Pierre Leáud, Jean Marais and Yul Brynner, Testament of Orpheus (Le Testament de Orphée) brings full circle the journey Cocteau began in The Blood of a Poet, an exploration of the torturous relationship between the artist and his creations. Read More »

Didier Rouget & Agnès Varda – Varda by Agnès (2019)

An unpredictable documentary from a fascinating storyteller, Agnès Varda’s next film sheds light on her experience as a director, bringing a personal insight to what she calls “cine-writing,” traveling from Rue Daguerre in Paris to Los Angeles and Beijing. Read More »

Christian-Jaque – Si tous les gars du monde AKA If All the Guys in the World… (1956)

Synopsis
Si Tous Les Gars du Monde is an entertaining tribute to the ham radio operators of the world. The story begins when a French shipping boat takes on an Arab passenger. While on the high seas, the Arab becomes seriously ill with a communicable disease that threatens the lives of everyone on board. Unable to reach the proper medical authorities, the boat sends out a desperate S.O.S., whereupon several amateur-radio enthusiasts of different nationalities spring into action… Read More »

Louis Malle – Le souffle au coeur AKA Murmur of the Heart (1971)

Synopsis:
Laurent Chevalier, a 14-year-old boy, saw his mother as the closest friend. The two of them went to a mountain resort. Clara Chevalier flirted with one of the hotel guests, her son met girls of the same age. However, on the holiday and Laurent, and his mother were left without companions … Read More »