France

Patrice Chéreau – La chair de l’orchidée AKA Flesh and the Orchid (1975)

A young woman, Claire, escapes from a lunatic asylum and falls under the protection of Louis Delage, a loner who rears horses for a living. When the man whom Louis has been sheltering is killed, both Claire and Louis become targets for a pair of unknown assassins. In the adventure that follows, Claire discovers why she was locked away in an asylum – her aunt wanted to prevent her from inheriting her father’s fortune. When the two killers make the same discovery, they kidnap Claire in order to extort a ransom, whilst continuing their pursuit for Louis. The outcome is far from pleasant… Read More »

Claude Bernard-Aubert – L’affaire Dominici AKA The Dominici Affair (1973)

Synopsis:
In August 1952, a family of British tourists is found by the roadside in Haute Provence, brutally murdered. In the ensuing, very public, investigation a local landowner, 75 year old Gaston Dominici, is arrested for the murders, having been denounced by his sons. Under police interrogation, Dominici confesses to have killed the family and it looks certain that he will be charged, tried and sentenced to death. But then the case begins to collapse. The old man retracts his confession and the lack of evidence against him becomes apparent…
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Claude Mulot – La rose écorchée AKA The Blood Rose (1970)

Synopsis:
When his new bride’s face is hideously disfigured in a fire, Frederic Lansac, a famous society painter, is determined to restore her beauty. He seeks out a notorious plastic surgeon who is on the run from the authorities. Using Lansac’s remote castle as a base, the two of them hunt down and imprison a series of young girls. Their skin is to be used in a serious of experiments aimed at restoring the face of Lansac’s wife. Read More »

René Clément – Gervaise (1956)

Synopsis:
Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys… She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working very hard a few more years, she succeeds in buying her own laundry (her dream)… But Coupeau starts to drink after having fallen from a roof, and Lantier shows up… A faithful adaptation of Emile Zola’s novel “L’Assomoir”, depicting the fatal degeneration of a family of workers, mainly because of alcohol. Read More »

Claude Chabrol – La ligne de démarcation (1966)

Quote:
A small village in the Jura is divided by the river Loue which marks the line of demarcation between Nazi occupied France and freedom. A French officer, Pierre, is released by the Nazi soldiers to find his chateau converted into a German command centre. Whilst he is obliged to co-operate with the enemy, his wife Mary plays a hand in supporting the French resistance. The Nazis step up their activity against the resistance, insisting that any who attempt to cross the line of demarcation will be shot. When his wife is arrested, Pierre decides to switch his allegiance… Read More »

Malgorzata Szumowska – Elles AKA Sponsoring (2011)

Quote:
On her latest assignment, a journalist for Elle immerses herself in a prostitution ring run by university students. Read More »

Claude Chabrol – Le beau Serge (1958)

Synopsis:
Of the hallowed group of Cahiers du cinéma critics turned filmmakers who transformed French film history, Claude Chabrol was the first to direct his own feature. His absorbing landmark debut, Le beau Serge, follows a successful yet sickly young man (Jean-Claude Brialy) who returns home to the small village where he grew up. There, he finds himself at odds with his former close friend (Gerard Blain)—now unhappily married and a wretched alcoholic—and the provincial life he represents. The remarkable and stark Le beau Serge heralded the arrival of a cinematic titan who would go on to craft provocative, entertaining films for five more decades. Read More »