France

Bertrand Blier – Beau-père AKA Stepfather (1981)

Quote:
Remy is morose, nearing 30 with his career as a musician going nowhere and his eight-year marriage to Martine souring. Then, Martine dies in a car crash, and Marion, her 14-year-old, wants to stay rather than move to her father’s. Remy likes the idea: he loves her, he’s raised her, and she offers him emotional responsibility. Marion’s father objects, but she’s willful, so he relents. Soon, she tells Remy she finds him attractive, that she’s now “a woman,” and why can’t they be lovers. Remy is appalled, but weakens, missing her when she spends Christmas with her dad. What if they do become lovers? What next? And what if a woman more his age enters the picture? Read More »

Jean Renoir – Le caporal épinglé aka The Elusive Corporal (1962)

Synopsis:
‘An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic intellectual, a working-class Parisian, and a German dental assistant, the corporal tries to escape from prison camps, sometimes making it a few yards, sometimes reaching the French border.’
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Nicolas Bedos – La Belle Époque (2019) (HD)

A couple in crisis. He, disillusioned, sees his life upset the day an entrepreneur offers him to plunge back into the time of his choice. Read More »

Paul Vecchiali – C’est la vie! AKA That’s Life (1980)

The world and a life in four walls, and another portrait of a mother – selfish and generous, mercurial and unchanging. C’est la vie! (1980) takes Pagnol and Renoir’s experiments with open-air theatre to inspired and ecstatic conclusions, especially the latter’s love of depth-framing across windows and partitions, and lays the groundwork for Vecchiali’s later experiments with long-take space and time in Once More (1988). Also a pseudo-sequel to Marie-Claude Treilhou’s exquisite Simone Barbès ou la vertu (1980), reaffirming the Diagonale as not just a production model, but a kind of surrogate family, and a creative universe unto this forged community and itself. With Chantal Delsaux, Ingrid Bourgoin, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, and my beloved Hélène Surgère and Michel Delahaye. Read More »

Yannick Bellon – Les enfants du désordre (1989)

Quote:
ne of Emmanuelle Beart’s less known part but one of her most emotionally intense ,”Les Enfants Du Desordre” is a work by Yannick Bellon,once nicknamed the female Andre Cayatte (which ,IMHO ,is no insult for Cayatte paved a reliable way to activist directors ),who was the first in France to tackle the burning subject of rape ,just like a woman would do (she was preceded by American Ida Lupino ).Her work dealing with cancer (“L’Amour Nu”) was not as convincing,taking place in privileged milieus whereas her “La Triche” about homosexuality was downright embarrassing :killing the gay at the end of her movie is not an improvement on the American works of the sixties such as “the fox” or “children’s hour” ! Read More »

François Truffaut – L’histoire d’Adèle H. AKA The Story of Adele H. (1975)

Quote:
In 1863 Adèle Hugo, the younger daughter of the great French poet and patriot, Victor Hugo, ran away from home on the Isle of Guernsey where her father was living in exile to follow a young English officer, a Lieutenant Pinson, to his new post in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lieutenant Pinson was probably not a bad sort, not worse than most, but he wasn’t very serious.

It’s thought that the young, inexperienced Adèle had most likely been Lieutenant Pinson’s mistress for a short time on Gurnsey, and it’s known that she wanted desperately to marry him, though her father disapproved. In any case, Lieutenant Pinson was not interested — a circumstance that Adèle was ill-equipped to understand or ever to support. Read More »

François Truffaut – Le dernier métro AKA The Last Metro (1980)

Quote:
Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under the German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping, humanist character study. Against all odds—a Jewish theater manager in hiding; a leading man who’s in the Resistance; increasingly restrictive Nazi oversight—the troupe believes the show must go on. Equal parts romance, historical tragedy, and even comedy, The Last Metro (Le dernier métro) is Truffaut’s ultimate tribute to art overcoming adversity. Read More »