France

Dominique Cabrera – Une poste à la Courneuve [+Extra] (1994)

The four thousand inhabitants of Courneuve go to the post office once in a while to collect their benefit or pay their bills. The young postal workers belong to the small group of people in the region with a paid job. Every day they are confronted with the poverty of the people at the other side of the counter. Dominique Cabrera alternately put his camera on either side of the counter and registered the behaviour and faces of the people who are involved in small financial transactions. Against the background of the post office buzz, he listened to the conversations that are part of the exchange of money. Une poste à la courneuve draws a colourful image of the effect an economic crisis can have on the lives of ordinary people. Read More »

Claude Lanzmann – Le dernier des Injustes aka The last of the Unjust (2013)

Quote:
1975. In Rome, Claude Lanzmann filmed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last President of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadt ghetto, the only “Elder of the Jews” not to have been killed during the war. A rabbi in Vienna, following the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, Murmelstein fought bitterly with Adolf Eichmann, week after week for seven years, managing to help around 121,000 Jews leave the country, and preventing the liquidation of the ghetto. Read More »

István Szabó – Taking Sides (2001)

Synopsis by Bruce Eder
Set in Germany in 1946, Taking Sides tells the story of the investigation of Wilhelm Furtwängler (Stellan Skarsgård), the renowned conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, by the American occupying army. Major Steve Arnold (Harvey Keitel) has been told by his superiors that they want Furtwängler convicted of being a willing participant in the crimes of the Hitler regime, by virtue of his supposed support for and support from the Hitler government. They haven’t got the time or resources to go after every ex-Nazi, so they want Furtwängler, as the biggest cultural target they can hit. Read More »

Stéphane Brizé – En guerre AKA At War (2018) (HD)

Quote:
After promising 1100 employees that they would protect their jobs, the managers of a factory decide to suddenly close up shop. Laurent takes the lead in a fight against this decision. Read More »

Jean-Claude Brisseau – L’ange noir AKA The Black Angel (1994)

Quote:
In this stylish French drama fits well into the film noir genre. A visitor comes to the home of Stephane, the wife of an important magistrate. She, claiming attempted rape, calmly shoots him. The visitor is the legendary gangster Wadek Aslanian who was beloved as a latter day Robin Hood. Stephane’s husband hires a lawyer, Paul, to defend her. Paul learns many disturbing things about Stephane’s sordid past when he starts receiving anonymous letters describing her exploits which included prostitution, performing in porno-movies, and most interestingly having a liaison with Aslanian. The judge is ignorant of his wife’s past. Despite her dark and mysterious past, Paul cannot help but fall in love with Stephane. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Read More »

Julian Schnabel – Le scaphandre et le papillon AKA The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Synopsis:
Forty-three year old Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby – Jean-Do to his friends – awakens not knowing where he is. He is in a Berck-sur-Mer hospital, where he has been for the past several weeks in a coma after suffering a massive stroke. Although his cognitive facilities are in tact, he quickly learns that he has what is called locked-in syndrome which has resulted in him being almost completely paralyzed, including not being able to speak. One of his few functioning muscles is his left eye. His physical situation and hospitalization uncomfortably bring together the many people in his life, including: Céline Desmoulins, his ex-lover and mother of his children; Inès, his current lover; and his aged father who he calls Papinou. Read More »

Jacqueline Audry – Olivia AKA The Pit of Loneliness (1951)

Olivia captures the awakening passions of an English adolescent sent away for a year to a small finishing school outside Paris. The innocent but watchful Olivia develops an infatuation for her headmistress, Mlle. Julie, and through this screen of love observes the tense romance between Mlle. Julie and the other head of the school, Mlle. Cara, in its final months. Although not strictly autobiographical, Olivia draws on the author’s experiences at finishing schools run by the charismatic Mlle. Marie Souvestre, whose influence lived on through former students like Natalie Barney and Eleanor Roosevelt. Colette wrote the screenplay for the 1951 film adaptation of the novel. Read More »