France

Robert Bresson – L’argent AKA Money (1983)

Quote:
In his ruthlessly clear-eyed final film, French master Robert Bresson pushed his unique blend of spiritual rumination and formal rigor to a new level of astringency. Transposing a Tolstoy novella to contemporary Paris, L’argent follows a counterfeit bill as it originates as a prop in a schoolboy prank, then circulates like a virus among the corrupt and the virtuous alike before landing with a young truck driver and leading him to incarceration and violence. With brutal economy, Bresson constructs his unforgiving vision of original sin out of starkly perceived details, rooting his characters in a dehumanizing material world that withholds any hope of transcendence Read More »

Paul Vecchiali – Change pas de main AKA Don’t Change Hands (1975)

Quote:
Experimental film mixes genres, styles and even XXX vs. soft-core

Paul Vecchiali’s work is an acquired taste, as he is a filmmaker who marches to the beat of his own drum, never fashionable or popular. Produced by a famous pornographer of the day (Jean-Francois Davy of “Exhibition” fame) it’s a rare mainstream (sort of) movie that carefully integrates explicit hardcore sex content into a strong story. Read More »

Philippe Harel – La femme défendue (1997)

This movie is foremost distinguished by the use of a subjective camera, and nearly 100 % of the time consists of close-up of Isabelle Carré’s face. She is capable of changing her facial mimic so much that she never looks artificial or inappropriate. 39-year-old François meets 22-year-old Muriel, who is a virgin. Several times he invites her to fine restaurants. She agrees that on a certain day they will meet at a hotel and he will see her naked. He promises not to sleep with her at that occasion… Read More »

Nelly Kaplan – Plaisir d’amour aka The Pleasure of Love (1991)

Plot :
Guillaume de Burlador is a private tutor who hits a low point sufficiently severe for him to
contemplate a somewhat theatrical suicide. Instead he is taken off by flying boat to a mad French colonial possession bedecked by mad servants and crazy decor. Three rather gorgeous women live there,and old Guillaume is a randy old stoat. Read More »

Claude Autant-Lara – Tu ne tueras point AKA L’Objecteur AKA Non uccidere AKA Thou Shalt Not Kill (1961)

Synopsis by Hal Erickson
An Italian/French/Yugoslavian/Liechtensteinian coproduction (whew!), Thou Shalt Not Kill features Laurent Terzieff as a French conscientious objector. Interwoven with his story is the saga of a German priest (Horst Frank) who faces stiff punishment for killing a Frenchman during the Second World War. Director Claude Autant-Lara characteristically uses these twin plotlines as a platform to espouse his Leftist political beliefs and to heartily condemn the Catholic church. As a result, the fact-based Thou Shalt Not Kill (originally Tu Nes Tuera Point) caused quite a stir upon its first release. Many of its sentiments became more palatable in the late 1960s, though even at that time critics carped at Autant-Lara’s cut-and-dried directorial techniques. Read More »

Antoine Russbach – Ceux qui travaillent AKA Those Who Work (2018)

Frank, a man of action who worked his way up all by himself, dedicates his life to work. No matter the place or the circumstances, be it day or night, he’s on the phone, handling the cargo ships he charters for major companies. But when he has to deal with a crisis situation, Frank makes a brutal decision and gets fired. Profoundly shaken, betrayed by a system to which he gave his all, he has to progressively question himself to save the one connection that still matters to him: the bond he’s managed to maintain with his youngest daughter, Mathilde. Read More »

François Ozon – Sous le sable (2000) (HD)

When her husband goes missing at the beach, a female professor begins to mentally disintegrate as her denial of his disappearance becomes delusional. Read More »