Tag Archives: French

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 »

Henri Decoin – Les inconnus dans la maison AKA Strangers in the House (1942) (HD)

From frenchfilms.org

Georges Simenon’s 1940 novel Les Inconnus dans la maison is a brooding study in social breakdown and youth disaffection that contains a powerful critique of western society of the 1940s. The same can equally be said of Henri Decoin’s magnificent film adaptation, one of the earliest and most successful attempts to bring Simenon’s bleak, melancholic world to the big screen. This was the second film that Decoin made for the German-run film company Continental-Films during the Nazi Occupation of France and it could hardly be more different in tone and subject from his first, the American-style romantic comedy Premier rendez-vous (1941). Read More »

Rafaël Ouellet – New Denmark (2009)

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Clara spent the summer of his 16 years seeking his missing sister. Local authorities do not move. The mother is bedridden. The adults in the village seem busy with other things. Between his summer job, take care of the family home and his little sister, Clara focuses his energies to find Margarete. Aided by her friends, she searched fields, rivers, edges of highways. For Clara, the body of his elder can be under any bridge, behind any door in any warehouse. When the mystery is solved, Clara finds himself more alone and helpless. Continues his research and focus far from home.

Through an initiatory quest where dialogues are reduced to their simplest expression in favor of suggestive images and some clues gleaned here and there, the girl (Clara Turcotte) in shock oscillates between dream and reality. Read More »

Jean-Jacques Beineix – 37°2 le matin AKA AKA Betty Blue [Director’s Cut] (1986)

Quote:
When the easygoing would-be novelist Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) meets the tempestuous Betty (Béatrice Dalle, in a magnetic breakout performance) in a sunbaked French beach town, it’s the beginning of a whirlwind love affair that sees the pair turn their backs on conventional society in favor of the hedonistic pursuit of freedom, adventure, and carnal pleasure. But as the increasingly erratic Betty’s grip on reality begins to falter, Zorg finds himself willing to do things he never expected to protect both her fragile sanity and their tenuous existence together. Adapted from the hit novel 37°2 le matin by Philippe Djian, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s art-house smash—presented here in its extended director’s cut—is a sexy, crazy, careening joyride of a romance that burns with the passion and beyond-reason fervor of all-consuming love. Read More »

Jean Painlevé – Science is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé (2009) (DVD)

The mesmerizing, utterly unclassifiable science films of Jean Painlevé (1902-89) must be seen to be believed: delightful, surrealist-influenced dream works that are also serious science. The French filmmaker-scientist-inventor had a decades-spanning career in which he created hundreds of short films on subjects ranging from astronomy to pigeons to, most famously, such marine-life marvels as the sea horse and the sea urchin. This definitive three-disc Criterion collection brings together the best of these, and includes more than two hours of interviews with the filmmaker, drawn from the eight-part French television series Jean Painlevé Through His Films, directed by Denis Derrien and Hélène Hazera. Also included is The Sounds of Science, an original score by Yo La Tengo to Jean Painlevé’s films, plus an interview with the band. Read More »

Jean-Daniel Pollet – Gala (1961)

Quote:
A night in a club. The magic of little things happening and ‘dishappening’ with some kind of ironic tenderness Read More »