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Salem State University | Department of World Languages & Cultures | Language Resource Center

French Language Films and Documentaries

Films and documentaries kept at the LRC are for viewing at the LRC exclusively. They may not normally be checked out. VHS tapes may be viewed in the two TV-VHS combo machines at the lab (ask the lab attendant for a set of headphones). DVD's may be viewed at any of the computers.

French-language feature films

Intouchables

Year: 2009 - Country: France - Language: French - Director: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache - Genre: - Runtime: 112 min. - Actors: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, Joséphine de Meaux - Rating: R - Format: DVD - Acquired: Fall 2015

"Driss (Omar Sy), a Senegalese man living in a Paris slum, applies for a job as caretaker to a wealthy quadriplegic, but all he wants is to get his paper stamped so he can get benefits. Despite his lack of qualifications, he lands the job because of his attitude: Philippe (François Cluzet), the quadriplegic, wants a caretaker who will look at him without pity. As Driss reluctantly learns to move, feed, and clean Philippe, the two men discover a blunt but vital humor that not only bridges the cultural and class divide between them, but gives Philippe a renewed joy in life. It's easy to see what made The Intouchables such a massive success in France; the movie has the sweet sincerity and uplifting conclusion that make for a classic feel-good experience. The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable, and Sy--who won the French equivalent of the Oscar for his role--is a dynamic and charismatic performer, while Cluzet's understated performance conveys Philippe's frustrations. The movie doesn't dig too deeply into the struggles of life as a quadriplegic or the struggles of life among the inner-city poor, so when The Intouchables ends it's not likely to leave a lasting impression, but that doesn't get in the way of its immediate charm and warmth. --Bret Fetzer" (Source)

https://www.amazon.com/Intouchables-François-Cluzet/dp/B0087IT8FK/

The Grocer's Son

Year: 2009 - Country: France - Language: French - Director: Eric Guirado - Genre: - Runtime: 96 min. - Actors: Nicolas Cazale, Clotilde Hesme, Jeanne Goupil, Daniel Duval, Liliane Rovere - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Fall 2012

"It is summer, and thirty-year-old Antoine is forced to leave the city to return to his family in Provence. His father is sick, so he must assume the lifestyle he thought he had shed driving the family grocery cart from hamlet to hamlet, delivering supplies to the few remaining inhabitants. Accompanied by Claire, a friend from Paris whom he has a secret crush on, Antoine gradually warms up to his experience in the country and his encounters with the villagers, who initially seem stubborn and gruff, but ultimately prove to be funny and endearing. Ultimately, this surprise French box-office hit is about the coming-of-age of a man re-discovering life and love in the countryside." (Source)

http://www.amazon.com/Grocers-Son-Nicolas-Cazale/dp/B001AZJKKK/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0864770/

Un coeur en hiver / A Heart in Winter

Year: - Country: France - Language: French - Director: Claude Sautet - Genre: - Runtime: 105 min. - Actors: Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Béart, André Dussollier, Stanislas Carré de Malberg, Brigitte Catillon - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Fall 2012

"Daniel Auteuil (Manon of the Spring) stars as Stephane, the curiously diffident co-owner of an exclusive violin brokerage and repair shop. A brilliant technician, Stephane can make any instrument live up to its promise, yet he himself is emotionally remote and disconnected from passionate experience. His partner, Maxime (André Dussollier), lacks Stephane's gifts but is rich in personality and desire. When Maxime's new lover, a violinist named Camille (Emmanuelle Béart), is drawn to Stephane's still waters, he is briefly moved, thus destroying the fragile, symbiotic relationship between all three individuals." (Source)

http://www.amazon.com/Un-Coeur-Hiver-Heart-Winter/dp/B000HIVIQU/

My afternoons with Margueritte

Year: 2012 - Country: France - Language: French - Director: Jean Becker - Genre: - Runtime: 80 - Actors: Gerard Depardieu, Gisele Casadesus - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Fall 2012

"In a small French town, Germain (Gerard Depardieu, Cyrano de Bergerac, Potiche), a nearly illiterate man in his 50s who is considered the village idiot, takes a walk to the park and happens to sit beside Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus, Sarah’s Key), a little old lady who is reading excerpts from her novel aloud. She s articulate, highly intelligent and frail. Germain is lured by Margueritte’s passion for life and the magic of literature from which he has always felt excluded. As Margueritte broadens his mind via reading excerpts from her novel, Germain realizes that he is more of an intellectual than he has ever allowed himself to be. Afternoons spent reading aloud on their favorite bench transform their lives and start them both on a new journey to literacy and respect for Germain, and to the deepest friendship for Margueritte." (Source)

http://www.amazon.com/My-Afternoons-Margueritte-Gerard-Depardieu/dp/B007I1Q59E/

Persepolis

Year: 2008 - Country: France - Director: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud - Genre: Drama - Runtime: 96 minutes - Actors: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Danielle Darrieux, Simon Abkarian - Rating: - Format: DVD - Acquired: Oct 2013

"A fascinating and wholly unexpected take on Iran’s Islamic revolution beginning in the 1970s, Persepolis is an enthralling, animated feature about a spirited young woman who spends her life trying to deal with the consequences of her nation’s history. Based on an autobiographical comic book by Marjane Satrapi, the story concerns Marji (voiced as a teenager and woman by Chiara Mastroianni), whose natural fire and precociousness are slowly dampened by the rise of religious extremists. Marji grieves over the imprisonment and execution of a beloved uncle, then begrudgingly adapts to ever-tightening rules about dress, social mores, education for women, and expectations about marriage and divorce. Along the way, her grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) and mother (Catherine Deneuve) help keep Marji grounded during her rebellious teens and encourage her to find life beyond Iran’s borders, a decision that proves both a blessing and curse. An unique window onto a crucial chapter of 20th century history, Persepolis is graphically engaging with its black-and-white, bold lines and feeling of repressed energy, fit to burst. The emotional content is so strong that after awhile, one almost forgets the film is a cartoon. Satrapi co-wrote the screenplay and co-directed the film along with animator Vincent Paronnaud. --Tom Keogh" (source)

http://www.amazon.com/Persepolis-Chiara-Mastroianni/dp/B000YAA68W/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808417/

Le grand voyage

Year: 2004 - Country: France, Morocco - Director: Ismael Ferroukhi - Genre: Drama - Runtime: 108 minutes - Actors: Nicolas Cazale, Mohamed Majd, Jacky Nercessian, Ghina Ognianova, Kamel Belghazi - Rating: - Format: DVD - Acquired: Oct 2012

"Le Grand Voyage isn't a good movie because it has won various awards and accolades, nor is it good because it provides a distinctively different view of the Muslim community. No, it's a good movie due to the way the director provided an intelligent look at the generation gap between father and son, in a manner befitting the beliefs so often vilified by the press... Once again, Film Movement picked a winner! --Don Houston, DVD Talk
A few weeks before his college entrance exams, Reda (Nicolas Cazale), a young man who lives in the south of France, finds himself obligated to drive his father 3,000 miles on his spiritual hajj to Mecca. From the start, the journey looks to be difficult: Reda and his father (Mohamed Majd) have nothing in common. The wide cultural and generational gap between the two is worsened by their lack of communication. Reda finds it hard to understand his father, who demands respect for himself, his religion and his pilgrimage. From France, through Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan to Saudi Arabia, the two will embark on a road trip to Mecca that will change their lives. Winner - Venice Film Festival. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. (source)

http://www.amazon.com/Le-Grand-Voyage-Nicolas-Cazale/dp/B000B58DHQ/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361670/

Paris

Year: 2008 - Country: France - Director: Cédric Klapisch - Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance - Runtime: 130 min. - Actors: Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Albert Dupontel, Mélanie Laurent - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: May 2013

"In Paris, a superb cast led by by Romain Duris (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) and Juliette Binoche (The English Patient,Caché) give emotional heft to a delicate web of social relationships. Previous films of French director Cedric Klapisch have made a microcosm of a neighborhood (When the Cat’s Away) and a shared apartment (L’auberge espagnole). Paris encompasses the City of Lights in an Altman-esque merry-go-round: When a dancer (Duris) discovers he has heart trouble, he’s reluctant to tell his sister (Binoche), a social worker raising three children by herself. Meanwhile, a middle-aged historian (Fabrice Luchini, Claire’s Knee) finds sudden fortune as the host of a television series, but can’t keep himself from sending Baudelaire poems via text message to a lovely young student (Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds). In between these two primary storylines, a multitude of other characters overlap in significant and trivial ways. Minor disappointments and casual pleasures brush against life-changing troubles and, every once in a while, the tantalizing possibility of a lasting happiness. Klapisch has broad ideas about the importance of community, spontaneity, and human contact, but the movie’s success lies in the grit and vividness of simple social interactions--awkward, combative, misunderstood, and joyous. There are missteps (a flimsy dream sequence jars against the movie’s deft naturalism), but they’re small and forgivable. Paris is a lovely and moving film, full of offhand gestures and accidents that will linger in your memory, charged with unexpected resonance. --Bret Fetzer" (source)

http://www.amazon.com/Paris-Juliette-Binoche/dp/B002VKB0M4/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0869994/

Incendies (2010)

Year: 2010 - Country: France - Director: Denis Villeneuve - Genre: Drama | History - Runtime: 129 min - Actors: Lubna Asabal, Maxim Gaudette, Remy Girad, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin - Rating: R - Format: DVD - Acquired: Feb. 2012

Amazon.com: "In the highly acclaimed suspense thriller Incendies, a mothers dying wish creates a painful puzzle her children are forced to solve. At the reading of their mother's will, twins Jeanne and Simon are given instructions to locate the father they believed was dead and the brother neither knew existed. They travel to the middle east to piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, only to make a shocking discovery." (source)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005MS1R84
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1255953/

The Battle of Algiers (The Criterion Collection) (1967)

Year: 1967 - Country: France - Director: Gillo Pontecorvo - Genre: Drama | History - Runtime: 125 min - Actors: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Samia Kerbash, Ugo Paletti - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Feb. 2012

Amazon.com: One of the most influential films in the history of political cinema, Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers focuses on the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria’s struggle for independence from France. Shot in the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film vividly recreates the tumultuous Algerian uprising against the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerian people demonstrate that they will no longer be suppressed. The Criterion Collection is proud present Gillo Pontecorvo’s tour de force—a film with astonishing relevance today.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002JP2OI, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058946/

Kirikou and the Sorceress / Kirikou et la sorcière (2000)

Year: 2000 - Country: France - Director: Michel Ocelot - Genre: Animation | Adventure | Family - Runtime: 74 min - Actors: - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Feb. 2012

"In a little village somewhere in Africa, a boy named Kirikou is born. But he's not a normal boy, because he knows what he wants very well. Also he already can speak and walk. His mother tells him how an evil sorceress has dried up their spring and devoured all males of the village except of one. Hence little Kirikou decides, he will accompany the last warrior to the sorceress. Due to his intrepidity he may be the last hope of the village." (source)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007Z9QSA, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181627/

Kirikou And The Wild Beast / Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages (2005)

Year: 2005 - Country: France - Director: Bénédicte Galup, Michel Ocelot - Genre: Animation | Adventure | Family - Runtime: 95 min - Actors: - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Feb. 2012

"KIRIKOU AND THE WILD BEAST (2005) - Tiny Senegalese hero Kirikou is back in this sumptuous follow-up to the universally beloved Kirikou and the Sorceress. Using his wits and speed, brave Kirikou once again sets out to thwart the evil Sorceress Karaba and save his village from supernatural and environmental perils. Comprised of 4 short segments and based on traditional West African folk tales, Kirikou and the Wild Beast shows how the smallest and most valiant of heroes can overcome the fiercest of beasts. Directed by world-acclaimed animation masters Michel Ocelot and Bénédicte Galup, this multi-million dollar feature was produced by Didier Brunier (The Triplets of Belleville). Kirikou and the Wild Beast evokes the beauty of traditional West African village life through its inspired palette of ambers, ochers, and brightly colored patterns. In addition, the film features a lush soundtrack that brings together the internationally renowned African musicians Youssou N Dour, from Senegal, Rokia Traore, from Mali, and Manu Dibango, from Cameroon." (source)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019APR8A, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455142/

La faute à Fidel! / Blame It on Fidel (2006)

Year: 2006 - Country: France - Director: Julie Gavras - Genre: Drama | History - Runtime: 99 min - Actors: Nina Kervel-Bey, Julie Depardieu, Stefano Accorsi, Benjamin Feuillet, Martine Chevallier - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Dec. 2009

Amazon.com: Warm-hearted and even-handed, this sly political satire centers on Anna (Nina Kervel-Bey), a nine-year-old French girl accustomed to comfort and routine. In 1970, when her attorney father, Fernando (Stefano Accorsi), takes in his Spanish refugee sister, Anna’s tightly-conscripted world starts to unravel. The process accelerates when he and her journalist mother, Marie (Julie Depardieu, daughter of Gérard), take a fact-finding trip to Chile. Upon their return, Fernando has a beard--just like Fidel Castro--and both have embraced activism. This necessitates a move from bourgeois house to proletariat apartment as they dedicate their lives to the disenfranchised. It also means less time for Anna and her urchin-cute brother, François (Benjamin Feuillet). She decides "Fidel is to blame." Still, things could be worse. They may be opposed to it, but her parents allow her to continue attending private school, though her father jokes she's a "little mummy," i.e. Chilean slang for reactionary. (He also believes Mickey Mouse is a fascist.) In adapting Domitilla Calamai’s novel, documentary filmmaker Julie Gavras, daughter of left-wing director Costa-Gavras, presents her first feature from a child's perspective, but that doesn't mean she takes Anna's side. Just as Anna can't see the good in altruism--or tell the difference between conformity and solidarity--her family's plunge into radical politics is understandably upsetting (especially when they take her to a demonstration that turns violent). And yet, by not following them blindly, Gavras suggests that Anna is a rebel, too. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

http://www.amazon.com/Blame-Fidel-Nina-Kervel-Bey/dp/B000V1Y47I, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0792966/

Bon Cop, Bad Cop / Shoot First Translate Later (2006)

Year: 2006 - Country: Canada - Director: Erik Canuel - Genre: Action | Comedy | Crime | Thriller - Runtime: 116 min - Actors: Colm Feore, Lucie Laurier, Ron Lea, Nanette Workman, Gilles Renaud - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Dec. 2009

Amazon.com: If the phrase "Canadian action thriller" doesn't send you running to the video store, Bon Cop Bad Cop is hoping to change your mind. When a body is found straddling the Ontario/Quebec border, a detective from each province must partner up to solve the case. Naturally, in the grand tradition of buddy-cop movies, one (Colm Feore, Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould) is straight-laced and by the book while the other (Patrick Huard, Les Boys) is a chain-smoking loose cannon. The mystery escalates as more bodies pile up, all connected to the world of hockey (and based on real-life hockey figures) and all marked with mysterious tattoos. Gags about French vs. English pile up as well, along with other Canadian in-jokes, but despite that, Bon Cop Bad Cop is accessible and entertaining, a preposterous, over-the-top blend of Lethal Weapon and Saw. It has all the classic elements--an eccentric coroner, women throwing themselves at the heroes, a brawl in a bar, a time-bomb on an innocent victim, a detective clinging to the roof of speeding car--as well as a number of unique bits, like some creepy bobble-heads and a killer in a sports mascot costume doing a De Niro impression. (Be warned that the violence is sometimes extreme, though usually for comic effect, and there's a steady flow of strong language.) --Bret Fetzer

http://www.amazon.com/Bon-Cop-Bad-Colm-Feore/dp/B0015UKX4M, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0479647/

Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis (2008)

Year: 2008 - Country: France - Director: Dany Boon - Genre: Comedy - Runtime: 106 min - Actors: Dany Boon, Kad Merad, Zoe Felix, Line Renaud, Stephane Freiss - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Dec. 2009

Synopsis: "A man born and raised on France's Southern coast is exiled to the Northern territories in this comedy from actor, director and screenwriter Dany Boon. Philippe Abrams (Kad Merad) helps run the post office in a picturesque small town in the South of France. Philippe's wife Julie (Zoe Felix) has been down in the dumps, and he thinks one way to lift her spirits would be to relocate to the more glamorous surroundings of the Cote d'Azur. However, Philippe's attempts to finagle a transfer fail, and he ends up demoted -- he's sent to Bergues, a village in Northern France stuck between Belgium and England. Philippe is appalled at the news, and matters only get worse when he has to learn the local dialect, a strange bouillabaisse of French, Flemish and Latin dialects. Julie opts to stay behind, and as Philippe drowns his sorrows in beer on his first night in town, he nearly runs over a man while driving home drunk -- who turns out to be one of his new colleagues at the post office, Antoine Bailleul (Dany Boon). But Philippe finds to his surprise that he enjoys life in Bergues, and he becomes infatuated with Annabelle (Anne Marivin), a beautiful letter carrier. Philippe is pondering just what he should do about his feelings for Annabelle when he gets word from Julie that she's decided to join him in the unfashionable North. Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis was a major box office success in France, grossing over $200 million."

http://www.amazon.com/Bienvenue-Welcome-Sticks-English-Subtitles, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1064932/

Séraphine (2008)

Year: 2008 - Country: France - Director: Martin Provost - Genre: Biography | Drama | War - Runtime: 125 min - Actors: Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur, Anne Bennent - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: Dec. 2009

"In 1914, Wilhelm Uhde, a famous German art collector, rents an apartment in the town of Senlis, forty kilometers away from Paris, in order to write and to take a rest from the hectic life he has been living in the capital. The cleaning lady is a rather rough-and-ready forty-year-old woman who is the laughing stock of others. One day, Wilhelm who has been invited by his landlady, notices a small painting lying about in her living room. He is stunned to learn that the artist is no other than Séraphine." (Guy Bellinger)

Madame Bovary

Year: 1991 - Country: France - Director: Claude Chabrol - Genre: Drama - Runtime: 130 minutes - Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Jean-François Balmer, Christophe Malavoy, Jean Yanne, Lucas Belvaux - Rating: PG-13 - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Amazon.com: It's a mixed blessing, but Claude Chabrol's 1991 adaptation of Madame Bovary can at least claim a proper French pedigree in its fidelity to Flaubert's literary classic. It's certainly more faithful than Madame herself, played here with icy determination by Isabelle Huppert. Frustrated, repressed, and desperate for any opportunity to break free of her numbing marital bondage, the wife of Dr. Bovary finds her chance in the affections of Rodolphe Boulanger (Christophe Malavoy), but she is too shallow and too selfish to sense his lack of commitment. And as Flaubert's tale unfolds (along with Chabrol's dryly accurate interpretation), Emma Bovary finds herself caught in a snare of her own design. This tragedy of self-absorption--a universal study of indulgence, ignominy, and fatal discontent--should prove potent for anyone who feels the oppression of an unhappy marriage, but it's also a compelling study of boredom as an internal phenomenon. Huppert conveys exasperation, passion, and self-destruction in equal measure, yet she barely alters her passive, blank expression; her performance is too cold to ignite the resonant themes of Flaubert's novel. All in all, one wonders if Chabrol--seemingly uneasy with costume drama--is being too respectful of Flaubert at the cost of his own directorial mastery. This is a prestigious and worthwhile adaptation, but like one of Dr. Bovary's patients, it's been bled to the point of paleness and fainting. The result is a literate film that's "good for you," even though it may not be entirely good. --Jeff Shannon

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006L92L/salemstatecolleg
http://amazon.imdb.com/title/tt0102368/

Lumumba (Special Edition) (2001)

Year: 2001 - Country: - Director: Raoul Peck - Genre: Biography, Drama - Runtime: 115 minutes - Actors: Eriq Ebouaney, Alex Descas, Théophile Sowié, Maka Kotto, Dieudonné Kabongo - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Plot Synopsis: The true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Using newly discovered historical evidence, Haitian-born and later Congo-raised writer and director Raoul Peck renders an emotional and tautly woven account of the mail clerk and beer salesman with a flair for oratory and an uncompromising belief in the capacity of his homeland to build a prosperous nation independent of its former Belgium overlords. Lumumba emerges here as the heroic sacrificial lamb dubiously portrayed by the international media and led to slaughter by commercial and political interests in Belgium, the United States, the international community, and Lumumba's own administration; a true story of political intrigue and murder where political entities, captains of commerce, and the military dovetail in their quest for economic and political hegemony.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006LPHK/salemstatecolleg
http://amazon.imdb.com/title/tt0246765/

The Double Life of Veronique

Year: 1991 - Country: - Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski - Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance - Runtime: 98 minutes - Actors: Irène Jacob, Halina Gryglaszewska - Rating: R - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Plot Synopsis: Veronika lives in Poland. Veronique lives in Paris. They don't know each other. Veronika gets a place in a music school, works hard, but collapses and dies on her first performance. At this point, Veronique's life seems to take a turn and she decides not to be a singer...

Product Description: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. Irène Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. Though unknown to each other, the two women share an enigmatic, purely emotional bond, which Kieslowski details in gorgeous reflections, colors, and movements. Aided by Slawomir Idziak’s shimmering cinematography and Zbigniew Preisner’s haunting, operatic score, Kieslowski creates one of cinema’s most purely metaphysical works: The Double Life of Véronique is an unforgettable symphony of feeling.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000I2J75O/salemstatecolleg

Les Choristes (The Chorus)

Year: 2004 - Country: France - Director: Christophe Barratier - Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance - Runtime: 97 minutes - Actors: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand - Rating: PG-13 - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Plot Synopsis: Set in 1948, a professor of music, Clement Mathieu, becomes the supervisor at a boarding school for the rehabilitation for minors. What he discovers disconcerts him -- the current situation is repressive. Through the power of song, Clement tries to transform the students.

Amazon.com: By getting nominated for Academy Awards in both the Foreign Language Film and Best Song categories, Les Choristes (The Chorus) made a rare (for a European film) double impression at the 2004 Oscars. This sentimental tale follows the arrival of a new teacher at a remote boys school in 1949 France (the war is a largely unspoken but ghostly presence). With disciplinary problems rampant, and the policies of the old-fashioned headmaster not helping, Monsieur Mathieu decides to introduce choral singing as a way to bridge the gap with his students. You don't need a crystal ball to figure out where this will go, although the movie uses its atmospheric location and lush vocal arrangements well. Bald, dumpy Gerard Jugnot provides a refreshingly offbeat hero (though securely in the traditions of the My Most Memorable Teacher movie); he's sort of a younger Philippe Noiret. Director Christophe Barratier works in the winsome-cute mode that makes a certain kind of French movie into an overly sweet bon bon, although at least this bon bon sings. --Robert Horton

Product Description: An inspirational story in the rich tradition of MUSIC OF THE HEART and MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS, THE CHORUS has moved critics everywhere to declare it one of the year's very best films! When he takes a job teaching music at a school for troubled boys, Clément Mathieu is unprepared for its harsh discipline and depressing atmosphere. But with passion and unconventional teaching methods, he's able to spark his students' interest in music and bring them a newfound joy! It also puts him at odds with the school's overbearing headmaster, however, locking Mathieu in a battle between politics and the determination to change his pupils' lives!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007NMJPO/salemstatecolleg

The Decline of the American Empire

Year: 1986 - Country: France - Director: Denys Arcand - Genre: Comedy, Drama - Runtime: 102 minutes - Actors: Dominique Michel, Dorothée Berryman - Rating: R - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Plot Synopsis: Four university teachers gather to prepare a dinner. Remy - married, Claude - homosexual, Pierre - girlfriend and Alain - a bachelor discuss sex, the female body and their affairs with them. Their guests Louis, Dominique, Diane and Danielle are waiting at a health gym. They also discuss sex, the female body and, naturally, men. Later in the evening they meet and have dinner. The discussion? Well, you can guess it...

Amazon.com: You've never seen a sex comedy quite like The Decline of the American Empire. That's because there's no sex in this comedy--just a lot of entertaining talk about it (and a few discreet flashbacks). The speakers are eight Montreal academics. For most of the film, the men--Rémy (Rémy Girard), Claude (Yves Jacques), Pierre (Pierre Curzi), and Alain (Daniel Brière)--fix dinner while talking about sex. The women--Dominique (Dominique Michel), Louise (Dorothée Berryman), Diane (Louise Portal), and Danielle (Geneviève Rioux)--work out while talking about sex. That evening, they all gather for dinner... and talk about sex. The Decline of the American Empire made the reputation of writer-director Denys Arcand, but his greatest success would arrive 17 years later with The Barbarian Invasions. In that 2003 Oscar-winner, Arcand revisits the lovably loquacious characters from the first film, all of whom are older, wiser--and just as obsessed with sex. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002KPI3M/salemstatecolleg

Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons)

Year: 2003 - Country: France - Director: Josée Dayan - Genre: Drama, Romance - Runtime: 200 minutes - Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Plot Synopsis: Updated adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' classic 18th Century tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge set in the modern 1960s world of Parisian high society. The beautiful Madame de Merteuil (Catherine Deneuve) seeks vengeance against her ex-lover Gercourt (Andrzej Zulawski) when he becomes engaged to her young goddaughter, Cécile (Leelee Sobieski). Merteuil turns to her ex-lover/partner-in-crime, Valmont (Rupert Everett), famous for his reputation as a Don Juan, to seduce Cécile and emotionally destroy her. While on his mission, Valmont gets sidetracked when he goes to visit his aunt and falls for Madame Tourvel (Nastassja Kinski), a virtuous, married woman who knows of his womanizing ways, but that only makes the challenge more exciting to Valmont. Together, Madame de Merteuil and Valmont make a dangerous team and they will stop at nothing when it comes to matters of the heart.

Amazon.com: This visually sumptuous adaptation of the classic French novel of seduction, betrayal, and revenge stars the great Catherine Deneuve (Repulsion, Belle de Jour) as the scheming Madame de Meurteuil, who--to get back at a man who spurned her for a younger woman--persuades her equally amoral friend Valmont (Rupert Everett, My Best Friend's Wedding) to seduce the young woman in question. Thus begins one of the most intricate and hypnotic plots every orchestrated; it's no wonder Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been adapted into film so many times. This 2003 French miniseries starts with cars, costumes, and music from the early 20th century, then rapidly becomes more modern. More stylish than passionate; still, the villainous orchestrations will suck you in. Also featuring Nastassja Kinski (Tess, Cat People), Leelee Sobieski (The Glass House), and Danielle Darrieux (8 Women). Jean-Paul Gaultier costumed Deneuve. --Bret Fetzer

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00015YV5Y/salemstatecolleg

Indochine

Year: 1992 - Country: France - Director: Régis Wargnier - Genre: Drama, Romance, War - Runtime: 156 minutes - Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez - Rating: PG-13 - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Plot Synopsis: Indochina during the 30's. One of the largest rubber-tree plantations is owned by the French colonist Eliane, a proud but imprudent woman. She lives with her father and her native adoptive daughter Camille. At an auction Eliane gets to know the young officer Jean-Baptiste; after a short affair she refuses to see him again. But in the meantime Camille falls deeply in love with the young man, so Eliane takes the necessary steps to cause a transposition of Jean-Baptiste onto a far island. Though Camille gets married to another guy she goes on a long journey throughout the country in order to find the man she loves.

Amazon.com: Régis Wargnier's 1992 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film is a bit like watching paint dry, despite its exotic locale and lead performance by the legendary Catherine Deneuve (Belle de Jour, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). Deneuve plays a wealthy French landowner, born and raised in Indochina, from 1930 until 1955, the year of a Communist takeover. The brewing political changes bound to upset her fortune and destiny find an even more personal parallel in her relationship with an adopted daughter (Linh Dan Pham), who grows up and becomes independent. The outline of this scenario sounds pretty good, but the film is flat and unworthy of its star. --Tom Keogh

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6305730997/salemstatecolleg

L'ami de mon amie (Boyfriends and Girlfriends)

Year: 1988 - Country: France - Director: Eric Rohmer - Genre: Comedy - Runtime: 97 min. - Actors: Emmanuelle Chaulet, Sophie Renoir - Rating: PG - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Amazon.com: The title of Eric Rohmer's sixth and final film in his Comedies and Proverbs series, Boyfriends and Girlfriends, makes much more sense in its original French form: L'ami de mon amie (The Friend of My Friend). In this series, each stand-alone film is based on a proverb, in this case, "the friends of my friends are my friends." Thus when conservative 24-year-old Blanche (the beautiful and talented Emmanuelle Chaulet) is befriended by wild-child 22-year-old Lea (the exotic Sophie Renoir), they find themselves each tempted by the love interests of the other. Fabien (Eric Viellard) is Lea's long-term beau, into windsurfing and hiking, which fills Lea with ennui; she'd much rather party all night. Blanche is besotted with Alexandre (François-Eric Gendron), a ladies' man who barely acknowledges her existence and who is dating Adrienne (Anne-Laure Meury). But of course, as things always go, Fabien is enamoured with the sporty Blanche, and Alexandre finds Lea irresistible.

In typical Rohmer fashion, the film is heavy on dialogue and light on action. By stripping away the veneer--no unusual camera work, no elaborate settings, no pounding soundtrack--Rohmer is able to effectively focus on the empty lives of the modern suburbanites (they all live in a spanking-clean suburb of Paris, Clergy-Pontoise, where the sparseness of the apartments and streets echoes their lives) and his New Wave influences show in the simple theme, the fickle nature of the heart. Yet his characters are immensely likable and their situations comical and ordinary enough for the viewer to relate to. This is an excellent entry into the world of Eric Rohmer for the New Wave neophyte and a refreshing, lighter outing for those who are already fans. --Jenny Brown

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/157252541X/salemstatecolleg

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Year: 1964 - Country: France - Director: Jacques Demy - Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance - Runtime: 92 min. - Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo - Rating: NR - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Plot Synopsis: Geneviève, 16, lives with her widow mother, who owns an umbrella shop in Cherbourg. She and Guy, an auto mechanic, are in love and want to marry. But her mother does not agree. She thinks Geneviève is too young and Guy is not wealthy enough. Guy leaves for two years in the army, and Geneviève is pregnant. She still loves Guy, although she has little news from him. Because the baby needs a father she marries Roland Cassard, a rich gem dealer, who fell in love with her at first sight and promised to bring up the child as his own... A movie whose dialogue is entirely sung.

Amazon.com: Thirty years after its release in 1964, this poignant romantic drama, in which virtually all of the dialogue is sung, was badly in need of restoration. The bright colors had faded and washed out in a haze of pink, and the film stock had badly aged. Fortunately, the movie was properly restored to its original splendor and rereleased to worldwide acclaim. Not only was this French romance a daring musical experiment (because the entire screenplay is a kind of epic song, beautifully scored by Michel Legrand), but it also introduced Catherine Deneuve, who was 20 years old when the film was released and became one of France's all-time screen legends. Deneuve plays a young woman in love with a local auto mechanic named Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) who has been drafted into the army. In his absence she learns that she is pregnant and then marries a rich man who agrees to raise the child. The bittersweet story follows what happens when Guy returns from service. To reveal anything more would be a disservice to anyone who hasn't seen this touchingly heartfelt film. --Jeff Shannon

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001BMLUA/salemstatecolleg

Les Visiteurs / The Visitors [replacement copy]

Year: 1996 - Country: France - Director: Jean-Marie Poiré - Genre: Fantasy, Comedy - Runtime: 118 min. - Actors: Christian Clavier, Jean Reno, Valérie Lemercier, Marie-Anne Chazel, Christian Bujeau - Rating: - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Product Description: This outrageous time-travel comedy follows the misadventures of a wacky medieval knight (Jean Reno -- MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, THE PROFESSIONAL) and his faithful servant when they suddenly find themselves zapped into the present day! Mayhem rules as these 12th-century visitors try adapting to the wildly confusing modern world! To avoid being stuck here for good, however, they soon begin an all-out cosmic assault on their former castle -- now a luxury hotel -- in their quest to return to the past. But you can be sure THE VISITORS won't leave without first delivering nonstop laughs and outstanding comedy entertainment!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005NB9Z/salemstatecolleg

A Very Long Engagement

Year: 2004 - Country: France - Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet - Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance, War - Runtime: 133 min. - Actors: Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel - Rating: R - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Product Description: The film is set in France near the end of World War I in the deadly trenches of the Somme, in the gilded Parisien halls of power, and in the modest home of an indomitable provincial girl. It tells the story of this young woman's relentless, moving and sometimes comic search for her fiancC)e, who has disappeared. He is one of five French soldiers believed to have been court-martialed under mysterious circumstances and pushed out of an allied trench into an almost-certain death in no-man's land. What follows is an investigation into the arbitrary nature of secrecy, the absurdity of war, and the enduring passion, intuition and tenacity of the human heart.

Amazon.com: Both epic and intimate, A Very Long Engagement reunites Audrey Tautou and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the star and director of the hugely popular Amelie. A young woman named Mathilde (Tautou, Happenstance)separated from her lover by World War I refuses to believe he's been killed and launches an investigation into his fate--an investigation that spins in all directions, creating dozens of miniature stories (including that of an Italian prostitute avenging the death of her own lover by elaborate means) that shift to and fro in time. The dazzling curlicues of narrative put brutality and tenderness back to back, shifting between crushing inevitabilities and miraculous rescues with deft storytelling skill and the lush visual style of the director of Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. Through it all, Tautou--fierce and luminous--anchors the movie effortlessly. She's among the most emotionally engaging actresses in cinema, with the kind of expressive beauty that transcends language. A gorgeous, far-reaching film; the huge cast also includes Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs), Gaspard Ulliel (Strayed), and Dominique Pinon (Alien: Resurrection). --Bret Fetzer

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007Z0NYQ/salemstatecolleg

Jesus of Montreal

Year: 1990 - Country: Québec - Director: Denys Arcand - Genre: Drama - Runtime: 120 minutes - Actors: Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening - Rating: R - Format: DVD - Acquired: December 2006

Amazon.com: What happens to the people putting on a Passion Play? Someday Mel Gibson may tell us, but Denys Arcand's Jesus of Montreal proposes an engaging possibility. In hip present-day Montreal, a group of actors stages the Passion in an outdoor, somewhat avant-garde style, led by the quietly charismatic and increasingly uncanny young man (Lothaire Bluteau, Black Robe) playing Christ. His identification with the role, and the way it bleeds into real life, gives director Denys Arcand plenty of opportunities for social comment--some of it spot-on, some of it a little facile. But the fragile Bluteau is such a fascinating lead presence (the other actors are familiar from Arcand's Barbarian Invasions and Decline of the American Empire) that the movie's spell lasts long after it's over. Turns out the French-Canadian approach to the Passion can be just as intriguing as the original Aramaic. --Robert Horton

Plot Outline: A group of actors put on an unorthodox, but acclaimed Passion Play which incites the opposition of the Catholic Church while the actors' lives themselves begin to mirror the Passion itself.

Plot Synopsis: A group of actors putting on an interpretive Passion Play in Montreal begin to experience a meshing of their characters and their private lives as the production takes form against the growing opposition of the Catholic church.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002TSZKQ/salemstatecolleg

The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares)

Year: 2003 - Country: Canada - Director: Denys Arcand - Genre: Drama, Comedy - Runtime: 99 min. - Actors: Rémy Girard, Stéphane Rousseau - Rating: R - Format: DVD - Acquired: October 2006

Product Description: Academy Award(R) winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003, THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS is a provocative look at the many ties that bind a group of friends and lovers. It's not easy for a narrow-minded professor (Rémy Girard) to reconcile with his equally stubborn son. But soon, father and son find themselves gathering with their wide and colorful circle of family and friends to confront their differences, confess their secrets, and celebrate life! Winner of the Best Actress (Marie-Josée Croze) and Best Screenplay awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival -- critics everywhere hailed this outstanding motion picture as one of the year's best!

Amazon.com: The intriguing Denys Arcand (director of Jesus of Montreal and Stardom) returns to the lusty, cantankerous intellectuals of his first film, The Decline of the American Empire. Remy (Remy Girard), a history professor, is dying of cancer, and his estranged and financially successful son Sebastien (Stephane Rousseau) returns to care for the old man. With the power of money, Sebastien cuts through bureaucracy and the law to give his father some comfort--comfort that Remy accepts with reluctance, because in his eyes the unintellectual Sebastian has betrayed all of Remy's principles. Old friends arrive and soon the conversation turns to sex, religion, history, sex, academia, sex--The Barbarian Invasions isn't very focused, but the very breadth of its ideas makes it worth seeing; few movies even try to grapple with morality or the state of our culture, let alone with this kind of intelligence and grace. --Bret Fetzer

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001XAPWE/salemstatecolleg

La Haine (Hate)

Year: 1995 - Country: France - Director: Mathieu Kassovitz - Genre: Drama - Duration: 96 min - Actors: Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, Abdel Ahmed Ghili - Rating: USA:R - Format: DVD - Acquired: Fall 2004

"La Haine (Hate) directed by 28 year-old Mathieu Kassovitz, is a passionate look at racial tensions at a Paris housing project. Although drug dealing, urban decay, and police brutality have been shown in films before, rarely have they had the sense of vitality and urgency shown in La Haine. Three friends from different ethnic backgrounds live in the Bluebell housing projects on the outskirts of Paris. This is not the Paris of travel brochures or films like Amelie, but a desolate urban landscape, harsh and grim with housing projects that look as if they could be in any big city in the world. Vinz (Vincent Cassel), is a working class Jew; Hubert (Hubert Kounde), the most intelligent and self-reflective of the three, is an African boxer; and Said (Said Taghmaoui), an Arab from North Africa is younger but just as embittered. The film depicts their rage against the police whom they see as oppressors. Marginalized economically and politically, without jobs, parents who care, or hope for the future, the streets are their home and they are open targets for police who are shown as brutal and racist. In one startling scene, a veteran cop taunts and physically abuses Said and Hubert while training a rookie cop. The rookie can only look on and shake his head in disbelief. Shot in black and white, La Haine shows a single day in the lives of the three friends. Following a major riot in which a local teenager, Abdel, is critically wounded by the police, Vinz, the most volatile of the group, vows that if Abdel dies he will kill a cop to get even. Hubert wants to restrain him, and Said doesn't seem to care either way, as long as he can get his money from a drug dealer named Snoopy. When Vinz finds a Smith & Wesson 44 lost by the police during the riots, the spiral of violence escalates and builds toward a memorable conclusion..." (source: IMDb)

Other reviews:
http://www.fortunecity.co.uk/cinerama/chick/268/essays/DG_La_Haine.html

Year: - Country: Senegal - Language: French and African languages- Director: Ousmane Sembene - Genre: Comedy / Drama - Duration: France:120 min / USA:90 min - Actors: Mariama Balde, Mame Ndoumbe, Ndiagne Dia, Venus Seye - Rating: - Format: VHS - Acquired: Fall 2004

"The most recent film from Senegalese master Ousmane Sembene is a rich, relaxed comedy of middle-class Dakar society. The title character is an unmarried mother of two; disowned by her father and tricked and taken advantage of by her worthless lovers, Faat Kine (the radiant Venus Seye) is now the hard-as-nails manager of what may be Dakar’s (and could be New England’s) cleanest gas station. Her proud and protective children pass their high-school exams at the beginning of the film and then turn their attention to finding a husband for their mom. Sembene’s narrative encompasses many ominous aspects of modern Senegal: resentment between Moslems and Christians; begging; poverty; high interest rates; the AIDS epidemic. But the film is bathed in calm, clear light and filled with ebullient colors, and it ends on a note of optimism and triumph that feels inevitable, not dragged in or merely crowd-pleasing. Although lacking the acid brilliance of earlier Sembene masterworks like Black Girl and Xala, Faat Kine is a vigorous, entertaining movie with a directness and a tonal control that are the hallmarks of a master. BY CHRIS FUJIWARA" (source)

Other review:
http://www.newsreel.org/films/faatkine.htm
http://www.newsreel.org/articles/OusmaneSembene.htm
http://www.africanfilmny.org/network/news/Rgadjigo.html
http://www2.uiuc.edu/unit/cinema/events/archive/faatkine.html
http://home.utm.utoronto.ca/~amna_hus/REV1.htm
http://www.indiewire.com/movies/rev_010328_Faat-Kine.html
http://www.kdhx.org/reviews/faatkine.html

Visages de femmes (Faces of Women)

Year: 1985 - Country: France / Ivory Coast - Director: Désiré Ecaré - Genre: Drama / Comedy - Duration: 105 min - Actors: Sidiki Bakaba, Kouadou Brou, Albertine N'Guessan, etc. - Rating: - Format: DVD

"At a festival, a chorus of women sing and dance as two stories unfold. In a village, a young women with a jealous husband gives him something to be jealous about when his younger brother comes for a visit. When her husband threatens her, she learns self-defense, but her troubles may not be over. In a coastal city, Mrs. Congas runs a fish-drying business. She wants a less smelly job, so she seeks a loan to open a restaurant. When she's turned down, two of her daughters visit the banker and bat their eyes; the loan comes through. But her troubles aren't over: every male relative and tribal cousin shows up, praising her lazy husband and expecting money, food, and help." IMDb

Miel et cendres (Honey and Ashes)

Year: 1996 - Country: Switzerland / Tunisia - Genre: Drama - Duration: 80 min - Director: Nadia Farès - Actors: Nozha Khouadra, Samia Mzali, Amel Hedhili, etc. - Rating: Singapore:PG, MPAA Rating: Not Rated - Format: DVD

Three women in a contemporary North African Islamic country are caught between tradition and modernity as they try to take control of their lives. The lives of these three women weave together in unexpected ways, portraying a society where patriarchal authority gets in the way of love, sexual expression and individual freedom. Rotten Tomatoes (IMDb)

8 femmes (8 women)
SSU Library CIRC DESK Video PN 1997 .E334 2003

Year: 2002 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: - Director: François Ozon - Actors: Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve - Rating: R - Format: DVD

Amazon.com: The cream of France's cinema sirens star in the deliciously candy-colored 8 Femmes, a murder mystery speckled with ornate performances that play up the public image of the actresses themselves. Eight women find themselves snowbound in a house with a dead man--a man each of them (his wife, sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, daughters, housekeeper, and chambermaid) had reason to kill. Secrets tumble forth, accusations fly, catfights flare, and confrontations turn steamy, all accompanied by campy performances of 1960s French pop songs. At first, these musical numbers seem like pure kitsch, comic and entertaining, but over the movie's course, they become strangely touching. Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Virginie Ledoyen, Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Beart, Isabelle Huppert, Ludivine Sagnier, and Firmine Richard are all superb, investing their cardboard characters with a strange emotional resonance--and their costumes are exquisite. An entrancing piece of giddy fluff. --Bret Fetzer

La Bûche

Year: 1999 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: 1 hr. 46 min. - Director: Danièle Thompson - Actors: Francoise Fabian, Sabine Azema, Emmanuelle Beart, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Claude Riche - Rating: - Format: DVD

The directorial debut of French screenwriter Danièle Thompson, LA BÛCHE is a cool Christmas story with a comedic, realistic touch. Set in Paris, a middle-aged divorced woman, Yvette (Françoise Fabian), rattled over the death of her lover, decides to spend Christmas with her three daughters, Sonia (Emmanuelle Béart), Milla (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and Louba (Sabine Azéma), who are more accustomed to spending Christmas with their father. This decision creates tension and irritation for everybody in the family, making Christmas characteristically frenzied. From there, Thompson's film becomes a series of colorful character studies, slowly revealing the unique personalities of each of the excellently portrayed characters. The three sisters have a close bond, though they all disagree with each other to certain degrees. The conservative, materialistic Sonia is having marital troubles and though she does not talk about her unhappiness, it’s shows in her actions. Louba, no longer a young woman, who performs a song-and-dance routine at a Russian restaurant, is pregnant by her married lover. And Milla, a fiercely independent workaholic, thinks that she has found true love, and then realizes that the man she has met is actually her brother. A magical, difficult, carefully woven story, LA BÛCHE takes the falseness out of Christmas spirit, and replaces it with the magic of real life.

At Yahoo movies

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amelie)

Year: 2001 - Country: France - Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance/Fantasy - Duration: 122 min - Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet - Actors: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz - Rating: Rated R for sexual content - Format/Formato: DVD

Amazon.com: Perhaps the most charming movie of all time, Amélie is certainly one of the top 10. The title character (the bashful and impish Audrey Tautou) is a single waitress who decides to help other lonely people fix their lives. Her widowed father yearns to travel but won't, so to inspire the old man she sends his garden gnome on a tour of the world; with whispered gossip, she brings together two cranky regulars at her café; she reverses the doorknobs and reprograms the speed dial of a grocer who's mean to his assistant. Gradually she realizes her own life needs fixing, and a chance meeting leads to her most elaborate stratagem of all. This is a deeply wonderful movie, an illuminating mix of magic and pragmatism. Fans of the director's previous films (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children) will not be disappointed; newcomers will be delighted. --Bret Fetzer. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Hiroshima, mon amour

Year: 1959 - Country: France/Japan - Genre: Drama/Romance/War - Duration: 91 min. - Director: Alain Resnais - Actors: - Rating: UK:18 - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"1959. A French young woman has spent the night with a Japanese man, at Hiroshima where she went for the shooting of a film about peace. He reminds her of the first man she loved. It was during World War II, and he was a German soldier. The main themes of this film are memory and oblivion." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Les Diaboliques

Year: 1955 - Country: France - Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Horror - Duration: 119 min. - Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Actors: Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot - Rating: Parental Discretion Advised - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"The wife and mistress of a sadistic boarding school headmaster plot to kill him. They drown him in the bathtub and dump the body in the school's filthy swimming pool... but when the pool is drained, the body has disappeared - and subsequent reported sightings of the headmaster slowly drive his 'killers' (and the audience) up the wall with almost unbearable suspense..." Summary written by Michael Brooke. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Cyrano de Bergerac

Year: 1990 - Country: France - Genre: Drama/Romance - Duration: 138 min. - Director: Jean-Paul Rappeneau - Actors: - Rating: PG - Format: VHS

"A dashing officer of the guard and romantic poet, Cyrano de Bergerac falls in love with his cousin Roxane without her knowing. His one fault in his life, he feels, is his large nose and although it may have been a forming influence in his rapier-sharp wit, he believes that Roxane will reject him. He resorts to writing letters to her on behalf of one of his cadets, Christian, who is also in love with Roxane but just doesn't know how to tell her. She falls for the poetic charm of the letters but believes that they were written by Christian." Summary written by Graeme Roy. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Jean de Florette

Year: - Country: France/Switzerland/Italy - Genre: Drama - Duration: 122 min. - Director: Claude Berri - Actors: Yves Montand, Gerard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil - Rating: PG - Format: VHS

"In a rural French village an old man and his only remaining relative cast their covetous eyes on an adjoining vacant property. They need its spring water for growing their flowers, so are dismayed to hear the man who has inherited it is moving in. They block up the spring and watch as their new neighbour tries to keep his crops watered from wells far afield through the hot summer. Though they see his desperate efforts are breaking his health and his wife and daughter's hearts they think only of getting the water." Summary written by Jeremy Perkins. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Stavisky

Year: 1974 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Drama - Duration: 117 min. - Director: Alain Resnais - Actors: Jean-Paul Belmondo - Rating: USA:PG - Format: VHS

"Irrestisible charm and talent helps Serge Alexandre alias Stavisky, small-time swindler, to make friends with even most influential members of French industrial and political elite during the early 30s. But nothing lasts forever and when his great scam involving hundreds millions of francs gets exposed result is an unprecedented scandal that almost caused a civil war." Summary written by Dragan Antulov Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Madame Bovary

Year: 1934 - Country: - Genre: Drama - Duration: 102 min. - Director: Jean Renoir - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Soon after the death of his first wife (whose dowry was inadequate), Charles Bovary, a country doctor in Normandy, marries Emma Rouault, who is well-endowed in every sense. In her new home, Emma finds conflict with her mother-in-law, a husband uninterested in the social whirl, and general discontentment; thereby proving an easy conquest for philanderer Rodolphe. Other lovers follow. Does tragedy await? Summary written by Rod Crawford." Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Manon des sources (Manon of the Spring)

Year: 1986 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: 113 min. - Director: Claude Berri - Actors: - Rating: PG - Format: VHS

"In a rural French village an old man and his only remaining relative are successful flower growers using water from a spring on an adjoining property they now own. The grown-up daughter of the previous owner still lives in the hills as a goatherd and comes to realise that not only these two but the whole village knew of the existence of the spring when her father was desperately trying to water his crops. An accident with one of the goats leads her by chance to the source of the spring and the possibility of a terrible revenge." Summary written by Jeremy Perkins. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

La Nuit de Varennes

Year: 1982 - Country: - Genre: Drama - Duration: 128 min. - Director: Ettore Scola - Actors: - Rating: R - Format: VHS

"On 20 June 1791 the king and queen of France (Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette) tried to escape from Revolutionary Paris to join monarchist allies outside France, but were arrested in the town of Varennes. The incident inflamed popular distrust and hatred against the monarchy. Linked to this historical event the film imagines a group of travellers on the same road, including the American patriot Thomas Paine, the noted seducer Casanova, the French novelist Restif de La Bretonne, and one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting. They reflect various attitudes toward the momentous changes taking place around them." Summary written by English Showalter. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

La femme Nikita

Year: 1990 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: - Duration: 117 min. - Director: Luc Besson - Actors: - Rating: R - Format: VHS

"Nikita est très jeune, elle a vingt ans, mais elle a emprunté une mauvaise voie. Pendant un hold-up avec sa bande, elle tue un policier et est condamnée à la prison à vie. Les services secrets, par contre, lui offrent une voie de sortie: devenir un agent spécial, prêt à tout, à leur service. Nikita accepte et commence ainsi un apprentissage très dur qui concerne non seulement les différents modes de tuer, de prendre la fuite ou de faire face à des situations imprévues, mais aussi la manière de se comporter en femme qui a de la classe, capable de se conduire avec aisance dans tous les milieux. Sous la conduite de Bob, Nikita arrive à freiner son caractère rebelle et à surmonter la terrible épreuve finale. Elle semble être devenue une personne différente et tombe amoureuse. Mais faut-il faire confiance aux services secrets?" Summary written by Baldinotto da Pistoia Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

La Bête Humaine

Year: 1938 - Country: France - Genre: Drama - Duration: 102 min. - Director: Jean Renoir - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Séverine and her husband Roubaud kill their former employer in a train. Engineer Jacques watches them, but doesn't tell the police, because he's in love with Severine. But in an epileptic attack he kills her..." Summary written by Stephan Eichenberg Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Au revoir les enfants

Year: 1987 - Country: France/West Germany - Genre: Drama - Duration: 103 min. - Director: Louis Malle - Actors: - Rating: PG - Format: VHS

"During WWII, in a Catholic boarding school in the French countryside, two boys become friends. One is a French boy, Julien Quintin, and the other is a Jewish boy, Jean Bonnet, who is being hidden from the Nazis by the friars who run the school. Louis Malle directed this film based on what actually happened when he was at a boarding school himself during the war." Summary written by Gene Volovich. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Camille Claudel

Year: 1988 - Country: - Genre: Drama - Duration: 159 min. - Director: Bruno Nuytten - Actors: - Rating: R - Format: VHS

"Biography of Camille Claudel. Sister of writer Paul Claudel, her enthusiasm impresses already-famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. He hires her as an assistant, but soon Camille begins to sculpt for herself and for Rodin. She also becomes his mistress. But after a while, she would like to get out of his shadow..." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

The nun (La religieuse)

Year: 1966 - Country: - Genre: - Duration: 155 min. - Director: Jacques Rivette - Actors: - Rating: France:-18 - Format: VHS

"In eighteenth-century France a girl (Suzanne Simonin) is forced against her will to take vows as a nun. Three mothers superior (Madame de Moni, Sister Sainte-Christine, and Madame de Chelles) treat her in radically different ways, ranging from maternal concern, to sadistic persecution, to lesbian desire. Suzanne's virtue brings disaster to everyone in this faithful adaptation of a bitter attack on religious abuses by the Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot." Summary written by English Showalter. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

À bout de souffle (Breathless)

Year: 1959 - Country: France - Genre: Crime/Drama/Romance - Duration: 89 min. - Director: Jean-Luc Godard - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Michel is a young thug who romantically models himself on Humphrey Bogart. While driving a stolen car, Michel shoots a policeman who follows him onto a country road. Penniless and on the run from the police, he turns to his American girlfriend Patricia, a student and aspiring journalist. Patricia agrees to hide him and the two spend their time evading the police, making love and stealing cars to raise money for a trip to Italy. As the police net tightens, Michel's bravado and desperation grow..." Summary written by L.H. Wong. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Orphée (Orpheus)

Year: 1949 - Country: France - Genre: Fantasy - Duration: 86 min. - Director: Jean Cocteau - Actors: - Rating: Parental discretion dvised - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Orphee is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess). They fall in love. Orphee's wife, Eurydice, is killed by the Princess' henchmen and Orphee goes after her into the Underworld. Although they have become dangerously entangled, the Princess sends Orphee back out of the Underworld, to carry on his life with Eurydice." Summary written by P.M.Laws. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond)

Year: 1985 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: 105 min. - Director: Agnès Varda - Actors: Sandrine Bonnaire - Rating: USA:R - Format: VHS

"In winter in the south of France, a young woman is found frozen in a ditch. She's ill kempt, a vagabond. Through flashbacks and brief interviews, we trace her final weeks, as she camps alone or falls in with various men and women, many of whom project their needs onto her or try to give her life direction. She squats in an old house smoking hash with a man, falls for a Tunisian laborer and works beside him pruning grape vines, stays with a couple shepherding goats, meets an agronomist trying to save plane trees, gets tipsy with an old woman, and has an offer to appear in porn films." Summary written by jhailey. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

La Gloire de mon père (My father's glory)

Year: 1990 - Country: France - Genre: Drama/Family/Comedy - Duration: 105 min - Director: Yves Robert - Actors: - Rating: USA:G - Format: VHS

"A young boy, whose father's is an teacher, witness of the sucess of his father as institutor, the sucess again of his arrogant uncle Jules. Marcel, the young boy, spending his summer vacation in a cottage in Provence and meets a local boy who teaches him the secrets of the hill in Provence." Summary written by Huy D. Huynh. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Les Enfants du paradis

Year: 1945 - Country: - Genre: Drama/Romance - Duration: 163 min - Director: Marcel Carné - Actors: - Rating: USA:Approved (Adult Audience) - Format: VHS

"This tragic tale centers around the ill-fated love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by three other men: Frederick, a pretentious actor; Lacenaire, a conniving thief; and Count Eduard of Monteray. The story is further complicated by Nathalie, an actress who is in love with Baptiste. Garance and Baptiste meet when Garance is falsely accused of stealing a man's watch. Later, Garance is forced to leave town under the protection of Count Eduard when she gets mixed up in a crime committed by Lacenaire. In the intervening years of separation, both Garance and Baptiste become involved in loveless marriages with the Count and Nathalie, respectively. Returning to Paris, Garance finds that Baptiste has become a famous mime actor and plots to meet him. Their rendezvous is exposed and Nathalie loses Baptiste, Baptiste loses Garance, and Garance disappears." Summary written by Kevin Kraynak. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

La Mariée était en noir (The bride wore black)

Year: 1967 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Drama/Mystery - Duration: 107 min - Director: François Truffaut - Actors: - Rating: USA:Unrated - Format: VHS

"Julie Kohler is prevented from suicide by his mother. She leaves the town. She will track down, charm and kill five men who do not know her. What is her goal ? What is her purpose?" Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

L'Année dernière à Marienbad (Last year at Marienbad)

Year: 1961 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Drama/Mystery/Romance - Duration: 94 min - Director: Alain Resnais - Actors: - Rating: Finland:K-16 - Format: VHS

"In a huge, old-fashioned luxury hotel a stranger tries to persuade a married woman to run away with him, but it seems she hardly remembers the affair they may have had (or not?) last year at Marienbad." Summary written by Otto Oberhauser. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Les Quatre cents coups (The 4000 blows)

Year: 1959 - Country: France - Genre: Crime/Drama - Duration: 94 min - Director: François Truffaut - Actors: - Rating: UK:PG - Format: VHS

"Antoine Doinel is a 14 years old Parisian. His parents do not show much interest about him. He skips school to go to the movies or play with his friends. He will discover his mother has a lover, steal a typewriter, be suspended from school... to conceal that he suffers." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le Roi de coeur (King of hearts)

Year: 1966 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Drama/Comedy/War - Duration: 100 min - Director: Philippe de Broca - Actors: - Rating: Sweden:11/USA:Unrated - Format: VHS

"During the latter part of World War I, Private Charles Plumpick is chosen to go into the French town of Marville and disconnect a bomb that the German army has planted. However, Charles is chased by some Germans and finds himself holed up at the local insane asylum, where the inmates are convinced that he is the "King of Hearts." Feeling obligated to help the inmates, Charles attempts to lead them out of town, but they are afraid to leave and frolic about the streets in gay costumes. Will Charles be able to deactivate the bomb in time and save his newfound friends?" Summary written by Rick Gregory. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le Retour de Martin Guerre (The return of Martin Guerre)

Year: 1982 - Country: France - Genre: Drama - Duration: 122 min - Director: Daniel Vigne - Actors: - Rating: Chile:14 - Format: VHS

"During the medieval times, Martin Guerre returns to his hometown in the middle of France, after being away in the war since he was a child. Nobody recognise him, and the people who knew him suspect he is not Martin, but he knows all about his family and friends, even the most unusual things. Is this man really Martin Guerre?" Summary written by Michel Rudoy. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Mon oncle (My Uncle)

Year: 1958 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Comedy - Duration: 110 min - Director: Jacques Tati - Actors: - Rating: UK:U - Format: VHS

"Monsieur Hulot's brother-in-law is the manager of a factory where plastics are manufactured. His nephew grows up in a house where everything is fully automated and the boy is raised in a similar fashion. To take away the influence of the uncle on his son, his brother-in-law gets Hulot a job in his factory." Summary written by Leon Wolters. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

La Grande illusion (The Grand Illusion)

Year: 1937 - Country: France - Genre: Drama/War - Duration: 114 min - Director: Jean Renoir - Actors: - Rating: USA:Unrated - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"During 1st WW, two French officers are captured. Captain De Boeldieu is an aristocrat while Lieutenant Marechal was a mechanic in civilian life. They meet other prisoners from various backgrounds, as Rosenthal, son of wealthy Jewish bankers. They are separated from Rosenthal before managing to escape. A few months later, they meet again in a fortress commanded by the aristocrat Van Rauffenstein. De Boeldieu strikes up a friendship with him but Marechal and Rosenthal still want to escape..." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows/Elevator to the Scaffold/Frantic)

Year: 1958- Country: France - Genre: Drama/Thriller/Crime - Duration: 88 min - Director: Louis Malle - Actors: - Rating: West Germany:16 - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Florence Carala and her lover Julien Tavernier, an ex - paratrooper want to murder her husband by faking a suicide. But after Julien has killed him and he puts his things in his car, he finds he has forgotten the rope outside the window and he returns to the building to remove it..." Summary written by Stephan Eichenberg. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (Alphaville)

Year: 1965 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Mystery/Sci-Fi/Drama/Romance/Thriller - Duration: 99 min - Director: Jean-Luc Godard - Actors: - Rating: UK:PG - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet. His very American character is at odds with the city's ruler, an evil scientist named Von Braun, who has outlawed love and self-expression." Summary written by Gene Volovich. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Jules et Jim

Year: 1962 - Country: France - Genre: Drama - Duration: 100 min - Director: François Truffaut - Actors: - Rating: Sweden:15 - Format: VHS

"In Paris, 1900, two friends, Jules (Austrian) and Jim (French) fall in love with the same woman, Catherine. But Catherine loves and marries Jules. After WWI, when they meet again in Germany, Catherine starts to love Jim... This is the story of three people in love, a love which does not affect their friendship, and about how their relationship envolves with the years." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le Sang d'un poète (Blood of a poet)

Year: 1932 - Country: France - Genre: Drama/Fantasy - Duration: USA:55 min - Director: Jean Cocteau - Actors: - Rating: USA:Unrated - Format: VHS

"A factory chimney starts to collapse. A young poet in a room sketching a series of faces is shocked when the mouth of one of the faces comes alive. The poet rubs off the mouth on to his hand. After an erotic interlude with the transplanted mouth, the young poet wipes the mouth on to a statue, which then comes to life and forces the poet to walk within a mirror in the room, which leads to the corridor of a mysterious hotel. After witnessing a number of shocking scenes in the hotel, the poet is forced to commit ritual suicide. Crowned in laurel leaves, the now resurrected poet flees the mirror, destroys the statue, and becomes a statue himself. In a courtyard, a group of schoolboys stage a snowball fight. One of the boys is killed with a snowball which has a rock hidden in its center. The poet, now a society cardsharp, plays a game of cards in which he cheats and loses. In disgrace, he again shoots himself in the head. A glittering group of celebrities watch these events, and applaud the suicide. The woman with whom he had been playing tears up the cards, leaves the courtyard, and is finally seen in an improvised coffin, residing in the state of the "mortal tedium of immortality." The factory chimney collapses entirely; the entire film has thus taken place in an instant." Summary written by Wheeler Winston Dixon. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le crabe-tambour (Drummer-Crab)

Year: 1977 - Country: France - Genre: Drama/War - Duration: 120 min - Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

"A dying French naval frigate captain tries to make a last rendezvous in the winter storm-tossed seas off the Grand Banks, with "le crab tambour," a French war hero he had betrayed twenty years earlier. "Le crab tambour" the drummer crab" was a boyhood nickname for the handsome young Alsatian whom the film depicts proving his courage, first in the war in French Indochina, and then again in the "Generals' Revolt" in Algeria. Courtmartialed because friends like the French naval captain were afraid to risk their own careers by testifying for him, the exiled "crab tambour" and his trawler, The Shamrock, is now a legend among the Grand Banks fishermen." Summary written by Thomas Lipscomb. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

French Cancan

Year: 1955 - Country: France - Genre: Comedy/Musical/Drama/Romance - Duration: 102 min - Director: Jean Renoir - Actors: - Rating: Finland:K-16 - Format: VHS

"Henri Danglard, proprietor of the fashionable (but bankrupt) cafe 'Le Paravent Chinois' featuring his mistress, belly dancer Lola, goes slumming in Montmarte (circa 1890) where the then-old-fashioned cancan is still danced. There, he conceives the idea of reviving the cancan as the feature of a new, more popular establishment...and meets Nini, a laundress and natural dancer, whom he hopes to star in his new show. But a tangled maze of jealousies intervenes..." Summary written by Rod Crawford. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

La Femme du boulanger (The baker's wife)

Year: 1938 - Country: France - Genre: Comedy - Duration: 133 min - Director: Marcel Pagnol - Actors: - Rating: Sweden:15 - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"In this little Provencal village, a new baker, Aimable, settles down. His wife Aurelie is much younger than him, and beautiful. She departs with a shepherd the night after Aimable produced his first breads. Aimable is so afflicted he can not work anymore. Therefore, the villagers, who initially laughed at his cuckoldry, take the matter very seriously (they want the bread) and organize to find Aurelie and bring her back to the bakery." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a country priest)

Year: 1951 - Country: France - Genre: Drama - Duration: - Director: Robert Bresson - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

"A young sick priest arrives in his first parish, a village in the North of France. But nobody really talks to him, he does not manage to have real contacts with the inhabitants. Only and old priest of another village shows some interest." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le Jour se lève (Daybreak)

Year: 1939 - Country: France - Genre: Drama/Thriller/Crime - Duration: 93 min - Director: Marcel Carné - Actors: Jean Gabin - Rating: Sweden:15 - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"François, a sympathetic factory worker, kills Valentin with a gun. He locked himself in his furnished room and starts remembering how he was led to murder. He met once Francoise, a young fleurist, and they fell in love. But Francoise was gotten round by Valentin, a dog trainer, a machiavellian guy..." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Gervaise

Year: 1956 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Drama - Duration: 116 min - Director: René Clément - Actors: - Rating: Finland:K-16 - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by his lover Auguste Lantier with two boys... She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a zinc worker. After working very hard a few more years, she succeeds buying his own laundry (her dream)... But Coupeau started to drink after being 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." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le Plaisir (House of Pleasure)

Year: 1952 - Country: France - Genre: Comedy/Drama - Duration: 93 min - Director: Max Ophüls - Actors: - Rating: Finland:K-16 - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women - pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Mme Tellier taking her girls (whores) to the country for attending her niece's communion - pleasure and purity. And lastly, Jean the painter falling in love with his model - pleasure and death." Summary written by Yepok. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le Rouge et le noir (Red and black)

Year: 1954 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Drama - Duration: 113 min - Director: Claude Autant-Lara - Actors: - Rating: Sweden:11 - Format: VHS

"It's no holds barred for Julian in pursuit of upward mobility. Although expected to channel career aspirations into the Church of the post- Napoleonic era, his intensely romantic liaisons propel him forward at a pace he cannot control." Summary written by ???. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Marius (The Fanny Trilogy I)

Year: - Country: France - Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance - Duration: 130 min - Director: Alexander Korda, Marcel Pagnol - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"César runs a bar along Marseilles' port, assisted by his 23 year old son, Marius. Colorful characters abound: M. Panisse, an aging widower and prosperous sail maker; Honorine, a fishmonger with a sidewalk stall near the bar; her daughter, Fanny, who helps her sell cockles; and, various old salts. Friends since childhood, Fanny and Marius love each other, but Marius has a secret wanderlust: every ship's whistle stirs a longing for foreign lands. When M. Panisse seeks Fanny's hand in marriage and when a departing clipper needs a deckhand, Marius and Fanny must decide who and what they love most. César, with his generous, comic spirit, tries to guide his son." Summary written by jhailey. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Fanny (The Fanny Trilogy II)

Year: 1932 - Country: France - Genre: Comedy/Drama - Duration: 140 min - Director: Marc Allégret - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Marius has left, signed up for a five year hitch on a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. In his few letters to his father César, he hardly mentions Fanny. When she finds she is pregnant, she considers her options: suicide, to raise the child on her own, to wait for Marius, or to marry Honoré Panisse, the older merchant who seeks her hand. These choices are emotional: to raise a bastard, to trust in Marius' eventual return, to believe he'll want to marry her, to save her mother from shame, to fool Panisse, to give her child a name. In scenes dramatizing Fanny's honesty, she talks to her mother, then Panisse, César, and later Marius, and she makes her choices." Summary written by jhailey. "FANNY is the second film of a trilogy, based upon a play by Marcel Pagnol, from which all three works are taken, featuring most of the cast of excellent actors which made the stage original a great artistic and popular success, including Raimu, Charpin, Pierre Fresnay, and Orane Demazis as Fanny, an assemblage which remains faithful to the heart of the original." (rsoonsa). Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

César (The Fanny Trilogy III)

Year: 1936 - Country: France - Genre: Drama - Duration: 168 min - Director: Marcel Pagnol - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"Honoré Panisse is dying, cheerfully, with friends, wife, and son at his side. He confesses to the priest in front of his friends; he insists that the doctor be truthful. But, he cannot bring himself to tell his son Cesariot that his real father is Marius, the absent son of César, Cesariot's godfather. Panisse leaves that to Fanny, the lad's mother. Dissembling that he's off to see a friend, Cesariot then seeks Marius, now a mechanic in Toulon. Posing as a journalist, Cesariot spends time with Marius and leaves believing tales he is a petty thief. Only after the truth comes out can Marius, Fanny, César, and Cesariot step beyond the falsehoods, benign though they may be." Summary written by jhailey. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Marie-Antoinette, reine d'un seul amour (TV)

Year: 1989 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: - Director: Caroline Huppert - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

L'Amant de lady Chatterley (Lady Chatterly's lover)

Year: 1955 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: 101 min - Director: Marc Allégret - Actors: - Rating: Sweden:15 - Format: VHS

La Marseillaise

Year: 1937 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: 128 min. - Director: Jean Renoir - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

"A news-reel like movie about early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, showing their own small problems." Summary written by Stephan Eichenberg. Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Le Mépris (Contempt)

Year: 1964 - Country: France/Italy - Genre: Drama - Duration: 102 min. - Director: Jean-Luc Godard - Actors: Brigitte Bardot - Rating: Parental discretion advised - Format: VHS

"On Capri, an Italian crew makes a German film of Homer's Odyssey; Fritz Lang directs with American money. Prokosch, the producer, with his sneer and red Alfa, holds art films in contempt and hires writer Javal to help Lang commercialize the picture. Against this backdrop, we watch the breakup of Javal's marriage to Camille, a young former typist. It opens with the couple talking in bed, she asking assurance that he finds her attractive. Later that day he introduces her to Prokosch, and, unawares, blunders unforgivably. The rest of the film portrays her, in their apartment and in public, expressing her hurt and change of heart and his slow grasp of the source of her contempt." Summary written by {jhailey@hotmail.com} Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Jour de Fête

Year: 1948 - Country: France - Genre: Comedy - Duration: 79 min. - Director: Jacques Tati - Actors: - Rating: Not Rated/Recommended for all ages - Format: VHS - Color: Black and White

Check it out at the Internet Movie Database.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts presents New york City Opera: Massenet's Manon

Year: 1988- Country: - Genre: Opera - Duration: - Director: - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

"Manon, the story of love won and lost, was an instant success when Massenet's opera was introduced in 1884 at the Opera Comique in Paris. The role of Manon has attracted sopranos all over the world during the past century, and Beverly Sills has been hailed by critics as the finest Manon.

The scenery and costumes brilliantly recreate the feeling of early 18th-century France in Tito Capobianco's elegant rococo production. Manon is one of the New York City Opera's most lavish productions.

This presentation was taped during a "Live From Lincoln Center" broadcast from the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center on October 18, 1977.

"Miss Sills triumphs." -Los Angeles Times

The Wages of Fear

Year: 1953 - Country: France - Genre: Crime-Mystery-Suspense - Duration: 131 min. - Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Actors: Yves Montand - Rating: - Format: VHS

Legendary filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot has often been referred to as the "French Hitchcock." Indeed, Clouzot is best known for his 1955 movie, Diabolique, which is widely regarded as one of the most surprising and disturbing psychological thrillers of all time. (Hitchcock reportedly made Psycho in an attempt to top Diabolique.) Yet, as chilling and effective as Diabolique is, it stands a small notch down from Clouzot's 1953 effort, Wages of Fear. Based on the novel by Georges Arnaud, Wages of Fear is the kind of motion picture for which commonplace phrases like "white-knuckle tension ride" have been coined.

Wages of Fear is constructed upon a seemingly simple premise. Four men are stranded in the dead-end, poverty-riddled town of Las Piedras in a nameless Latin American country. When an oil company, the only business in the area, offers big money for a dangerous job, the men jump at the opportunity as a way out. The task: drive two rickety trucks loaded with nitroglycerine across 300 miles of treacherous mountain country. If they survive - an uncertain proposition at best - each gets a check for $2000. But the odds are against them, and the rivalries between the four further limit their likelihood of success... (continued)

From: http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/w/wages_fear.html at Reel Views

Un homme et une femme (A man and a woman)

Year: 1966 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: - Director: Claude Lelouch - Actors: Anouk Aimée - Rating: - Format: VHS

Beauty and the Beast / La Belle et la Bête

Year: 1946 - Country: France - Genre: - Duration: 90 min. - Director: Jean Cocteau - Actors: Jean Marais, Josette Day - Rating: - Format: VHS

This masterpiece by cinematic poet Jean Cocteau has enchanted audiences for more than fifty years with its surreal beauty and magical visual effects. Josette Day and Jean Marais shine in the definitive filmed version of the classic romantic tale, which has come to supplant the original fable in the modern imagination.

At the end of World War II, when France was reeling from pain and exhaustion, Jean Marais suggested to Cocteau that a welcome diversion might be a film based on La Belle et la Bête, the famous 18th-century fable of Madame Leprince de Beaumont. Cocteau leaped at the idea, since it revived his own childhood fantasies and promised to introduce a new genre: fairy tale on film.

"Jean Cocteau's first full-length movie (he wrote and directed it) is perhaps the most sensuously elegant of all filmed fairy tales. As a child escapes from everyday family life to the magic of a storybook, so, in the film, Beauty's farm, with its Vermeer simplicity, fades in intensity as we are caught up in the Gustave Doré extravagance of the Beast's enchanted landscape. In Christian Bérard's makeup, Jean Marais is a magnificent Beast; Beauty's self-sacrifice to him holds no more horror than a satisfying romantic fantasy should have. The transformation of the Beast into Prince Charming is ambiguous-what we have gained cannot quite take the place of what we have lost. (When shown the film, Greta Garbo is reported to have said at the end, "Give me back my Beast.") The delicate Josette Day is, quite properly, Beauty." - Pauline Kael (continued)

From: http://www.frenchculture.org/cinema/releases/cocteau/belle.html - Pauline Kael

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Year: 1934 - Country: - Genre: - Duration: 105 min. - Director: Harold Young - Actors: Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, - Rating: - Format: VHS

Leslie Howard is the dashing hero who masquerades as a foppish dandy in this entertaining adventure yarn set during the French Revolution. Leslie Howard is the foppish English nobleman who leads a double life, and, as the Scarlet Pimpernel, rescues victims of the French Revolution from the guillotine, in this classic screen swashbuckler. Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey, Nigel Bruce co-star. Raymond Massey and Merle Oberon co-star. A lavish production, and an entertaining script by S.N. Behrman and Robert Sherwood.

The soft skin

Year: 1964 - Country: - Genre: - Duration: 118 min. - Director: François Truffaut - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

Amazon.com: François Truffaut's cool, creamy-smooth melodrama of a doomed affair sets the lush romanticism of exciting indiscretion in a world where sudden stabs of ominous music hint at a tragedy in the making. Jean Desailly is a famous literary critic and publisher who becomes entranced with the lithe, strikingly beautiful flight attendant (Françoise Dorleac) who keeps crisscrossing his path while he's away on a speaking engagement. He's middle-aged, successful, and seemingly happily married with a wife and daughter, but he plunges ahead with an affair, careful to avoid friends and familiar places. The Soft Skin is not really a thriller, but Truffaut invests it with Hitchcockian echoes of guilt and fear of discovery, and he meticulously plots scenes with the precision of a heist film. Pulling back the veneer of chic elegance and attractive confidence, Desailly emerges not so much sordid as vain and pathetic, and his wife (Nelly Benedetti) comes into her own with her heartbreaking discovery of his lies. At once angry, hurt, and threatened, she grasps at reconciliation while sabotaging her own efforts with frustrated attacks. It's an unusual film with sudden changes in tone that do little to prepare the viewer for the dark climax: the tragic side of Truffaut's fascination with philandering men that runs throughout his career. Fans will recognize the scene with the kitten who licks off the plate set out for room service--he re-created it in Day for Night. --Sean Axmaker

The mystery of Picasso

Year: - Country: - Genre: - Duration: 77 min. - Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

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French-language documentaries

French Filmmakers of the 80's

Year: - Country: - Genre: - Duration: - Director: - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

University Video Library - International Film Classics Collection

Paris in the Time of Zola

Year: - Country: - Genre: - Duration: 26 min. - Director: - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

Zola, the greatest of the French naturalist writers, gave us detailed and convincing portraits of Paris and Parisian life in his time. This program uses rare period film footage of Pris during Zola's years to provide the documentary backdrop for his work--the time when Haussmann imposed his reorganization on the city to create the Paris that we know today. (Films for the Humanities and Sciences.)

Video Guides: Paris

Year: - Country: - Genre: - Duration: 60 min. - Director: - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

The Video Magazine of France Today: France Panorama: Actualités, vie quotidienne, sports, mode, chansons, publicité

Year: - Country: - Genre: - Duration: - Director: - Actors: - Rating: - Format: VHS

The life of Emile Zola

Year: 1937 - Country: - Genre: - Duration: - Director: - Actors: Paul Muni - Rating: - Format: VHS

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Salem State University | Department of World Languages & Cultures | Language Resource Center

Page URL: lrc.salemstate.edu/frenchfilms.htm
Last updated: September 29, 2016