This was supposed to be a simple blog about French Cinema to honor Bastille Day.
However, in light of the latest terrorist attack in Europe, this time in Nice, it seems that we are not just talking about French movies, but French/Western culture and that tis the very thing that terrorists are so violently trying to assault.
So in honor of Bastille Day and the beacon of artistic and cultural hope that French Cinema represents, DMG Entertainment offers the best of French filmmaking.
First a little context. France is the birthplace of cinema and was responsible for many of its significant contributions to the art form and the film-making process itself. France is the third biggest film market in the world both in terms of admissions (after the United States and India) and fourth in revenues (after the United States, China and Japan). It is the most successful film industry in Europe in terms of number of films produced per year. France is also one of the few countries where non-Hollywood productions have the biggest share (something they share in common with China) – American films only represented 47.7% of total admissions in 2010. Also, the French film industry is closer to being entirely self-sufficient than any other country in Europe, recovering around 80–90% of costs from revenues generated in the domestic market alone.
Curl up with a nice Bordeaux and enjoy these masterpieces of French Cinema.
THE 400 BLOWS
A landmark of the New Wave, Truffaut and his star Jean-Pierre Leaud collaborated on three more features and a short about the main character, Antoine Doinel.
BAND OF OUTSIDERS
Another classic of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders is an irresistible combination of the young filmmaker’s attack on traditional filmmaking and an eminently watchable joy.
THE RULES OF THE GAME
Often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s La Regle du Jeu is every bit as witty, elegant, and effective as it was in 1939. An immensely influential work of art.
THE WAGES OF FEAR
Yves Montant plays a man driving nitroglycerin across a treacherous mountain road in this hair-raising thriller by Henri-Georges Clouzot.
AU HASARD BALTHAZAR
Robert Bresson’s heartbreaking tale of a donkey and a rebellious girl is a wonder of visual storytelling. A sublime cinematic experience that should not be missed.
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG
Every line in Jacques Demy’s impossibly romantic, candy-colored love story is sung, but don’t let that turn you off. I’ve seen serious musical haters reduced to tears before this film was over. With the young Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo.
BEAUTY & THE BEAST
Poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau directed this loveliest of adaptations of the classic story in 1946, and it has lost nothing of its lyrical power. With Jean Marais and Josette Day.
THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC
The oldest film on this list, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (1928), about the suffering of the French martyr, is also the only silent movie. Pauline Kael suspected that in the title role, Renee Maria Falconetti gave the “finest performance ever recorded on film,” and who am I to argue?
PAULINE AT THE BEACH
Eric Rohmer’s third installment in his “Comedies and Proverbs” series is a delicious riff on love, sex, and the pains of growing up.
CHILDREN OF PARADISE
With a script by Jacques Prévert, Marcel Carné directs the gripping story of Garance (Arletty), an actress in 1820s Paris, and the four men who love her–a mime, an actor, a thief, and a duke. Released in 1945, Children of Paradise is a triumph of filmmaking under the occupation.