i`ve recently started watching the french films on bbc 4 on sundays 10pm and i must admit l rearly do enjoy them, am i becoming sophisicated..................
I hadn't noticed them, until Sunday gone, when I watched Cockles and Muscles. It's still available on BBC iPlayer:
BBC iPlayer - Cockles and Muscles
"French comedy in which a couple take their teenage children to spend the summer at the seaside house of the father's youth. As the summer heat kindles the libido, love erupts for both young and old, and sexual adventures ensue."
It was very funny, very different, had beautiful scenery, and was intelligently acted and with such joie de vivre. It's a long time since I saw such a distinctive comedy.
If you're worried about becoming sophisticated through the medium of French cinema you should address the balance by watching La Haine and Baisse Moi, both great movies but not the sort of films you'll find yourself sipping Chablis with your little finger pointed outwards to.
The French film industry has, in my opinion, been the strongest and most interesting of the last 50 years. Strong words on a British Film website! But then I only really rate the UK film industry of the 30s to the 50s. After that, and with few exceptions, I am not interested. Roughly the same could be said of Hollywood and co as well. I feel that I must add, in my defence, that the UK films made between 1930 and 1960 could be magnificent. I only own around 80 French Films, which represent a very small proportion of my collection, but they include some of the greatest films ever made.
For anyone venturing into French cinema for the first time, this list I made on my RYM site might be of interest. It includes a very concise synopsis of my favourites.
My favourite French Films - Rate Your Music
Yes Europeans do RUDE better too. But little 'finger pointed outwards' is very rude Gogglebox!
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the new French film satellite station, Cinemoi, to be found at Sky 343.
Lots of classic films but sadly......pay per view....
The first French film I saw was Riffifi, on TV, in the mid '60's. Most of the films shown at the cinema (usually the Kings cinema, Old Market, Bristol) would have been X's.
Since then I have had a soft spot for French films.
Among my favourite French films are ..... Les Diaboliques, Wages of Fear, Rififi, Lift to the Scaffold, Shoot the Piano Player, Les Enfants Du Paradis, Bob Le Flambeur, Army of Shadows, The Crimson Rivers and Alphaville. Recent additions to the list have been the two OSS 117 spoofs and the TV series Spiral.
Some of my favourites to recommend are JEAN DE FLORETTE/MANON DES SOURCES.
AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS
LE SOUFFLE AU COEUR
UN COEUR EN HIVER
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE
COMMENT J'AI TUE MON PERE.
A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT
This French film District 13 (2004) - IMDb is very modern and very Follywood, but the French do it with wit, verve, panache and splendily good production standards, and unlike British films such as Children of Men, they do it with humour and an edginess that doesn't slip into socio-political mawkishness and predictability.
And it has Parc Ouer (or whatever it is the French youth call jumping over walls gracefully) rather than the endless tedium of size-shifting CGI (there is a bit of CGI too).
My list of faves in a nutshell
Amelie - Quirky, charming, funny, romantic (usually a quality I would avoid like the plague) and GREEN.
Angel-A - Inept, petty criminal saves very tall blonde woman from suicide attempt but who is saving whom? Is Angela just her name or is she really his guardian angel?
Armée Des Ombres, L' (aka Army In The Shadows) - Understated film about the Resistance - heroic and at times brutal.
Bob Le Flambeur - A once, bigtime gambler has hit the rocks and plans one last heist on a casino. Will it finally turn things around for him?
Bossu, Le - Swashbuckling romp along the lines of the Three Musketeers
Brotherhood Of The Wolf (aka Le Pacte Des Loups) - Odd amalgam of mystery and martial arts set in France of 1765 - yet it all works. Bonkers, but wonderful to look at and a great soundtrack.
Cercle Rouge, Le (aka The Red Circle) - Jewellery heist with a fantastic robbery section set in complete silence
Death In A French Garden (aka Péril en la Demeure) - Elaborate mystery surrounding a music teacher, his affair with a pupil's mother and a hit-man. The most original use of scene transposition and great music - Schubert and Granados.
Delicatessen - Post apocalyptic black comedy, where a local grocer feeds the inhabitants of an apartment building on meat - but where does it come from? Bizarre but great fun. Another GREEN film.
Diabolique, Les -Wife and mistress of a sadistic school-teacher plot to kill him. They drown him in the bathtub and dump the body in the school's swimming pool... but when the pool is drained, the body has disappeared! What follows is really creepy and suspenseful. A classic.
Diva - Stylish film about a motorcycle delivery rider's obsession with an opera singer, a tape mix-up, and an ingenious escape from the two groups of pursuers - features Catalani's La Wally
Doulos, Le - Gangster flick about betrayal and revenge
Flic, Un (aka Dirty Money) - Hitchcockian bank heist
Grande Illusion, La - WW1 prison camp drama
Jean de Florette - City boy moves to the country to what he thinks is a pastoral idyll. Watch your neighbours!
L'Appartement - Passion, coincidences and plot twists
Lucie Aubrac - Another French resistance film - this time with regard to what lengths a wife will go to to affect her husband's release from the Gestapo
Man Escaped, A (aka Un Condamné à Mort S'est Echappé) - Another man imprisoned by the Gestapo - intriguing escape plans afoot again
Manon de Sources (aka Manon Of The Spring) - Daughter of Jean de Florette dishes out her revenge on the village that brought her father's life to a premature end
My Father's Glory (aka La Gloire De Mon Pere) - Funny, nostalgic and charming - seen from the eyes of two brothers and the friend they make at their holiday home, set in the dry heat of the Provence..
My Mother's Castle (aka La Chateau De Ma Mere) - Sequel to the above. A short cut through a private estate and the eccentric people they meet on their journeys
Olivier, Olivier - Boy goes missing and turns up years later. Is it really him?
Pepe Le Moko - Gangster flic set in the Algiers Casbah and the cops attempts to capture the anti-hero.
Rififi (aka Du Rififi Chez Les Hommes) - Fabulous safe-cracking drama
Samouraï, Le - Stylish drama about an emotionless hitman whose life is put in danger when his latest hit is witnessed and he is arrested
Trou, Le (aka The Hole) - Fabulous prison break drama - ingenuity personified
Wages Of Fear, The (aka La Salaire De La Peur) - Stunning drama about a bunch of losers hired to transport lorry loads of nitro-glycerine over a treacherous mountain pass
I'm rather keen on Cyrano de Bergerac and Buffet Froid, both with Gerard Dépardieu. And there are some terrific Jacques Tati films, such as Jour de Fête and Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot.
I love French Gangster films. Jean Gabin, Alain Delon and Lino Ventura are usually in the older ones such as Touchez pas au Grisbi, Melodie en Sous Sol, Razzia sur la Chnouf, Le Deuxieme Souffle, Un Flic, Cercle Rouge, Classe Tous Risques, Le Trou and Plein Soleil (The original Mr Ripley). The great Directors of this style include Jacques Becker and Jean Pierre-Melville, their films are always worth seeing.
Claude Lelouch for me is another one of the great Directors and just a couple of his films I particularly like are La Bonne Annee and Toute Un Vie. Virtually all of his films are wonderful.
More recently there have been some very good comedies such as Priceless and The Valet both well worth seeing.
Cinemoi which has been mentioned here before is an excellent channel on Sky for those who like French Films. I watched a very good one yesterday MR 73 with Daniel Auteuil, on average there are always one or two a week worth seeing.