Re-Watchterpiece Theater is a series that explores the organic way that attitudes about films change after you watch them a second time, a third time, or more, further down the line than the original viewing.
Re-watchterpiece Theater is usually a vehicle for me to tackle questionable films, or films that are likely to elicit a much different response at this point in my life compared to the first time I watched it. And that’s what makes today’s choice so odd. The Seventh Seal has been one of my favorite films from the moment I saw it. It hasn’t even been that long ago that I last saw it. But sometimes, you find yourself in a Bergmany mood and sometimes, in that Bergmany mood, you find that you’ve learned some new tricks. Continue reading
Whenever you make a list featuring the 50 greatest of anything, there are bound to be a lot of tough decisions, at least if you take the endeavor seriously. Unless it’s a list of the 50 greatest Journey songs, which would be really easy. But I digress. Along the way, there are sure to be a lot of extra thoughts about the process that lead to the decisions you make. In other words, this article is a DVD bonus feature for The 50 Greatest French Films of All-Time. Continue reading
It’s time yet again for my favorite feature at TDYLF- my annual list of the 50 greatest French films of all-time. One aspect I’m starting to really enjoy about this list is how organic it is. Each year, movies rise and fall thanks to re-watches, exposure to new films, and new insights. Keeping and maintaining this list throughout the year also serves an important function for me. It motivates me to continue learning, and grow as a French film enthusiast. A few notes before we get started:
- I am not an authority on this. I’m just a Francophile with a Blu-ray player, Netflix and Facets subscriptions, and a love of movies.
- As much as I try, I am not a completist. There are a lot of films I simply haven’t seen. I’ve done my best to make it as comprehensive as I could but there’s always room to see more. There are still some relatively glaring omissions. Please feel free to recommend others, as I am always on the lookout to improve this list. It’s a labor of love for me.
- There is obviously a lot of personal preference involved. However, I’ve given a lot of weight to objective aspects like a film’s influence, importance, creativity, and how much they embody the spirit of French cinema and history.
- To qualify, the film has to be a French language film. There are non-French directors on this list but every movie is a French language film.
With that out of the way, I present to you the 50 greatest French films of all-time: Continue reading
I first heard about St. Nick (2010)– a horror movie from the Netherlands- from my sister in law, who is Dutch. It was a few years ago around the holiday season. It seems that the film was causing all sorts of problems in the Netherlands with kids who were horrified by the prospect that St. Nicholas could be evil. I knew it would be a few years before I could see it because foreign distribution in the US can be spotty at times. But my inner-horror lover filed it away. I knew I’d get my chance. And my chance finally came.
Michaël Parent, who operates one of my favorite sites- Le Mot de Cinephiliaque– has been taking submissions for his annual “Most Influential Directors” poll. Michaël gets an impressive list of contributors each year, and I’m sure this year will be no different. Today is the final day for submissions, and my ballot is going to beat the buzzer, just barely. Here’s my ballot, along with a brief write-up on each director detailing why I chose them, along with a representative film from each director. Continue reading
This Saturday will be Bastille Day, known in France as La Fête Nationale. The holiday presents me with an opportunity to celebrate the rich tradition of French cinema each year. It has become an annual tradition at TDYLF to post my list of the 50 greatest French films ever made. However, a local university is hosting a French film festival over the next two weeks. Since that festival will offer me a chance to see several new French films that might make the list, I’ve decided to postpone that article for a few weeks. But fret not, mes amis. I’ve compensated for my delay by cooking up an infographic- French Cinema at a Glance. Enjoy! Continue reading
I give a lot of love to a lot of directors here at TDYLF. But there’s one that I don’t feature nearly enough. Luis Buñuel is my second favorite filmmaker, just behind Ingmar Bergman. His most iconic scene, from Un Chien Andalou, is celebrated in my primary header (if playfully, with C3PO’s mug photoshopped in). His early films are a visual feast, and his middle and late-period films are catnip for nerdy intellectuals. He’s sort of the sociologist’s filmmaker, taking every facet of society and social behavior, and stripping it down to nothing in a humorous way. Having said all of that, I realize that not a lot of people are familiar with Buñuel and his films. I’ve put together a quick infographic with some fast facts about the wily Spaniard. Continue reading
Last weekend, thanks to the fantastic review from the always trustworthy Goregirl’s Dungeon, I caught up with the Criterion Collection release of Kuroneko (1968). It’s about a woman and her daughter-in-law, who are raped and killed in a fire by a band of samurai. They return as ghosts, exacting their revenge upon all samurai… until they encounter the woman’s son (and the daughter-in-law’s husband), who has become a samurai. I won’t continue lest I spoil the film. Needless to say, it’s a tremendous movie. And it made me look back on all of the Japanese films I’ve seen out of the Criterion Collection. I haven’t seen a bad one yet. Continue reading
Re-Watchterpiece Theater is a series that explores the organic way that attitudes about films change after you watch them a second time, a third time, or more, further down the line than the original viewing. Bastille Day is a month and a half away, and that means only one thing here at TDYLF- it’s time to gear up for the annual 50 Greatest French Films list. My next month is going to be flooded with French films as I try to play catch-up. There’s a pair of films I’ve been meaning to re-watch for quite some time- Jean de Florette and the sequel, Manon des Sources, both from 1986. It had been so long since my first viewing that it was almost impossible to rank them appropriately in the French oeuvre. That has been corrected. Continue reading