This Sunday is Bastille Day. It’s a holiday that speaks to my (sort of) French heritage.* And more importantly, it speaks to my love of French cinema. And why shouldn’t it? In terms of quality per quantity, you can stack French movie history up against any other country. If you don’t believe my claim, perhaps it’s time to do some digging. Continue reading
Category Archives: French Film
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
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
Watch any genre or sub-genre enough and you’ll eventually pick up several recurring elements and themes. Prime example: cop films and low angle shots, occasionally of helicopters. Hot Fuzz (2007) famously spoofed it from Bad Boys (1995). Having watched an absurd amount of French films in the last 50 days, I can assure you that French cinema is no different. Here are some recurring themes that appear all over the history of French cinema. Continue reading
There is nothing I can offer but mostly empty platitudes about the horrible events in Aurora, Colorado just after midnight on Friday. All I can say is that the victims, and families and friends of the victims, are all in my thoughts. With that in mind, after a full day of hearing news updates about the tragedy, I wanted something that could take me as far away as possible. The moon, circa 1902, turned out to be the perfect place. 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
A few months back, I wrote a little bit about list obsessions and the never-ending stream of choices we have, as movie-watchers. I’ve currently developed an obsession of my own, partially list-related. One of my favorite articles each year is the annual 50 Greatest French Films of All-Time list that I write the week of Bastille Day. It’s less than a month away, and now I’m cramming furiously like some college kid at midnight the night before an exam. In the past 3 weeks, I’ve seen 14 French films because I want to be as comprehensive as possible. And I am having so much fun doing it, even if my brain is slowly turning to French toast. Continue reading