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
Tag Archives: Abel Gance
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
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
This week will mark Bastille Day. What better time to honor a country that’s given the world of cinema so many incredible films? In terms of both quality and quantity, I’d stack the history of French film up against any on the world scene. To pay proper homage for Bastille Day, I’ve compiled the 50 greatest French films of all-time. A few notes before we get started: Continue reading
For many reasons, some films are in peril of being lost to time. For instance, Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana was perceived as so blasphemous that Franco and his censors ordered that all copies be destroyed. On the Criterion Collection release, the film’s star- Silvia Pinal- says that two copies of it were buried, waiting to see the light of day only after better times had come. It took some 16 years before Viridiana gained traction. Here’s a list of five films that need a wider release and deserve to be more readily available to people.
Los Olvidados (1950)
Speaking of Buñuel, one of his best films is virtually impossible to find. The best luck I’ve had finding Los Olvidados is with out of print VHS tapes that have very poor subtitling. Everything about the film screams “Buñuel”- it hums with the skewering of class structures, total institutions, and an eerie, experimental dream sequence that’s one of the best I’ve ever seen put to film. It deserves to be seen. Continue reading