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: French Film
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
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
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
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
It’s time to wrap up my de facto François Truffaut week, a week where I’ve honored Monday’s birthday boy. I’ve included a big screen review of The Bride Wore Black and waxed poetic about the importance of the man. And all week long, the question has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue–what are my favorite Truffaut films? Here is how I’d rank every Truffaut film I’ve ever seen. There is a bit of personal preference included in the list, but for the most part I’ve tried to stay true to overall quality. Enjoy! Continue reading
How fitting that the fourth non-new release movie that I’d see on the big screen this year would be a François Truffaut film, The Bride Wore Black (1968), just three days before Truffaut’s birthday. I didn’t have a notebook so I didn’t particularly jot down enough for a full review. But there are several thoughts I’d like to share about the film. Continue reading
Monday was François Truffaut’s birthday, and I feel like I missed an opportunity by not writing about him. To make up for it, I’ve more or less turned this into a de facto Truffaut Week. The fact of the matter is that Truffaut is one of the most influential and important filmmakers in film history. His techniques have been mimicked and recreated for decades since. If you could, imagine for a moment that the entirety of film history is a river. Imagine that the first films ever made are the source, and that the movies being made today are the end of the river emptying into the great unknown that is the sea. In the middle of that river, there’s a gigantic rock that shifts the current of the river. All of the water flowing forth from that spot touches that rock. That rock is the work of François Truffaut. Continue reading
I spend most of my November looking forward to the colossal feast that awaits on Thanksgiving at the end of the month. The anticipation builds, and my stomach’s excitement is palpable. The holiday finally arrives after weeks of waiting and my plate quickly fills with the Titans of Thanksgiving- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes. And all of them disappear in a horrifying flurry, victims of a 30 day hunger pang. It’s all so delicious. But at some point, the stomach becomes saturated. Despite the bursts of flavor coming from my plate, the meal gradually becomes less enjoyable. By the time it’s over, I’m stuffed, left clinging to the memories of the first incredible bites to wash away the still delicious but far less enjoyable final portions. That is precisely how I felt after watching all four of Jean Vigo’s films back to back to back to back. Continue reading
With my (sort of) French heritage, I enjoy celebrating Bastille Day. I do it the only way I know how- with gobs and gobs of French films leading up to July 14th, and compiling my annual list of the 50 Greatest French Films. But July 14th is a special day for another reason. On this date in 1918, my favorite director- Ingmar Bergman- was born. Continue reading