August 16, 2012 · 3:21 am
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 →
Filed under Foreign Film, French Film, Movies
Tagged as A Propos de Nice, A Trip to the Moon, Abel Gance, Agnes Varda, Alain Resnais, Breathless, Celine and Julie Go Boating, Children of Paradise, Cleo from 5 to 7, Contempt, Costa Gravas, Day for Night, Francois Truffaut, French Film, Grand Illusion, Henri-Georges Clouzot, J'Accuse, Jacques Tati, Jean Gabin, Jean Luc Godard, Jean Renoir, Jean Vigo, Jean-Pierre Melville, L'Enfance Nue, La Grande Bouffe, La Roue, Last Year at Marienbad, Le Corbeau, Louis Malle, Luis Bunuel, M. Hulot's Holiday, Marcel Carné, Maurice Pialat, Mouchette, Movies, Murmur of the Heart, Napoleon, Night and Fog, Pépé le Moko, Port of Shadows, Rene Clair, Robert Bresson, Shoot the Piano Player, The 400 Blows, The 50 Greatest French Films of All-Time, The Battle of Algiers, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Fire Within, The Italian Straw Hat, The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Phantom of Liberty, The Red Balloon, The Rules of the Game, The Sorrow and the Pity, Touchez Pas Au Grisbi, Un Chien Andalou, Week End, Zero for Conduct
August 2, 2012 · 3:21 am
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 →
Filed under Foreign Film, French Film, German Films, Movies
Tagged as Film, Fritz Lang, Georges Melies, Jean Luc Godard, Jean Vigo, Most influential directors, Movies, Stanley Kubrick
June 18, 2012 · 3:21 am
Ingmar Bergman was a complex man. He spent a lifetime making emotionally and philosophically complex films. That Bergman was one of the harshest critics of his own films is simply part of his neuroses. You may not be aware, but you should not be surprised, that Bergman was equally harsh on other famous filmmakers in his lifetime. There are some quotes out there from Bergman, regarding other famous arthouse directors, that come across like two divas fighting on a runway. And yet, he also gave effusive praise to other filmmakers. It’s fascinating. Here’s some of what Bergman said about other directors. First, the negatives. Continue reading →
Filed under Ingmar Bergman, Movies
Tagged as Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, Andrei Tarkovsky, Bergman on other filmmakers, Film, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Luc Godard, Marcel Carné, Movies, Orson Welles
March 12, 2012 · 3:21 am
There are many cinematic debates that have raged on for years. These debates provide two options–two icons or two tremendous films–that are strikingly similar, and yet still distinct from one another. Almost universally, they’re presented in black and white. As the title suggests, there can be only one option chosen as a favorite. There’s no room for gray area. I find that notion horribly misguided. I can love pizza and beer equally, for instance. Having said that, the debates are still a whole lot of fun and they’ve made me try to learn more about the other side far more than I would have without the debates. Here are some of my favorite debates, and my verdict. Continue reading →
Filed under Movies
Tagged as Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, Film, Francois Truffaut, Goodfellas, Jean Luc Godard, John Wayne, Movies, No Country for Old Men, The Godfather, There Will be Blood
July 10, 2011 · 6:10 pm
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 →
Filed under Foreign Film, French Film, Louis Malle, Movies, Silent Movies
Tagged as Abel Gance, Alain Resnais, Film, Francois Truffaut, French Film, Jacques Tati, Jean Cocteau, Jean Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Luis Bunuel, Marcel Carné, Movies, Robert Bresson, The Greatest French Films of All-Time
January 4, 2011 · 5:50 am
The Criterion Collection has a very enjoyable series called Top 10s where they invite filmmakers, film critics and theorists, and just good ol’ fashioned celebrities to list their Top 10 from the Criterion Collection. It’s a really unique series because you get great insights into what has influenced these people. For instance, Steve Buscemi lists John Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence at #10, and states:
I have been under the influence of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands and their extended family in film ever since I saw a retrospective of Cassavetes’s movies at MoMA soon after he died.
Is it any surprise at all that Steve Buscemi, a stalwart of 90’s indie cinema, would hold such reverence for John Cassavetes, the Godfather of independent cinema? Guy Maddin lists Clement’s Forbidden Games at #1 and Häxan at #10. If you’re familiar at all with Maddin’s films- silent film homages which generally place a magnifying glass on childhood trauma- you realize the imprint that these films had on him. Admittedly, I’ve only seen approximately half of the Criterion Collection, around 250 films or so in their catalogue. Here’s my stab at the Criterion Top 10. Continue reading →
Filed under Foreign Film, French Film, Japanese Film, Movies, Swedish Film
Tagged as Carl Th. Dreyer, Carnival of Souls, Contempt, Herk Harvey, I Am Curious Yellow, Ikiru, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Pépé le Moko, Peeping Tom, The Criterion Collection, The Exterminating Angel, The Fire Within, The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Seventh Seal
December 3, 2010 · 9:50 am