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
July 16, 2012 · 3:52 pm
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. Thanks to Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series, I had an opportunity to re-visit Marcel Carnés poetic realist masterpiece, Children of Paradise (1945), over the weekend. It’s a film held in very high esteem, often ranking at the top of French film lists. Cahiers du Cinéma placed it as the 9th best film ever made, regardless of nationality or genre, in 2008. It’s often referred to as “the French Gone with the Wind“. I had it at #10 in the first iteration of my 50 Greatest French Films list, and then it fell to #28 in the second iteration. Seeing it on the big screen would surely give me a proper context of the film. Continue reading →
Filed under Foreign Film, French Film, Movies, Re-Watchterpiece Theater
Tagged as anti-Vichy messages, Children of Paradise, Film, Great French Film, Marcel Carné, Movies, Poetic Realism, Re-Watchterpiece Theater
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
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
July 13, 2010 · 12:05 pm
EDITOR’S NOTE: I made this list in 2010. I updated the list in 2011. The updated list is more complete and puts far less emphasis on personal preference. The new and improved version can be found here.
On the cusp of Bastille Day, and with such a rich history of French cinema, I felt that it was only fitting to create a list of the 50 best French films. Initially, I’d planned on simply listing them in no particular order. However, mon ami, I eventually determined that it wouldn’t be fair to not put forth the extra effort. They’re now listed at least in order of personal preference, with some weight given to overall quality. In other words, there are likely more influential films or higher quality films further down the list. But their higher quality doesn’t overcome my overall enjoyment of the other films higher up on the list.
Continue reading →
Filed under Foreign Film, French Film
Tagged as 400 Blows, A Man Escaped, A Woman is a Woman, Alain Resnais, Army of Shadows, Au Revoir les Enfants, Belle de Jour, Bob le Flambeur, Breathless, Children of Paradise, Contempt, Danton, Delicatessen, Diary of a Country Priest, Drole de Drame, Elevator to the Gallows, Eyes Without a Face, Film, Forbidden Games, Gervaise, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Jean Cocteau, Jean de Florette, Jules et Jim, L'Age D'Or, La Haine, Lacombe Lucien, Last Year at Marienbad, Le Corbeau, Le Jour Se Leve, Le Samourai, Les Diaboliques, Louis Malle, Luis Bunuel, M. Hulot's Holiday, Manon des Sources, Marcel Carné, Mon Oncle, Mouchette, Movies, Murmur of the Heart, Night and Fog, Orphic Trilogy, Phantom of Liberty, Place de la Republique, Play Time, Port of Shadows, Rififi, Sorrow and the Pity, The Battle of Algiers, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Fire Within, The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Piano Teacher, Un Chien Andalou, Vampyr, Wages of Fear, Weekend