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
Odds are pretty good that it’s happened to all of us. You’re watching a film, you might have even heard that there’s something “trying” in it, or “challenging”, or whatever other ominous adjective someone used to describe what you’re going to watch. And then it happens- the “it”, the scene that makes you cover your eyes. It’s the scene that makes your stomach turn. And what is “it”? Probably one of these horribly uncomfortable acts:
“It”- incest- has been happening in pop culture ever since Oedipus did the worm with his mom in the 5th century B.C. I guess you could say it’s nothing new. It still pops up in films from time to time. Sometimes, but not always, you can see guideposts all the way and you spend the entire film hoping beyond hope that the filmmaker won’t actually follow through with it. Other times, it’s a horrible twist that you didn’t see coming.
Examples: Oldboy (2003); Chinatown (1974); Murmur of the Heart (1971); The Godfather: Part III (1990) Continue reading
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.
I don’t have a ton of time so I thought I’d just toss together a quick little entry today. I’m a junkie for French history. I love it. And I especially love occupation-era movies because it’s kind of a neat little sociology lesson about France- the way they dealt with the Vichy regime, all of the nasty political undercurrents, the resistance, the proverbial “sorrow and the pity” regarding their role in the Holocaust. I find it absolutely fascinating. Here’s a list of ten films about Occupation-era France. Continue reading