La Fête Nationale: French Films

Today is 14th July and it is Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale in France, which means it is time to celebrate French films and French directors. Below I present a number of French films I reviewed on this blog, and this includes films from Jean Renoir, Robert Bresson, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Julia Ducournau and François Ozon, as well as three French-produced animations:

Grande Illusion, La (1937) Regle du Jeu, La (1939) Diaboliques, Les (1955)

Pickpocket (1959) Planete Sauvage, La (1973) Roi et L’Oiseau, Le (1980) 

Betty Blue (1986) Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea (2002) Elle (2016) 

Odyssey, The (2016) Raw (2016) 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017) 

L’Amant Double (2017) 

There are so many great French films out there, including the works of René Clément (Jeux interdits), Claude Chabrol (Les Cousins), Jean Cocteau (La Belle et la Bête), Louis Malle (Ascenseur pour l’Échafaud), Agnes Varda (Cléo de 5 à 7)Jean-Pierre Melville (Le Samourai), Jean-Luc Godard (À bout de souffle), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) and Claire Denis (Beau Travail). Do you have a favourite French movie?

10 thoughts on “La Fête Nationale: French Films

  1. No Truffaut? 😉

    French cinema can be great though I have to be honest French New Wave is hit and miss for me. One guy I can’t get into is Eric Rohmer. Way too talkie for my liking, whilst some of the other revered classics like “Jules et Jim” didn’t do it for me, which I am sure is blasphemy to the ears of the hardcore cineastes out there.

    A few recommendations if you haven’t seen them – Melville’s “Le Silence de la Mar”; Cluzot’s debut “The Murderer Lives at No 21” and the later “Wages Of Fear”; Claude Berri’s double bill “Jean de Florette / Manon des Sources”, and more modern fare with “Tell No One”; “A Prophet”; “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”; “I Loved You So Long”; Ozon’s “By The Grace Of God”; Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Black Venus”; and of course, “Girlhood” (many reviewed on my site 😉 )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it seems I missed François Truffaut, but he can hardly complain because I included his debut in my previous list of “childhood” films! 🙂 Jules et Jim is also far from being my favourite, but I recognise its influence on so many films that came after it.

      Thank you for these great recommendations! Only a few of these I have already seen. I am always up for an Ozon movie experience, but am yet to see his By the Grace of God. It is also interesting that you mention I’ve Loved You So Long, because only yesterday I rented it from the BFI Player to watch over this weekend…I may, it’s always a pleasure to see Kristin Scott Thomas, especially in French. I’ve also just added The Murderer Lives at No 21 and Tell No One to my to-watch list!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy belated Bastille Day! This was a good list. Good call with mentioning Cocteau’s take on Beauty and the Beast. I saw that for the first time a while ago and it was quite intriguing. I’ve certainly seen multiple French movies and I can’t remember them all. Haha! It can be fun making geographically-specific lists and I certainly made one earlier this month with an unlikely topic. Then again, I’ve always liked geography and I have international interests especially film and animation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I totally agree and I definitely notice that here in America with how rarely they watch foreign films. It’s even rare to see non-American productions in the typical movie theaters.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually saw two French films fairly recently, Lady J + The African Doctor, both are enjoyable. Hard to say what my fave French movie would be, but my fave French series is Call My Agent! (Dix Pour Cent).

    Liked by 1 person

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