Author Topic: French Movies  (Read 432 times)

DarkeningHumour

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French Movies
« on: March 23, 2017, 07:30:45 AM »
The film review website I follow are all American. That can make it hard to judge if I want to see a movie when it is release here before it reaches the US. That problem happens most often with French movies, of which we get a good deal, but whose reviews I can only find months later. Instead of relying on generic Allocine ratings (French IMDB) I thought I would start a global French Movies thread, for movie recommendations and other discussion.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 07:31:13 AM »
First question: Médecin de Campagne - see or don't see?
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Teproc

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 08:51:41 AM »
First question: Médecin de Campagne - see or don't see?

Meh. Cluzet is good, but it's a very pedestrian film. Have you seen Hippocrate ? Same director and pretty similar tone, but I like that one better.

Teproc

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 01:25:44 PM »
I suppose I'll use this thread from now on for reviews of French films, if that's alright with you DH.

Grave / Raw (Julia Ducourneau, 2016)

French cinema has a complicated relationship with genre... indeed it is a very common complaint among French cinephiles that genre cinema is continuously underappreciated and underfinanced here. This year though, they seem to have a winner on their hands, as this film has been racking up awards on the festival scene and seems sure to make a splash internationally, though I'm sure the Césars will mostly ignore it and allow those complaints to persist.

I bring this up because this film, while clearly part of genre cinema*, specifically body horror (it is quite hard to stomach, vague pun possibly intended), also very much looks and feels like your typical French arthouse film. The way characters speak is very muchy within that tradition, something that can also be said about another recent outlier in the national scene, Elle. Therein lies the trouble I think, because the juxtaposition of that style with the inherent ridiculousness of things that can happen in a horror movie (especially towards the end) is a bit of a problem. There is a bit of a tonal dissonance there that works against the film, as if it wants to be both naturalist and have, you know, veterinary students turn cannibal on each other... and it kind of limits it both ways.

That being said... it's well worth watching, and when it works, it really works. The horror parts of it are particularly well-done, but some other moments, like the scene in which she's listening to music while watching herself in the mirror, also land really well, in large part thanks to a very strong performance by Garillier, a complete unknown before this. I'd love to say it bites off more than it can chew, but it is very rich thematically. I couldn't help but link it to Bunuel, since the main plot could be reduced to the simple idea that any repression in education will lead to excessive consumption, though I'm not entirely sure how the ending fits into that, which is probably why I dislike it.

7/10

* a term that annoys me but we all know what it broadly means at least.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 03:17:11 PM »
I suppose I'll use this thread from now on for reviews of French films, if that's alright with you DH.

By all means. I don't want this to just remain my personal advice thread.

First question: Médecin de Campagne - see or don't see?

Meh. Cluzet is good, but it's a very pedestrian film. Have you seen Hippocrate ? Same director and pretty similar tone, but I like that one better.

I only mentioned that movie because it's being projected this week. Never seen Hippocrate.
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oldkid

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2017, 06:26:31 PM »
So is this the "Respond to the Last French Film You Watched", or more like, "What are the best French films out there to watch?" or, "Thoughts about recent French films"?
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 07:12:40 AM »
It's more a « All Things French Movies » thread. Everything is permissible, except capitalising "pixote", which is permissible nowhere on the forum.
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MartinTeller

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 11:07:25 AM »
My rough top 20 French movies, trying to keep it to movies made primarily in France by French people, although I'm not always 100% sure without looking it up (I have to keep reminding myself that the Dardennes are Belgian, for instance):

1. Jules and Jim
2. Last Year at Marienbad
3. Innocence
4. A Man Escaped
5. Three Colors: Blue
6. Napoleon
7. Amelie
8. The 400 Blows
9. The Young Girls of Rochefort
10. I Stand Alone
11. Three Colors: Red
12. Le bonheur
13. The Class
14. Un homme qui dort
15. La belle et le bete
16. Le Doulos
17. Elevator to the Gallows
18. Pepe le Moko
19. Stolen Kisses
20. Band of Outsiders

Debated whether or not I should include Kieslowski.

Jeff Schroeck

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 11:11:21 AM »
He was living there and they were made there, right?

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: French Movies
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 11:56:53 AM »
Are you talking about modern or just the entire period of French films?