Jonathan at Connaissances has tagged me to list my top ten French films so here they are. I'm actually quite surprised by the way this has turned out. I'm quite partial to the intimiste, tortured vibe for which French cinema is famous, but it would appear that a good number of my favourite films are comedies, albeit dark comedies for the most part.
1. 37.2 Le Matin (1986) I love this film. I love the Betty character and her madness, the Zorg character and his patience, and the desperate urgency of their story. See the long version if you can.
2. Le Grand Bleu (1988) Jean-Marc Barr, stillness, depth and that haunting music. Who needs anything more from a film?
3. Harry Un Ami Qui Vous Veut du Bien. This is a fabulous film: hilariously funny at times but also horribly menacing. Harry is played by Sergei Lopez.
4. Beau temps Mais Orgageux en Fin de Journée. (1986) One of those films where nothing very much happens but you remember that nothing for a long time afterwards.
5. Western (1997) Another funny film with Sergei Lopez and his Spanish accent. It's a sort of road movie à la Bretonne.
6. Tatie Danielle (1990) Classic French comedy from Etienne Chatiliez about a nasty old besom who comes to live with her nephew's family.
7. La Vie est un Long Fleuve Tranquille (1988) Another very funny Etienne Chatiliez film contrasting a bourgeois French family, les Duquenois, and a council-house family, les Groseilles. Their babies have been swapped at birth
8. Le Retour de Martin Guerre (1982) I'm not a great Depardieu fan, but he's good as the floppy-haired returning soldier who usurps somebody else's identity. Or does he?
9. Le Boucher (1970) This one is a haunting thriller that takes place in the Dordogne and stars Stéphane Audran. (I loved her in Babette's Feast too but apparently that's a Danish film)
10. Un Homme Et Une Femme (1966) Da da da da da, da da da. Perhaps the classic French film?
Ten films really isn't enough, here are some more than nearly made it into my list:
Le Diner de Cons : funny but also poignant.
Indochine : just for the scenery.
Le Fabuleux Destin de Amélie Poulain : although it's now fashionable to say you didn't like it.
Le Bonheur est dans le pré : favourite line: "pourtant le confit n'est pas gras".
Les Ripoux : about two corrupt cops in Paris.
Trois Hommes et un couffin : much better than the American remake.
La Lune dans le Caniveau : .another one with a young Gérard Depardieu
Les Valseuses...and another.
Tchao Pantin : starring the late great Coluche.
L'Ete Meurtrier : for fans of long hot summers and the young Isabelle Adjani.
Léon :Jean Reno before he went all Sarko on us.
Diabolo menthe :Parisian childhood in the seventies.
Le Nom de la Rose : Sean Connery may not speak French, but it is partly a French production.
La Guerre du Feu : one of a kind.
Les Invasions Barbares : much more Canadian than French, but brilliant.
La Femme d'à Côté : I like Fanny Ardant and her deep voice.