Tag Archives: french
Muichkine, a young Russian prince, returns home to St. Petersburg from a mental institution, determined to spread decency and kindness in the harsh and cruel world. He becomes betrothed to an innocent young girl while trying to save a less-innocent woman from her own travail, but jealousy and his own naivete conjoin to bring about unimaginable tragedy.
Sex Is Comedy (2002) Catherine Breillat, Anne Parillaud, Grégoire Colin, Roxane Mesquida, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Erotic
Jeanne is a director struggling with a difficult sex scene between two actors who can’t stand each other. Aided by her loyal assistant Leo, Jeanne is hell-bent on getting the scene right without compromise. Inspired by Breillat’s own experiences (particularly those in “Fat Girl”), “Sex is Comedy” explores the comedy of social manipulations, sex and power that takes place within the confines of a film set.
La bandera / Escape from Yesterday (1935) Julien Duvivier, Annabella, Jean Gabin, Robert Le Vigan, Drama, Romance
Pierre Gilieth has committed a murder in Paris. He flees to Barcelona, where he runs out of money. So he joins the Spanish Foreign Legion. He meets there two fellow countrymen, Mulot and Lucas. He tries to forget his fault… but Lucas’s friendship soon appears to be less unselfish…
France, 1936-37. The Popular Front wins elections, the Spanish Civil War begins, and Hitler and Stalin are manipulating and spying. The brilliant exile, Fiodor Voronin, a general at 20, is the deputy at the White Russian Military Union, probably slated to replace the aging Général Dobrinsky soon. Fiodor’s Greek wife, Arsinoé, paints and stays away from politics, befriending Communist neighbors. Her health declines; the attentive Fiodor arranges care and, against the backdrop of Stalin’s Great Purge, considers his options. He plays a chess game in which love of country, love of Arsinoé, ideology, petty jealousies, and the machinations of power roil in matters of life and death.
Late nineteenth century. Young Kohana is sent to Yoshiwara, a suburb of Tokyo where exercise the profession of geisha. With the money you earn hopes to save the family estate. When she meets Serge Polenoff, a Russian lieutenant, falls in love with him.
Falbalas / Paris Frills (1945) Jacques Becker, Raymond Rouleau, Micheline Presle, Jean Chevrier, Drama, Romance
A philandering young dress designer plays fast and loose with the hearts of all the fair maidens he encounters, and leaves them in a Paris lurch. But when he meets the fiancée of his best friend, he falls deeply and truly in love with her. The girl is soon faced with two choices; marry the reliable fiancée whom she doesn’t love, or run off with the dress designer with whom she is infatuated. She sees that she also has a third option and makes the wise choice…she rejects both. The dress designer is not too well equipped for accepting rejection, and he makes a bad decision.
Le roman de Werther (1938) Max Ophüls, Pierre Richard-Willm, Annie Vernay, Jean Galland, Drama, Romance
Golgotha / Behold the Man (1935) Julien Duvivier, Harry Baur, Jean Gabin, Robert Le Vigan, Adventure, Drama
Robert le Vigan plays the Son of God, but as often happens in films of this nature he is upstaged by the villains, Herod (Harry Baur), Pontius Pilate (Jean Gabin) and Judas (Lucas Gridoux). All of Jesus’ dialogue is taken directly from the Scriptures, with no movie-style adornments: le Vigan delivers these lines with sincerity and quiet grace. Considering the anti-Semitism prevalent in Europe during the 1930s, the question of the Jews’ responsibility for Jesus’ death is handled with restraint; blame is squarely laid on the shoulders of a handful of conspirators, rather than an entire race.
Une femme à sa fenêtre (1976) Granier-Deferre, Romy Schneider, Philippe Noiret, Victor Lanoux, Drama
On August 4, 1936, General Metaxas declared martial law in Greece. A union leader using the name Boutros is sought in Athens by Primoukis, a ruthless police leader. Boutros narrowly escapes and, early the next morning, jumps through the window of Marchese Margot Santorini, the wealthy Austrian-born wife of Rico, a penniless Italian diplomat and playboy. Margot is bored and without purpose: aiding Boutros’s escape invigorates her, and soon she is in love. The film briefly jumps to 1945 when Rico and Raoul (who assisted her out of love) meet in France to talk about her fate, and then jumps 30 years to Margot’s daughter’s visit to Greece to find out about her father.