thu 22/02/2018

French cinema

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.Battle of the Sexes ★★★★ Emma Stone aces it as Billie Jean King in...

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Makala review - capturing human spirit on film

We follow Kabwita Kasongo on his morning routine, lingering over the shoulder as he treks through the village. A pastel sunrise greets vast landscapes, the morning breeze visible for miles around. He heads to a tree at the edge of a mountain, and...

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A Woman's Life review - simple but affecting

A Woman’s Life first premiered at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival, alongside the likes of La La Land, Arrival and Jackie. Though it’s taken longer to get to our shores than its contemporaries, the film feels fresh and relevant. This...

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Blu-ray: Melville - The Essential Collection

A new box-set to relish, six French cinema classics by a cult director, along with a wealth of fascinating extras on a seventh DVD. The French film-maker Jean-Pierre Melville belongs to a class of his own: a precursor of the New Wave, an influence...

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DVD: A Journey Through French Cinema

Bertrand Tavernier’s trip through French cinema is shot through with the love of someone who has grown up with cinema and knows how to communicate his passion in a way that is totally engaging. The three hours-plus that he delivers make you want to...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Montparnasse 19

The myth of Modigliani, the archetypal tortured artist, was set in train while he was still alive and remains potent almost a century after his death. Every so often a few game academics try to put things straight, and now Tate Modern’s exhibition...

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DVD: The Death of Louis XIV

Albert Serra has earned himself the directorial moniker “the Catalan king of stasis”, and nothing in The Death of Louis XIV is going to dispel such a reputation – if anything, he has honed that characteristic approach further, concentrating this...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier

In terms of cinema history, 1969’s Les Chemins de Katmandou is a footnote. Directed by André Cayatte, whose most interesting films were 1963’s interrelated marital dramas Jean-Marc ou la Vie Conjugale and Françoise ou la Vie Conjugale, it was a...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Wages of Fear

The opening shot sets the tone for what follows: a pair of duelling cockroaches attached to a string, tormented by a bored child. In 1953’s The Wages of Fear, we quickly sense that Henri-Georges Clouzot’s characters are similarly powerless. His...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Love of a Woman

In Jean Grémillon's final fiction film The Love of a Woman, Marie Prieur (Micheline Presle) arrives on the Breton island of Ushant to replace the tiny settlement's aging Dr Morel (Robert Naly). While showing Marie her new digs and surgery, Mme Morel...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Touchez Pas au Grisbi

Jean Gabin’s gangster’s paradise says more about him than the bullets he later lets fly. France’s greatest male star made a barnstorming comeback to pre-eminence as sharp-suited, drolly masterful Max in Jacques Becker’s Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954...

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DVD/Blu-ray: J'Accuse

Abel Gance’s remake of his 1919 classic was a worthy but overwrought attempt to avert World War II, which by 1938 was already a fait accompli. In their comparative sombreness, King Vidor’s The Big Parade (1925) and Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the...

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