French Cinema: Articles

Danielle Darrieux Movies: Film Icon Turns 100 + Longest 'Star Career' Ever?

Danielle Darrieux in 'La Ronde.' Film icon Danielle Darrieux turns 100: Longest 'star career' in movie history? Screen legend Danielle Darrieux is turning 100 today, May 1. In all likelihood, the Bordeaux-born (1917) Darrieux has enjoyed the longest “movie star” career ever: eight decades, from Wilhelm Thiele's comedy-drama Le Bal […]

Michel Galabru Dead: 'La Cage aux Folles' Right-Wing Politician & César Winner

Michel Galabru and Louis de Funès in the comedy 'Le gendarme et les gendarmettes': No 'affection' for his movies. 'La Cage aux Folles' actor Michel Galabru dead at 93: Embodiment of 'traditional family values' in international box office hit Michel Galabru, best known internationally for his role as a rabidly […]

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier Impressive Sci-Fi, Sex Melodrama & Fernand Léger Combo

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier directed Jaque Catelain and Georgette Leblanc in great-looking (Fernand Léger sets) mix of science-fiction and sex melodrama. Marcel L'Herbier silent 'L'Inhumaine': 'Intense sensory integration of sight' For me, the real jewel in the crown of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's “A Day of Silents,” held on […]

Danièle Delorme: Rare Woman Director's Muse & Pioneering Producer

Danièle Delorme: Pioneering woman director Jacqueline Audry's muse would eventually become a pioneering female movie producer. Remembering pioneering woman director's muse and pioneering woman producer Danièle Delorme Danièle Delorme, who died on Oct. 17, '15, at the age of 89 in Paris, is best remembered as the first actress to […]

Robert Pattinson E.T. Astronaut

Robert Pattinson: Actor to play E.T. astronaut. Robert Pattinson to star for Claire Denis If all goes as planned, Robert Pattinson will get to star in French screenwriter-director Claire Denis' recently announced – and as yet untitled – English-language sci-fier, penned by Denis and White Teeth author Zadie Smith and […]

Glenda Jackson: 2-Time Best Actress Oscar Winner, Former MP Comeback via Emile Zola

Glenda Jackson: Actress and former Labour MP. Two-time Oscar winner and former Labour MP Glenda Jackson returns to acting Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson set aside her acting career after becoming a Labour Party MP in 1992. Four years ago, Jackson, who represented the Greater London constituency […]

Jean-Luc Godard Solution for Greek Debt Crisis: 'Therefore' Copyright Fees

Jean-Luc Godard in his youthful days. Jean-Luc Godard solution for the Greek debt crisis: 'Therefore' copyright payments A few years ago, Nouvelle Vague filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, while plugging his Film Socialisme, chipped in with a surefire solution for the seemingly endless – and bottomless – Greek debt crisis. In July […]

Marc Allégret: From André Gide Lover to Simone Simon Starmaker

Marc Allégret: André Gide lover, all-around starmaker and the initial driving force behind the film career of Simone Simon. Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (See previous post: “Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.”) Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical […]

Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale

Simone Simon: Femme fatale in 'Cat People.' Simone Simon: Remembering the 'Cat People' and 'La Bête Humaine' actress Pert, pretty, pouty, and fiery-tempered Simone Simon – who died at age 94 ten years ago, on Feb. 22, '05 – is best known for her starring role in Jacques Tourneur's cult […]

Simone Simon: 'La Bête Humaine' 1938 Femme Fatale

Simone Simon and Jean Gabin in 'La Bête Humaine.' Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (See previous post: “'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.”) In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century Fox from another French import, […]

Catherine Deneuve: César Award Record-Tier

Catherine Deneuve: Best Actress César Award 'record-tier' for 'In the Courtyard,' with Oleg Kupchik and Big Dog. Catherine Deneuve: César Award Best Actress Record-Tier (See previous post: “Kristen Stewart & Catherine Deneuve Make César Award History.”) Catherine Deneuve has received 12 Best Actress César Award nominations to date; as mentioned […]

Kristen Stewart, Catherine Deneuve Make César Award History

Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' with Juliette Binoche. Kristen Stewart, Catherine Deneuve make César Award history Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve are two 2015 César Award nominees making history. The French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts announced the nominations on Jan. 28, '15; the César Awards […]

Marie Dubois: New Wave Actress Featured in Record-Breaking French Blockbuster Has Died

Marie Dubois in the mammoth blockbuster 'La Grande Vadrouille.' Marie Dubois, actress in French New Wave films, dead at 77 Actress Marie Dubois, a popular French New Wave personality of the '60s and the leading lady in one of France's biggest box office hits in history, died on Oct. 15 […]

'Emmanuelle' Movies Producer Dies: Sex and Technology 'Visionary'

'Emmanuelle' 1974, with Sylvia Kristel: French blockbuster distributed domestically by Alain Siritzky's Parafrance Films. 'Emmanuelle' movies producer Alain Siritzky dead at 72 Emmanuelle franchise producer Alain Siritzky died after what has been described as “a short illness” on Saturday, Oct. 11, '14, at a Paris hospital. The (reportedly) New York […]

Kristen Stewart 'Sils Maria' Set Photos

Kristen Stewart: 'Sils Maria' set photos Kristen Stewart co-stars opposite Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, the upcoming Carrie remake) in Olivier Assayas' Sils Maria, a psychological drama currently being filmed in Germany and Switzerland. A Kristen Stewart fan site on Twitter has posted […]

Catherine Deneuve Style & Talent: Living Film Legend

Catharine Deneuve. Catherine Deneuve: Style & talent on TCM tonight A day to rejoice on Turner Classic Movies: Catherine Deneuve, one of the few true Living Film Legends, is TCM's “Summer Under the Stars” star today, August 12, 2013. Catherine Deneuve is not only one of the most beautiful film […]

Kristen Stewart Guantanamo Movie Gets Handsome Muslim Inmate

Peyman Moaadi Kristen Stewart movie Camp X-Ray reportedly gets leading man: Peyman Moaadi June 24, '13, update: Two Kristen Stewart movie projects were announced a couple of weeks ago: Olivier Assayas' psychological drama Sils Maria, to co-star Juliette Binoche and Chloë Grace Moretz, and writer-director Peter Sattler's political drama Camp […]

Lesbian Sex Scenes Turned into Porn? 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' Author Julie Maroh vs. Abdellatif Kechiche

Léa Seydoux in Blue Is the Warmest Color. 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' graphic novel writer Julie Maroh discusses Abdellatif Kechiche's film adaptation + lesbian sex scenes Julie Maroh, the author of the graphic novel on which Abdellatif Kechiche's 2013 Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color is based, […]

Lesbian Love Story Wins Palme d'Or

Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos in 'Blue Is the Warmest Color.' Lesbian love story Blue Is the Warmest Color wins Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or The 2013 Cannes Film Festival came to a close on Sunday evening. Earlier in the day in Paris, an estimated 150,000 bigots took to the […]

Emmanuelle Riva & 'Amour' César Winners + 'Fabulous' Kevin Costner

Emmanuelle Riva. Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Michael Haneke, Amour: César Awards 2013 Michael Haneke's drama about love and death, Amour, won five César Awards (out of ten nominations) earlier this evening at a ceremony held at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris: Best Film, Best Actress for Emmanuelle Riva, Best […]

'Argo' & 'Amour' + 'Zero Dark Thirty' & Anne Hathaway + Philip Seymour Hoffman: Top Awards Season Choices

Argo with Ben Affleck. Actor-director-co-producer Ben Affleck's political thriller Argo chronicles – by way of Hollywood-style flights of fancy – the real-life rescue of six U.S. embassy employees hiding in the Tehran house of Canada's ambassador as most of their colleagues are taken hostage following the Iranian Revolution of 1979. […]

SAG Awards: Marion Cotillard to Lead French Charge? + Jennifer Lawrence Among Possible Contenders

Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone. The SAG Awards usually bypass performers in non-English-language films. This year, however, could be a major exception thanks to two well-received French-language dramas: Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone and Michael Haneke's Amour. The former stars Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts; the latter stars veterans Jean-Louis Trintignant (Z, […]

L.A. Film Critics Awards: Foreign-Language Drama Wins Best Picture + Surprises Galore

Emmanuelle Riva in Amour. Written and directed by Michael Haneke, the French-German-Austrian old-age drama Amour was the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's surprise Best Film winner. Less surprising was 85-year-old veteran Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Léon Morin Priest) being selected as the year's Best Actress (along with, ahem, Jennifer […]

'Alex Cross' Tyler Perry Worst Box Office Bomb & 'Paranormal Activity 4' Big Disappointment

Paranormal Activity 4, Tyler Perry's Alex Cross box office actuals below estimates; Ben Affleck's Argo holds on Oct. 22, '12, update: We all knew that Paramount's Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman-directed Paranormal Activity 4 opened way below expectations this past weekend, Oct. 19-21, at the domestic box office. Box-office actuals […]

'A Man and a Woman': Anouk Aimée at New York Screening

A Man and a Woman: Anouk Aimée to attend New York City screening of Claude Lelouch classic A Man and a Woman / Un homme et une femme, Claude Lelouch's romantic drama starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant, will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences […]

'The Intouchables' Movie: French Blockbuster & Brazilian Clown Among Oscar Submissions

The Intouchables: France's 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entry The Intouchables, France's biggest French-language blockbuster at the international box-office, is that country's official entry for the 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Distributed by The Weinstein Company in North America, The Intouchables has to date grossed a not […]

Cannes Winners: Old Age Drama & Mob Mentality Indictment

Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills: Cosmina Stratan, Cristina Flutur While delivering her intro for the Cannes Film Festival awards ceremony, Mistress of Ceremonies Bérénice Bejo waxed poetic: “If festivals are the parentheses, films are the words, the exclamation points…” In fact, there were quite a few exclamation points among the […]

'Maps to the Stars': Robert Pattinson-David Cronenberg Collaboration? + 'Amour' Trailer & Critics Favorite

Maps to the Stars for Robert Pattinson / David Cronenberg? Above, Pattinson in Cronenberg's Cosmopolis (Paul Giamatti in background) Robert Pattinson hates Twilight, according to those who have taken seriously his (jokingly) dismissive take on the movie series that has made him world famous. Anyhow, whatever his feelings in regard […]

Angelina Jolie Leg & United Nations Envoy + Gay John Waters & Jessica Chastain Most Influential Person?

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Leg + Marlene Dietrich Pioneer Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Angelina Jolie's notorious right leg (“Brangeleg” for short?) are seen backstage at the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony, which took place at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood on February […]

Harvey Weinstein Legion of Honor + Nicolas Sarkozy Letter Kept Secret During Oscar Race

Harvey Weinstein: Legion d'Honneur Chevalier nominated by French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Oscar race secret: Harvey Weinstein Legion of Honor 'nomination' Below is a letter (dated July 22, '11) French president Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to The Weinstein Company's cochairman Harvey Weinstein, who has been inducted as a chevalier into France's Légion […]

Jean Dujardin 'The Players' World Trade Center 9/11 Joke Censored?

Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche: 'Scandalous' 'The Players / Les infidèles' posters and 9/11 joke removed. Jean Dujardin purported 'little secret': World Trade Center 9/11 joke removed from sex comedy 'The Players' “Jean Dujardin, already Oscared, can now breathe again: his little secret was kept to the very end,” writes […]

Jean Dujardin Makes Oscar History

Jean Dujardin Jean Dujardin made film-award history after he won the 2012 Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as a fading silent film matinee idol in Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist. But before I proceed, I must say that those who compare Dujardin with former Best Actor Oscar winner Roberto […]

Michel Hazanavicius & Bérénice Bejo + 'The Artist' Makes Oscar History

'The Artist': Best Picture winner makes history. Best Picture winner 'The Artist': Two 'First Times' in Oscar history Pictured above are several cast members of Best Picture winner The Artist – Uggie, Jean Dujardin, James Cromwell, Bérénice Bejo, Penelope Ann Miller, and Missi Pyle – in addition to director-writer Michel […]

César Awards: 'The Artist' Wins + Jean Dujardin Loses & 'Veteran' Kate Winslet Honored

Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, The Artist Jean Dujardin can't win 'em all. For his (in my humble opinion brilliant) performance as a fading silent film star in Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, he was voted Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, the British Academy Awards, the SAG Awards, the Golden […]

Jeremy Irvine & Donald Sutherland London Film Critics Awards + BAFTA & Prix Lumière Nominations

Jeremy Irvine Jeremy Irvine, the star (along with the titular character) of Steven Spielberg's World War I drama War Horse, arrives at the 2012 London Film Critics Awards. Irvine was a contender for Young British Performer of the Year, along with John Boyega for Attack the Block, Yasmin Paige for […]

Michel Hazanavicius & Bérénice Bejo + Jean Dujardin: Golden Globes History Made Despite Kim Novak

Michel Hazanavicius and wife Bérénice Bejo: Making Golden Globes history. Michel Hazanavicius and wife Bérénice Bejo: 'The Artist' achieves unique Golden Globes feat Michel Hazanavicius and wife Bérénice Bejo accept the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for the comedy-drama The Artist – a Franco-Belgian co-production […]

Why Is Domestic Box Office Down? Pundits Offer Unconvincing Explanations

War Horse with Jeremy Irvine. In spite of a strong start, Steven Spielberg's World War I drama War Horse trotted at a much slower pace over the 2012 New Year's weekend. A few Academy Award nominations in key categories will likely boost the film's box office, but it remains to […]

TCM Remembers: From Farley Granger & Annie Girardot to Googie Withers & 'Sex Film' Actresses

Farley Granger shirtless publicity shot ca. late 1940s. A Samuel Goldwyn discovery, dark and handsome Farley Granger might have become a bigger star had he not been under contract to the independent producer, whose output was considerably more limited than that of the major studios. Apart from the box office […]

'Persepolis' Tunisia Broadcast Furor + Iranian Actress Freed

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis 'Persepolis' Broadcast: Tunisian Television Station President Apologizes to Offended Muslims Three days ago a group of 200 Fundamentalist Muslims protested outside the headquarters of a television station in Tunis for showing Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's Academy Award-nominated animated feature Persepolis. What irked the […]

Paulette Dubost Dead at 100: Worked with Jean Renoir & Jacques Tourneur

Paulette Dubost, known as the “Dean of French Cinema,” and an actress in films directed by Jean Renoir, Marcel L'Herbier, Jacques Tourneur, Julien Duvivier, Max Ophüls, Preston Sturges, François Truffaut, Louis Malle, and Marcel Carné, died of “natural causes” on Sept. 21 in the Parisian suburb of Longjumeau. The Paris-born […]

Jean Gabin Movies: French Film Icon

Jean Gabin was France's answer to Humphrey Bogart, many (English-language) historians have claimed. Either that, or Gabin was France's answer to Spencer Tracy. Never mind the fact that Gabin was a major international star before either Bogart or Tracy achieved Hollywood stardom. In other words, if there was someone emulating […]

Gay Rights & Sperm Donor + Julianne Moore Is Sarah Palin & Catherine Deneuve Closing Cannes

Controversial 'I Am' Topics: From Anti-Gay Discrimination & Child Abuse to Abusive Cops & Sperm Donor Search "Why can't the guy get AIDS from a popular Bollywood actress?" According to 41-year-old Indian filmmaker Onir (right), that's what one potential backer asked him when he tried to raise funds for his […]

Marie-France Pisier: 'The Other Side of Midnight' Actress & François Truffaut Muse Commits Suicide

Marie-France Pisier in The Other Side of Midnight (top); Pisier with Jean-Pierre Léaud in François Truffaut's Love at Twenty segment “Antoine and Colette” (bottom) Marie-France Pisier, best-known internationally as one of François Truffaut's New Wave muses and as the star of the trashy Hollywood melodrama The Other Side of Midnight, […]

'Last Year at Marienbad' Review: Alain Resnais' Film Masterpiece

Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad: Intertextuality via cinematic 'touchstone.' Forget all prior claims you've read about Alain Resnais,” 90-minute, black-and-white effort L'année dernière à Marienbad / Last Year at Marienbad (1961) – from the bad to the good, from publicity nonsense which declaims the three main characters are named […]

'The 400 Blows': François Truffaut Classic

Jean Pierre Léaud, The 400 Blows In 1959, a pair of newly released French films were instantly hailed as classics, going on to become the twin pillars of the Nouvelle Vague, or New Wave. One, Jean-Luc Godard's À bout de souffle / Breathless, was bad; the other, François Truffaut's Les […]

'Breathless' Review: Jean-Luc Godard Wildly Overrated Classic?

Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Breathless The fact that an artist writes boringly to convey boredom, or childishly to convey puerility, has no effect on the resultant work being neither boring nor puerile. Self-awareness of a flaw does not alleviate the flaw. For that to not be true, intent in art […]

'Au Revoir les Enfants': Louis Malle Semiautobiographical Classic

Raphael Fejtö, Gaspard Manesse, Au revoir les enfants Synopsis: At a Catholic boys' school in occupied France, a snotty rich kid, Julien (Gaspard Manesse), slowly befriends an unusual newcomer, Bonnet (Raphael Fejtö), who happens to be a Jewish boy in hiding. The Pros: Unlike Roman Polanski's The Pianist and Steven […]

Catherine Deneuve & Roman Polanski: César Awards' Nominations

Best Film HEARTBREAKER produced by Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun, directed by Pascal Chaumeil OF GODS AND MEN produced by Pascal Caucheteux, Grégoire Sorlat, Etienne Comar, directed by Xavier Beauvois GAINSBOURG (VIE HÉROÏQUE) produced by Marc du Pontavice, Didier Lupfer, directed by Joann Sfar MAMMUTH produced by Jean-Pierre […]

'Stairway to Heaven' & 'Orpheus': Two Radically Different Fantasies Tackle That Mysterious Space in Between

Orpheus with Jean Marais. Starring Jean Cocteau's muse, protégé, and (for some time) lover, Jean Marais, Orpheus traces the otherworldly trajectory of the titular, modern-day Parisian poet as he falls in love with Death. Worse yet, his feelings are reciprocated. As both the mysterious Princess and the lovestruck Death, Spanish-born […]

Nicole Kidman Movie Risk Taker Tribute + Patricia Norris Lifetime Achievement Award

Best Actress Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (for Stephen Daldry's The Hours) and potential Oscar nominee for John Cameron Mitchell's upcoming Rabbit Hole, will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 26th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which runs January 27 -February 6, 2011. The Nicole Kidman […]

Jean-Luc Godard Honorary Oscar: Filmmaker Missing in Action?

Oct. 25 update: Shocking news. Jean-Luc Godard has “regretfully” notified Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak that he will not pick up his Honorary Award in person at the Governors Awards on Nov. 13. The notification followed “a two-month-long cordial exchange of correspondence” between Godard and […]

Jean-Luc Godard, Eli Wallach Honorary Oscar Recipients

Jean-Luc Godard (above), Eli Wallach (right), Kevin Brownlow, and Francis Ford Coppola have been chosen as the recipients of the 2010 special Academy Awards. Godard, Brownlow, and Wallach will receive Honorary Awards; Coppola will be handed the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. No Jean Hersholt Award (for “good deeds”) will […]

Bruno Cremer Dies: Played Inspector Maigret in French Television Series

Bruno Cremer, best known for playing Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret in the long-running (1991-2005) French television series Maigret, died in a Paris hospital on Saturday, Aug. 7. Cremer, who had been fighting cancer for a number of years, was 80. Cremer's acting career spanned half a century. He began […]

Cécile Aubry Has Died: 'Manon' & Tyrone Power's Leading Lady

Cécile Aubry, Henri-Georges Clouzot's leading lady in the 1949 drama Manon and Tyrone Power's romantic interest in the 1950 period adventure The Black Rose, died of lung cancer on July 19 in Dourdan, outside of Paris. She was 81. Born Anne-José Madeleine Henriette Bénard (or Anne José Bénard according to […]

Jean Seberg Interview, 'Breathless' Box Office

Jean Seberg's association with Jean-Luc Godard's A bout de souffle / Breathless (1960) was the key subject of a q&a that took place in 1968. Veteran Hollywood publicist Harry Clein was the interviewer. At the time, Seberg, who became an international star following the release of Breathless, was working on […]

'Outside the Law' Irks French Right-Wingers, 'Uncle Boonmee' and Thai Unrest: Cannes Movies

'Outside the Law' with Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila. Directed by Rachid Bouchareb. 'Outside the Law' controversy: Right-wingers and war veterans irked Rachid Bouchareb's Outside the Law / Hors-la-loi hasn't even had its Cannes Film Festival Official Competition screening yet – that will be on May 21, '10 – but it's […]

Cannes: Juliette Binoche & Jailed Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi

Juliette Binoche, William Shimell in Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy “The fact that a filmmaker has been imprisoned is itself intolerable. If the Iranian government continues to refuse to release Jafar, then we need explanations. Jafar Panahi was inclined to make his films under clandestine, illegal circumstances, but that's not his […]

Bertrand Tavernier Movie 'Mildly Booed,' U.S. National Debt & Cesar Chavez Documentaries

Alonso F. Mayo and Bill Brummel's Viva la Causa and Patrick Creadon's I.O.U.S.A. will be screened in the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 28th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, May 19, '10, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission […]

'Death in the Garden': Luis Buñuel Classic with Simone Signoret

Simone Signoret, Georges Marchal Death in the Garden I hadn't even heard of Death in the Garden before its recent DVD release on the Microcinema label.  It ranks as among the least-known of Luis Buñuel's films, probably because it's the least obviously Buñuelian. Aside from some fairly incidental bits of […]

'A Prophet,' Isabelle Adjani: César Winners

A Prophet, Jacques Audiard's internationally acclaimed prison drama, was the big winner at the 2010 César Awards ceremony held at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard served as the ceremony's honorary president. She was assisted by co-presenters Gad Elmaleh and Valérie Lemercier. Starring relative newcomer […]

Gérard Depardieu Too White to Portray Alexandre Dumas?

Gérard Depardieu, one of the greatest icons of French cinema, has dismissed claims that he has been miscast as mixed-race author Alexandre Dumas in Safy Nebbou's big-budget production The Other Dumas / L'Autre Dumas. In Depardieu's words at the Berlin Film Festival on Friday, those arguments are “ridiculous” and “unnecessary,” […]

Isabelle Adjani & Double Nominee Tahar Rahim: César Awards

Adel Bencherif, Tahar Rahim in A Prophet (top); Vincent Lindon, Farit Ayverdi in Welcome (middle); Yvan Atall in Rapt (bottom) With 13 nods, Jacques Audiard's prison drama A Prophet – one of the semi-finalists for this year's best foreign language film Oscar, leads the 2010 Cesar Award nominations. In addition […]

Éric Rohmer (1920 - 2010)

To watch an Éric Rohmer film is to watch life unfold on the screen. I'm not sure if Rohmer, who died earlier today at the age of 89, would be happy to have his oeuvre described as such, but that's exactly what it felt like to me while watching, say, […]

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards: Three Major French Surprises + French Cinema Icon Gets Career Award

The Hurt Locker with Jeremy Renner. The Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles film critics' Best Picture is a low-budget Summit Entertainment release that turned out to be a major box office disappointment. Curiously, the Kathryn Bigelow-directed, Mark Boal-written Iraq War-set thriller about a U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was […]

Louis Delluc Prize for Violent Prison Drama & Blockbuster Surprise + Honorees Julianne Moore & Jason Reitman

A Prophet with Tahar Rahim, winner of the Louis Delluc Prize. Jacques Audiard's violent prison drama chronicles the difficulties facing a young Frenchman of Algerian ancestry who, after being sent to jail for six years, must navigate between two warring factions while behind bars: the Corsicans and the Muslims. Shades […]

'Avatar' Reviews & Budget: James Cameron Fantasy to Become Next 'Titanic' or Next 'Cleopatra'?

Avatar war: Titanic or Cleopatra? Not taking inflation into account, James Cameron's futuristic 3D action fantasy is the most expensive 20th Century Fox production ever. Once inflation is factored in, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's CGI-less Cleopatra remains not only Fox's costliest production but also the second most expensive movie ever made, […]

Jocelyn Quivrin

Jocelyn Quivrin, Bénabar in Incognito Jocelyn Quivrin, the French Academy's César winner for most promising newcomer in 2008, died after losing control of his sports car while driving in a tunnel just outside of Paris on Sunday (Nov. 15) night. Quivrin was 30. Quivrin's off-screen companion was actress Alice Taglioni, […]

Anna Karina & Jean-Luc Godard Collaborations on DVD

Made in U.S.A. (1966) Dir.: Jean-Luc Godard Scr.: Jean-Luc Godard; from Donald E. Westlake's novel Cast: Anna Karina, László Szabó, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marianne Faithfull, Yves Afonso   2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle / 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967) Dir. / Scr.: Jean-Luc Godard […]

Agnès Varda Tribute: American Cinematheque in Santa Monica

Except for Vagabond, a 1985 drama that earned Sandrine Bonnaire best actress awards from both the French Academy and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, I'm unfamiliar with Agnès Varda's oeuvre, which encompasses more than 40 films – both shorts and features, narrative and documentaries – spanning 54 years (1954-2008). […]

'Séraphine': Q&A with Séraphine de Senlis Biopic Director Martin Provost

Yolande Moreau in Séraphine. The winner of 7 2009 French Academy Awards, including best film, best original screenplay, and best actress, Martin Provost's Séraphine stars Yolande Moreau as painter Séraphine Louis, a.k.a. Séraphine de Senlis, a plain, poor, uncultured, devoutly Catholic, and emotionally unbalanced housekeeper who became known as a […]

'Shall We Kiss?' Q&A with Director Emmanuel Mouret

In Emmanuel Mouret's quietly observant Un baiser s'il vous plaît / Shall We Kiss? (literally, “A Kiss, If You Please”), which opens today in Los Angeles, a young, good-looking couple, Émilie and Gabriel (Julie Gayet and Michaël Cohen), meet accidentally and are just about ready to go for some physical […]

Séraphine de Senlis Biopic Tops Prix César + Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Movies' Visual Effects Awards

Yolande Moreau in Seraphine. The 2009 César ceremony, held this evening at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, offered a few surprises. (In the U.S. and probably elsewhere, TV5 will be showing the César ceremony this evening.) One of the evening's favorites, Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or winner The Class, taken […]

Opus Dei Controversy + Michelle Pfeiffer: Spanish Academy Awards + Berlin Film Festival

Camino with Carmen Elias: Controversial Opus Dei drama. Goya Award winners Written and directed by Javier Fesser, the controversial drama Camino – described by Screen Daily's Lee Marshall as a “kind of three-way collision between The Magdalene Sisters, Amelie and The Song of Bernadette” – was the big winner at […]

Christian Bale Rant + Isabelle Adjani & When Cultures Collide in Classroom

I've had friends in the mountains of Papua New Guinea and in some impenetrable spot in the Amazon jungle e-mail me about Christian Bale's expletive-filled blowup on the Terminator Salvation set last July. (That was around the time the actor was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister in […]

Marie Glory: French Silent Film Actress Dead at 103

Actress Marie Glory (a.k.a. Arlette Genny in the mid-1920s) died at her house in Cannes this past January 24. She was 103. Though forgotten today, Glory did have an extensive film career – more than 50 motion pictures during the course of nearly four decades, from 1924 to 1960. Among […]

Claude Berri: 'Jean de Florette' Director & 'The Bear' Producer Has Died

The Bear, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and produced by Claude Berri (top); Gérard Depardieu Yves Montand Claude Berri-directed drama Jean de Florette (bottom) Filmmaker Claude Berri, best known internationally for Jean de Florette (1988) and its sequel, Manon of the Spring (1989), died Jan. 12 after suffering a stroke. Berri […]

'Tell No One': Q&A with Guillaume Canet

Several weeks ago, I chatted with actor-director-screenwriter Guillaume Canet, 35, at a West Hollywood hotel where Canet was promoting his romantic thriller Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One, which opens in Los Angeles and New York City tomorrow. Based on Harlan Coben's bestseller, Canet's accomplished and visually […]

'The Valet' Francis Veber Comedy

La Doublure / The Valet (2006) Dir. / Scr.: Francis Veber. Cast: Gad Elmaleh, Daniel Auteuil, Alice Taglioni, Kristin Scott Thomas, Virginie Ledoyen, Dany Boon, Richard Berry, Michel Aumont     French writer-director Francis Veber has done it again. La Doublure / The Valet is another hilarious romp featuring Veber's […]

Jean Delannoy: History of French Cinema 'Last Survivor' Dies

"I'm the last survivor of one section of the history of French cinema,” director-screenwriter Jean Delannoy declared in 2004. The “last survivor” died yesterday, June 18, at his home in Guainville, in southwest France. He was 100. During his six-decade career, Delannoy directed many of the most illustrious names in […]

'Water Lilies' Movie: Q&A with Filmmaker Céline Sciamma

"Watching the film I want the audience to embrace the journey of being a girl. Everyone in the room has to identify [with] a fifteen-year-old teenage girl. That's why there are no adults in the movie, nor boys.” That's screenwriter-director Céline Sciamma, talking about her widely praised first film, Naissance […]

'The Passion of Joan of Arc': Carl Theodor Dreyer Masterwork

The Passion of Joan of Arc / La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928) Dir.: Carl Theodor Dreyer. Scr.: Carl Theodor Dreyer and Joseph Delteil. Cast: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz, Antonin Artaud, Michel Simon, Jean d'Yd     Carl Theodor Dreyer's late silent film La Passion de […]

Abel Gance 'La Roue' DVD

“There is cinema before and after La Roue as there is painting before and after Picasso.” That's none other than Jean Cocteau, referring to the mammoth 1923 drama (original running time: nearly 8 hours) directed and written by Abel Gance – he of Napoleon. Gance worked for three years on […]

'Welcome to the Sticks' Breaks French Box-Office Record

'Welcome to the Sticks' with Dany Boon, Kad Merad. Welcome to the Sticks box-office: Breaks record in France Welcome to the Sticks / Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis (literally, “Welcome to the Land of the Ch'tis”), a comedy focusing on French regional stereotypes, has been seen by more than 17.4 French […]

'Rififi': Jules Dassin Classic Heist Movie

The easiest, most obvious point to start with any thoughts on Jules Dassin's Rififi is the thirty-minute heist that comprises its middle third. Without dialogue, the sequence unfolds with a complexity deceptive in its economy. Even if a viewer has watched similar set-ups in subsequent films, the precision in these […]

Danish + French & Irish Awards: Mockumentary About Assassination of Danish Prime Minister In

Bodil Awards: 'White Night' Tops Nominations 2008 Bodil Award winners: Imperial Cinema in Copenhagen on Feb. 24. Jannik Johansen's drama White Night (above) received the most nominations – five in all – for the 2007 Danish Film Critics Association's Bodil Awards. The film follows a real estate agent (best actor […]

'Contempt' Movie Review: Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Luc Godard

Of the films I've seen so far of French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, his best is Le Mépris / Contempt (1963), adapted by Godard from Alberto Moravia's novel Il Disprezzo (published in English as The Ghost at Noon). That statement should not be taken as an acknowledgement of greatness, […]

'Born on the Fourth of July': Tom Cruise-Oliver Stone Controversial Oscar-Winning Collaboration + Jacques Rivette

Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July. Oliver Stone's 1989 best picture nominee Born on the Fourth of July will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Great To Be Nominated” series on Monday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m. at […]

French Film Critics' Etoile d'Or Awards: Several Surprising Ties

About a month ago, I posted an incomplete list of winners of the French Film Critics 2007 Étoiles d'Or, which had been announced the month before. Since I've finally completed the list of the French film critics' winners – and nominees – I've decided to post a brief article about […]

César Awards Winners, Michèle Morgan Homage

Perhaps there's hope for this evening's Oscar ceremony. On Saturday, I watched (most of) the French Academy of Film Arts and Sciences' 32nd César du cinéma ceremony held last night (late morning/early afternoon Los Angeles time) at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The event, hosted by actress Valérie Lemercier […]

César Nominations: Alain Resnais Is Back

Lambert Wilson, Laura Morante in Private Fears in Public Places. The best thing about the 2007 César nominations is the fact that Alain Resnais' beautiful, haunting, magical Coeurs / Private Fears in Public Places received a total of 8 nominations, including a best director nod for Resnais himself, and a […]

Best Foreign Language Film Oscar European Slant + Hip Hop Immigration Drama Tops Guldbagge Awards

Water with Lisa Ray. Set in the late 1930s, during the British occupation of India, Deepa Mehta's Water created quite a stir during its production in that country. Spoken in Hindi, the film stars Canadian actress Lisa Ray as a young widow living with several other widowed women and girls in […]

'Testament of Orpheus': Jean Cocteau Ends Heavy-Handed 'Orphic Trilogy'

Testament of Orpheus with Jean Cocteau. The filmmaker's “Orphic Trilogy” spanned nearly three decades: The Blood of a Poet (1932), with Enrique Riveros as The Poet; Orpheus (1950), with Roger Blin, in a supporting role, as The Poet; and Testament of Orpheus (1960), with Cocteau himself as the time-traveling Poet. […]

'Army of Shadows': 1969 French Drama Is New York Film Critics' Most Notable Winner

Army of Shadows with Simone Signoret. Jean-Pierre Melville's 1969 French Resistance drama also starring Lino Ventura and Paul Meurisse was the New York Film Critics Circle's Best Foreign Language Film of 2006. How come? That's because Army of Shadows (original title: L'Armée des ombres) reached U.S. screens only this year. […]

Philippe Noiret: 'Cinema Paradiso' & 'The Postman' Actor Dies

Philippe Noiret: 'Cinema Paradiso,' 'The Postman' actor dead at 76 Veteran actor Philippe Noiret, whose movie credits include Cinema Paradiso, The Postman, and the controversial Blow-Out, died of cancer earlier today, November 23, 2006. Noiret (born on October 1, 1930, in Lille, in northern France) was 76. (Image: Philippe Noiret.) […]

'Orpheus' Film Review: Jean Cocteau & Jean Marais Collaboration

The second film in Jean Cocteau's so-called Orphic Trilogy, Orphée / Orpheus (the truth is, the films in this 'trilogy' do not make up an actual trilogy), deals with the classic Orpheus and Eurydice myth. It is also a better film than its predecessor, Le Sang d'un poète / The […]

'The Blood of a Poet': Jean Cocteau

I recently got The Orphic Trilogy of films written and directed by Jean Cocteau: Le Sang d'un poète / The Blood of a Poet (1930), Orphée / Orpheus (1950), and Le Testament d'Orphée / The Testament of Orpheus (1960). I decided to start with the first film, Le Sang d'un […]

Piano-Playing Gangster Drama Tops Prix César + Gay Love Story Tops BAFTAs

Romain Duris, Linh Dan Pham in The Beat That My Heart Skipped   Jacques Audiard's curious but uninvolving psychological drama De battre, mon coeur s'est arrêté / The Beat That My Heart Skipped – a remake of James Toback's Fingers (1978) – won eight César awards, including best film, best […]

Annette Stroyberg Dies: 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' Actress Was Brigitte Bardot Follow-Up

Annette Stroyberg a.k.a. Annette Vadim: The Danish-born, pouty-lipped actress had a brief film career in the early 1960s, appearing in 10 movies in France and Italy, most notably the French-made Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Blood and Roses, both directed by her then-husband Roger Vadim. 'Les Liaisons dangereuses' actress Annette Stroyberg […]

'Hidden': Michael Haneke Fantastic Thriller

Hidden / Caché with Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. Hidden with Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil. Michael Haneke's violent, profoundly disturbing sociopolitical-psychological drama has been one of the U.S. film critics' favorites this awards season. Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil Caché / Hidden image: Les films du losange. Michael Haneke's […]

Isabelle Huppert Retrospective at MoMA

Isabelle Huppert film series at MoMA Isabelle Huppert, one of the best film actresses of the last three decades, is the subject of a MoMA retrospective at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. The 25-movie series begins somewhat inauspiciously on October 18 with the American premiere of Patrice Chéreau's […]