My darling readers, the long awaited day is here, The France on Film Blogathon has arrived! Before I begin I want to thank all my wonderful participants for making this a truly spectacular event.
My original idea for the France on Film Blogathon, came from a question “How does a nation see itself, and how do others view that nation?” throughout the course of this event, we bloggers will explore a sample of films from France, and films which feature France as a subject.
The France on Film Blogathon is a two-day event exploring the cinematic contributions of a great nation.
Hopefully by participating in this event either as a writer or a reader, we may strengthen our understanding of France as a nation, celebrate our appreciation for France’s contribution to cinema, and broaden our semiotic perspective on France as a narrative device.
So without further ado, Allons-y! … That was technically a Doctor Who quote.
Part One French Cinema
Intouchables– Spontaneous Whimsy: Tracey at Spontaneous Whimsy gets the show on the road with her thoughtful review of Intouchables a touching film that responds to the 2005 Riots, and she demonstrates how this uniquely French film would not exist in an American studio. “A lovely picture of how true friendship can change a person”.
The Untamable Whiskers– MovieMovieBlogBlog: Steve at MovieMovieBlogBlog writes delightful piece sharing a whimsical short by the great pioneer Georges Méliès, demonstrating how Méliès’ early efforts are an important part of cinematic history and impact our movie going appetites today.
Mistinguett on film: three shorts– Silents, Please!: Silents, Please! explores the lovely French chanteuse Mistinguett in silent cinema, a lady we may now credit as the original Apache dancer. She is clearly a very talented performer, and one I look forward to seeing on film.
District B13– Spontaneous Whimsy: Tracey offers a second installment, an action film with some exciting action sequences! Plus, she explores the social subtext and raises a concern we all have when watching foreign cinema, “it was lost in the subtitles”!
Grisbi– BNoir Detour engages us by exploring the roots of Film Noir and offers an unusual contribution from the genre which focuses neither on dialogue nor on the action but on the in-between!
The Earrings of Madame De– Cinemaven’s Essays from the Couch: Theresa joins the party and offers an extremely witty post on Max Ophüls’ tragic love story.
La Cage Aux Folles– The Midnight Drive-In: Quiggy offers a fascinating look at the French film which would later be adapted into The Birdcage and shares some thoughts on the trouble with watching dubbed films!
The Rules of The Game– The Stop Button: Andrew shares a riveting and oddly distant Jean Renoir classic which explores the moralities of the upper class!
L’Atlante– Old Hollywood Films: Amanda covers Jean Vigo’s masterpiece, offering a thoughtful piece on an important film in the Nouvelle Vague, some behind the scenes action, and cats!
Under the Claw– Movies Silently: Fritzi shares a rarity from director Jean Durand, featuring an exciting Rhodesian adventure, with gold and leopards! This is one film you are going to go the extra mile to track down!
Le Pacte de Loups– The Love Pirate: Josh offers a gorgeous film with a distinctly French take on the monster movie genre, and explores the nature of French-ness and how it affects the non-French movie goer!
Le Samouraï– Speakeasy: Kristina thrills us with the Jean-Pierre Melville’s minimalist noir classic Le Samouraï, a must-see suspense classic!
Un Monstre à Paris– Voyages Extraordinaires, Cory shares a new animated classic, loosely based on LeRoux’s Phantom of the Opera and shares some gorgeous photographs and explores the city of Paris as a character.
Le Feu Follet/The Fire Within– Defiant Success, Anna covers Louis Malle’s masterpiece about addiction, she describes its protagonist “a ghost in the world whose indulgences have destroyed him”. (very eloquent).
Un Couer en Hiver– Weekly Cinerama shares a film which transgresses the Hollywood depiction of love as the ultimate, and nostalgia for pre-internet-streaming foreign film consumption.
Belle de Jour– Girls Do Film, Victoria presents a classic from surrealist master Luis Buñuel. She also includes a fabulous analysis of the costuming and its indication of the character’s internal life. An enduring classic and an absolute must for any dialogue about French cinema!
La Grande Illusion– The Wonderful World of Cinema, Virginie shares a Jean Renoir film recommended by her grandmother. It is her favorite French film, an anti-war film with stunning visuals.
Jeux Interdits (Forbidden Games)– Cinematic Scribblings: Erin presents poignant coverage of a moving film set during the early days of World War II, which focuses on the greatest victims of War, children.
Breathless– Crimson Kimono: Dan offers a very insightful post on the Godard/Truffaut anti-noir classic, his piece is an excellent primer for enjoying La Nouvelle Vague!
The 400 Blows– Film Vulture: Dave shares wonderful insight to François Truffaut’s classic, an un-nostalgic look at childhood.
8 Femmes– Smitten Kitten Vintage: Rhonda shares a delightful comic mystery, starring the legendary Catherine Deneuve, and covers that genuine feeling of sophistication one gets, when watching a film in French, without subtitles!
Une Femme est une Femme– Serendipitous Anachronisms (aka your charming hostess, Summer) joins the party with a short piece on Jean-Luc Godard’s charming neorealist musical, exploring the illogical and mysterious nature of women.
La Nuit Américaine (Day for Night)– The Second Coming: Farabi shares François Truffaut’s film about a filmmaker making a film, in which Truffaut plays the director, and the film also touches on Truffaut’s personal life. Stories of love and filmmaking and intertwine, but always “showing the world of cinema, in the making”.
Ménilmontant– Silentology: Lea offers a touching and tragic drama, celebrated amongst notable film critics including Pauline Kael, and teach us her correct way to enjoy a silent film the “Special Film Experience”.
Jules et Jim– Cinema Cities: Keisha offers a lovely post on François Truffaut’s film, which “celebrates love and all its complexities”.
Elevator to the Gallows– Moon in Gemini: Debbie shares a thoughtful piece on the origins of La Nouvelle Vague and Louis Malle’s atmospheric crime drama, a film with the coolest soundtrack ever, Miles Davis does it get ANY cooler?
Part Two France as Subject
Silk Stockings– Love Letters to Old Hollywood: Michaela entertains us with a glorious dance classic featuring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse.
Forget Paris– Movie Rob shares a delightful film which celebrates Paris’s unique romantic magic.
DuBarry was a Lady– Silver Screenings: Ruth explores the wonders a Paris trip can do for one’s sophistication, and shares some fascinating historical information which ties into the comedy classic about one of my favorite historical ladies.
Casablanca– Let’s Go to the Movies: Caz joins the party with a fantastic post on the ultimate Bogey film, an absolute classic, and one we must discuss if we are discussing France on Film, no? After all, we’ll always have Paris!
An American in Paris– The Vintage Cameo: Emily takes a look at the artistry behind one of my favorite Gene Kelly films, a film which purposely shows an idealized Paris.
The Merry Widow– Crítica Retrô: Lê examines the visual beauty in a Lubitsch film with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, be sure to hit the google translate button, this post is in Portuguese, and really we cannot talk about France unless we have a Maurice Chevalier film, now can we?
Scaramouche– Welcome to My Magick Theatre: Carrie-Anne offers her take on the glorious 18th-century costume drama starring the ever handsome Ramón Novarro!
Simone in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure– Serendipitous Anachronisms (aka your charming hostess, Summer) covers her favorite Francophile, an American small town girl who dreams of living in France.
Funny Face– Love Letters to Old Hollywood: In her second installment, Michaela shares her love for France, Audrey Hepburn, and Fred Astaire while covering the decidedly delightful musical in a glorious technicolor and decadent post.
Midnight in Paris– Voyages Extraordinaires: Cory also offers a second installment covering one of my all-time favorite Woody Allen films, a time-traveling delight which celebrates the Paris of the imagination, its many golden ages. He also shares some additional photographs of his own, which are quite lovely.
The French Connection– The Midnite Drive-In: Quiggy offers a second installment covering the classic police drama and shares some behind the scenes insight to the film’s documentary-style.
Ratatouille– The Love Pirate: Josh offers a second installment sharing his adoration for the Pixar film, which celebrates the city of Paris in all her glory. This film is an adorable MUST-SEE, which features that gorgeous Paris we all have in our mind’s eye.
How to Steal a Million– Silver Scenes: Dual Bloggers and Sisters Diana & Connie share the glamorous side of Paris in the charming and delightful art caper starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole!
Paths of Glory– Aperture Reviews: Peter offers a thought-provoking post on Stanley Kubrick’s great war film, a film “about war–about the dirt of it, the fatigue of it, and the inhumane philosophies and ideologies of which war is comprised.”
The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis De Sade– Weekly Cinerama offers a second installment, a film which boasts certainly the longest title and most descriptive title I’ve ever seen. Directed by legendary British theater director Peter Brook and featuring members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, this film is a complex, compelling, and amazing cinematic achievement an ideal film for theater lovers.
French Kiss– Movie Rob offers a second installment, Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline are absolutely adorable in this charming romantic comedy, particularly Kline’s performance, “Kline’s Frenchman imitation will go down in history as one of the funniest”! This is one movie which celebrates the mystique behaving French and will have you laughing from start to finish!
Le Grande Bleu– Thoughts All Sorts, shares a tantalizing and teasing post on this film starring Jean Reno, apparently it will drive one to tears.
Gigi– A Person in the Dark explores the many definitions of love within this charming and delightful film!
Marie Antoinette– Back to Golden Days, Cátia offers a wonderfully thorough production history of this gorgeous classic starring Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power!
Daddy Long Legs– Phyllis Loves Classic Movies shares behind the scene information on this lovely musical.
Charade– Once Upon A Screen: Aurora joins the party and shares a charming film with three great leading stars, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, and The City of Paris!