french film

‘La Cérémonie’ Explores Social Class Struggles with Chilling Exactitude

‘La Cérémonie’ Explores Social Class Struggles with Chilling Exactitude

Filmed under a cool glass of calm and enwrapped in an airy atmosphere, La Cérémonie makes judicious use of its setting to starkly contrast its warring classes.

Criminal Subterfuge and Dark Desires in Chabrol’s Minimalist Murder-Mysteries

Criminal Subterfuge and Dark Desires in Chabrol’s Minimalist Murder-Mysteries

While murder and crime certainly run deep in Claude Chabrol’s world of subterfuge, the dark desires of human nature that provoke them run immeasurably deeper.

Jacques Deray’s Drama ‘La Piscine’ Is Hypnotic and Quietly Ruthless

Jacques Deray’s Drama ‘La Piscine’ Is Hypnotic and Quietly Ruthless

Sultry, hypnotic, and quietly ruthless, Jacques Deray’s La Piscine is a slow-burner rife with impossible beauty and turbulent emotion.

Love and Cinema: The Ruinous Lives in Żuławski’s L’important c’est d’aimer

Love and Cinema: The Ruinous Lives in Żuławski’s L’important c’est d’aimer

Żuławski's world of hapless also-rans in L'important C'est D'aimer is surveyed with a clear and compassionate eye. He has never done anything in his anarchic world by the halves.

Zipper Morals: Walerian Borowczyk’s ‘Immoral Tales’

Zipper Morals: Walerian Borowczyk’s ‘Immoral Tales’

Walerian Borowczyk’s Immoral Tales is either a curious failure or a problematic success, depending on where one draws the line between art and exploitation.

Criterion’s ‘The Marseilles Trilogy’ Gives Us Binge-worthy, Sea-worthy Melodrama

Criterion’s ‘The Marseilles Trilogy’ Gives Us Binge-worthy, Sea-worthy Melodrama

Marius, Fanny, and César offer a detailed portrait of the interlocking lives of a small cast of characters, most of whose lives are shaped in some way by the sea.
Andrzej Żuławski Finds Love and Family in the ‘Cosmos’

Andrzej Żuławski Finds Love and Family in the ‘Cosmos’

At its heart, Cosmos is a very human story born from rudiments both otherworldly and oneiric.
Fantom Menace: The Films of Fantômas

Fantom Menace: The Films of Fantômas

One can't help but feel as though the movements of the Fantômas romantic and dreamlike world are the work of some whimsical puppet-mastery.

Murder for Two: Oedipal Death-Cycles in ‘The Eye of the Beholder’

Murder for Two: Oedipal Death-Cycles in ‘The Eye of the Beholder’

Behm turns the detective novel first on its head and then sideways before shot-putting it across a terrain of Żuławskian terror; its film adaptation is an equally nerve-wracking descent into oedipal destruction.
Resnais Explores Fear and Memory in Je t’aime je t’aime

Resnais Explores Fear and Memory in Je t’aime je t’aime

In slow, hypnotic ellipses, director Alain Resnais draws out the moribund inner world of a suicidal man haunted by a series of disturbing memories.
A Practically Impossible Friendship: The 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of ‘The Bear’

A Practically Impossible Friendship: The 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of ‘The Bear’

Jean-Jacques Annaud's classic naturalist dramatization of a "practically impossible friendship" between two bears gets a visual update but retains all its original emotion.
Esoteric Musings in ‘Love Unto Death’ and ‘Life is a Bed of Roses’

Esoteric Musings in ‘Love Unto Death’ and ‘Life is a Bed of Roses’

These two films by Alain Resnais are moody, mysterious and stylish exercises in self-indulgence.