You probably know by now, that I am becoming quite a Francophile in the fashion/film/food and holiday stakes. From fashion shows in Cannes to Parisian bistros and from Jean Seberg's breton tops to losing oneself in Provence, I am sold. You have probably also guessed that I'm a film enthusiast. In fact, I could watch films all day. And, I always have an opinion. Unfortunately for those watching with me, I don't usually wait until the end to share my thoughts. Although, when I'm truly affected by a film, I become entirely engrossed. This unusual occurrence has been the case with several French films I've enjoyed recently (thanks to the celebration of French cinema that is CINEMOI). French cinema is officially becoming one of my true passions. In case you haven't heard of CINEMOI, it's a Sky channel (343), showing a wonderful, daily selection of some of the greatest French films (or greatest films ever made). Click here for subscription details. Here are two films showing now on CINEMOI; I think you'll like them:
Le Petit Soldat (showing tonight, Monday 4th October, at 8pm).
Le Petit Soldat (1963) is a follow-up feature (technically speaking) to Jean-Luc Godard's cult-classic and supremely stylish À Bout De Souffle (1960), which was re-released in June 2010. In fact, Le Petit Soldat came before the film that made Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg famous, however it was banned until 1963 by French censors due to its sensitive subject matter. Set against a backdrop of the Algerian war, the film tells the love story between French deserter Bruno Forrestier (Michel Subor) and left-wing activist Véronica Dreye. Veronica is played by Godard's future wife and muse, Anna Karina, shown with Subor below. Godard employs the many techniques that we associate with him (and which I loved in À Bout De Souffle), including the hand-held camera and cross-cutting. Fans of the Nouvelle Vague will not be disappointed.
Frankie (showing tonight at 11.15pm, Tuesday 5th October at 7.30pm and Wednesday 13th October, at 3pm).
Frankie (2005) stars Diane Kruger, who gives a striking performance as a busy model in a very cut-throat, murky fashion world. Significantly, in 2005, Kruger was herself a model nearing the end of her fashion career and an unknown actress. Director Fabienne Berthaud employs an intimate, documentary-style approach, which pulls the audience in further (perhaps more so, if we know Kruger's history). This is a fascinating insight into a world that most assume to be solely glamorous. The making of Frankie is also a story in itself: it was shot over 3 years, cost €3,000 and impressively, when Berthaud lost her financing (because her producer didn't want Kruger), she went out and bought her own camera and shot the film herself. Here is the trailer:
I'd love to hear your thoughts on these films (and French cinema)!
Image: Thank you to CINEMOI.