Our Christmas Film Wish List !

December 18, 2014 | By FRENCH CULTURE FILM

The Complete Jacques Tati

Though he made only a handful of films, director, writer, and actor Jacques Tati ranks among the most beloved of all cinematic geniuses. With a background in music hall and mime performance, Tati steadily built an ever more ambitious movie career that ultimately raised sight-gag comedy to the level of high art. In the surrogate character of the sweet and bumbling, eternally umbrella-toting and pipe-smoking Monsieur Hulot, Tati invented a charming symbol of humanity lost in a constantly modernizing modern age. This set gathers his six hilarious features—Jour de fête, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon oncle, PlayTime, Trafic, and Parade—along with seven delightful Tati-related short films.

The Complete Jacques Tati (2014)
French with English subtitles
On Blu-ray and DVD and digital

U.S. Distribution: Criterion Collection

Il était une fois Peau d’Ane

by Rosalie Varda-Demy and Emmanuel Pierrat

Jacques Demy’s eponymous movie starts with a close-up on a volume of Perrault’s fairy tales that magically opens on a shiny illustration by Jim Leon. With Il était une fois Peau d’Âne, Rosalie Varda-Demy and Emmanuel Pierrat have imagined a book that recreates the sensual atmosphere of Demy’s enchanted musical.

The result is nothing short of ravishing! In these glossy pages, the reader can admire his own reflection, while other sections play with see-though paper that recalls the magical love filter. While browsing this glamorous volume, one will discover the lyrics and musical scores of Michel Legrand, the advice of the fairy Lila, and the mysterious receipt of the Love Cake…

Il était une fois Peau d’Ane
by Rosalie Varda-Demy and Emmanuel Pierrat
In French, Editions La Martinière, 2014
Available at Albertine Bookstore

4 by Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda used the skills she honed early in her career as a photographer to create some of the most nuanced, thought-provoking films of the past fifty years. She is widely believed to have presaged the French new wave with her first film, La Pointe Courte, long before creating one of the movement’s benchmarks, Cléo from 5 to 7 (Cléo de 5 à 7). Later, with Le bonheur and Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi), Varda further shook up art-house audiences, challenging bourgeois codes with her inscrutable characters and offering effortlessly beautiful compositions and editing. Now working largely as a documentarian, Varda remains one of the essential cinematic poets of our time and a true visionary.

4 by Agnès Varda (2014)
French with English subtitles
On Blu-ray and DVD

US Distributor : Criterion

Available at Albertine Bookstore

Ernest & Celestine

Ernest & Celestine, an animated feature written by Daniel Pennac, based on the popular children’s book series by author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent, tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a bear, Ernest, and a young mouse named Celestine.

Ernest & Celestine (2012)
French with English subtitles.
Available on Digital and Blu-Ray
US Distributor: Gkids

Eric Rohmer, biography by Antoine de Baecque et Noël Happe

Which filmmaker has captured “the love discourse” better than Eric Rohmer? Rohmer was fascinated by the beauty of youth, and his favorites actresses, Pascale Ogier, Arielle Dombasle, Marie Rivière – all alluring creatures –  represent a mysterious mix of strength, vulnerability, grace, evanescence, and ubiquity.

This biography draws a luminous portrait of this aesthete, fond of literature, painting, drawing, and music, but who always placed film above all other forms of art.

Eric Rohmer, biography by Antoine de Baecque et Noël Happe
In French, Editions Stock
Available at Albertine Bookstore

Mauvais Sang

Leos Carax's second movie, Mauvais Sang is a stunning masterpiece, midway between a thriller and a romantic tale, which multiplies references to master filmmakers (Godard in particular) and seduces with its poetry and lyricism. This emblematic film of 80s French cinema established Leos Carax as one of its most talented directors, twenty-six years before Holy Motors. Starring Denis Lavant, Michel Piccoli, and Juliette Binoche, Mauvais Sang is available for the first time in a stunning new HD digital restoration.

Mauvais Sang (1986)
French with English subtitles
Available on Blu ray and DVD

US Distributor: Carlotta Films


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