French language films available at the O'Neill Media Center: 
(Films in red take place in French-speaking countries / regions other than France.  This list is not exhaustive and will be updated as the Media Center's holdings are added to.)

2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle (1967) - Juliette, a bourgeois housewife, is a loving wife and mother whose domestic moments alternate with her days and nights as a call girl.  Directed by Jean-Luc Goddard, one of the direcors of la Nouvelle Vague.

Afrique, je te plumerai (1993) - A compelling and sardonic essay on the history of colonialism in Cameroon, and by extension, on the African continent. Focuses on historical as well as contemporary European cultural domination, particularly in the publishing and media industry.  Directed by Jean-Marie Téno. 

Aimé Césaire : une voix pour l'histoire (a voice for history) (1994) - Part 1. The vigilant island = L'ile veilleuse (54 min.) -- part 2. Where the edges of conquest meet = Au rendez-vous de la conquête (56 min.) -- part 3. The strength to face tomorrow = La force de regarder demain (50 min.)  Introduces American audiences to the celebrated Martinican author who coined the term 'negritude' and launched the movement called the "Great Black Cry". In part 1, Césaire shows us his native country, and discusses the difficulty of balancing the life of a poet with that of a practical politician for over 50 years. Part 2 moves to Paris in the 1930's, where Césaire and others developed the concept of 'negritude'. In part 3, Césaire responds to the disappointments of the post-colonial world and expresses his hopes for the future.

 L'Argent de poche (1976) - A warm, deceptively simple story of children and the world they live in. Directed by François Truffaut.

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958) - A classic.    Florence Carala and her lover Julien Tavernier, an ex-paratrooper, want to murder her husband by faking a suicide.   Directed by Louis Malle.  Music by Jazz great, Miles Davis. 

L'Atalante (1934) - Director Jean Vigo's film appears on the surface to be a realistic conventional film about newlyweds on their barge, the L'Atalante, on the Seine river with a barge hand who begins to create a rift between the new husband and wife. Beneath this it's also a dream-like highly surrealistic film expressiing physical love through sensuous imagery. 

À bout de souffle (1960) - A small-time hood kills a policeman and tries to leave France, but his American girlfriend betrays him to the police. Directed by Jean-Luc Goddard, one of the direcors of la Nouvelle Vague.

 L'Auberge espagnole  (2002) - Xavier is a straight-laced French college senior who moves to Barcelona as part of a student exchange program, much to the dismay of his beautiful girlfriend. But sharing cramped quarters with students from all over Europe quickly leads to multi-cultural chaos as Xavier gets an eye-opening lesson on how to live, love, laugh and party.  Directed by Cédric Klapisch.

Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) - Based on the director's life, this film chronicles Malle's experiences during the German occupation of France in World War II. 

Baisers volés (1968) - The third in the Antoine Doinel series, (first told in the film The 400 blows) and in many respects the autobiography of François Truffaut. After his dishonorable discharge from the army, Antoine embarks on a series of ill-fated jobs, finally settling on an amusing stint as a private detective. In his ever-turbulent love life, he finds himself torn between an attractive, serious-minded young violinist and a glamorous, older married woman. 

Banlieue 13 (2004) - An undercover cop and ex-thug try to infiltrate a gang in order to gain access to a neutron bomb and defuse it.  Rating: R; for strong violence, some drug content and languageDirected by Pierre Morel.   Written by Luc Besson.

La bataille d'Alger (1966) - Dramatizes the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Recreates the tumultuous Algerian uprising against the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerian people demonstrate that they will no longer be suppressed.

La Belle et la Bête (1946) - Definitely not the Disney version.  This one, by Jean Cocteau, is a surrealist feast for your eyes.  Adapted and directed by Jean Cocteau. 

Caché - (2005) Cannes Best Director Michael Haneke psychological thriller starring Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. 

Camille Claudel (1988) - A historically accurate depiction of one of the most important collaborations in the history of art, that of legendary sculptor Rodin, and the creative prodigy Camille Claudel. Isabelle Adjani plays the famous sculptress.  Directed by Bruno Nuytten. 

Camp de Thiaroye (1988)-  African soldiers, returning home after fighting in World War II, are massacred by French colonial authorities in a dispute over pay, directed by Ousmane Sembene.

Carmen (1984) - In 19th cenetury Seville, Carmen seduces a naive Army corporal, Don Jose, who abandons his career, his fiancee, and his dying mother for Carmen.  George Bizet's opera based on the work by Prosper Mérimée.  

Chacun cherche son chat (1996) -  Romantic comedy set in Paris about a young woman, her missing pet and her search for true love. Directed and written by Cédric Klapisch.

Confessions d'un barjo (1992) - Barjo, Fanfan's nerdy twin brother, accidentally burns down his house and is forced to move in with Fanfan. While she pursues the next-door neighbor and his wife, Barjo records every move in his notebook. Meanwhile, Fanfan's husband Charles quietly loses his mind.   Directed by Jérôme Boivin.

Congo: white king, red rubber, black death - (2006) escribes how King Leopold II of Belgium turned Congo into its private colony between 1885-1908. Under his control, Congo became a labor camp of shocking brutality. People were starved and tortured in the name of harvesting rubber.  Directed by Peter Bate.

Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) - Gerard Depardieu and Vincent Perez star.  In 17th-century Paris, a long-nosed poet and swordsman helps his handsome friend win the girl he himself loves. Directed by Jean Jean-Paul Rappeneau, based on the work by Edmond Rostand. 

La Cérémonie (1995) - directed by Claude Chabrol.  Somewhat violent storyabout two women pushed over the edge.  They make Thelma and Louise seem sweet.  Not for the squeamish.  Directed by Claude Chabrol.

Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie (1972) - An upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined.  Directed by Luis Buñuel. 

Le château de ma mère (1990), La gloire de mon père (1990).  Based on novels by Marcel Pagnol.  Show life at the turn of the century in the south of France.  Directed by Yves Robert. 

Chocolat (1988)  A French woman returns to her childhood home in Africa.  Beautiful soundtrack with jazz and african influences.  This is NOT the film "Chocolat" with Juliette Binoche in English that was released a couple of years ago.  Directed by Claire Denis.  

Un Coeur en hiver (1992) -  Stars Daniel Auteil and EmmanuelleBéart.  In this story of music, seduction and unrequited love, a beautiful, passionate concert violinist is betrayed by a man whose heart is hopelessly locked in a winter of its own creation.  Somewhat slow moving.  Directed by Claude Sautet.

Le Corbeau (1943) -   A mysterious writer of poison pen letters, known only as Le Corbeau, plagues a French provincial town, unwittingly exposing the collective suspicion and rancor seething beneath the community's calm surface. Brilliantly captures the spirit of paranoid pettiness and self-loathing turning an ccupied French town into a twentieth-century Salem style witch-hunt.

Coup de torchon (1981) -   Recounts events in the life of the French police chief in a small African village. As his problems mount (with his wife, his mistress, the local pimp) the officer begins to get rid of those causing his difficulties, in this comedy/drama.  Directed and written by Bertrand Tavernier. 

Danton (1983) - Georges Danton, the popular revolutionary leader, returns to Paris at a time when the new Republic is in disarray. Robespierre and his allies have set up a monstrous dictatorship, beginning the infamous "Reign of Terror." Danton pleads with the people for an end to the bloodshed which violates the spirit of their revolution. Directed by Andrzej Wajda.

De battre mon cœur s'est arrêté (2005) - In this remake of Fingers, Tom, a ne'er-do-well, works with two scheming real estate men who have little or no morals. He decides to return to the piano, practicing Bachs' Toccata in E Minor for an important audition that could be a life-changing event.

Le Déclin de l'empire américain (1986) - Four university teachers gather to prepare a dinner. Remy is a married man, Claude a homosexual, Pierre has a girlfriend and Alain is a bachelor. Amongst them, they discuss sex, the female body and their affairs with them. Their dinner guests Louis, Dominique, Diane and Danielle are waiting at a health gym. They also discuss sex, the female body and, naturally, men. Later in the evening they meet and have dinner where candid conversations are brought out at the dinner table, where more revelations, confrontation - and sex - begin.  Acclaimed Québécois filmmaker, Denys Arcand. 

Delicatessen (1991) - a cult classic, not for the faint of heart, but quite funny if you like off-beat, dark humor.  In a futuristic society where meat is a rare commodity, a delicatessen serves up its customers as a nutritious replacement! Directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. 

Le Dernier métro (1980) - During the Nazi occupation of France, Marion Steiner stages a new play in an attempt to keep her theatre and Lucas, her Jewish husband alive.  Stars Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu.  Directed by François Truffaut.

Les Diaboliques (1955) -  A "film noir"  from the 50's.  Mystery drama about murder in a private school for boys. The wife and the mistress of a tyrannical headmaster dispose of him only to be mystified by the disappearance of his body and ghostly hints of his presence.  Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. 

Diva (1981) -  Takes place in Paris and filmed in the 80's.  New wave/punk drama.  Stars an African-American opera singer and features the mailman who falls in love with her.  Directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix. 

La Double Vie de Véronique (1991) - Weronika is a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, is a French music teacher. Though they are unknown to each other, the two women share an enigmatic, purely emotional bond. The two were born on the same day and each senses that somewhere there exists another person with whom their lives are intertwined.  Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. 

Effroyables jardins (2003) For 15-year-old Lucien, there’s nothing more embarrassing than his father Jacques’ circus routine. Dressing up in funny feet, white makeup, and a bright red nose to entertain the village, he’s a hit with everyone except his own son. But, as Jacques’ best friend André explains, there’s a history to his act that goes beyond simple clowning and to his experiences in the Second World War.  Directed and written by Jean Becker. 

L'enfant (2005) - A small-time crook regrets his impulsive decision to sell his newborn son on the black market, and sets out to recover him, by Belgian filmmakers, Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne.  Received the "Palme d'or" at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005.

L'enfant noir (1995) -  The coming-of-age tale of a Guinean teen, Baba, who begins to question his traditional village life, once he is sent away to school in the coastal city of Conakry.  Based on the book of the same name by Camara Laye.

L'enfant sauvage (1970) - Follows the capture of a young boy found living like an animal in the forest. Dr. Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard of the National Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, Paris, believes the child can be transformed into a civilized being. The doctor removes the boy from the institute into his own home. The boy, named Victor, is divided between his longing for the wilderness and his new life with the doctor. Itard, whose teaching strategies survive today in the Montessori Method, is unsure whether he is helping a savage become human or turning a forest child into a semi-civilized idiot.  Directed by François Truffaut.

Les enfants du siècle (1999) -  A biographical history of the love affair between George Sand and Alfred de Musset that scandalized their families, friends and the salons of Paris in nineteenth century France.  With Juliette Binoche.

Entre les murs (2008) - François and his fellow teachers prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighborhood. Armed with the best intentions, they brace themselves to not let discouragement stop them from trying to give the best education to their students. Cultures and attitudes often clash in the classroom, a microcosm of contemporary France. As amusing and inspiring as the teenaged students can be, their difficult behavior can still jeopardize any teacher's enthusiasm for the low-paying job. François insists on an atmosphere of respect and diligence. Neither stuffy nor severe, his extravagant frankness often takes the students by surprise. But his classroom ethics are put to the test when his students begin to challenge his methods.  "Palme d'or" at the Cannes International Film Festival, 2008.

Faat Kine (2000) -  The drama of Faat Kine, an independent single mother and business woman who runs a gas station franchise; and also born in 1960, the same year Senegalese independence was attained, by acclaimed African filmmaker, Ousmane Sembene. 

Faubourg Tremé (2008): Long ago during slavery, Faubourg Tremé was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South and a hotbed of political ferment. Here black and white, free and enslaved, rich and poor co-habitated, collaborated, and clashed to create much of what defines New Orleans culture up to the present day. Founded as a suburb (or faubourg in French) of the original colonial city, the neighborhood developed during French rule and many families like the Trevignes kept speaking French as their first language until the late 1960s. Shot largely before Hurricane Katrina and edited afterwards, the film is both celebratory and elegiac in tone.  (This movie is in English, but with a strong Franco-American connection).

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001) - Amélie is a young woman who had a decidedly unusual childhood; misdiagnosed with an unusual heart condition, Amélie didn't attend school with other children, but spent most of her time in her room, where she developed a keen imagination and an active fantasy life. Despite all this, Amélie has grown into a healthy and beautiful young woman who works in a cafe and has a whimsical, romantic nature. She decides to step into the lives of others around her to help them out.

La Femme d'à côté (1981)  A young engineer's new neighbors are surprisingly his old lover and her husband. Though both are happily married, they can't stay away from each other, and an obsession drives them both mad.  Directed by François Truffaut.

La femme du boulanger (1938) - Story of a baker whose wife runs away with a shepherd and of the townspeople who help to bring her back. Directed by Marcel Pagnol, an adaptation of a novel by Marcel Pagnol. 

Femmes aux yeux ouverts (1993) -  Surveys social conditions faced by women in Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Benin, including circumcision, forced marriage, AIDS, and economic repression. Examines grass-roots efforts toward education and improvement as Africa opens to democracy.

La Fille sur le pont (2000) - A beautiful waif is prepared to leap to her death in the Seine but is rescued from her grim fate by a raffish carnival knife thrower.  Stars Daniel Auteuil and Vanessa Paradis (Johnny Depp's wife.)

Le Grand Bleu (1988) -  Young Jacques and his friendly rival, Enzo, are considered masters of free-diving and have made a career out of this one-of-a-kind competition. Jacques' life-long obsession with diving comes from his unusual bond with the sea--while Enzo thrives on the challenges of its inherent dangers.  Directed and written by Luc Besson. 

Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire (1972) - Farcical comedy of mistaken identity. A professional musician's life is changed when he becomes involved with government conspiracies.  Directed by Yves Robert with celebrated comedic actor Pierre Richard. 

La Grande illusion (1937) - In this classic tale of adventure duty and honor conflict in a German prisoner-of-war camp when an aristocratic French officer becomes friends with the commandant while cooperating with his comrades in a daring escape.  Directed by Jean Renoir.

Hiroshima, mon amour (1959)  A Japanese architect and a French actress engage in a brief intense affair in Hiroshima in 1959. Both deal with their personal memories of World War II--he by articulating his firsthand experience with nuclear disaster, she by remembering her traumatic affair with a German soldier.  Based on the novel by Marguerite Duras.  Graphic scenes after the bombing of Hiroshima begin the film.  Directed by Alain Renais, one of the direcors of la Nouvelle Vague.

L'Histoire d'Adèle H (1975) -  Based on the true story of Adele Hugo's (Victor Hugo's daughter) obsessive love affair which led her to run away from home to follow her womanizing lover across an ocean to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Directed by François Truffaut. 

Un Homme et une femme 20 ans déjà (1986) - Twenty years after a script girl and a daredevil race driver fell in love, the ex-lovers meet to make a film about their love affair.  This is the sequel to the film listed next.  Directed by Claude Lelouche. 

Un homme et une femme  (1966) - A love story between a young widow and a young widower.  Directed by Claude Lelouche. 

Indigènes (Days of Glory) (2006) -  Tells the story of four Algerian men who enlist in the French army during World War II to fight Nazi oppression only to encounter prejudice from the native French-born soldiers.  Directed by Rachid Bouchareb. 

Indochine (1992) - Set in French Indochina in the 1930s as the Vietnamese begin to rebel against French colonialism. Dramatizes the last years of French rule through the relationship between plantation owner Éliane, French by birth but born and raised in Indochina, and her adopted daughter Camille, an orphaned Annamese princess who becomes a Vietnamese revolutionary and representative at the Geneva Conference after having a child by French officer Jean-Baptiste, Éliane's past lover.  Directed by Régis Wargnier with Catherine Deneuve and Vincent Perez.

Les invasions barbares (2002)-  It's not easy for a narrow-minded professor to reconcile with his equally stubborn son. But soon, father and son find themselves gathering with their wide and colorful circle of family and friends to confrom their differences, confess their secrets, and celebrate life.  Directed by acclaimed French-Canadian director, Denys Arcand.  Oscar for best foreign film in 2003.  Award for best screenplay, Festival International de Cannes.

Jean de Florette (1986)   Set in rural France, Jean de Florette is the story of Jean Cadoret, a hunchback peasant who inherits a farm from his mother and strives to become a gentleman farmer. However, his powerful neighbor plots to steal his land.  Directed by Claude Berri, based on a novel by Marcel Pagnol.   If you like it, you will also like its sequel Manon des Sources, listed below. 

Jésus de Montreal (1989) -  A troupe of underemployed actors joins a charismatic young man to help a church update its annual Passion play, which attracts a city full of hope, praise, temptation and condemnation.  Directed by Denys Arcand.  

La Jetée (1962) -  A science fiction love story which occurs after World War III. A man's vivid experience of a childhood experience allows him to travel forward and backward in time. As a grown man, he meets the girl he had glimpsed as a child at the airport, he falls in love with her, chooses to remain in the past, but is executed by those who hold power in the future.  Directed by Chris Marker. 

Je vous salue Marie (1985 ) -  A teenage virgin becomes pregnant. The girl, her fiancé, family and friends struggle to cope.  Directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

Joyeux Noël (2006) - Based on the true story of three armies in the bloody trenches of World War I and the miraculous Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge.  Directed by Christian Carion.

Jules et Jim (1962) - The friendship of Jules, who is German, and Jim, who is French, and their twenty year love for the same woman. Directed by François Truffaut.

La Lectrice (1988) -   Constance reads aloud to her boyfriend. While in bed one night, she reads "La Lectrice," a story of Marie, a charming young woman who decides to advertise her services as a professional reader. When Constance finishes her novel about Marie, she decides to place her own ad, inspired by the joy and satisfaction Marie has found as a reader to the world.  Directed by Michel Deville. 

Léolo (1992) - Incorrigible misfit Léolo Lozone is a 12-year-old dreamer with the hilarious ability to recreate the world according to his imagination. A French-canadian film about a very dysfunctional family, some graphic violence, beautiful soundtrack, but disturbing.  Directed by Jean-Claude Lauzon. 

Lumumba (2000) - dramatizes the life of Congolese revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, who lead his country to independence from Belgium in 1960. He served for less than a year as the first elected prime minister, until he was brutally assassinated.  The filmmaker, Raoul Peck, is Haitian.  

Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004) - Mathilde is waiting desperately for her fiance to return from the war (World War I). When bad news arrives she refuses to believe he is dead. Instead, she begins her own investigation into his infantry, hiring a private detective and piecing together his war stories.  Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet who also directed Amélie. 

Lucie Aubrac (1997) -  World War II biography of a Jewish couple who were part of the Resitance, starring Danielle Auteuil and Carole Bouquet.  Directed by Claude Berri.

Madame Bovary (1991) - Gustave Flaubert's classic novel of a woman's downfallfor lust and love, made into a movie with an excellent performance by Isabelle Huppert.  Directed by Claude Chabrol. 

Made in U.S.A. (1966) - Paula, a leftist writer, goes from Paris to the French town of Atlantic-Cité when she learns of the death of a former colleague and lover, Richard P. Directed by Jean-Luc Goddard, one of the direcors of la Nouvelle Vague.

Mandabi (1999) - A story about a man who receives a money order that threatens to destroy the traditional fabric of his life is used to point out the problems of modern Africa as a civilization struggling to recapture its own rich heritage after colonial corruption, directed by Ousmane Sembene.

Manon des Sources (1986) - Ten years after the tragic events of Jean de Florette, Manon (Jean's daughter) seeks revenge against those she holds responsible for her father's death.  Directed by Claude Berri.

La Mariée était en noir (1968) - After a bridegroom is shot on the steps of the church on his wedding day, his widow traces the group of men responsible and eliminates them one by one.  Directed by François Truffaut. 

Ma Vie en Rose (1997) -  Ludovic is waiting for a miracle. With six-year-old certainty, he believes he was meant to be a little girl and that the mistake will soon be corrected. But where he expects the miraculous, Ludo finds only rejection, isolation and guilt--as the intense reactions of family, friends, and neighbors strip away every innocent lace and bauble.  Interesting exploration of gender identity.  Directed by Alain Berliner. 

La Marseillaise (1938) - A young woman finds love after the death of her father and uncle; a Parisian slum girl's affair with a government official results in his downfall; a man is taught the Charleston; follows the life of a poor girl selling matches; the beginning of the French Revolution; a doctor's experiments transform him into his evil alter ego; a French corporal captured by the Germans tries repeatedly to escape.  Directed by Jean Renoir. 

Le Mépris (1963) - Asked to write a screenplay for an American producer, a young French dramatist and his wife visit the producer's villa in Capri. There the wife and producer engage in an affair, and she decides to leave her husband. However, something quite unexpected happens.  Directed by Jean-Luc Goddard, one of the directors of la Nouvelle Vague.

Milou en mai (1990).  A glimpse of Paris and life during the heady days of student strikes and general pandamonium of May 1968.  Directed by Louis Malle. 

Les Misérables (1998) - This version of the Victor Hugo's novel boasts an all French cast, including the incomparable Jean-Paul Belmondo.  It is told as a story within a story.  The protagonist, Henri Fortin is a true and simple man whose life parallels that of Jean Valjean, the hero of Hugo's novel.  This film was directed by Claude Lelouche. 

Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran (2003) -
An elderly Turkish Muslim grocer befriends a lonely teenage Jewish boy in a working class section of Paris.  Directed by François Dupeyron.

Moolaadé (2004) - written and directed by Ousmane Sembene, acclaimed Senagalese director.  Set in a small village, four young girls who face ritual "purification" decide to flee to the household of Collé Ardo Gallo Sy, a strong-willed woman who has managed to shield her own teenage daughter from the mutilation. Collé invokes the time-honored custom of moolaadé (sanctuary) to protect the fugitives, and tension mounts as the ensuing stand-off pits Collé against village traditionalists. This endangers the prospective marriage of her daughter to the heir-apparent to the tribal throne.

Night on Earth (1991) - written, produced, and directed by Jim Jarmusch.  Five cities, five taxis, and a group of strangers make for an interesting night. A collection of 5 stories that span continents, time zones, and languages.  One of the vignettes takes place in Paris and is in French.

Nikita (1990) - Thriller about a street junkie who is picked up and recruited against her will for training as a killer. She is transformed into a beautiful and sophisticated woman, and soon falls in love with a soft-spoken romantic. When she receives a call and is ordered to kill someone she has to fight against the trap of her double life.  Directed by Luc Besson. 

La noire de (1966) -  A young Senegalese girl leaves to work for a European family in Antibes. The harsh treatment leads her to commit suicide, directed by Ousmane Sembene.

Mon oncle d'Amerique  (1980).  When the French talk of having an American uncle, they mean a very rich uncle.  Roger Corman presents Alain Resnais' Mon oncle d'Amerique: a case study of three characters focusing on their pursuit of careers. This is intercut with segments of a lecture from Prof. Henri Laborit, a behavioral scientist speaking in pure documentary fashion, contributing his theories on memory. Also intercuts footage from other movies.

Ne le dis à personne (2009) - Alex Beck is a kindhearted pediatrician in Paris who goes out of his way to help the poor in the clinic where he works. Blissfully married to his childhood sweetheart Margot, she disappears (and he is left in a coma) while on vacation. On the eighth anniversary of her death, the police interrogate Alex after two bodies are unearthed near the site of her murder, along items that seem to connect him to Margot's death. Simultaneously, he receives an anonymous e-mail message directing him to a Webcam video of a woman who appears to be Margot. An attached message warns: "Tell no one. They're watching." He begins a desperate undercover search for the woman, believing Margot may still be alive.

A nos amours (1983) - A study of a working class girl of fifteen who, looking for the affection she is denied at home, enters a series of casual sexual affairs, eventually marries, then leaves her husband to fly off to America.   Directed by Maurice Pialat. 

La Nuit de Varennes (1982) - A Venetian lover, a Parisian author and an exiled American patriot cross paths in this exploration of human folly set in the France of Louis XVI.  Directed by Ettore Scola.  

Nuit et brouillard (1955) - A bleak look at the aftermath of World War II.  Some of the concentration camp footage is quite graphic.  Directed by Alain Renais. 

Orphée (1950) - Jean Cocteau turns the Orpheus legend into a story of a poet and his encounter with death and the middle world.

Les parapluies de Cherbourg (1964) - a classic, as well as a musical.  Takes place in the 60's in northwestern France.  Stars a young Catherine Deneuve and directed by Jacques Démy.

Paris, je t'aime (2006) - "Stories of love from the city of love"  18 different directors tell love stories in 16 diferent arrondissementsof Paris.  Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Gérard Depardieu, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Li Xin, Emily Mortimer, Nick Nolte, Natalie Portman, Gena Rowlands, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ludivine Sagnier, Elijah Wood are featured among many others.

Persépolis (2007) - un film de Marjane Satrapi et Vincent Paronnaud.  In 1970s Iran, Marjane ’Marji’ Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family. Their long dream is realized when the hated Shah is defeated in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, Marji grows up to witness first hand how the new Iran has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study. This change proves an equally difficult trial for Marji as she finds herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and her homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.

Pièces d'identités (1998) - a Congolese film full of history and humor. A Congolese king searches for his daughter in Brussels where for a time he loses his royal fetishes, his identity, but finds a friend, a local cabdriver with a secret identity. With his help and a chain of coincidence (it must be destined), Mani Kongo is reunited with his daughter and his regalia and returns to Africa with a circle of friends.  The western world from an African perspective.  Directed by Mweze Ngangura.

Pierrot le fou (1965) - a film directed by Jean-Luc Godard.  Offbeat, influential road story about a man and woman on the lam in southern France.

La promesse (1996) - The life of a fifteen-year old changes forever when he makes a promise to a dying man.  Directed by acclaimed Belgian filmmakers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Quai des orfèvres (1947) - Description: Set within the vibrant dancehalls and historic crime corridors of 1940s Paris, a singer with "stars in her eyes" ignores the protest of her covetous husband and pursues a meeting with a lecherous movie financier. When her husband attempts to crash the rendevous, murder ensues. Enter the detective, whose seasoned instincts lead him down a circuitous path of alibis.  Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. 

Quand les étoiles rencontrent la mer (1996) - A boy born during a lunar eclipse in Madagascar survives abandonment and inherits magical powers.  Directed by Raymond Rajaonarivelo.

Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959) -   A tale of a lonely Parisian youth, buffeted by school and family problems. The first in the Antoine Doinel series by New Wave director François Truffaut.

La Règle du jeu (1939) - Cloaked in a comedy of manners, this scathing critique of corrupt French society is about a weekend hunting party at which amorous escapades abound among the aristocratic guests, which are also mirrored by the activities of the servants downstairs.  Directed by Jean Renoir.

La Reine Margot (1995) - about the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of the Huguenots in France and an the crazy royals of that period, an epic tale, somewhatviolent, with some of France's best actors including Daniel Auteil, IsabelleAdjani & Vincent Perez)

Rachida (2002) - un film de Yamina Bachir-Chouikh.  Rachida lives and teaches in an old neighborhood in Algeria. Like most Algerians, she thinks she is far removed from the bloody conflict the country is in, until one day she is attacked by a terrorist group. The terrorists ask her to plant a bomb in her school. When she refuses, they shoot her in cold blood. Miraculously, she lives and seeks refuge in a neighboring village.  In Arabic and French.

Ridicule (1996) - In a desperate quest to save his hometown, a young man quickly learns that a sharp wit is the key to open any door in the Versailles court of Louis XVI.  Directed by Patrice Leconte.

Rue Cases-nègres (1983) - A young boy is encouraged by his grand-mother to continue his studies in order to escape poverty in Martinique.  Discussion of peoples' lives during and after slavery.  The protagonist has a spiritual father who tells him tales of his ancestors in Africa and their passage to Martinique.  Directed by Euzhan Palcy.  

Sans toit ni loi (1985) - Mona, an aimless drifter in the French countryside, deeply touches the lives of the people she meets and confronts them with her own ideas of freedom. Directed by Agnès Varda.

Le Scafandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)  (2008) - directed by Julian Schnabel.  The French editor of Elle magazine, Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he’d only visited in his mind.

Un Soleil à Kaboul -- ou plutôt deux (2007) "Ariane Mnouchkine and her troupe, the Théâtre du Soleil, travelled to Afphanistan to hold a workshop in Kabul. This humble mission gave birth, amongst the ruins of Kabul, to a young Afghan troup, the Theatre Aftab, asmall Théâtre du Soleil in Central Asia.

Tatie Danielle (1992) -   A cantankerous, demanding, manipulative malcontent who must be waited on hand and foot methodically torments everyone around her in this biting comedy about not aging gracefully. When she moves in with her great nephew, it doesn't take long for the entire household to realize that taking in Auntie Danielle was a big mistake. Something along the lines of "Throw Mamma From the Train".  Directed by Étienne Chatiliez. 

Le temps retrouvé (1999) -  Set in 1922, this film opens with Proust on his deathbed remembering his life. Gradually his own experiences give way to the characters in his novel.
Directed by Raoul Ruiz.

Tirez sur le pianiste (1960) - A timid cafe pianist has given up his career as a concert pianist, a career which had destroyed his marriage. Events force his involvement with gangsters who once again cause him to be responsible for the destruction of his life.  A spoof of American gangster movies. Directed by François Truffaut.  

Toto le héros (1991) -  Since childhood, Thomas Van Hasebroeck (Michel Bouquet) has been consumed by a nagging belief: that he was switched at birth with the rich neighbor's boy who enjoyed the life Thomas should have led. Now, after sixty years, Thomas wants revenge.  Directed by Jaco van Dormael. 

Tous les matins du monde (1991).  The life of a famous classical composer.  If you like classical music, this film isfor you.  Stars Gérard Depardieu and his son.  Directed by Alain Corneau.

Tout va bien (1972) - written/directed by Jean Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin.  The story of a wildcat strike at a sausage factory, as witnessed by an American reporter and her has-been New Wave film director husband. Culminates in a free-range assault on consumer capitalism and ineffective leftists. A caustic critique of society, marriage, and revolution in post-1968 France.

Trois couleurs--bleu (1993), Trois couleurs--blanc (1994), Trois couleus--rouge (1994),  This is a serious of three films, each named for a color in the French flag.  By the late Krystoff Kieslowski.  See them in order, if  you're going tosee all three.  The first is "blue" about grief and healing with Juliet Binoche, the second "blanc" is about marriage with Juliet Delphy and "rouge" is about passion with Irène Jacob and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

La vie en rose (La Môme) (2007) - about the life of the singer Edith Piaf. Raised in a brothel, then wrested from the only life she knew by her father, so they could join the circus, Edith Piaf spent her teen years on the streets. She is finally "rescued" by a crime figure who gives her career a start and, ultimately, by her international success and final illness. Always frail, sickly, malnourished, and wildly temperamental, she was often on drugs or alcohol and was always in search of true love. Middleweight boxer, Marcel Cerdan, captures her heart and gives her something to live for, besides her music--at least for a while.  Marian Cotillard won an Oscar for her performance.

La Vie Rêvée des anges (1998) - the lead actresses both won prizes at Cannes in 1998 for this movie.   Optimistic hobo Isa, with her life in her backpack, has a gritty existence on the road, going from one town to another through northern France, working factory jobs and selling cards. After she loses a garment-factory job, her coworker Marie lets Isa share space in her Lille living quarters, an apartment belonging to a hospitalized mother and daughter. Isa goes through two tempestous relationships, while becoming fascinated with the girl who lived in the apartment but now lies in a coma at the hospital.  Directed by Erick Zonka.

Les Visiteurs (1993)  - A wacky medieval knight and his faithful servant are suddenly transported into the present day. They begin an all-out comic assault on their former castle --now a luxury hotel--in their quest to return to the past.  Directed by Jean-Marie Poiré. 

Les Visiteurs du soir (1942) - In the Middle Ages, the Devil sends two envoys, Giles and Dominique, who were selfish lovers on earth, to a chateau to intervene in the betrothal between the count and Lady Anne. Since the count and Lady Anne were not truly in love their betrothal is destroyed, but Giles finds true love in his seduction of Anne. The Devil himself arrives and sets everyone at odds. Directed  by Marcel Carné.

Vivement dimanche (1983) -  Truffaut expertly combines clever humor, tender romance, and heart-stopping suspense for this thriller in the tradition of the Hollywood detective genre.

Xala (The curse) (1995) - In a mythical African country, a rich, self-made businessman and member of the post-colonial ruling elite takes on a third wife to show the world his wealth, only to be stricken by a curse resulting in impotency. His efforts at getting cured lead to disasterous yet comical results.  Directed by Ousmane Sembene.