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French Films at the UTSA Libraries
This is only a sample of the many classic and contemporary French films available at the UTSA Libraries on DVD or Blu-ray Disc. Click a title to check availability.
Written and directed by Catherine Breillat, this is the story of fourteen-year-old Lili's journey toward sexual awakening with a middle-aged man. An insightful drama about sexual politics and male hypocrisy. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
In this film by director Jean-Luc Godard, based on a story by François Truffaut, a playful car thief accidentally shoots a policeman, then hides out in Paris with a hip American girl, trying to hustle enough cash for a getaway. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Originally released as a motion picture in 1931, this highly stylized comedy by director René Clair, satirizes the mechanization of modern life and is considered to be the possible inspiration to Chaplin's "Modern times." DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Written and directed by Louis Malle, this landmark film of both modern French cinema and screen eroticism portrays a provincial wife whose shallow life changes overnight when she meets an unpretentious young man. Newly restored digital transfer of the 1958 motion picture. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Award winning epic of the post-WWI survival of two French soldier comrades-in-arms whose lives are changed by a senseless assault ordered at the end of the war. A critique of the emphasis on honoring the fallen while failing to support surviving veterans. Written, directed by, and starring Albert Dupontel. César Award for best director and several others. In French with English subtitles.
Based on the director's life, this film chronicles Malle's experiences during the German occupation of France during World War II. Julien (Malle) is 12 years old, and the smartest boy in his class at boarding school when a new student appears. The two form a friendship even though Julien senses that his new friend is hiding something. Winner of seven Césars in 1987, including Best Picture. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
A classic childhood fantasy, this is the story of Pascal, a French boy who befriends a red balloon that follows him everywhere; a touching allegory of the magic powers of love and friendship. Written and directed by Albert Lamorisse. Academy Award, Best original screenplay (1956); Cannes Film Festival, Palme d'Or (1956); New York Film Critics Award (1956); American Film Festival, Best Film of the Decade (1968); DVD. No dialogue.
Originally released as a motion picture in 1967, this subtle, erotic film tells the tale of a wealthy young surgeon's wife who indulges her fantasies by working as a part-time prostitute in a Paris brothel. Directed by Luis Buñuel. Based on the novel by Joseph Kessel. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Originally released as a motion picture in 1946, this film, written and directed by Jean Cocteau, is an inventive and stylized depiction of erotic obsession, about a young woman's discovery of a ravaged soul beneath a monstrous beast. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
"This Academy Award winning film from Luis Buñuel is a priceless satire on the absurd lifestyle of the upper class. As six well-to-do Europeans attempt to have a 'civilized' meal, their plans are continuously thwarted by unlikely, if not outrageous, circumstances." Criterion Collection release of the 1972 motion picture. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
This film by director Robert Bresson is based on the true story of French Resistance fighter André Devigny's escape from a Nazi prison. Cannes Film Festival, Best Director, 1957. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
A poignant, compelling drama, set in Nazi-occupied Paris, unfolds in the Theatre Montmartre, as a group of actors rehearse. Jewish director Lucas Steiner is forced to hide in the basement of his theater during the Nazi occupation while his wife stars in its latest production. At the same time, a pro-Nazi theater critic ensconces himself in the theater, causing stress to the entire cast. Directed by François Truffaut and originally produced as a motion picture in 1980. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers are massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay, come what may. Winner 2010 Grand Prize Cannes Film Festival. DVD or BluRay. In French with English subtitles.
Originally released as a motion picture in 1955, this film tells the story of the sadistic headmaster of a boys' school who is murdered by his tremulous wife and vengeful mistress. Although they dispose of the body, the deceased appears in a recent photograph. The suspense builds to an explosive climax in this classic thriller by director Henri-Georges Clouzot. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Winner of the Best Director Prize, Cannes Film Festival, 1984, this is "Bertrand Tavernier's poetic study of an aging Impressionist painter, emotionally withdrawn from his family and disappointed by their accomplishments, who makes one final attempt at reconciliation." DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Marcel Carné's masterpiece, set in 1840s Paris on the Boulevard du Crime, home of Parisian popular theater, "relates the vicissitudes of four men whose existences are intertwined through their irresistible passion for the same woman." This DVD release of the 1945 motion picture is a new digital transfer and includes a new and improved English subtitle translation, filmographies for director Marcel Carné and producer Jacques Prévert, as well as commentaries by film scholars. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet creates a world of color, movement, romance, and whimsy in this César Award-winner. Because she was 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 find love and happiness. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Originally released as a motion picture in 1990, this film by Luc Besson tells the story of a cop-killer junkie (played by Anne Parillaud) who is forced by the government to become an undercover assassin for the French secret police or face a life in prison. "This suspenseful film is highlighted by Besson's stylishly decorous visual compositions and innate sense of dramatic pacing." Includes interviews and a documentary on the making of the film. DVD. French or English soundtrack with English, French or Spanish subtitles.
This film, written by Marguerite Duras and directed by Alain Resnais, presents the love story of a French anti-war actress and a Japanese architect who 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. Cannes Film Festival, International Critics' Award and Film Writers' Award, 1959; New York Film Critics' Award, Best Foreign Film, 1960. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and winner of numerous international awards, this film recounts the story of a set of twins who make a life-altering discovery. To fulfill their mother's last wishes, the pair travels to the Middle East on a mission to uncover the truth about the father they thought was dead who is still very much alive, and the brother they never knew existed. Along the way they will piece together their mother's story, discovering a tragic fate as well as the courage of an exceptional woman. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
A marvelous tale of greed and intolerance, based on the novel by Marcel Pagnol; directed by Claude Berri. This is the story of Jean Cadoret, an accountant who inherits a farm from his mother and hopes to become a gentleman farmer. Before he even arrives, a powerful and villainous neighbor is plotting to steal his land. The result is heartbreak and tragedy for Jean, who is no match for his wily neighbor. The story is continued in Manon des Sources, released the same year. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
This film is the story of the friendship between two artists and their mutual love for the same woman. Considered Truffaut's greatest film. DVD version of the 1962 motion picture, with added special features. In French with English subtitles.
Based on the novel by Marcel Pagnol, this perfectly realized drama picks up where Jean de Florette left off. Ten years after her father was destroyed by the greed of his neighbors, Manon (Jean's daughter) seeks revenge against those she holds responsible for her father's death. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Truffault protégé Suzanne Schiffman crafts an intriguing drama, set in the 13th century concerning a Dominican friar, sent by the Pope to seek out heretics, and a forest woman who performs ancient healing rituals. An historically accurate dramatization of the conflict between ancient customs and religious dogma, this film raises timely questions on the role of the church and its oppression of women. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
This musical masterpiece by Jacques Demy and Michel LeGrand tells the tale of two lovers split up by the Algerian war. The girl marries another when she discovers she is pregnant. He also marries; yet they meet again. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
An Iranian man deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts when she requests a divorce. In French with English subtitles.
Based on "Une Partie de Campagne" by Guy de Maupassant, an innocent girl comes of age in Jean Renoir's lyrically tragic short film. Originally shot in 1936, but not completed or released until 1946. Blu-ray disc. In French with English subtitles.
One of the landmarks of cinema, which introduced the character of Antoine Doinel as the twelve-year-old boy left to his own devices in an indifferent adult world. Originally issued as a motion picture in 1959. Part of The Adventures of Antoine Doinel: Five Films collection. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
Jean Renoir's masterpiece is a comedy drama set on the eve of World War II. It contrasts the affairs of the French aristocracy and the working class at a weekend house party where masters and their servants are involved in an immoral erotic charade that builds to a shattering climax. This special edition includes interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
The plot revolves around the unraveling of the identity of a 16th century peasant who disappeared as a young husband, and the man who returns to resume his marriage nine years later. Is he the real Martin Guerre? Originally produced as a motion picture in 1982. DVD. In French with English subtitles.
When a hotel in Chad is taken over by foreign owners, Adam, a former swim champ, is forced to give up his job at the pool to his young son. Meanwhile, the country is at war, and Adam makes a rash decision he will forever regret. Winner of numerous awards. DVD. In French and Arabic with English subtitles.