The Baker’s Wife: Bread, Love, and a Trophy Wife
In his first major film to capture the Provençal setting that would come to define his work, Marcel Pagnol brilliantly combined comedy and emotion, theater and cinema.
La vérité: Women on Trial
Brigitte Bardot delivers her greatest performance in what would be Henri-Georges Clouzot’s final masterpiece, a stinging indictment of a justice system run by a moralistic patriarchy.
La chienne: He, She, and the Other Guy
Although afflicted by on-set drama and offscreen tragedy, Jean Renoir’s La Chienne shows the director’s early mastery of sound cinema and features the trademarks that would come to define his style.
La haine and after: Arts, Politics, and the Banlieue
Black Moon: Louis in Wonderland
Zazie dans le métro: Girl Trouble
The Lovers: Succès de scandale
When it came out in November 1958, The Lovers scandalized conservative France, just as it had outraged Catholic Italy at the Venice Film Festival two months earlier. At the same time, the film solidified the reputations of director Louis Malle and st…
La Pointe Courte: How Agnès Varda “Invented” the New Wave
La Pointe Courte is a stunningly beautiful and accomplished first film. It has also, deservedly, achieved a cult status in film history as, in the words of historian Georges Sadoul, “truly the first film of the nouvelle vague.”
Eric Rohmer: Blueprints for a Brilliant Oeuvre
Rohmer, like Godard and Truffaut, combined his double cinematic heritage with a passion for classical literature, which accounts for the decorous manners and language in his films.