Saturday, 14 January 2017

My Top 10 Favourite French Films Of All Time

My Top 10 Favourite French Films Of All Time

France has always been the country that makes great films and artistic, art-house films. Moreover, it is such a class apart form of cinema, which I love a lot. If we go to world cinema, cinema of France is my favourite cinema after Italian. Moreover, they so many great gangster flicks, which probably is my favourite genre, so I will be listing my ten favourite french films of all time, lets start-


Mesrine Duology, is the best films from France, of this century. I take both of the films and one complete film, as infact they were released in the same here. This film was an inspiration for one of my favouroite films of all time Gangs Of Wasseypur. Mesrine is a film that is one of the best crime-drama or gangster film ever made! It is brilliantly directed, written and acted, that what it makes a flawless masterpiece. It is based upon a real life gangster called Jacques Mesrine. This film stays slightly underrated and under seen, so I highly suggest checking it out.


The original Sorcerer. This was later remade by the great William Friedkin in 1977. I watched this and I can't decide which one I love more, but The Wages Of Fear is one of the best adventure-thriller ever. It is dark, but exciting. The showcase of violence in the film is like no other, it shows the struggle of these four men. The Wages Of Wear is one of the finest film of one of the best decade in cinema-history 1950's.


Another gangster flick from the cinema of France. This time, it might be there finest. It just shows 24 hours in the life of gangsters, it is highly entertaining. What part makes me, love this film even more is that, it is raw, subtle and realistic. It features again Vincent Cassel, he is like Manoj Bajpayee of France to me, they nearly are in every great gangster film made in their countries. La Haine, is one of the most fast-paced films, I have ever seen, the quickness makes it even more memorising experience. La Haine is an experience like no other, I repeat like no other.


Jean Renoir is one of the greatest auteur in history of world cinema. The Grand Illusion is his magnum opus and certainly the greatest anti-war film ever made. In this 120 minute run time, Renoir manages to show so much to us, that we are fully entertained. This is on a serious topic, but with perfect writing, directing, editing and acting is what makes this film a flawless piece of masterpiece. It is effortlessly humanistic and subtle.


The best prison film ever made? The answer to that question is yes. Robert Bresson's ultimate masterpiece is film that will remain with you after watching it. It has documentary look with all the drama in it, in other words it is of genre docudrama. This 100 minute grabs it's pace like no other, it is a complete blast from start to finish. It is one of the best directed films ever, it let's you care for the characters the best way possible. It is certainly one of the greatest films, I have ever seen, and it is one of the best looking black & white films ever.

5. Z

Z is one of the first French films, I ever saw. I was immediately hooked by this artistic masterpiece. It is probably the best political related film ever made. It has some of the best chase sequences I have ever seen. It so cleverly adapted from a wonderful novel, and one of the best directed, films from French Cinema. It knows how to build up tension, and how to make it great. It is compelling, relentlessly fast-paced political thriller. It has not even a second, that feels dull.


Jean-Luc Godard is a filmmaker from France is probably the most famous. Honestly, he has made a lot of films, and I have seen a lot of his, but as I explored more and more filmography of his, I sadly remain with loving only few out of his filmography, for some like Goodbye To Language and Brande Apart. But, Breathless was my favourite french film, untill I discovered more Melville. Breathless, is a landmark in history of cinema. It is one of the most influential films ever made, the apartment scene in the film is one my most loved scene's ever. It has an extra-ordinary style of film-making, which makes it even more unique.


Jean-Pierre Melville, is the best French director in my opinion. This is arguably known his magnum opus. It is his most visually stunning film that is for sure. It is one of his most off-beat films, it is more of a political-war drama. The crime has it's own place in films of Melville, It is so beautifully directed, and written. It has a crisp editing which makes it more memorising experience. It is rich in elegance, and it is a globetrotting spy masterpiece.


This isn't the first Melville film on the list and won't be the last, he is one heck of a filmmaker. This is the best heist film I have ever seen, and yes I am also saying this is in many ways better then Heat. The use of silence in this film is used the best, Melville is the king of crime films and use of silence in films, and in this he show-off's his talent like none of his other films. It is a film, that I would wanna revisit again and again. The heist scene in the film, is one of the best crafted scenes, in history of cinema.


Le Samourai, is the best and my favourite film from France, I would go on and say by far. This film, is in my top ten films of all time. Having watched it lots of times in recent time, I have gone by loving it more and more each time, this might be the coolest film ever made. Jean-Pierre Melville is one of my favourite directors and this is his magnum opus. It is visually stunning with powerful acting and path-breaking direction. It is a flawless piece of work, that defines what French cinema is. In the end, I would say I have seen a lot of French films, but this had it all. The opening shot of the film, is one of the best opening like ever!

Now, that wraps up the list, here are some Honourable Mentions -
  • A Prophet - Another great prison-related film.
  • Amelie - Beautiful film.
  • Brande Apart - Second best Godard.
  • Goodbye To Language - Third best Godard.
  • Jules & Jim - Trauffaut's second masterpiece.
  • Blue Is The Warmest Color - 2010's best french film.
  • Les Diaboliques - One of the best mystery thriller.
  • The Hole - Another french prison-related film.
  • Enter The Void - Gasper Noe's magnum opus.
  • Rififi - One of the best heist film ever.
  • Pickpocket - Bresson's second best for me.
  • Au Hasard Balthazar - Extra-ordinary piece of work.
  • A Trip To The Moon - One of the very first film of the last century, but pure brilliance.
  • Playtime - My favourite film of Jacques Tati.
  • Mon Oncle - Tati and his comedies.
  • The Earnings Of Madame De... - One of the most stunning films ever!
  • Elle - One of the best revenge films already.
  • The Innocents - 2016 film, but great one.
  • Children Of Paradise - One of 1940's best.
  • The 400 Blows - Lastly, It was so close, that I wrote a write-up for it but unfortunetly had to stick to doing only Top 10. The write up is given below, in other words it is #11. Here goes the write up- The 400 Blows, arguably known as the greatest french film ever made. I love this film, even though finding it slightly overrated one the first watch. Francios Trauffaut, has never been my kind of a filmmaker. I like his Shoot The Piano Player and somewhat love his Jules & Jim, but easily his magnum opus has to The 400 Blows. This is a 109 minute film which is a biography of a boy, who is neglected by his parents, he even leaves school, and involves in pretty crimes. This is a journey about that boy discovering things and seeing city. It is a a great film, I love it again, but certainly not as much as most of people do.

Thanks for reading!

So, what is your favourite french film of all time?

Don't forget to give a feedback!

-Vastik Mishra

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