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Posts Tagged ‘French’

The 400 Blows

Monday, May 16th, 2016

tn_400blowsTHE 400 BLOWS is the story of Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud), 12-year-old terror of Paris. Francois Truffaut, having been a writer and editor at Cahiers du Cinema and notorious for harshly lashing out at a perceived mediocrity in French film of the time, made his feature directing debut turning childhood memories into cinema. So… the critic has become the critiqued! Actually, that worked pretty well for him. THE 400 BLOWS launched a legendary directing career, won him best director at Cannes, and has been cited as a favorite movie by no less than Akira Kurosawa. People seemed to like it.

Antoine is a kid who gets into some trouble. In fact, the title is from a French idiom that basically means “to raise hell.” So this could be called RAISING HELL. The second Doinel film, ANTOINE ET COLETTE, translates to TOUGHER THAN LEATHER in my opinion. Anyway, Antoine may 400 blow and raise hell and bring da ruckus, but he’s not a Bad Seed or a Problem Child. We can see that he’s not any worse than the other kids most of the time. His buddy Rene (Patrick Auffay) does all the same things Antoine does, for example they steal and smoke Rene’s dad’s cigars together. But Antoine seems to usually be the one that gets caught or blamed. When all the kids are passing around a pin-up in class, of course it has to be Antoine that’s holding it when the teacher (Guy Decomble, BOB LE FLAMBEUR) turns around.

The teacher obviously doesn’t like him. He thinks he’s bad, so he treats him as bad. How’s Antoine ever supposed to do better when he’s walking around with a target on his head? Of course he fulfills the prophecy. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rust and Bone

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

tn_rustandboneRUST AND BONE is a beautifully photographed French relationship drama. It’s about two broken people who meet by chance, try to help each other, then hurt each other, then try to help again. It has superb performances by Marion Cotillard (as Stephanie) and Matthias Schoenaerts (as Alain). It deals with the responsibility of fatherhood and with overcoming disability. I know, doesn’t sound like my kind of movie, but each of these characters has a major characteristic that is my type of subject matter:

1) Alain does backyard fights for money

2) Stephanie gets her legs bit off by a fuckin orca
(read the rest of this shit…)

Special Forces (2011)

Monday, March 4th, 2013

tn_specialforcesI rented SPECIAL FORCES, which is American for FORCES SPECIALES, thinking it was an American DTV movie. It stars Djimon Hounsou (NEVER BACK DOWN). I thought after ELEPHANT WHITE he was just doing shit like this. It turns out to be a French movie from 2011, and therefore the second movie about French special forces that I’ve seen recently.

Diane Kruger plays a journalist in Afghanistan to interview a woman about how badly she’s been treated by the Taliban. But the Taliban doesn’t like this so they execute the woman, kidnap the journalist and bring her to Pakistan. The French send in a special forces team who rescue her, but the extraction plan doesn’t work out so most of the movie is them journeying on foot to try to get her safely across the border.
(read the rest of this shit…)

The Assault

Monday, March 4th, 2013

tn_assaultTHE ASSAULT (which is American for L’ASSAUT) is almost like a French remake of DELTA FORCE. It’s based on the true story of a hijacking of a French airliner in Algeria. Four Muslim extremists posing as passport inspectors take control of the plane on the runway. They demand the release of two captured mujahadeen, and they try to fly the plane to Paris. But it takes them half the movie just to get the stairs detached from the plane, and then they find out they only have enough fuel to get to Marseille. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rider on the Rain

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

tn_riderontherainI wanted to watch a Charles Bronson movie, accidentally picked one where he doesn’t show up until 25 minutes in. He doesn’t ride in on the rain – the title refers to a different dude, a bald weirdo who a lady named Mellie (Marlene Jobert) sees getting off of a bus. Later he starts peeping on her and then actually attacks her. (read the rest of this shit…)

Inside

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

tn_insideHere’s another popular 2007 French horror movie. This one came out about a month before FRONTIER(S) did and like that one it has a pregnant protagonist and takes place during a time of rioting in the underprivileged Parisian suburbs. But it seems to be in the present and it’s much simpler, fewer characters and locations, and to me way more effective. “Fun” is probly not the right word for this one, but it comes close.

The movie opens with a (digital) baby in its mother’s womb… and what happens to it when the mother is in a car accident. In-utero whiplash. So, yeah, it’s pretty fucked up. But that’s how they do it in France. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vidocq

Friday, April 12th, 2002

[Originally Written for The Ain’t It Cool News – received no response]

HARRY — A while back you were real excited about a french picture called VIDOCQ. It’s directed by the fellow Pitof, who did special effects type work for CITY OF THE LOST CHILDREN and ALIENS RESURRECTED and the joan of arc picture with Milla Jovovich. Also Marc Caro – the only man in the world who can say he directed DELICATESSEN but has never done a romantic comedy – designed the look of the characters. It’s based on some old detective character called Vidocq, who I guess must be the french Sherlock Holmes although americans have never heard of him on account of his name is spelled weird. (read the rest of this shit…)