With so many great French films to choose from, we’re listing our favourites five at a time. Here’s our second list of fantastique French films…
1. À Bout de Souffle (Breathless, 1960)
A French classic and one of the earliest films to come from the movement known as La Nouvelle Vague (the New Wave), À Bout de Souffleis a romantic thriller directed by Jean- Luc Godard. Considered to be a groundbreaking at the time, the film still feels fresh today and features the ultra-cool, honorary French style icon Jean Seberg.
2. Bande à Part (Band of Outsiders, 1964)
Another film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Bande à Part is best described as a quirky gangster movie. Highlights include the glimpses of 1960s Paris, the ‘running through the Louvre scene’ and a classic dance sequence which influenced the dance scene between Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Quentin Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction.
3. 37°2 Le Matin (Betty Blue, 1986)
Betty Blue is a film about love, passion and, ultimately, insanity directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix. Beineix was associated with a French film movement known as Cinéma du look, a style that focused on creating outstanding visuals. Beautifully shot, the film tracks the passionate love affair between Betty and Zorg and Betty’s truly heartbreaking descent into mental illness. An 80s classic.
4. La Fille Sur le Pont (The Girl on the Bridge, 1999)
A beautiful love story shot in black and white, knife thrower Gabor meets Adèle (played by Vanessa Paradis) when he stops her from committing suicide by jumping from a bridge. With Adèle persuaded to become the target girl in Gabor’s act, the two embark on a tour of Europe and discover, through a series of incidents, that they were meant to be together.
5. Les Intouchables (Untouchable, 2011)
A film that broke box office records in France and throughout Europe, Les Intouchables is a heartwarming film based on a true story about the friendship that develops between a rich quadriplegic man and his new carer – an immigrant with a criminal record who only applied for the role to keep his benefits. Full of charm and warmth – this is an uplifting, feel-good film.