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French Cinema

France, the country where cinema was born, has given us some of the masters of cinema.

This collection includes classics from acknowledged greats, such as Jean Renoir (La Règle du jeu), Jean-Luc Godard (the effortlessly cool Breathless, the film student favourite Le Mépris), Robert Bresson (the devastatingly moving Au hasard Balthazar) and Jean Cocteau (a ravishing restoration of La Belle et la Bête, one of the greatest fairytales cinema has ever given us).

We also explore some of the recent greats, from with two films from Jacques Audiard – A Prophet (2009), his award-winning prison drama chronicling the rise to power of a young French Arab, and Rust and Bone (2012), which won the best film award at the BFI London Film Festival. You can also see films from major directors Claire Denis (Bastards), Céline Sciamma (Tomboy) and Sébastien Lifshitz (Les Invisibles).

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French Cinema
View Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
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Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) 2015 18

High-school students start a private orgy society in Eva Husson’s dazzlingly shot, no-holds-barred drama.

98 mins France Director. Eva Husson

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Evolution
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Evolution 2015 15

The long-awaited second feature from Lucile Hadžihalilović (Innocence) is a gorgeously surreal coming-of-age tale laced with bizarre body-horror.

81 mins France Director. Lucile Hadzihalilovic

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Girlhood
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Girlhood 2014 15

In the tough suburbs of Paris, sixteen-year-old Marieme decides to reinvent herself when she joins a girl gang.

113 mins France Director. Céline Sciamma

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Eden
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Eden 2014 15

Mia Hansen-Løve’s stylish and transcendent story of house music is one of the great films about dance culture.

130 mins France Director. Mia Hansen-Løve

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Goodbye First Love
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Goodbye First Love 2011 15

The pangs and pains of young love are artfully and respectfully rendered in this subtle and sensitive drama from Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden).

110 mins France Director. Mia Hansen-Løve

View A Trip to the Moon
A Trip to the Moon
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A Trip to the Moon 1902 U

A classic of early sci-fi providing an awe-inspiring and delightful account of man’s first mission to the Moon.

13 mins France Director. Georges Méliès

View The New Girlfriend
The New Girlfriend
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The New Girlfriend 2014 15

Ruth Rendell provides the source novel for this delicious tale of deception and identity, from the master of mischievous melodrama, François Ozon.

108 mins France Director. François Ozon

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Jeune & jolie
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Jeune & jolie 2013 18

Francois Ozon’s sly and seductive account of teenage girl’s dalliance with high-class prostitution.

95 mins France Director. François Ozon

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Betty Blue
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Betty Blue 1986 18

Jean-Jacques Beineix’s story of a volatile, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.

177 mins France Director. Jean-Jacques Beineix

View I've Loved You So Long
I've Loved You So Long
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I've Loved You So Long 2008 12

The stunning, BAFTA-winning drama stars Kristin Scott-Thomas as an ex-con starting afresh after a fifteen-year prison sentence.

117 mins France Director. Philippe Claudel

View Fidelio, Alice's Journey
Fidelio, Alice's Journey
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Fidelio, Alice's Journey 2014 15

When Alice takes a job as a ship’s engineer her fidelity towards her shore-bound fiancé is tested when she discovers a former lover is the ship’s captain.

95 mins France Director. Lucie Borleteau

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Lila Says
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Lila Says 2004 18

Ziad Doueiri’s provocative Lila Says is a sun-drenched romance full of sensuality, secrets, and tragedy.

89 mins France Director. Ziad Doueiri

View Two Days, One Night
Two Days, One Night
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Two Days, One Night 2014 15

Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard’s collaboration with Cannes Festival-favourites Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne is a stunning, tense drama about a woman’s race against time to save her job.

95 mins Director. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

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Eastern Boys
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Eastern Boys 2012 15

A gay pick-up turns into a dangerous game of betrayal and violence in this slyly subversive and compelling thriller.

128 mins France Director. Robin Campillo

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Au hasard Balthazar
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Au hasard Balthazar 1966

Robert Bresson’s pared-down style elicits extraordinary pathos from this devastating tale of an abused donkey passing from owner to owner.

95 mins France Director. Robert Bresson

View Goodbye to Language
Goodbye to Language
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Goodbye to Language 2014 15

Jean-Luc Godard’s typically innovative and playful meditation on technology, love and language was acclaimed one of the best films of 2014.

70 mins France Director. Jean-Luc Godard

View A Prophet (Un prophète)
A Prophet (Un prophète)
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A Prophet (Un prophète) 2009 18

Jacques Audiard’s award-winning prison drama chronicles the rites of passage and eventual rise to power of a young French Arab. Tough, taut, truthful

155 mins France Director. Jacques Audiard

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Betty Blue
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Betty Blue 1986 18

Jean-Jacques Beineix’s story of a volatile, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.

177 mins France Director. Jean-Jacques Beineix

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Jean de Florette
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Jean de Florette 1986 PG

The film that inspired a wave of British migration to Provence, Claude Berri’s magical evocation of a bygone rustic France, with Gerard Depardieu.

120 mins France Director. Claude Berri

View Manon des Sources
Manon des Sources
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Manon des Sources 1986 PG

The sequel to Jean de Florette concludes the Provencal period saga about two farming clans, headed by Emmanuelle Béart and Daniel Auteuil.

113 mins France Director. Claude Berri

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Bastards
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Bastards 2013 18

Claire Denis’ moody and atmospheric thriller about an absent brother returning to the fold to investigate his family’s murky secrets.

100 mins France Director. Claire Denis

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Blue is the Warmest Colour
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Blue is the Warmest Colour 2013 18

The epic, passionate and strikingly naturalistic Palme d'Or-winning romance.

179 mins France Director. Abdel Kechiche

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Lourdes
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Lourdes 2009 U

Jessica Hausner’s cool, compassionate exploration of religious faith follows various believers and non-believers hoping for miracle cures in Lourdes

96 mins Director. Jessica Hausner

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Rust and Bone
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Rust and Bone 2012 15

Rust and Bone is as punchy and abrasive as its title suggests – but intensely moving and surprisingly poetic too.

France-Belgium Director. Jacques Audiard

View 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema
2 x 50 Years of French Cinema

2 x 50 Years of French Cinema 1995

Six regions, six films appraised for cultural and historical meaning. Produced by Jean-Luc Godard.

50 mins France

View Breathless / À bout de souffle
Breathless / À bout de souffle
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Breathless / À bout de souffle 1960 PG

Jean-Luc Godard’s extraordinary debut feature, an insouciant and iconoclastic crime film that paved the way for the French New Wave.

90 mins France Director. Jean-Luc Godard

View La Belle et la Bête
La Belle et la Bête
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La Belle et la Bête 1946 PG

Jean Cocteau’s ravishingly restored 1946 film is a cinematic classic. “Five stars. [This] magical exploration of the fairytale is a compelling and bizarre masterpiece” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

89 mins France Director. Jean Cocteau

View Les Enfants Terribles
Les Enfants Terribles

Les Enfants Terribles 1949 12

Jean-Pierre Melville’s film of Jean Cocteau's controversial novel about a teenage brother and sister and their intense, closeted relationship.

102 mins France Director. Jean-Pierre Melville

View Celine and Julie Go Boating
Celine and Julie Go Boating

Celine and Julie Go Boating 1974 12

Jacques Rivette's commercially successful film is an exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and 'la vie Parisienne.'

193 mins France Director. Jacques Rivette

View Chronicle of a Summer
Chronicle of a Summer

Chronicle of a Summer 1961 12

The hugely influential and ground-breaking documentary film from filmmaker-anthropologist Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin.

90 mins France Director. Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch

View Eden and After
Eden and After

Eden and After 1969 18

Alain Robbe-Grillet’s sensual fantasy follows a group of students who enter a bizarre sado-masochistic realm after taking a mysterious drug.

98 mins France Director. Alain Robbe-Grillet

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