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).
Drama2015131 minsDirector: Paul Verhoeven
Isabelle Huppert gives an unforgettable performance in Paul Verhoeven’s provocative thriller about one woman’s response to a violent attack.
My Journey through French Cinema
Documentary2016193 minsDirector: Bertrand Tavernier
Director Bertrand Tavernier guides us on a fascinating voyage through French film history, from the 1930s through to the '70s.
Goodbye First Love
Drama2011106 minsDirector: Mia Hansen-Løve
The pangs and pains of young love are artfully and respectfully rendered in this subtle and sensitive drama from Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden).
Pierrot le Fou
Crime1965110 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Godard’s stunning, colour widescreen account of the wild journey of ‘the last romantic couple’, Pierrot (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his lover Marianne (Karina).
Detective drama196599 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard’s venture into sci-fi pits secret agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) on a mission to destroy the malevolent supercomputer, Alpha 60.
The New Girlfriend
Melodrama2014108 minsDirector: François Ozon
Ruth Rendell provides the source novel for this delicious tale of deception and identity, from the master of mischievous melodrama, François Ozon.
Fidelio, Alice's Journey
Drama201497 minsDirector: Lucie Borleteau
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.
Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
Drama201594 minsDirector: Eva Husson
High-school students start a private orgy society in Eva Husson’s dazzlingly shot, no-holds-barred drama.
Two Days, One Night
Drama201495 minsDirector: Jean-Pierre Dardenne
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.
Biopic2016123 minsDirector: Jérôme Salle
Jérôme Salle's candid biopic of the underwater explorer and photographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau is a bold tribute to the lure of the sea.
Drama1986185 minsDirector: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Jean-Jacques Beineix’s story of a volatile, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.
Drama2013100 minsDirector: Claire Denis
Claire Denis’ moody and atmospheric thriller about an absent brother returning to the fold to investigate his family’s murky secrets.
Drama201582 minsDirector: Lucile Hadzihalilovic
The long-awaited second feature from Lucile Hadžihalilović (Innocence) is a gorgeously surreal coming-of-age tale laced with bizarre body-horror.
Jean de Florette
Drama1986116 minsDirector: Claude Berri
The film that inspired a wave of British migration to Provence, Claude Berri’s magical evocation of a bygone rustic France, with Gerard Depardieu.
Manon des Sources
Drama1986109 minsDirector: Claude Berri
The sequel to Jean de Florette concludes the Provencal period saga about two farming clans, headed by Emmanuelle Béart and Daniel Auteuil.
A Prophet (Un prophète)
Crime2009156 minsDirector: Jacques Audiard
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
Goodbye to Language
Drama201470 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard’s typically innovative and playful meditation on technology, love and language was acclaimed one of the best films of 2014.
Une femme est une femme
Drama196184 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Godard’s colourful and exuberant tribute to the Hollywood musical, with Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean-Claude Brialy.
I've Loved You So Long
Drama2008112 minsDirector: Philippe Claudel
The stunning, BAFTA-winning drama stars Kristin Scott Thomas as an ex-con starting afresh after a fifteen-year prison sentence.
Thriller201598 minsDirector: Alice Winocour
A broken soldier guards a tycoon's family in this involving thriller with hints of Taxi Driver, starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kuger.
Drama200995 minsDirector: Jessica Hausner
Jessica Hausner’s cool, compassionate exploration of religious faith follows various believers and non-believers hoping for miracle cures in Lourdes
Au hasard Balthazar
Drama196695 minsDirector: Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson’s pared-down style elicits extraordinary pathos from this devastating tale of an abused donkey passing from owner to owner.