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French Classics

From the New Wave to poetic realism and cinéma vérité, French cinema takes many forms and offers endless delights.

Our subscription collection serves up the perfect primer, featuring undisputed masterpieces and provocative classics.

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Enjoy subscription-only classic and cult films from across the decades.  Free for 14 days, then £4.99 a month - cancel any time

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La HaineLa Haine

Drama199598 minsDirector: Mathieu Kassovitz

Mathieu Kassovitz’s landmark mid-90s drama throws a cinematic Molotov cocktail at structural racism, police brutality and media manipulation.

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The Green RayThe Green Ray

Drama198699 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer

Eric Rohmer's masterpiece about a woman chasing romance and adventure during a long, hot summer.

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ChocolatChocolat

Drama1988100 minsDirector: Claire Denis

Claire Denis' fully formed debut offers a child’s-eye-view of racial and sexual tension that bubbles with unspoken desires.

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TomboyTomboy

Drama201182 minsDirector: Céline Sciamma

Tender drama from Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Girlhood) about a ten-year-old child exploring a new gender identity.

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RomanceRomance

Drama199998 minsDirector: Catherine Breillat

Shockingly explicit, Catherine Breillat’s critically acclaimed Romance is one of the most controversial films of modern cinema.

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Betty BlueBetty Blue

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.

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A Man EscapedA Man Escaped

Drama1956101 minsDirector: Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson’s riveting tale of a Gestapo prisoner determined to regain his freedom, based on real events.

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Au revoir les enfantsAu revoir les enfants

War1987105 minsDirector: Louis Malle

A French boarding-school friendship threatened by Nazi hatred in Malle's elegant tale of World War Two.

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Lift to the ScaffoldLift to the Scaffold

Crime195891 minsDirector: Louis Malle

Julien Tavernier plans the perfect murder of his boss. Having emerged from the scene of the crime, he returns to retrieve a vital piece of evidence but finds himself trapped in a lift, increasingly desperate to escape before the police arrive.

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The New GirlfriendThe 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.

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La ChinoiseLa Chinoise

Drama196796 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard

“The revolution is not a dinner-party.” Jean-Luc Godard's mix of mordant satire, pedagogical treatise, political tract, and pop-artwork.

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One Deadly SummerOne Deadly Summer

Crime1983134 minsDirector: Jean Becker

A summer of love turns into a dark tale of revenge. This compelling film by Jean Becker features a stunning Isabelle Adjani in one of her most extraordinary performances.

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MaitresseMaitresse

Drama1976113 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder

Gerard Depardieu plays the young innocent who falls for the mysterious maitresse Ariane (Bulle Ogier), a leather clad dominatrix, in Barbet Schroeder’s controversial film.

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Drama1969116 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder

The first feature by Barbet Schroeder (Maîtresse, The Valley), More created a sensation when it was released in 1969, quickly becoming a cult classic and famed for its Pink Floyd soundtrack.

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The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)

Drama1972105 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder

Different worlds collide when a chic young diplomat's wife meets an intriguing adventurer and his hippy friends in Barbet Schroeder's striking second feature.

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Personal ShopperPersonal Shopper

Drama2016106 minsDirector: Olivier Assayas

Kristen Stewart reunites with Olivier Assayas to play an A-List celebrity's personal shopper, who keeps receiving strange text messages from an unknown source.

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Irma VepIrma Vep

Drama199699 minsDirector: Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas' sexy and stylish ode to the madness of filmmaking, with Maggie Cheung as the Hong Kong movie star playing a Catwoman-style anti-heroine.

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DemonloverDemonlover

Drama2002121 minsDirector: Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas' neo-noir cyber-thriller is a chilling exploration of the nexus between sex and violence available at the click of a button.

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Pauline at the BeachPauline at the Beach

Comedy198295 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer

Eric Rohmer's final collaboration with the great cinematographer Nestor Almendros follows a holidaying teenager as she begins to navigate the adult world.

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Clouds of Sils MariaClouds of Sils Maria

Drama2014124 minsDirector: Olivier Assayas

Juliette Binoche, Chloë Moretz, and Kristen Stewart star in this moving drama about a veteran actor struggling as the allure of her fame fades.

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The Aviator's WifeThe Aviator's Wife

Drama1980106 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer

A bittersweet fable about a young man's jealous pursuits; the first film in Eric Rohmer's six-film series, Comedies and Proverbs.

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Immoral TalesImmoral Tales

Anthology1974103 minsDirector: Walerian Borowczyk

Walerian Borowczyk presents four stories of sexual taboos throughout the ages, in his highly controversial classic of 1970s erotic cinema.

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The BeastThe Beast

Comedy197598 minsDirector: Walerian Borowczyk

An outrageous classic of erotic cinema, Walerian Borowczyk’s playful and subversive fantasy finds a horny heiress courting the ravenous desires of a wild beast.

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Eyes without a FaceEyes without a Face

Horror196090 minsDirector: Georges Franju

Georges Franju’s gorgeous, poetic horror film about a surgeon’s dark obsession with restoring his daughter’s disfigured face.

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Fantastic PlanetFantastic Planet

Animation & Artists Moving Image197372 minsDirector: René Laloux

René Laloux and Roland Topor’s surreal, psychedelic sci-fi animation imagines a world in which humanoid creatures are kept as pets by a race of giants.

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Shoah (First Era)Shoah (First Era)

Documentary1985274 minsDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann's monumental chronicle of the Holocaust has been acclaimed by many as the greatest documentary ever made.

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Shoah (Second Era)Shoah (Second Era)

Documentary1985293 minsDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann's monumental chronicle of the Holocaust has been acclaimed by many as the greatest documentary ever made.

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Les Enfants TerriblesLes Enfants Terribles

Drama1949106 minsDirector: Jean-Pierre Melville

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

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Cléo from 5 to 7Cléo from 5 to 7

Drama196291 minsDirector: Agnès Varda

Agnes Varda’s classic character study follows a successful pop singer as she wanders around Paris while awaiting the results of serious medical tests.

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VagabondVagabond

Drama1985101 minsDirector: Agnès Varda

The story of Mona, a young hitchhiker who cannot communicate with the world, is told in flashback by people who came into contact with her.

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The Passion of Joan of ArcThe Passion of Joan of Arc

Biopic192780 minsSilentDirector: Carl Th. Dreyer

An incontestable masterpiece of silent cinema, Carl Dreyer's deeply moving biopic features one of the most powerful performances ever captured on film.

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Celine and Julie Go BoatingCeline and Julie Go Boating

Drama1974194 minsDirector: Jacques Rivette

Jacques Rivette’s biggest commercial hit is an exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and ‘la vie parisienne’, around an entrancing examination of making and watching films.

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Paris Nous AppartientParis Nous Appartient

Drama1961142 minsDirector: Jacques Rivette

Remarkable first feature from cinematic visionary Jacques Rivette, brilliantly capturing the mood of paranoia and uncertainty of the Cold War period.

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L'AtalanteL'Atalante

Drama193489 minsDirector: Jean Vigo

Newlyweds begin their life together on a working barge in this luminous romance, the only full-length feature film by director Jean Vigo.

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Bed and BoardBed and Board

Drama197097 minsDirector: François Truffaut

In this typically ambivalent comedy from Truffaut, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) becomes a father... But is he mature enough for parenthood?

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Love on the RunLove on the Run

Drama197894 minsDirector: François Truffaut

Separated from Christine and uncertain about his latest relationship, Antoine (Jean-Pierre Léaud) has finally written a novel inspired by his own experiences in this final chapter of François Truffaut’s series.

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Stolen KissesStolen Kisses

Comedy196891 minsDirector: François Truffaut

Naively idealistic and largely inept both in his dealings with women and in any job, Antoine clumsily courts Christine while working for a private detective agency.

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Finally, Sunday!Finally, Sunday!

Comedy1983111 minsDirector: François Truffaut

A man suspected of a crime enlists a woman to prove his innocence in Truffaut’s Hitchcockian inspired serio-comic romantic thriller.

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The Woman Next DoorThe Woman Next Door

Drama1981105 minsDirector: François Truffaut

Happily married Bernard (Gérard Depardieu) has his life is thrown into turmoil when Mathilde (Fanny Ardant) - an old flame - moves into the house opposite.

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Shoot the PianistShoot the Pianist

Crime196081 minsDirector: François Truffaut

A nightclub pianist conceals a secret past in Truffaut’s second feature - a breezy New Wave concoction of genre pastiche, playful stylistic tricks and romantic reverie.

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