Instructional Media Center

• April in Paris in the IMC •


Bonjour.  April in the IMC features French film.  This is but a small sampling of a fairly comprehensive collection that includes most of the major works in French cinema.  According to the French - printemps, c'est pour les amants!  Alors, allons-y á la IMC pour la cinéma vérité tout de suite.

The 400 Blows - PN1997.F7 F685 1998 DVD
One of Trauffaut’s first films, this autobiographical film was pivotal in establishing the French New Wave movement. If you like the main character, Antoine Doinel, as much as Trauffault did, you may want to see the other four movies in the series:  Antoine and Collette, Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board, and Love on the Run.

L’Atalante -
 PN1995.9.F7 A8353 2003 DVD
Filmed in 1934, this love tragedy features a couple that impulsively marry, getting to know each other’s true characters later. Madonna claimed her “Sex” book was inspired by Dita Parlo’s character in the film.

Baxter -
PN1995.9.S87 B39847 2007 DVD
How can you not appreciate a film narrated by a bull terrier? Take a look at the world from the viewpoint of an angry dog, forced to wear tutus, observe intimate relations and ignored when his owners have a child.

Belle de Jour -
PN1995.9.F7 B455 2002 DVD
Spanish director Luis Buñuel made a number of famous French films as well – this being one of his best known.  Catherine Deneuve stars as a conflicted young housewife who prefers prostitution to her husband.

Breathless -
PN1995.9.F7 B7438 2007 DVD
The Frenchest film of them all - written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, from an original treatment by Françios Truffault, artistic and technical advisor Claude Chabrol.  In his first feature length film, Godard explores the complicated lives a young Frenchman (Jean-Paul Belmondo) who steals a car and shoots a cop, then relies on his American girlfriend (Jean Seberg) to hide him.

Camille Claudel -
PN1995.9.F7 C365 2001 DVD
Isabelle Adjani portrays Camille Claudel, a young sculptress, rumored to have “the talent of a man”, and lands an apprenticeship with Rodin (Gérard Depardieu). When their relationship turns from professional to romantic, chaos ensues. Especially recommended for fans of depressing films.

City of Lost Children -
PN1995.9.F7 C589 1999 DVD
Set in a dystopian society, a mad scientist is on a mission to kidnap children and steal their dreams. Too bad he doesn’t know he’s kidnapped the little brother of badass carnival strongman One.

Day For Night -
PN1995.9.F7 D39 2006 DVD
Enjoy Truffaut in his first onscreen role, playing the director of the film “Meet Pamela”. Appreciate his offscreen role as director, choreographing 2 plot lines that flow seamlessly together: the film within the film and the over the top lives of the actors in “Meet Pamela”.  This film helped establish Jacqueline Bisset as a serious actress, and gave Jean-Pierre Léaud a chance to play a character other than Antoine Doinel in a Trauffaut film.

Jules and Jim -
 PN1995.9.F7 J864 2005 DVD    
Adapted from a novel by Henri-Pierre Roché, this film centers around the friendship of two men whose relationship is complicated by being on opposite sides of The Great War and falling in love with the same woman.

Ma Vie en Rose -
 PN1995.9.F7 M3 2002 DVD
Ludovic is waiting for a miracle. With six-year-old certainty, he believes he was meant to be a little girl and that the mistake will soon be corrected. But where he expects the miraculous, Ludo finds only rejection, isolation and guilt--as the intense reactions of family, friends, and neighbors strip away every innocent lace and bauble

Swimming Pool -
 PN1995.9 .T5 S94 2002 DVD
When a British mystery writer develops writer’s block, her publisher suggests a vacation in his French country house, not knowing his impulsive daughter plans to do the same thing. Strong personality clashes and wild behavior prove to be good material for a new book. Starring Ludivine Sagnier and Charlotte Rampling speaking primarily English.

Rules of the Game - PN1997 .R44 2006 DVD
From the catalog - "Cloaked in a comedy of manners, this scathing critique of corrupt French society is about a weekend hunting party at which amorous escapades abound among the aristocratic guests, which are also mirrored by the activities of the servants downstairs."  This film makes just about every top 10 all-time film list with the exception of Reed Librarian Jim Holmes, who has never seen it, despite being the curator of the film collection.

Jean Painleve - TR800 .J435 2003 DVD
French artist/actor/director/anarchist/son of the prime minister, Jean Painleve (1902-1989) was a renaissance man of sorts, compiling a surrealistic resume of artistic endeavors.  He is probably best known for his underwater cinematography, some of the earliest and most artistic work of the genre.  This DVD is but a small sampling of the 200+ films he shot during the course of his long life, highlighting some of the more well known shorts of his career.  Note - The DVD is PAL format and will not play on U.S. region encoded DVD players.

Chantal Akerman - Les Annés 70 (boxed set) - PN1995.9.F74 C536 2007 DVD
Although maverick filmmaker/academic/feminist icon Chantal Akerman was Belgian and lived primarily in New York for her professional career, her films are linguistically and stylistically French.  Her critically acclaimed film "Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" painfully chronicles the mundane life of a middle-aged woman over the course of three days as her regimented life gradually unravels.  She dropped out of film school at age 18 to make her directorial debut "Saute ma ville".  In "La Chambre" a camera pans 360 degrees around a room three times.  These are not films for impatient people, so be prepared.

Eric Rohmer - Six Moral Tales (boxed set) - PN1995.9.F7 S59 2006 DVD
Probably most easily summarized by this description on the cover - "A succession of jousts between fragile men and the women who tempt them".