Sometimes we get so carried away by the stories of Hollywood that we forget that cinema is global.
People make movies everywhere and they are influencing each other as those movies travel and are seen by audiences all over the world, and of course, France es a fate hard to ignore.
Starting with the French New Wave, as it was known in English, a film movement that rose to popularity in the late 1950s in Paris France, this country has continued to produce a fascinating legacy of cinema, one that encourages giving directors full creative control over their work, allowing them to favor the impromptu storytelling instead of strict narratives.
In this way, the processes of French cinema, as well as its results, forever changed the happiness of the film industry.
For many budding moviegoers, French films represent a high step in the fandom of cinema. In the popular mind, it is the most haughty of movie cultures, steeped in philosophy, cutting-edge structures, and impenetrable characters. In other words, for most mainstream audiences, 'French' is code for 'pretentious'.
But the truth is that few countries can claim to have exerted such a strong and constant influence on the global cinema as France.
And sure, many of them can be difficult for non-academics to comprehend, however once you begin to delve into the history of French cinema, you'll discover delights unlike any found anywhere else in world cinema.
Check out our list of five must-see movies of the French cinema.
Paris our appartient (1961)
Jacques rivette, one of the original critics-turned-filmmakers who helped fuel the French New Wave, he began shooting his first feature film in 1958, long before the film revolution officially began with The 400 Blows and Breathless.
Finally released in 1961, the rich and mysterious Paris Belongs to Us it offers some of the radical flavor that would come to define the movement, with a particularly clingy edge.
The film follows a young literature student (betty schneider) who befriends members of a loose group of twenty-somethings in Paris, united by the apparent suicide of an acquaintance.
Imbued with a lingering disillusionment after the Segunda Guerra Mundial, while evidencing the joy and fascination with theatrical performance and conspiracy that would become the director's hallmark, Paris Belongs to Us it marked the provocative beginning of a brilliant career as a director.
The Children of Paradise (1943)
In the rich literary romance of Marcel Carné In 1945, four men battle for the affections of one woman, the troubled sphinx-like Garence (Arletty regular card).
Ethereal and delicately cinematic touches add up to a film that is content to let a dazzling and witty screenplay of Jacques Prévert, sumptuous scenery and exceptional performers give fiction its lifeblood.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Dreyer's most universally acclaimed masterpiece remains one of the most staggeringly intense films ever made.
It deals only with the final stages of Joan's trial and execution and consists almost exclusively of close-ups: hands, robes, crosses, metal bars, and (above all) faces.
The face we see the most is, naturally, Falconetti's as Joan, and it's hard to imagine a performer who shows physical anguish and spiritual exaltation more palpably.
Dreyer encloses this austere and infinitely expressive face with other characters and settings that are equally devoid of decoration and equally direct in conveying both material and metaphysical essences.
The entire film is less shaped by light than carved in stone: it's masterful cinema and almost unbearably moving.
Band of Outsiders (1964)
Four years after opening Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard reinvented the gangster movie even more radically with Band of Outsiders (Bande à part).
In it, two restless young people (Sami frey y Claude Brasseur) recruit the object of their fantasies (Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery in their own home.
This jewel of the French New WaveBold and wildly entertaining, it is at once sentimental and carefree, effervescently romantic and melancholic, and features some of Godard's most memorable pieces, including the headlong run through the Louvre and Madison's unwavering dance sequence.
Arguably the quintessential subtitled movie for people who don't like subtitled movies, and arguably in contention with 'Cinema Paradiso' for that title.
The rose-tinted Parisian romance of Jean Pierre Jeunet is probably the role for which the actress Audrey Tautou She will be remembered until the day she dies.
The film is all the more interesting for still being a one-of-a-kind eccentric that feels like the product of its writer-director's unique sensibilities and worldview.
Reliving it today, you'll find that it still has the same strengths: the experience of watching is like being swept away by a tidal wave of cheeky jokes and bizarre observations.