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French Cinema

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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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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The 400 BlowsThe 400 Blows

Drama1959100 minsDirector: François Truffaut

François Truffaut’s French New Wave landmark is one of the greatest movies about adolescence.

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Bande à partBande à part

Crime196495 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard

Godard's playful tribute to the Hollywood pulp crime movies of the 1940s, executed with typically Gallic cool.

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The Night of the 12thThe Night of the 12th

Drama2022114 minsDirector: Dominik Moll

A newly promoted detective is assigned to a young woman’s chilling murder in this deeply arresting crime thriller based on true events.

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PickpocketPickpocket

Drama195976 minsDirector: Robert Bresson

Bresson’s hugely influential study of a petty thief in late 50s Paris is one of his most widely acclaimed films.

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La Belle et la BêteLa Belle et la Bête

Fantasy194695 minsDirector: Jean Cocteau

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

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OrphéeOrphée

Drama195096 minsDirector: Jean Cocteau

Magical retelling of the Orpheus myth by poet, playwright, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

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EdenEden

Drama2014131 minsDirector: Mia Hansen-Løve

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

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The Gleaners & IThe Gleaners & I

Documentary200079 minsDirector: Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda’s award-winning study of those living on the margins of French society at the turn of the millennium.

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L'ArgentL'Argent

Crime198384 minsDirector: Robert Bresson

Bresson’s superb final film and Cannes winner is a Tolstoy adaptation relating how a prank with a forged bank note leads to tragedy.

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Let the Sunshine InLet the Sunshine In

Drama201795 minsDirector: Claire Denis

Director Claire Denis gives a wry account of an artist’s search for love, in this witty black comedy starring Juliette Binoche.

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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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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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AliceAlice

Drama2019105 minsDirector: Josephine Mackerras

Following separation from her money-squandering husband, Alice (Emilie Piponnier) finds herself falling into the world of high-end escorting, challenging her perceptions of life and love.

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Pauline at the BeachPauline at the Beach

Comedy198295 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer

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

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Jules et JimJules et Jim

Drama1962106 minsDirector: François Truffaut

François Truffaut’s hugely popular classic depicts one of cinema’s most captivating love triangles

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Sex Is ComedySex Is Comedy

Comedy200295 minsDirector: Catherine Breillat

A director struggles to film a difficult sex scene between two actors who happen to hate each other, in Catherine Breillat's witty exploration of intimacy coordination.

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Anatomy of HellAnatomy of Hell

Drama200377 minsDirector: Catherine Breillat

Catherine Breillat's rigorously intellectual exploration of sexuality, about a woman who employs a gay man to spend days watching her naked.

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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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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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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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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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The Last MetroThe Last Metro

Romance1979132 minsDirector: François Truffaut

Catherine Deneuve shines as the director and lead actor of a Parisian theatre struggling to survive under the Nazi occupation in Truffaut's wartime drama.

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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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The Passion of Joan of ArcThe Passion of Joan of Arc

Biopic192880 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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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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Haute TensionHaute Tension

Horror200393 minsDirector: Alexandre Aja

Alexandre Aja defined a new breed of horror by bringing the American slasher format into French cinema.

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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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MoreMore

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 Wages of FearThe Wages of Fear

Crime1953153 minsDirector: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Henri-Georges Clouzot's classic, nail-biting suspense thriller won both The Golden Bear and the Palme d'Or in 1953.

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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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Eyes without a FaceEyes without a Face

Horror195990 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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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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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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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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La Peau DouceLa Peau Douce

Drama1964118 minsDirector: François Truffaut

Truffaut’s Palme d'Or-nominated account of an ill-starred adulterous affair boasts Hitchcockian precision and pitch-perfect performances.

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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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Les Enfants du paradisLes Enfants du paradis

Drama1945190 minsDirector: Marcel Carné

Marcel Carné's masterpiece of French cinema portrays the theatrical milieu of Paris' 'Boulevard du Crime'.

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