An Affair to Remember
Léo McCarey – 1957
With Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr
A playboy and a singer fall in love on an ocean liner while they are preparing to join their future spouses. Heartbreaking story of a missed meeting, this melodrama classic remains forever linked with a trembling pair of actors and the tragically high top of the Empire State Building in Manhattan.
All That Heaven Allows
Douglas Sirk – 1955
With Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson
Film-maker par excellence of thwarted love, Sirk recounts here the passion between a widow and her gardener who is fifteen years younger than her. Judged by their neighbours, they will become the black sheep, symbols of an impossible liberty in the puritan America of the 1950s. A bitter and magnificent love story enhanced by Technicolor.
James Cameron – 1998
With Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
The second greatest box office success (after Avatar) with more than 2 billion dollars of takings, Titanic will have caused at least as many tears to be shed. The moving idyll, having, as its stage, the famous British liner which sank in 1912, the power of the reconstruction, the birth of the star DiCaprio have raised it, from the outset, to the ranks of a cult film.
Otto Preminger – 1958
With Deborah Kerr, Jean Seberg
Adapted from the famous novel by Françoise Sagan, his American adaptation brings two stars of the time face to face: the prima donna of the Deborah Kerr studios, with the young and cheeky Jean Seberg. A clash in the sun with a background of cicadas on the Côte d’Azur; a sensual environment behind closed doors where brutal, indeed criminal, mutations are at work, from teenage years to adulthood.
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Vittorio De Sica – 1970
With Dominique Sanda, Fabio Testi
During the 1930s, at the time of the rise of Mussolini, the last years of flirting and light-heartedness of young people from the wealthy Jewish bourgeoisie. But is this golden youth so blind? Defender of Italian neorealism, De Sica relates the end of an Eden, depicted by a lush garden, and its progressive invasion by the spectre of fascism.
The Thin Red Line
Terrence Malick – 1998
With Sean Penn, Jim Caviezel
In the battle of 1942 of the Americans against the Japanese, which was called “the Verdun of the Pacific”, a group of men buckle under the weight of the fighting and use images of paradise lost as a form of escapism. Mystical film-maker, Malick reshapes the war film as a pantheist poem standing alongside harsh butchery. Powerful.
Two English Girls
François Truffaut – 1971
With Jean-Pierre Léaud, Philippe Léotard
A tormented, sentimental upbringing on the English coasts.... The founder of the New Wave (The 400 Blows), has never been so lyrical and accurate than in this portrait of Jean-Pierre Léaud as a young man in love with two sisters at the same time, lodging with them. He will lose his heart there and his reason. Beautiful and sad.
David Lean – 1945
With Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard
A great producer of epics (Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia), David Lean has, however, made his most moving film with this simple drama about adultery. Brief Encounter starts with the parting of two lovers in a railway station and continues with a flash-back of their affair. Between passion and loyalty, which to choose?
Manchester by the Sea
Kenneth Lonergan – 2016
With Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams
The shattered life of a man after the disappearance of part of his family in a fire, for which he is partly responsible. In a misty fishing port on the east coast, the fate of this inconsolable father who has become a house husband goes beyond the flat chronicle of bereavement in favour of a great funeral lament, soft and obsessional, on resilience
Some Came Running
Vincente Minnelli – 1958
With Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin
A family portrait which is built around the rivalry of two brothers, the one an alcoholic artist, the other an important and authoritarian middle-class man. Elegant, sophisticated, the production is magnificent: an explosion of colours and sensational orchestration supporting a private and visceral romanticism. All the energy of Minnelli in a film.
Katell Quillévéré – 2013
With Sara Forestier, François Damiens
Suzanne is a child, then a secondary school student, and finally a shambolic young adult who dumps everything to follow a small-time crook. Flamboyant destiny of a heroine on the edge, this fine film tells of an amorous infatuation, between reflection on family, motherhood and illusory happiness. The raw and fictional melodrama of a young successor of Maurice Pialat.
John Huston – 1956
With Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart
The white whale is a victim of the bloodthirsty man; it is also a symbol of God, of occult powers which we do not control. The great Huston pays homage to it in this aquatic Western, violent and epic, in which a charismatic hero, Captain Ahab, obsessively hunts the beast. The first (friendly) sea monster.
Kings and Queen
Arnaud Desplechin – 2004
With Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric
A tough business woman and her eccentric ex get together again around a story of adoption. In this comedy-drama, neuroses are treated with hip-hop and in a museum, surrounded by dinosaurs, you learn about life. A loquacious, delusional and sometimes tender, picture of the human condition.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Jacques Demy – 1964
With Catherine Deneuve, Nico Castelnuovo
In the middle of the Algerian war, a young woman resigns herself to a loveless marriage after the mobilisation of her lover. Soppy story-line, pretty songs, but a true tragedy. With a background of wet pavements, Jacques Demy directs his most sad and upsetting musical, with a damaged, but sunny, Deneuve.
Love in the Afternoon
Billy Wilder – 1957
Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn
Incredible case of a police mix-up and lovers, Ariane depicts the daughter of a private detective bickering with an old seducer. Between the fool’s game and smooth talking, a dazzling tale on the licentious morals of the capital of love, as a voice-over proclaims right from the first images: “In Paris, everybody does it! "
Christophe Honoré – 2007
With Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier
Ménage à trois, bereavement and songs: this is the whirling setting of this sentimental, romantic and whimsical drama, which deploys a procession of actor acrobats in the public streets of Paris. In line with the musical comedies by Jacques Demy, a pop anthem to freedom, to the absence of rules and to the multiple combinations of love.
Bertrand Bonello – 2014
With Gaspard Ulliel, Jérémie Renier
The life of the great fashion designer, inventor of the dinner suit for women, admired for all his fashion clothes, from the most trivial (the birth of the “brand name”) to the most tragic (his episodes of depression), in a bizarre and vertiginous biopic. Where Paris is perceived as the Mecca of the revolutionary geniuses of fashion.
Bernardo Bertolucci – 2003
With Michael Pitt, Eva Green
A story of emancipation, ode to youth, orgies: three young, dazzlingly beautiful people wander round a large Paris apartment, left to their own resources and to the lust of over-excited senses. Louis Garrel, Michael Pitt, and Eva Green revive the spirit of revolt of May 1968 in these roles as “enfants terribles”, being at one and the same time sensual and scheming angels.
House of Pleasure
Max Ophuls – 1952
With Claude Dauphin, Gaby Morlay
Adapted from Maupassant short stories, here are three stunning stories combining characters always in motion, festivals, dances, shopping, stairs: an old man who goes to balls, an artist tired of his model and, especially, a joyous band of prostitutes right in the countryside. Joie de vivre in a pure state.
Leos Carax – 2012
With Denis Lavant, Edith Scob
Mr Oscar is a changeable being capable of taking several identities at the same time: beggar, business owner, assassin.... Film on the edge of fantasy, shot in a Paris interspersed with ghosts, Holy Motors is a guided tour in a limousine, from the Pont Neuf to the Père Lachaise cemetery, and through the history of the cinema.
The 400 Blows
François Truffaut – 1959
With Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claire Maurier
A New Wave film manifesto, The 400 Blows immerses us in Paris in the 1950s - 1960s, its streets, its cinemas, and shows us the most insolent of teenagers, an adept at truancy and pilfering. A tender and disenchanted look at youth which marks the début of a great actor: Jean-Pierre Léaud.