Learning through French films

Well, things are moving right along. Lately I’ve been really focused on all of the exciting (read: tedious) behind the scenes activities that go along with setting up a foreign company. What better way to decompress by learning more French by enjoying some French cinema? Below you’ll find a few of my recent finds.

boutdesouffleA Bout de Souflle, also known as Breathless (1960).

BreathlessDirected by Jean-Luc Godard, written by Godard and Truffault. Starring  Jean Paul Belmondo as the clever criminal and Jean Seberg as the American girl. Excellent movie with action, romance, brilliant acting, of course. You have to see this film.


Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources (1986). Directed by Claude Berri. Starring Yves Montand, Daniel Auteuil, Ernestine Mazurowna (as child Manon), Emmanuelle Beart (as teen Manon), Gérard Depardieu and his wife Elisabeth Depardieu. One of my favorite movies, all time. The direction and acting are so well meshed that you instantly become pulled into the story. This two movie were shot consecutively, but released at different times. Its a bit long, but well worth it. The story touches on terroir, social acceptance, fear, and many other human emotions in a very real and entertaining fashion. Some releases will have the two movies separated, some will be a 2 pack as the shown above.



Pierrot le Fou (1965) directed by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina. Action, action, and more action…a little sex as well. This film has a great mix of violence and action but the dialogues are really interesting. The way the two characters interact make this a brilliant film. A story about breaking away from boredom in search of life worth living. And, you can’t go wrong with Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Paul Belmondo.




Les quatre cents coup, also known as 400 blows (1959) directed by Francois Truffault, starring a young Jean-Pierre Léaud. Really interesting story of a young boy in Paris thought to be a trouble maker, that then turns into a trouble maker. He’s dealing with things at home and school and things begin to really spiral out of control for him. This is a fascinating piece about adolescence.  Jean-Pierre was discovered by Truffault, however he introduced Godard to his talents which began a long and successful pairing between the two. The title was always translated to 400 blows. No, Jean-Pierre does not get beaten 400 times. Les quatre cents coups is a colloquialism that refers to one going way beyond, going overboard, or to be a hell raiser. Watch the film, and you will see why.

8 thoughts on “Learning through French films

  1. Pierrot le Fou is my favourite film of all time, with The 400 Blows a close second. in fact i have the sketched print that youve used above on my wall! check out my pieces on the two, as well as the rest of the antoine doinel films over at my blog, hopelies.com .

  2. You should check out Alphaville – classic French science fiction/film noir. And I presume that you’ve already seen Amelie and Betty Blue.

  3. Dave, thanks for the heads up. I’ve seen Amelie, but not Betty Blue. Did you see the thread on the board with the other movies people mentioned? I’ll be busy for a good while.

  4. Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis is just wonderful. Tonight we plan to watch “Le Petit Nicolas” – it is now available on dvd for the U.S. and Canada and is supposed to be delightful. I will let you know!

  5. hello
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