Out 1 – (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
Nominated by me and seconded by @SkotArmstrong.
Out 1 is one of the crowning achievements of Rivette’s remarkable career. Conceived as a television mini-series, this near-thirteen-hour monolith consists of eight feature-length episodes revolving around two theatre troupes, blackmail and conspiracy. Multiple characters introduce multiple plotlines, weaving a rich tapestry across an epic runtime. ARROW FILMS.
La Maman Et La Putain (Jean Eustache, 1973)
Suggested by @Jean_Casa, @Lintlvieno, @alphter and @juniorgiora.
Recovering from a setback in his amours, Alexandre spends his days in the cafés of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The money for his idle life comes from shopkeeper Marie, an older woman with whom he has an open relationship. One day Alexandre falls for Veronika, a young and very open-minded nurse. There gradually develops between them a complex three-way rapport, variously tinged with tenderness, jealousy and despair. Jury’s Special Grand Prix at the 26th Cannes Film Festival. LOCARNO FILM FESTIVAL.
The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson, 1977)
Thanks to @lintlvieno.
Like many of the late films of Robert Bresson, The Devil, Probably, is, as the title suggests, a dark story of disaffected French youth in modern Paris: four disillusioned young adults who wander city streets and hole up in tiny apartments while serving witness to society’s destruction of the planet. Bresson described the work as “a film about the evils of money, a source of great evil in the world whether for unnecessary armaments or the senseless pollution of the environment.” It may not be the bleakest film in his canon–the honors surely belong to his final work L’Argent – but it is certainly one of his most depressing. OLIVE FILMS.
La Grande Bouffe (Marco Ferreri, 1973)
Nominated by @12pt9.
The most famous film by Italian provocateur Marco Ferreri, La Grande Bouffe was reviled on release for its perversity, decadence and attack on the bourgeoisie yet won the prestigious FIPRESCI prize after its controversial screening at the Cannes Film Festival. ARROW FILMS.
Four friends, played by Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Ugo Tognazzi and Philippe Noiret retreat to a country mansion where they determine to eat themselves to death whilst engaging in group sex with prostitutes and a local school teacher (Andréa Ferréol), who seems to be up for anything…At once jovial and sinister, the film’s jet-black humour has a further twist as the reputed actors (whose characters use their own names) buck their respectable trend for a descent into fart-filled chaos that delivers a feast for the eyes and mind.
Love In The Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, 1972)
Suggested by @Bombaylychee.
The last of Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales. Frederic leads a bourgeois life; he is a partner in a small Paris office and is happily married to Helene, a teacher expecting her second child. In the afternoons, Frederic daydreams about other women, but has no intention of taking any action. One day, Chloe, who had been a mistress of an old friend, begins dropping by his office. They meet as friends, irregularly in the afternoons, till eventually Chloe decides to seduce Frederic, causing him a moral dilemma. TCM.
Un Flic (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1972)
Nominated by @Jean_Casa.
Beginning with a remarkable bank robbery on a deserted beach front and also featuring a helicopter heist shot in real time, Un Flic is perhaps Jean-Pierre Melville’s most perfect synthesis of style and suspense. A wonderfully fatalistic study of loss and deception, and a distillation of Melville’s interest in the codes of loyalty and honour, the film marks a fitting epitaph to one of the finest careers in contemporary cinema. STUDIOCANAL.
L’Important C’est D’aimer (Andrzej Zulawski, 1975)
Thanks to again to @Jean_Casa.
Freelance photographer Servais meets luckless Nadine Chevalier, a would-be movie star who has only found work in cheap exploitation movies. Trying to win her affection, Servais borrows money from his underworld employers to launch a theatrical production for her to star in. MUBI.
Clair de femme (Costa-Gavras, 1979)
Nominated by @RomantikKurbaa.
Reciprocal consolation. The background of two middle-aged people (Yves Montand and Romy Schneider) gradually unfolds. MUBI.
The Day Of The Jackal (Fred Zinneman, 1973)
And @pathoban offered this one.
A professional assassin codenamed “Jackal” plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France. IMDB.
Daguerréotypes (Agnes Varda, 1976)
Thanks to @lintlvieno and @p2wy.
A classic documentary from Agnes Varda, DAGUERREOTYPES is a wonderfully intimate portrait of the small shops and shopkeepers on a short stretch of the Rue Daguerre, a picturesque street that has been the filmmaker’s home for more than 50 years. Varda opens up a fantastic world in microcosm. A picture of a city and a way of life that no longer exist. Fandor.
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