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Cinema of France

Cinema of France

Overview
The Cinema of France comprises the art of film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 and creative movies made within the nation of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 or by French filmmakers abroad.

France is the birthplace of cinema
Auguste and Louis Lumière
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean , were among the earliest filmmakers in history...

 and was responsible for many of its early significant contributions. Several important cinematic movements, including the Nouvelle Vague, began in the country. It is noted for having a particularly strong film industry, due in part to protections afforded by the French government.

Apart from its strong indigenous film tradition, France has also been a gathering spot for artists from across Europe and the world.
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Encyclopedia
The Cinema of France comprises the art of film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 and creative movies made within the nation of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 or by French filmmakers abroad.

France is the birthplace of cinema
Auguste and Louis Lumière
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean , were among the earliest filmmakers in history...

 and was responsible for many of its early significant contributions. Several important cinematic movements, including the Nouvelle Vague, began in the country. It is noted for having a particularly strong film industry, due in part to protections afforded by the French government.

Apart from its strong indigenous film tradition, France has also been a gathering spot for artists from across Europe and the world. For this reason, French cinema is sometimes intertwined with the cinema of foreign nations. Directors from nations such as Poland (Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few "truly international filmmakers."...

, Krzysztof Kieslowski
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Krzysztof Kieślowski was an Academy Award nominated influential Polish film director and screenwriter, known internationally for The Double Life of Veronique and his film cycles The Decalogue and Three Colors.-Early life:...

, and Andrzej Żuławski), Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (Gaspar Noe
Gaspar Noé
Gaspar Noé is an Argentine filmmaker and the son of Argentine painter and intellectual Luis Felipe Noé. He graduated from Louis Lumière College and is the visiting professor of film at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland...

 and Edgardo Cozarinsky
Edgardo Cozarinsky
Edgardo Cozarinsky is a writer and filmmaker. He is best known for writing Vudú urbano.- Life :His family name goes back to his great grandparents, Jewish immigrants from Kiev and Odessa at the end of the 19th century, his first name tells of his mother's infatuation with Edgar Allan Poe.After an...

), Russia (Alexandre Alexeieff, Anatole Litvak
Anatole Litvak
Anatole Litvak was a Ukrainian-born filmmaker who wrote, directed, and produced films in a various countries and languages...

) and Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 (Gela Babluani
Géla Babluani
Géla Babluani is a Georgian-French film director.Babluani was born in Tbilisi, son of prominent director Temur Babluani. At 17 years of age, he and his three siblings were sent to study in France. His first short film, A Fleur de Peau , received critical appraise...

, Otar Iosseliani
Otar Iosseliani
- Filmography :* Akvarel * Sapovnela * April / Ap'rili* Tudzhi * Falling Leaves, / Giorgobistve* Georgian Ancient Songs / Dzveli qartuli simgera...

) are prominent in the ranks of French cinema. Conversely, French directors have had prolific and influential careers in other countries, such as Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Luc Besson is a French film director, writer, and producer. He is the creator of EuropaCorp film company. He has been involved with over 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.-Early life:...

 and Francis Veber
Francis Veber
Francis Paul Veber is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, and theater playwright. Many of his French comedies feature recurring types of characters, named François Pignon and François Perrin...

 in the United States
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

. Another element supporting this fact is that Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 has the highest density of cinemas (movie theaters) in the world : biggest number of movie theaters per inhabitants, and that in most "downtown Paris" movie theaters, foreign movies which would be secluded to "art houses" cinemas in other places, are shown alongside "mainstream" works.

With 206,5 million tickets sold in 2010, France is the third largest film market in the world in terms of admissions, after the United States and India. Not only the most successful film distributor in Europe, with a record breaking 240 films produced and released in 2010, France is also one of the few countries where non-American productions have the biggest share (American films only represented 47,7% of total admissions in 2010). Also, the French film industry is closer to being entirely self-sufficient than any other country in Europe, recovering around 80 - 90% of their budget in revenues generated from the domestic market.

History


The French film industry in the late 19th Century
19th century in film
-Events:*1826 - Nicephore Niepce takes the first photograph in history. *1832 - Joseph Plateau and Simon von Stampfer introduced simultaneously a scientific demonstration device that creates an optical illusion of movement by mounting drawings on the face of a slotted, spinning disk...

 and early 20th Century was among the world's most important. Auguste and Louis Lumière
Auguste and Louis Lumière
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean , were among the earliest filmmakers in history...

 invented the cinématographe
Cinematographe
A cinematograph is a film camera, which also serves as a film projector and developer. It was invented in the 1890s.Note that this was not the first 'moving picture' device. Louis Le Prince had built early devices in 1886. His 1888 film Roundhay Garden Scene still survives.There is much dispute as...

 and their L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat
L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat
L'arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed...

 in Paris in 1895
1895 in film
-Events:* February–March - Robert W. Paul and Birt Acres build and run the first working 35 mm movie camera in Britain, the Kineopticon. Their first films include Incident at Clovelly Cottage, The Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race and Rough Sea at Dover.* In France, the brothers...

 is considered by many historians as the official birth of cinematography.

The early days of the industry, from 1896 to 1902, saw the dominance of four firms: Pathé Frères, the Gaumont Film Company
Gaumont Film Company
Gaumont Film Company is a French film production company founded in 1895 by the engineer-turned-inventor, Léon Gaumont . Gaumont is the oldest continously operating film company in the world....

, the Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès , full name Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was very innovative in the use of special effects...

 company, and the Lumière
Auguste and Louis Lumière
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean , were among the earliest filmmakers in history...

s. Méliès invented many of the techniques of cinematic grammar, and among his fantastic, surreal short subjects is the first science fiction film
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 A Trip to the Moon
Le Voyage dans la Lune
A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon....

 (Le Voyage dans la Lune
Le Voyage dans la Lune
A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon....

) in 1902
1902 in film
The year 1902 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*March 10 - Circuit Court's decision disallows Thomas Edison from having a monopoly on motion picture technology....

).

In 1902 the Lumière
Auguste and Louis Lumière
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean , were among the earliest filmmakers in history...

s abandoned everything but the production of film stock, leaving Méliès as the weakest player of the remaining three. (He would retire in 1914.) From 1904 to 1911 the Pathé Frères company led the world in film production and distribution.

At Gaumont, pioneer Alice Guy Blaché (M. Gaumont's former secretary) was made head of production and oversaw about 400 films, from her first, La Fée aux Choux
La Fée aux Choux
La Fée aux Choux is one of the earliest narrative fiction films ever made. It was probably made before the first Méliès fiction film, but after the Lumière brothers' L'Arroseur Arrosé. The confusion stems from the uncertainty in the dating of these three films...

, in 1896
1896 in film
-Events:* January - In the United States, the Vitascope film projector is designed by Charles Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. Armat begins working with Thomas Edison to manufacture it....

, through 1906
1906 in film
The year 1906 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*26 December - The world's first feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, is released.-Films released in 1906:*The Automobile Thieves*The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend...

. She then continued her career in the United States, as did Maurice Tourneur
Maurice Tourneur
Maurice Tourneur was an important international film director and screenwriter.-Life:Born Maurice Thomas in the Belleville district of Paris, France, his father was a jeweler. As a young man, Maurice Thomas first trained as a graphic designer and a magazine illustrator but was soon drawn to the...

 and Léonce Perret
Léonce Perret
Léonce Perret was a prolific and innovative French film actor, director and producer. He also worked as a stage actor and director...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

In 1907 Gaumont owned and operated the biggest movie studio in the world, and along with the boom in construction of "luxury cinemas" like the Gaumont-Palace and the Pathé-Palace (both 1911), cinema became an economic challenger to legitimate theater by 1914.

After World War I


After World War I, the French film industry suffered because of a lack of capital, and film production decreased as it did in most other European countries. This allowed the United States film industry to enter the European cinema market, because American films could be sold more cheaply than European productions, since the studios already had recouped their costs in the home market. When film studios in Europe began to fail, many European countries began to set import barriers. France installed an import quota of 1:7, meaning for every seven foreign films imported to France, one French film was to be produced and shown in French cinemas.

During the period between World War I and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Jacques Feyder
Jacques Feyder
Jacques Feyder was a Belgian actor, screenwriter and film director who worked principally in France, but also in the USA, Britain and Germany. He was a leading director of silent films during the 1920s, and in the 1930s he became associated with the style of poetic realism in French cinema...

 became one of the founders of poetic realism
Poetic realism
Poetic realism was a film movement in France of the 1930s and through the war years. More a tendency than a movement, Poetic Realism is not strongly unified like Soviet Montage or French Impressionism. Its leading filmmakers were Jean Renoir, Pierre Chenal, Jean Vigo, Julien Duvivier, and Marcel...

 in French cinema. He also dominated French Impressionist Cinema
French Impressionist Cinema
French Impressionist Cinema, also referred to as the first avant-garde or narrative avant-garde, is a term applied to a group of French films and filmmakers of the 1920s....

, along with Abel Gance
Abel Gance
Abel Gance was a French film director and producer, writer and actor. He is best known for three major silent films: J'accuse , La Roue , and the monumental Napoléon .-Early life:...

, Germaine Dulac
Germaine Dulac
Germaine Dulac was a French filmmaker, film theorist, journalist and critic. She was born in Amiens and moved to Paris in early childhood. A few years after her marriage she embarked on a journalistic career in a feminist magazine, and later became interested in film...

 and Jean Epstein
Jean Epstein
Jean Epstein was a French filmmaker, film theorist, literary critic, and novelist. Although he is remembered today primarily for his adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, Epstein directed three dozen films and was an influential critic of literature and film from the...

.

In 1931, Marcel Pagnol
Marcel Pagnol
Marcel Pagnol was a French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. In 1946, he became the first filmmaker elected to the Académie Française.-Biography:...

 filmed the first of his great trilogy, Marius
Marius (film)
Marius is a French theatre script written by Marcel Pagnol that was later converted into a film of the same name. The film is a part of a trilogy which includes the films César and Fanny .-Synopsis:The film takes place mostly in the waterfront bar of Cesar, Marius' father...

, Fanny, and César. He followed this with other films including The Baker's Wife
The Baker's Wife (film)
- Cast :* Raimu as Aimable Castanier* Ginette Leclerc as Aurélie Castanier* Fernand Charpin as Le marquis Castan de Venelles* Robert Vattier as Le Curé* Charles Blavette as Antonin* Robert Bassac as L'instituteur* Marcel Maupi as Barnabé...

. Other notable films of the 1930s included René Clair
René Clair
René Clair born René-Lucien Chomette, was a French filmmaker.-Biography:He was born in Paris and grew up in the Les Halles quarter. He attended the Lycée Montaigne and the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. During World War I, he served as an ambulance driver. After the war, he started a career as a journalist...

's Under the Roofs of Paris
Under the Roofs of Paris
Under the Roofs of Paris is a 1930 French film directed by René Clair. It was probably the earliest French example of a filmed musical-comedy, although its often dark tone differentiates it from other instances of the genre...

 (1930), Jacques Feyder's Carnival in Flanders
Carnival in Flanders (film)
Carnival in Flanders is a 1935 French historical romantic comedy film directed by Jacques Feyder. Its original French title is La Kermesse héroïque and it is widely known under that name...

 (1935), and Julien Duvivier
Julien Duvivier
Julien Duvivier was a French film director. He was prominent in French cinema in the years 1930-1960...

's La belle equipe (1936). In 1935
1935 in film
-Events:*Judy Garland signs a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer .*Seven year old Shirley Temple wins a special Academy Award.*The Bantu Educational Kinema Experiment started in order to educate the Bantu peoples.-Top grossing films:-Academy Awards:...

, renowned playwright and actor Sacha Guitry
Sacha Guitry
Alexandre-Pierre Georges Guitry was a French stage actor, film actor, director, screenwriter, and playwright of the Boulevard theatre.- Biography :...

 directed his first film and went on to make more than 30 films that were precursors to the New Wave
French New Wave
The New Wave was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced by Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema. Although never a formally organized movement, the New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of...

 era. In 1937
1937 in film
The year 1937 in film involved some significant events, including the Walt Disney production of the first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.- Events :*April 16 - Way Out West premieres in the US....

, Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir was a French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s...

, the son of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to...

, directed what many see as his first masterpiece, La Grande Illusion (The Grand Illusion). In 1939
1939 in film
The year 1939 in motion pictures can be justified as being called the most outstanding one ever, when it comes to the high quality and high attendance at the large set of the best films that premiered in the year .- Events :Motion picture historians and film often rate...

, Renoir directed La Règle du Jeu
The Rules of the Game
The Rules of the Game is a 1939 French film directed by Jean Renoir about upper-class French society just before the start of World War II...

 (The Rules of the Game). Several critics have cited this film as one of the greatest of all-time
Films that have been considered the greatest ever
While there is no general agreement upon the greatest film, many publications and organizations have tried to determine the films considered the best. The films mentioned in this article have all been mentioned in a notable survey – be it a popular poll or critics' poll...

.

Marcel Carné
Marcel Carné
-Biography:Born in Paris, France, the son of a cabinet maker whose wife died when their son was five, Carné began his career as a film critic, becoming editor of the weekly publication, Hebdo-Films, and working for Cinémagazine and Cinémonde between 1929 and 1933. In the same period he worked in...

's Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise)
Children of Paradise
Les Enfants du Paradis, released as Children of Paradise in North America, is a 1945 French film by French director Marcel Carné, made during the German occupation of France during World War II...

 was filmed during World War II and released in 1945
1945 in film
The year 1945 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* Paramount Studios releases theatrical short cartoon titled The Friendly Ghost, featuring a ghost named Casper.* With Rossellini's Roma Città aperta, Italian neorealist cinema begins....

. The three-hour film was extremely difficult to make due to the Nazi occupation. Set in Paris in 1828, it was voted Best French Film of the Century in a poll of 600 French critics and professionals in the late 1990s
1990s in film
The decade of the 1990s in film involved many significant films.-Events:* Thousands of full-length films were produced during the 1990s....

.

1940s – 1970s



In the magazine Cahiers du cinéma
Cahiers du cinéma
Cahiers du Cinéma is an influential French film magazine founded in 1951 by André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. It developed from the earlier magazine Revue du Cinéma involving members of two Paris film clubs — Objectif 49 and...

 founded by André Bazin
André Bazin
André Bazin was a renowned and influential French film critic and film theorist.-Life:Bazin was born in Angers, France, in 1918...

, critics and lovers of film would discuss film and why it worked. Modern film theory
Film theory
Film theory is an academic discipline that aims to explore the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large...

 was born there. Additionally, Cahiers critics such as Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He is often identified with the 1960s French film movement, French Nouvelle Vague, or "New Wave"....

, François Truffaut
François Truffaut
François Roland Truffaut was an influential film critic and filmmaker and one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry. He was also a screenwriter, producer, and actor working on over twenty-five...

, Claude Chabrol
Claude Chabrol
Claude Chabrol was a French film director, a member of the French New Wave group of filmmakers who first came to prominence at the end of the 1950s...

, and Eric Rohmer
Éric Rohmer
Éric Rohmer was a French film director, film critic, journalist, novelist, screenwriter and teacher. A figure in the post-war New Wave cinema, he was a former editor of Cahiers du cinéma....

 went on to make films themselves, creating what was to become known as the French New Wave
French New Wave
The New Wave was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced by Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema. Although never a formally organized movement, the New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of...

. Some of the first films of this new genre were Godard's Breathless (À bout de souffle, 1960
1960 in film
The year 1960 in film involved some significant events, with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho the top-grossing release in the U.S.-Events:* April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I...

), starring Jean-Paul Belmondo
Jean-Paul Belmondo
Jean-Paul Belmondo is a French actor initially associated with the New Wave of the 1960s.-Career:Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, west of Paris, Belmondo did not perform well in school, but developed a passion for boxing and football."Did you box professionally very long?" "Not very long...

, and Truffaut's The 400 Blows
The 400 Blows
The 400 Blows is a 1959 French film directed by François Truffaut. One of the defining films of the French New Wave, it displays many of the characteristic traits of the movement. The story revolves around Antoine Doinel, an ordinary adolescent in Paris, who is thought by his parents and teachers...

 (Les Quatre Cent Coups, 1959
1959 in film
The year 1959 in film involved some significant events, with Ben-Hur winning a record 11 Academy Awards.-Events:* The Three Stooges make their 190th and last short film, Sappy Bull Fighters....

) starring Jean-Pierre Léaud
Jean-Pierre Léaud
-Early years:Born in Paris, Léaud made his major debut as an actor at the age of 14 as Antoine Doinel, a semi-autobiographical character based on the life events of French film director François Truffaut, in The 400 Blows....

. From 1959 until 1979, Truffaut followed Léaud's character Antoine Doinel
Antoine Doinel
Antoine Doinel is a fictional character created by French film director François Truffaut. Doinel is to a great extent an alter ego for Truffaut, sharing many of the same childhood experiences, looking somewhat alike and even being mistaken for one another on the street.Although Truffaut did not...

, who falls in love with Christine Darbon (Claude Jade
Claude Jade
Claude Marcelle Jorré, better known as Claude Jade , was a French actress, known for starring as Christine in François Truffaut's three films Stolen Kisses , Bed and Board and Love on the Run . Jade acted in theatre, film and television...

 from Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

's Topaz) in Stolen Kisses
Stolen Kisses
Stolen Kisses is a 1968 French film directed by François Truffaut. It continues the story of the character Antoine Doinel, whom Truffaut had previously depicted in The 400 Blows and the short film Antoine and Colette...

, marries her in Bed & Board and separates from her in the last post-New Wave movie Love on the Run
Love on the Run (1979 film)
Love on the Run is a 1979 French film directed by François Truffaut. It is Truffaut's fifth and final film about the character Antoine Doinel. A lot of the film is made of a "clip show" of the previous films in the series...

.

Many contemporaries of Godard and Truffaut followed suit, or achieved international critical acclaim with styles of their own, such as the minimalist
Minimalism
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is set out to expose the essence, essentials or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts...

 films of Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson
-Life and career:Bresson was born at Bromont-Lamothe, Puy-de-Dôme, the son of Marie-Élisabeth and Léon Bresson. Little is known of his early life and the year of his birth, 1901 or 1907, varies depending on the source. He was educated at Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, close to Paris, and...

 and Jean-Pierre Melville, the Hitchcockian-like thrillers of Henri-Georges Clouzot
Henri-Georges Clouzot
Henri-Georges Clouzot was a French film director, screenwriter and producer. He is best remembered for his work in the thriller film genre, having directed The Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques, which are critically recognized to be among the greatest films from the 1950s...

, and other New Wave films by Agnès Varda
Agnès Varda
Agnès Varda is a French film director and professor at the European Graduate School. Her movies, photographs, and art installations focus on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary — with a distinct experimental style....

 and Alain Resnais
Alain Resnais
Alain Resnais is a French film director whose career has extended over more than six decades. After training as a film editor in the mid-1940s, he went on to direct a number of short films which included Nuit et Brouillard , an influential documentary about the Nazi concentration camps.He began...

. The movement, while an inspiration to other national cinemas and unmistakably a direct influence on the future New Hollywood
New Hollywood
New Hollywood or post-classical Hollywood, sometimes referred to as the "American New Wave", refers to the time from roughly the late-1960s to the early 1980s when a new generation of young filmmakers came to prominence in America, influencing the types of films produced, their production and...

 directors, slowly faded by the end of the 1960s.

During this period, French commercial film also made a name for itself. Immensely popular French comedies with Louis de Funes
Louis de Funès
Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza was a very popular French actor who is one of the giants of French comedy alongside André Bourvil and Fernandel...

 topped the French box office. The war comedy La Grande Vadrouille
La Grande Vadrouille
La Grande Vadrouille is a 1966 Franco-British comedy film about how the crew of a Royal Air Force B-17 shot down over Paris must then make their way through German-occupied France with the main help of two French citizens with very different mindsets.For over forty...

 (1966), from Gérard Oury
Gérard Oury
Gérard Oury was a French film director, actor and writer. His real name was Max-Gérard Houry Tannenbaum.- A commercially successful French filmmaker :...

 with Bourvil
Bourvil
André Bourvil, born André Robert Raimbourg was a French actor and singer best known for his roles in comedy, most notably in his collaboration with Louis de Funès in La Grande Vadrouille .-Biography:His father was killed in the First World War before Bourvil was born...

, was the most successful film in French theaters for more than 30 years. Another example was La Folie des grandeurs
Delusions of Grandeur (film)
Delusions of Grandeur is a 1971 French historical comedy film by Gérard Oury. The film, inspired by Victor Hugo's play Ruy Blas, is about a tax collector of the 16th century Spanish court who tries to take his job back with the help of his valet . The English version of the film was released by...

 with Yves Montand
Yves Montand
-Early life:Montand was born Ivo Livi in Monsummano Terme, Italy, the son of poor peasants Giuseppina and Giovanni Livi, a broommaker. Montand's mother was a devout Catholic, while his father held strong Communist beliefs. Because of the Fascist regime in Italy, Montand's family left for France in...

. French cinema also was the birthplace for many sub-genres of the crime film
Crime film
Crime films are films which focus on the lives of criminals. The stylistic approach to a crime film varies from realistic portrayals of real-life criminal figures, to the far-fetched evil doings of imaginary arch-villains. Criminal acts are almost always glorified in these movies.- Plays and films...

, most notably the modern caper film, starting with 1955's Rififi
Rififi
Rififi is a 1955 French crime film adaptation of Auguste le Breton's novel of the same name. Directed by American filmmaker Jules Dassin, the film stars Jean Servais as the aging gangster Tony le Stéphanois, Carl Möhner as Jo le Suédois, Robert Manuel as Mario Farrati, and Jules Dassin as César le...

 by American-born director Jules Dassin
Jules Dassin
Julius "Jules" Dassin , was an American film director, with Jewish-Russian origins. He was a subject of the Hollywood blacklist in the McCarthy era, and subsequently moved to France where he revived his career.-Early life:...

 and followed by a large number of serious, noirish heist dramas as well as playful caper comedies throughout the sixties, and the "polar," a typical French blend of film noir
Film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...

 and detective fiction
Detective fiction
Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator , either professional or amateur, investigates a crime, often murder.-In ancient literature:...

. In addition, French movie stars began to claim fame abroad as well as at home. Popular actors of the period included Alain Delon
Alain Delon
Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon is a French actor. He rose quickly to stardom, and by the age of 23 was already being compared to French actors such as Gérard Philipe and Jean Marais, as well as American actor James Dean. He was even called the male Brigitte Bardot...

, Romy Schneider
Romy Schneider
Romy Schneider was an Austrian-born German film actress who also held French citizenship.-Early life:Schneider was born Rosemarie Magdalena Albach in Nazi-era Vienna, six months after the Anschluss, into a family of actors that included her paternal grandmother Rosa Albach-Retty, her Austrian...

, Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau is a French actress, singer, screenwriter and director.She made her theatrical debut in 1947, and established herself as one of the leading actresses of the Comédie-Française...

, Simone Signoret
Simone Signoret
Simone Signoret was a French cinema actress often hailed as one of France's greatest movie stars. She became the first French person to win an Academy Award, for her role in Room at the Top...

, Yves Montand
Yves Montand
-Early life:Montand was born Ivo Livi in Monsummano Terme, Italy, the son of poor peasants Giuseppina and Giovanni Livi, a broommaker. Montand's mother was a devout Catholic, while his father held strong Communist beliefs. Because of the Fascist regime in Italy, Montand's family left for France in...

, Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve is a French actress. She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof and mysterious beauties in films such as Repulsion and Belle de jour . Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1993 for her performance in Indochine; she also won César Awards for that...

, Jean-Paul Belmondo
Jean-Paul Belmondo
Jean-Paul Belmondo is a French actor initially associated with the New Wave of the 1960s.-Career:Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, west of Paris, Belmondo did not perform well in school, but developed a passion for boxing and football."Did you box professionally very long?" "Not very long...

, Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a French former fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex-symbols of the 1960s.In her early life, Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer...

, and Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
-Biography:Born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in Paris, he grew up in the village of Mériel in the Seine-et-Oise département, about 22 mi north of Paris. The son of cabaret entertainers, he attended the Lycée Janson de Sailly...

.

The 1979 film La Cage aux Folles
La Cage aux Folles (film)
La Cage aux Folles is a 1978 French-Italian film adaptation of the 1973 play La Cage aux Folle by Jean Poiret. It is co-written and directed by Édouard Molinaro and stars Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault.-Plot:...

 ran for well over a year at the Paris Theatre
Paris Theatre
The Paris Theatre was a former cinema located in Lower Regent Street, London, which was converted into a theatre by the BBC for radio broadcasts...

, an art house cinema in New York City, and was a commercial success at theaters throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas. It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
The Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the awards presented at the Golden Globes, an American film awards ceremony.Until 1986, it was known as the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film, meaning that any non-American film could be honoured...

, and for years it remained the most successful foreign film to be released in the United States.

1980s


Jean-Jacques Beineix
Jean-Jacques Beineix
-Biography:In 1964, Jean-Jacques Beineix started his career as Jean Becker's assistant director on the famous French TV series, Les saintes chéries until the end of 1967. Then, in 1970 he worked for Claude Berri and in 1971 for Claude Zidi. In 1977, he directed his first short movie Le Chien de M....

's Diva
Diva (film)
Diva is a 1981 film directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix, adapted from a novel of the same name by Daniel Odier . It is one of the first French films to let go of the realist, harsh mood of 1970s French cinema and return to a colourful, melodic style, called cinema du look...

 (1981
1981 in film
-Events:*January 19 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquires beleaguered concurrent United Artists. UA was humiliated by the astronomical losses on the $40,000,000 movie Heaven's Gate, a major factor in the decision of owner Transamerica to sell it....

) sparked the beginning of the 1980s wave of French cinema. Movies which followed in its wake included Betty Blue (37°2 le matin, 1986
1986 in film
-Events:*April 12 - Actor Morgan Mason marries The Go-Go's Belinda Carlisle.*April 26 - Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger marries television journalist Maria Shriver.*May - Actress Heather Locklear marries Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee....

) by Beineix, The Big Blue (Le Grand bleu, 1988
1988 in film
-Top grossing films :- Awards :Academy Awards:* Act of Piracy* Action Jackson, starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone* The Adventures of Baron Munchausen* Akira* Alice...

) by Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Luc Besson is a French film director, writer, and producer. He is the creator of EuropaCorp film company. He has been involved with over 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.-Early life:...

, and The Lovers on the Bridge (Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, 1991
1991 in film
The year 1991 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*April 28 - Bonnie Raitt marries actor Michael O'Keefe in New York* Terminator 2: Judgment Day, became one of the landmarks for science fiction action films with its groundbreaking visual effects from Industrial Light & Magic.*November...

) by Léos Carax
Leos Carax
Leos Carax is a French-born film director, critic, and writer. Carax is noted for his poetic style and his tortured depictions of love. His first major work was Boy Meets Girl , and his notable works include Lovers on the Bridge and the controversial Pola X...

.

These films, made with a slick commercial style and emphasizing the alienation of its main characters, was known as Cinema du look
Cinema du look
Cinéma du look was a French film movement of the 1980s, analysed, for the first time, by French critic Raphaël Bassan in La Revue du Cinéma issue n° 448, May 1989, in which Luc Besson was lumped with two other directors who shared "le look." These directors were said to favor style over substance,...

.

Camille Claudel
Camille Claudel (film)
Camille Claudel is a 1988 French film about the life of the 19th century female sculptor Camille Claudel. The movie was based on the book by Reine-Marie Paris, granddaughter of Camille's brother, the poet and diplomat Paul Claudel. It was directed by Bruno Nuytten, co-produced by Isabelle Adjani,...

, directed by newcomer Bruno Nuytten
Bruno Nuytten
Bruno Nuytten is a French cinematographer turned director.Camille Claudel which was Nuytten's first directorial and screenwriting effort, won the César Award for Best film in 1989. The film starred and was co-produced by Isabelle Adjani, with whom he had a son, Barnabé...

 and starring Isabelle Adjani
Isabelle Adjani
Isabelle Yasmine Adjani is a French film actress and singer. Adjani has appeared in 30 films since 1970. She holds the record for most César Awards for Best Actress with five, for Possession , One Deadly Summer , Camille Claudel , Queen Margot and Skirt Day...

 and Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu is a French actor and filmmaker. He is a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite and has twice won the César Award for Best Actor...

, was a major commercial success in 1988, earning Adjani, who was also the film's co-producer, a César Award
César Award
The César Award is the national film award of France, first given out in 1975. The nominations are selected by the members of the Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma....

 for best actress.

1990s



Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990 film)
Cyrano de Bergerac is a 1990 French-language film based on the 1897 play of the same name by Edmond Rostand. It was directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and adapted by Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean-Paul Rappeneau. The English subtitles use Anthony Burgess's translation of the text, which preserves the...

 was a major box-office success in 1990, earning several César Award
César Award
The César Award is the national film award of France, first given out in 1975. The nominations are selected by the members of the Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma....

s, including best actor for Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu is a French actor and filmmaker. He is a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite and has twice won the César Award for Best Actor...

, as well as an Academy Award nomination for best foreign picture.

Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Luc Besson is a French film director, writer, and producer. He is the creator of EuropaCorp film company. He has been involved with over 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.-Early life:...

 made Nikita in 1990, a movie that inspired remakes in both United States and in Hong Kong. In 1994 he made Léon and in 1997 The Fifth Element.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
-Life and career:Jean-Pierre Jeunet was born in Roanne, Loire, France. He bought his first camera at the age of 17 and made short films while studying animation at Cinémation Studios. He befriended Marc Caro, a designer and comic book artist who became his longtime collaborator and...

 made Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children
The City of Lost Children
The City of Lost Children is a dystopian French fantasy/drama film by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet released in 1995. The film is stylistically related to the previous and subsequent Jeunet films, Delicatessen and Amélie. It was entered into the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.-Plot:A mad scientist,...

 (La Cité des enfants perdus), both of which featured a distinctly fantastic style.

In 1992, Claude Sautet
Claude Sautet
Claude Sautet was a French author and film director.-Biography:Born in Montrouge, Hauts-de-Seine, France, Claude Sautet first studied painting and sculpture before attending a film university in Paris where he began his career and later became a television producer...

 co-wrote (with Jacques Fieschi) and directed Un Coeur en Hiver, considered by many to be a masterpiece. Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz is a French director, screenwriter, producer and actor, best known for his Cannes-winning drama La Haine. Kassovitz is also the founder of MNP Entreprise, a film production company....

's 1995 film Hate (La Haine
La Haine
La Haine is a 1995 French black-and-white film written, co-edited, and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. It is commonly released under its French title in the English-speaking world, although its American VHS release was entitled Hate. It is about three teenage friends and their struggle to live in...

) made Vincent Cassel
Vincent Cassel
Vincent Cassel is a Cesar award winning French actor probably best known to English-speaking audiences through his performances in the Ocean's Trilogy of films and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.-Personal life:...

 a star, and in 1997, Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche is a French actress, artist and dancer. She has appeared in more than 40 feature films, been recipient of numerous international accolades, is a published author and has appeared on stage across the world. Coming from an artistic background, she began taking acting lessons during...

 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 for her role in The English Patient
The English Patient (film)
The English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name by Sri Lankan-Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje. The film, written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella, won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture...

. That same year, Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Luc Besson is a French film director, writer, and producer. He is the creator of EuropaCorp film company. He has been involved with over 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.-Early life:...

's The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is a 1997 French science fiction film directed, co-written, and based on a story by Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich...

 became a cult favorite.

The success of Michel Ocelot
Michel Ocelot
Michel Ocelot is a French writer, character designer, storyboard artist and director of animated films and television programs and a former president of the International Animated Film Association...

's Kirikou and the Sorceress
Kirikou and the Sorceress
Kirikou and the Sorceress is a 1998 Franco-Belgian animated film written and directed by Michel Ocelot. Drawn directly from West African folk tales, it tells of how a newborn boy saves his village by ridding them of the evil witch Karaba...

 in 1998 rejuvenated the production of original feature-length animated films by such filmmakers as Jean-François Laguionie
Jean-François Laguionie
Jean-François Laguionie is a French animator, film director and producer of animation born 1939 in Besançon.-Biography:Laguionie was originally interested in theatre but his encounter with Paul Grimault gave him the opportunity to learn the techniques of animated film...

 and Sylvain Chomet
Sylvain Chomet
Sylvain Chomet is a French comic writer, animator and film director.- Early career :Born in Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines, near Paris, he studied art at high-school until he graduated in 1982. Chomet moved to London in 1988 to work as an animator at the Richard Purdum studio...

.

2000s



In 2001
2001 in film
The year 2001 in film involved some significant events, including the first of the Harry Potter series and also the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy...

, after a brief stint in Hollywood, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
-Life and career:Jean-Pierre Jeunet was born in Roanne, Loire, France. He bought his first camera at the age of 17 and made short films while studying animation at Cinémation Studios. He befriended Marc Caro, a designer and comic book artist who became his longtime collaborator and...

 returned to France with Amélie
Amélie
Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre...

 (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) starring Audrey Tautou
Audrey Tautou
Audrey Justine Tautou is a French model and film actress, best known for playing the title character in the award-winning 2001 film Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain, Sophie Neveu in the 2006 thriller The Da Vinci Code, Irène in Priceless and Coco Chanel in Coco avant Chanel...

 and Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz is a French director, screenwriter, producer and actor, best known for his Cannes-winning drama La Haine. Kassovitz is also the founder of MNP Entreprise, a film production company....

. It became the highest-grossing French-language film ever released in the United States. The following year, Brotherhood of the Wolf
Brotherhood of the Wolf
Brotherhood of the Wolf is a 2001 French film directed by Christophe Gans, starring Samuel Le Bihan and Mark Dacascos, and written by Gans and Stéphane Cabel...

 became the second-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States in the last two decades and went on to gross more than $70 million worldwide.

In 2008, Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard is a French actress and singer. She garnered critical acclaim for her roles in films such as La Vie en Rose, My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument, Taxi, Furia and Jeux d'enfants...

 won the Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Best Actress in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognise an actress who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.- Winners and nominees :...

 for her portrayal of legendary French singer Edith Piaf
Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

 in La Vie en Rose
La Vie en rose (film)
La Vie En Rose is a 2007 French biographical film about the life of French chanteuse Édith Piaf co-written, and directed by Olivier Dahan. Marion Cotillard stars as Piaf. The title La Vie en Rose comes from Piaf's signature song...

, the first French-language performance to be so honored. The film won two Oscars and four BAFTAs and became the third-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States in the last two decades. Cotillard was the first female and second person to win both an Academy Award and César Award
César Award
The César Award is the national film award of France, first given out in 1975. The nominations are selected by the members of the Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma....

 for the same performance.

At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

, Entre les murs
Entre les murs
The Class is a 2008 French drama film directed by Laurent Cantet. Its original French title is Entre les murs, which translates literally to "Between the walls". It is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by François Bégaudeau...

 (The Class) won the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

, the first French victory at the festival in 21 years. The 2000s also saw an increase in the number of individual competitive awards won by French artists at the Cannes Festival, for direction
Best Director Award (Cannes Film Festival)
The Best Director Award is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of movies at the festival. It was first awarded in 1946....

 (Tony Gatlif
Tony Gatlif
Tony Gatlif is a French film director of Romani ethnicity who also works as a screenwriter, composer, actor, and producer.- Biography :...

, Exils
Exils
Exiles is a 2004 French film by Tony Gatlif. The film follows two young bohemians, Zano and Naima. After having sex the two spontaneously decide that they will travel to Algeria, where Naima's parents come from, and where Zano's pied-noir parents were once exiled...

, 2004), screenplay
Best Screenplay Award (Cannes Film Festival)
The Best Screenplay Award is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of movies at the festival...

 (Agnès Jaoui
Agnès Jaoui
Agnès Jaoui is a French screenwriter, film director, actress and singer of Tunisian Jewish descent. She frequently works in collaboration with her husband Jean-Pierre Bacri.-Actress:* Le Faucon...

 and Jean-Pierre Bacri
Jean-Pierre Bacri
Jean-Pierre Bacri is a French actor and screenwriter who frequently works in collaboration with Agnès Jaoui.-Life:One of his earliest film appearances was Subway...

, Look at Me
Look at Me (film)
Look at Me is a 2004 drama film directed by Agnès Jaoui. The movie won "Best Screenplay" award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The movie features a clip from the 1948 film Blood on the Moon.-Plot:...

, 2004), female acting
Best Actress Award (Cannes Film Festival)
The Best Actress Award is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of films at the festival. It was first awarded in 1946.-Award Winners:-External links:* * ....

 (Isabelle Hupert, The Piano Teacher
The Piano Teacher
The Piano Teacher is a 2001 film directed by Michael Haneke, starring Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Magimel. The film is based on the novel Die Klavierspielerin by Elfriede Jelinek who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004.- Plot :...

, 2001; Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Lucy Gainsbourg is an Anglo-French actress and singer. After releasing an album with her father at the age of fifteen, more than twenty years passed before she released two albums as an adult to commercial and critical success...

, Antichrist
Antichrist
The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner...

, 2009) and male acting (Jamel Debbouze
Jamel Debbouze
Jamel Debbouze is an actor, comedian and producer of Moroccan descent.-Biography:Debbouze is the oldest of five brothers. He was born in Paris, France, but his family moved to Morocco the following year...

, Samy Naceri
Samy Naceri
Samy Naceri is a French actor known for his work in the four Taxi movies and The Code .-Childhood and Career:...

, Roschdy Zem
Roschdy Zem
Roschdy Zem is a French actor of Moroccan descent. He shared the award for Best Actor for his role in the film "Days of Glory" at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival....

, Sami Bouajila
Sami Bouajila
Sami Bouajila is a French award-winning actor of Tunisian origin.Bouajila's grandfather was a Berber born in Tripoli, Libya and immigrated to Tunisia. Bouajila's father decided to immigrate to France in 1956. Sami was born and grew up in Échirolles, a suburb south of Grenoble...

 and Bernard Blancan
Bernard Blancan
Bernard Blancan is a French actor. He has appeared in over 85 films and television shows since 1989. He shared the award for Best Actor for his role in Days of Glory at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.-Selected filmography:...

, Days of Glory
Days of Glory
Days of Glory is a 1944 film which tells the story of a group of Soviet guerrillas fighting back against impossible odds during the 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia.It starred Gregory Peck, in his first film, and Tamara Toumanova....

, 2006).

The 2008 rural comedy Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis
Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis
Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis is a 2008 French comedy film starring Kad Merad, Dany Boon and Zoé Félix.The film has broken nearly every box office record in France: it debuted as the top film with US$31.67 million at 793 sites. As of 28 February 2010, the film had been seen by 20.5 million people in...

 drew an audience of more than 20 million, the first French film to do so. Its $193 million gross in France puts it just behind Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

 as the most successful film of all time in French theaters.

In the 2000s, several French directors made international productions, often in the action genre. These include Gérard Pirès
Gérard Pirès
-Filmography:* Guo bao zong dong yuan * Les Chevaliers du ciel * Double zéro * Steal * Taxi...

 (Riders, 2002), Pitof
Pitof
Jean-Christophe "Pitof" Comar is a French visual effects supervisor and director notable for Vidocq and Catwoman.-Career:...

 (Catwoman
Catwoman (film)
Catwoman is a 2004 American superhero film and quasi-spinoff of the Batman film series directed by Pitof and released by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures on July 23, 2004....

, 2004), Jean-François Richet
Jean-François Richet
Jean-Francois Richet is a French screenwriter, director, and producer, born on July 2, 1966 in Paris. He grew up in Meaux, a suburb east of Paris.-Selected filmography:* État des lieux - named at the César Awards 1996 in the Best Debut category....

 (Assault on Precinct 13
Assault on Precinct 13 (2005 film)
Assault on Precinct 13 is a 2005 action thriller film directed by Jean-François Richet, starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne. The cast also includes John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Ja Rule and Drea de Matteo...

, 2005), Florent Emilio Siri
Florent Emilio Siri
Florent Emilio Siri is a French film director born in Lorraine.He studied cinema at the Sorbonne University and ESRA in Paris....

 (Hostage
Hostage (film)
Hostage is a 2005 thriller film with Bruce Willis that was directed by Florent Emilio Siri. The film was based on a novel by Robert Crais, and was adapted for the screen by Doug Richardson....

, 2005), Christophe Gans
Christophe Gans
Christophe Gans is a French film director, writer, and producer who specializes in horror, fantasy movies and video game adaptations.-Biography:...

 (Silent Hill
Silent Hill (film)
Silent Hill is a 2006 horror film directed by Christophe Gans and written by Roger Avary. The story is an adaptation of the Silent Hill series of survival horror video games created by Konami. The film, particularly its emotional, religious and aesthetic content as well as its creature design,...

, 2006), Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz is a French director, screenwriter, producer and actor, best known for his Cannes-winning drama La Haine. Kassovitz is also the founder of MNP Entreprise, a film production company....

 (Babylon A.D., 2008), Louis Leterrier
Louis Leterrier
Louis Leterrier is a French film director whose notable films include the first two Transporter movies, Unleashed , The Incredible Hulk , and Clash of the Titans .-Life and career:...

 (The Transporter
The Transporter
The Transporter is a 2002 French action film directed by Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen and written by Luc Besson, who was inspired by BMW Films' The Hire series....

, 2002; Transporter 2
Transporter 2
Transporter 2 is a 2005 action film directed by Louis Leterrier and produced by Luc Besson. It is the sequel to The Transporter . It is itself followed by Transporter 3 ....

, 2005; Olivier Megaton
Olivier Megaton
Olivier Megaton is a French film director, writer, and editor best known for directing The Red Siren, Transporter 3 and Colombiana.-Early life:...

 directed Transporter 3
Transporter 3
Transporter 3 is a 2008 French-English action film, and is the third installment in the Transporter film series, as well as the first not to be distributed by 20th Century Fox in the United States. Both Jason Statham and François Berléand reprised their roles, as Frank Martin and Tarconi,...

, 2008), Alexandre Aja
Alexandre Aja
Alexandre Aja is a French film director who rose to international stardom for his 2003 horror film Haute Tension .-Personal life:...

 (Mirrors
Mirrors (film)
Mirrors is a 2008 horror film directed by Alexandre Aja, and stars Kiefer Sutherland. The film was first titled Into the Mirror, but the name was later changed to Mirrors...

, 2008), and Pierre Morel
Pierre Morel
-Movie career:After spending his formative years in cinema school, Pierre Morel debuted in 2000 as camera operator with the first Richard Berry's film L'Art de la séduction....

 (Taken
Taken (film)
Taken is a 2008 action thriller film produced by Luc Besson, starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen. The screenplay is written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and was directed by Pierre Morel...

, 2009).

Surveying the entire range of French filmmaking today, Tim Palmer calls contemporary cinema in France a kind of eco-system, in which commercial cinema co-exists with artistic radicalism, first-time directors (who make up about 40% of all France's directors each year) mingle with veterans, and there even occasionally emerges a fascinating pop-art hybridity, in which the features of intellectual and mass cinemas are interrelated (as in filmmakers like Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Olivier Assayas, Maïwenn, Sophie Fillières, Serge Bozon, and others).

2010s


One of the most noticed and best reviewed films of 2010 was the drama Of Gods and Men (Des dieux et des hommes), about the Assassination of seven monks in Tibhirine, Algeria. 2011 saw the release of Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist
The Artist (film)
The Artist is a 2011 French romance film directed by Michel Hazanavicius, starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. The story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932 and focuses on a declining male film star and a rising actress, as silent cinema grows out of fashion and is replaced by the...

, a silent film shot in black and white that reflected on the end of Hollywood's silent era
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

.

French cinema continued its upward trend of earning awards at the Cannes Festival, including the prestigious Grand Prix
Grand Prix (Cannes Film Festival)
The Grand Prix is an award of the Cannes Film Festival bestowed by the jury of the festival on one of the competing feature films. It is the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d'Or...

 for Of Gods and Men (2010) and the Jury Prize
Jury Prize (Cannes Film Festival)
The Jury Prize is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of movies at the festival. It is considered the third most prestigious prize at the film festival, after the Palme d'Or and the Grand Prix....

 for Poliss
Poliss
Poliss is a 2011 French drama film written, directed by and starring Maïwenn. It also stars Joeystarr, Karin Viard, Marina Foïs, Nicolas Duvauchelle and Riccardo Scamarcio. The film centres on the Child Protection Unit in Paris, and a photographer who is assigned to cover the unit. The title is a...

 (2011); the Best Director Award
Best Director Award (Cannes Film Festival)
The Best Director Award is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of movies at the festival. It was first awarded in 1946....

 for Mathieu Amalric
Mathieu Amalric
Mathieu Amalric is a French actor and film director, perhaps best known internationally for his performance as the lead villain in Bond film Quantum Of Solace and for his role in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, for which he drew critical acclaim...

 (On Tour
On Tour (2010 film)
On Tour is a 2010 French comedy film directed by Mathieu Amalric. It stars Amalric himself as a producer who brings an American Neo-Burlesque troupe to France, played by genuine performers Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Evie Lovelle and Roky Roulette...

, 2010); the Best Actress Award
Best Actress Award (Cannes Film Festival)
The Best Actress Award is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of films at the festival. It was first awarded in 1946.-Award Winners:-External links:* * ....

 for Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche is a French actress, artist and dancer. She has appeared in more than 40 feature films, been recipient of numerous international accolades, is a published author and has appeared on stage across the world. Coming from an artistic background, she began taking acting lessons during...

 (Certified Copy
Certified Copy (film)
Certified Copy is a 2010 film by Iranian writer and director Abbas Kiarostami, starring Juliette Binoche and the British opera singer William Shimell, in his first film role. The film is set in Tuscany, and focuses on a British writer and a French antiques dealer, whose relationship undergoes an...

, 2010); and the Best Actor Award
Best Actor Award (Cannes Film Festival)
The Best Actor Award is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of movies at the festival. It was first awarded in 1946.- Award Winners :-External links:* * ....

 for Jean Dujardin
Jean Dujardin
-Life and career:Dujardin was born in Rueil-Malmaison. Dujardin first became famous on the French talent show Graines de star in 1996 as part of the comedy group Nous C Nous, formed by members of the Carré blanc theater. From 1999 to 2003 he starred in the French version of the comedy television...

 (The Artist, 2011).

Government support


As the advent of television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 threatened the success of cinema, countries were faced with the problem of reviving movie-going. The French cinema market, and more generally the French-speaking market, is smaller than the English-speaking market; one reason being that some major markets, including prominently the United States, are reluctant to generally accept foreign films, especially foreign-language and subtitled productions. As a consequence, French movies have to be amortized on a relatively small market and thus generally have budgets far lower than their American counterparts, ruling out expensive settings and special effect
Special effect
The illusions used in the film, television, theatre, or entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called special effects ....

s.

The French government has implemented various measures aimed at supporting local film production and movie theaters. The Canal+
Canal+
Canal+ is a French premium pay television channel launched in 1984. It is 80% owned by the Canal+ Group, which in turn is owned by Vivendi SA. The channel broadcasts several kinds of programming, mostly encrypted...

 TV channel has a broadcast license requiring it to support the production of movies. Some taxes are levied on movies and TV channels for use as subsidies for movie production. Some tax breaks are given for investment in movie productions, as is common elsewhere including in the United States
Movie production incentives in the United States
Movie production incentives are offered on a state-by-state basis throughout the United States to encourage in-state film production. These incentives came about in the 1990s in response to the flight of movie productions to other countries such as Canada. Since then, states have offered...

. The sale of DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

s and videocassettes of movies shown in theaters is prohibited for six months after the showing in theaters, so as to ensure some revenue for movie theaters.

Co-production


The French national and regional governments involve themselves in film production. For example, the award-winning documentary In the Land of the Deaf
In the Land of the Deaf
In the Land of the Deaf is the English title of a French documentary created and produced by Nicolas Philibert in 1992. The film is presented French Sign Language and French, with English subtitles and closed captions...

 (Le Pays des sourds) was created by Nicolas Philibert in 1992. The film was co-produced by multinational partners, which reduced the financial risks inherent in the project; and co-production also ensured enhanced distribution opportunities.

  • Les Films d’Ici.
  • La Sept-cinéma
    La Sept
    La Sept was a French television broadcaster and production company created on 23 February 1986 to develop cultural and educational programming for transmission via the TDF 1 satellite...

    .
  • Rhône-Alpes European Cinematographic Centre.
  • Canal +.
  • Rhône-Alpes région
    Rhône-Alpes
    Rhône-Alpes is one of the 27 regions of France, located on the eastern border of the country, towards the south. The region was named after the Rhône River and the Alps mountain range. Its capital, Lyon, is the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris...

    .
  • Centre National de la Cinématographie
    Centre National de la Cinématographie
    Le Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée or CNC is a French agency of the Ministry of Culture, responsible for the production and promotion of cinematic and audiovisual arts in France, is a publicly owned establishment, with legal and financial autonomy.Created by law on 25 October 1946...

    .

  • Fondation de France
    Fondation de France
    The Foundation de France is an independent administrative agency which was established by the French government in an effort to stimulate and foster the growth of private philanthropy and private foundations in France.-History:...

    .
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (France).
  • Rai Tre
    Rai Tre
    Rai 3 is part of RAI, the Italian government broadcasting agency, which owns other channels, such as Rai 1 and Rai 2 . Rai 3 first started transmissions on December 15, 1979. In the eighties it was under the predominant political influence of the Italian Communist Party...

    .
  • BBC Television
    BBC Television
    BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...

    .
  • Télévision Suisse Romande
    Télévision Suisse Romande
    Télévision Suisse Romande is a TV network with 2 channels: TSR 1 and TSR 2. They are the main French language channels in Switzerland, part of SRG SSR idée suisse...

    .


In Anglophone distribution, In the Land of the Deaf was presented in French Sign Language
French Sign Language
French Sign Language is the sign language of the deaf in the nation of France. According to Ethnologue, it has 50,000 to 100,000 native signers....

 (FSL
French Sign Language
French Sign Language is the sign language of the deaf in the nation of France. According to Ethnologue, it has 50,000 to 100,000 native signers....

) and French, with English subtitles and closed captions.

French film production companies

  • EuropaCorp
    EuropaCorp
    EuropaCorp is a French movie studio headquartered in Paris. It has been a listed company on Euronext Paris since July 2007. Co-founded by Luc Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, the Group takes on a range of production activities like film distribution in France, DVD distribution, sales of French TV...

  • Gaumont
    Gaumont Film Company
    Gaumont Film Company is a French film production company founded in 1895 by the engineer-turned-inventor, Léon Gaumont . Gaumont is the oldest continously operating film company in the world....

  • Pathé
    Pathé
    Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various French businesses founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France.-History:...

  • StudioCanal
    StudioCanal
    StudioCanal is a French-based production and distribution company that owns the third-largest film library in the world...

  • UGC
  • Wild Bunch
    Wild Bunch (film company)
    Wild Bunch S.A. is a French film production and international sales company. Originally a division of StudioCanal, the company has produced films such as Land of the Dead, Southland Tales and Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?. They have also produced Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, Vicky...


See also

  • Cinema of the world
  • List of French films
  • List of French actors
  • List of French directors
  • List of French language films
  • French film awards
  • Culture of France
    Culture of France
    The culture of France and of the French people has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture and of decorative arts since the seventeenth...

  • New French Extremity
    New French Extremity
    New French Extremity is a term coined by Artforum critic James Quandt for a collection of transgressive films by French directors at the turn of the 21st century. The filmmakers are also discussed by Jonathan Romney of The Independent...

  • World cinema
    World cinema
    World cinema is a term used primarily in English language speaking countries to refer to the films and film industries of non-English speaking countries. It is therefore often used interchangeably with the term foreign film...

  • History of film
    History of film
    The history of film is the historical development of the medium known variously as cinema, motion pictures, film, or the movies.The history of film spans over 100 years, from the latter part of the 19th century to the present day...

  • Cinema of Quebec

External links