Seven directors each dramatize one of the seven deadly sins in a short film. In “Anger,” a domestic argument over a fly in the Sunday soup escalates into nuclear war. In “Sloth,” a movie star would rather pay someone to tie his shoe than bend over to do it himself, and he can’t be bothered to accept a starlet’s sexual favors. In “Gluttony,” a peasant family on its way to the funeral of a relative who died from indigestion stops regularly to eat and drink en route, arriving in time to eat some more. In “Greed,” a high-class prostitute refunds the price of a cadet’s lottery ticket. In “Pride,” an unfaithful wife finds reason to reform. And so on through lust and envy. –IMDb
Philippe de Broca has worked consistently since the 1960s, directing films for theatrical release and television. Yet when one thinks of de Broca, one thinks not of his recent titles but of his earliest and most successful films: sincere, playfully impudent comic spoofs made with dexterity and vigor, which stress illusion over reality. In these early films, which he also co-scripted, de Broca’s characters are nonconformists who celebrate life and the joy of personal liberation. Structurally the films are highly visual, more concerned with communicating by images than by any specifics in the scenario. And these images often are picturesque. De Broca acknowledges his desire to give pleasure to the esthetic sense and, as such, he is a popular artist. While these early films are neither as evocative as those of François Truffaut (with whom de Broca worked as an assistant director on The 400 Blows ) nor as cinematic as those of Claude Chabrol (with whom de Broca worked as an assistant director… read more
Widely credited as the founding father of the French Nouvelle Vague movement, Claude Chabrol is responsible for a body of work that is as prolific as it is boldly defined. A master of the suspense thriller, Chabrol approaches his subjects with a cold, distanced objectivity that has led at least one critic to liken him to a compassionate but unsentimental god viewing the foibles and follies of his creations. Inherent in all of Chabrol’s thrillers is the observation of the clash between bourgeois value and barely-contained, oftentimes violent passion. This clash gives the director’s work a melodramatic quality that has allowed him to drift between the realm of the art film and that of popular entertainment.
Born in Paris on June 24, 1930, Chabrol was educated at the University of Paris, where he was a pharmacology student, and at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques. Following some military service, he developed an interest in the cinema and worked for a brief time in the publicity… read more
Born in 1931 in the seaport city of Nantes, Jacques Demy experienced a happy childhood. The son of an auto mechanic, Demy’s love for cinema inspired him to make home movies in 8mm. He would work as an apprentice to animator Paul Grimault and later as assistant to film-maker Georges Rouquier before starting his own career by directing a series of shorts. Le bel indifférent (1957) was an adaptation of a play by Jean Cocteau, notable for marking the start of his lifelong collaboration with art director Bernard Evein. The film’s use of color and sophistication of technique gained favorable notice from Jean-Luc Godard in the pages of Cahiers du Cinéma; the magazine that served as the organ of the French New Wave. Demy would share with the New Wave a love for American genre films, specifically the musicals of Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen. Another important influence was the films of Max Ophüls, to whom he would dedicate his first feature Lola.
Made in 1961, Lola’s playful approach… read more
The lynchpin of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was arguably the most influential filmmaker of the postwar era. Beginning with his groundbreaking 1959 feature debut A Bout de Souffle, Godard revolutionized the motion picture form, freeing the medium from the shackles of its long-accepted cinematic language by rewriting the rules of narrative, continuity, sound, and camera work. Later in his career, he also challenged the common means of feature production, distribution, and exhibition, all in an effort to subvert the conventions of the Hollywood formula to create a new kind of film.
Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children. After receiving his primary education in Nyon, Switzerland – during World War II, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen – he studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, but spent the vast majority of his days at the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where he first met fellow film fanatics Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. In May… read more
Born in Slatina, Romania on November 13, 1909, Eugène Ionesco grew up in France, but returned to Romania with his father after his parents divorced in 1925. He studied French Literature at the University of Bucharest from 1928 to 1933. In 1936, he married Rodica Burileanu. He and Rodica had one daughter for whom he wrote several unconventional children’s stories. Ionesco and his family lived in Marseilles during World War II, then settled in Paris after its liberation in 1944.
Ionesco did not write his first play until 1950. Having decided at the age of 40 that he ought to learn English, Ionesco acquired an English text and set to work, conscientiously copying whole sentences from his primer for the purpose of memorizing them. Rereading them attentively, he learned not English but some astonishing truths—that, for example, there are seven days in the week, something he already knew; that the floor is down, the ceiling up, things he already knew as well, perhaps, but that he had… read more
Édouard Molinaro (born 13 May 1928) is a French film director and screenwriter. He was born in Gironde, Bordeaux.
He is best known for his comedies with Louis de Funès (Oscar, etc.), My Uncle Benjamin (with Jacques Brel and Claude Jade), Dracula and Son (with Christopher Lee), and the Academy Award-nominated La Cage aux Folles (with Michel Serrault and Ugo Tognazzi). Molinaro is still active as a director, although he produces works almost exclusively for television.
In 1996, his cinematic work was awarded the Prix René Clair, a prize given by the Académie française for excellent film work. —Wikipedia
Originally a stage actor, and also a part-time journalist and screenwriter, Roger Vadim came to film as an assistant to movie director Marc Allegret, and subsequently married Allegret’s most well known discovery, Brigitte Bardot, whom he also starred with in numerous films of the 1950s. Vadim became internationally known for his 1956 debut film And God Created Woman, which trod new ground in eroticism during the 1950s, and also starred Bardot. His later films luxuriated in their lushness and decadence, a process that continued with Vadim’s subsequent marriage to Jane Fonda, who also became one of his most renowned leading ladies. However, since the late 1960s, with the general opening up of American films to more overtly sexual content, Vadim’s popularity and success outside of Europe have fallen off markedly, and an American remake of And God Created Woman (1988) provoked yawns as much as curiosity from critics and the public alike. Vadim and Fonda have since divorced… read more