The usual suspects would include: Renoir, Vigo, Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer, Chabrol, Rivette, Melville, Resnais, Varda, Akerman, Denis, Cocteau, Clouzot, Carne, Bresson, Tati, Malle, Assayas, to start.
I myself would throw in Maurice Pialat, Claude Sautet, and Philippe Garrel to start.
marguerite duras is well above many of those names.
Ummm, Akerman is Belgian.
Duras is primarily a legendary writer.
Emmanuel Lefrant’s experimental films are really good, specially Blitz. Completely blew me away.
Yeah, Duras wrote The Lovers, which is about 100 times better than the movie it was based on hahaa.
Can’t think of too many ones i love outside of those names that are not obvious. e.g Betty Blue, Delicatessen, City Of Lost Children etc.
I’m surprised that there are so many Duras fanboys around here (and maybe fangirls). Indeed she directed some very interesting films (Destroy She Said, India Song,…?).
Another writer who directed some great films: Alain Robbe-Grillet (Eden And After, The Man Who Lies,…?).
However… in film universe the two are best known for their work with Resnais I guess, Hiroshima mon amour and Marienbad.
his father Maurice Tourneur
his father Michel Audiard
to name a few…..
Chris Marker, my friends.
Plus I recently saw La maison vide by Stephane Breton. Fascinating portrayal of poverty and the slow death of a very certain lifestyle. Going to see three more of his films soon enough.
Claude Sautet, too.
I’m aware both Akerman and Varda are Belgian, but they’re both Francophone and have made films within the French system, so that’s what I was implying.
Jacques Rivette is a marvellous director- e.g Celine and Julie go Boating.
Also the pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché deserves to be better known.
Philippe Garrel, e.g Regular Lovers is worth checking out.
Louis Feuillade, of course; a major silent director, early master of long takes; see chapter on him in David Bordwell’s book Figures Traced in Light.
I came in here to point out that The Usual Suspects isn’t French, but never mind.
Patrice Leconte. Monsieur Hire was excellent.
Jacques Feyder, technically Belgian but he worked in France. Le Grand Jeu, Carnival in Flanders.
Alice Guy from the early French silent era and while we’re in the silent era, of course Abel Gance.
Duras directed Trucks, one of the best films I have seen.
Jacques Becker comes immediately to mind.
What, no Georges Melies?
Here is an extract from his “Méditerranée”
@ David, you’ve picked a clip i recently put on the 1963 poll thread, for Judex. So elegant and entertaining
A film i like even more is Casque d’Or, directed by Jacques Becker, which we had a brief thread on quite a while back.
My two cents worth: Marcel Pagnol
Ousmane Sembene is pretty great so Xala and Black Girl.
If Akerman and Varda count, then how about Max Ophuls? e.g Madame de, Lola Montes.
Ophuls worked, I believe, longer in France than anywhere else, so . . .
of course! moullet! damn i wish more of his films had subtitles.
Oh yeah… While we’re mentioning Ophuls… Marcel worked, though German (and a U.S. citizen) I think nearly entirely in France.
And while we’re mentioning documenters of the holocaust and Nazi atrocities… Claude Lanzmann.