Before Christmas I took French classes at the Ecole Francaise in Chicago as preparation for my recent teaching expedition to Paris in January 2016. It was an upper intermediate conversation and grammar class, and one week we were asked to name five French films that we know. My first response was: Only five!? But here are the first five that came to mind, the sort of films that I can (and do) watch again and again:
La Passion de Jean d'Arc, d. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928.
La Grande Illusion, d. Jean Renoir, 1937.
Les Quatre Cents Coups, d. Francois Truffaut, 1959.
A Bout du Souffle, d. Jean-Luc Godard, 1960.
Jules et Jim, d. Francois Truffaut, 1962.
If I could take just one to a desert island (the sort of desert island that has a movie projector that is completely impervious to sand and humidity, naturally), I would choose Les Quatre Cents Coups.