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Art or Entertainment? French Film

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My daughter, who is studying for a degree in French, can't understand why I watch French Films.  She says she couldn't watch a French film just because it is French because French films are boring.  Well, I don't actually watch the films because they are French.  That is perhaps my initial reason, but the basic thing is that I like to receive French films as presents, but it can't be helped if some of them are not enjoyable.   Some are, some aren't - but when they are being bought, it is not always possible to know what to expect (same with books) I was recently at a lecture about French cinema and one of the basic comments was that American film is entertainment and French film is Art.  I'm inclined to agree with this - what do you think?

I have quite a lot of films which do not entertain me and which I will not watch again - perhaps they were too arty and I didn't understand the theme, even if I understood the dialogue. It wouldn't have made any difference if they had been in English.  But I have others which I enjoy from time to time.  I have a few films on Artificial Eye and I have come to the conclusion that they are too arty to be comprehensible to me.

Do you feel that most French films are too arty to be entertaining?

Do you think this is why young French people watch so much American soap and film? 

Which French films have you enjoyed for, quite simply, entertainment value?


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La Grande Vadrouille  a sort of French 'Allo' 'Allo' or carry on...it even has Terry Thomas in it!


La petite Voleuse http://pserve.club.fr/La_petite_voleuse.html

 with Charlotte Gainsburgh ( the daughter of Serge and Jane Birkin)


L'Auberge Espagnole


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  • 3 weeks later...

Quote from this month's Sight & Sound magazine that includes a very interesting feature on 40 years of French cinema looking back on the influences of May '68, "oversexed and over here might be the way French cinema was traditionally viewed in the UK, but nowadays it's neither softcore nor the arthouse that makes it across the Channel, but the safely exotic likes of Amelie.  How has UK taste changed?"  French taste too, I personally believe, for there are far more main stream, more attune with Hollywood popularity movies being made nowadays than even 5 years back.  Look at La Vie en Rose, for example.

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