Ciné-salon Archives: 2021 Program

Discover below the list of films (and their streaming links) that we discussed in our Ciné-salon in 2021.






Friday, Jan 8

Cléo de 5 à 7  (Cléo from 5 to 7)by Agnès Varda

Watch/rent on
The Criterion Collection.

Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman’s life, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a spirited mix of vivid vérité and melodrama, featuring a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and cameos by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina.

Friday, Jan 15 Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows)by François Truffaut

Watch/rent on The Criterion Collection.

François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marked Truffaut’s passage from leading critic to trailblazing auteur of the French New Wave.
Friday, Jan 22 A bout de souffle (Breathless) by Jean-Luc Godard Watch/rent on
The Criterion Collection and HBOMax
There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for “Cahiers du cinéma.” With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same.

Friday, Jan 29

Zazie dans le métro

by Louis Malle

Watch/rent on The Criterion Collection

A brash and precocious ten-year-old (Catherine Demongeot) comes to Paris for a whirlwind weekend with her rakish uncle (Philippe Noiret); he and the viewer get more than they bargained for, however, in this anarchic comedy from Louis Malle, which rides roughshod over the City of Light. Based on a popular novel by Raymond Queneau that had been considered unadaptable, Malle’s audacious Zazie dans le métro, made with flair on the cusp of the French New Wave, is a bit of stream-of-consciousness slapstick, wall-to-wall with visual gags, editing tricks, and effects.

Friday, Feb 5 La Noir de (Black Girl)

by Ousmane Sembène

Watch/rent on The Criterion Collection and HBOMax

Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century—and yet his name still deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. He made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally—into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by M’Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.
Friday, Feb 12 La Haine

by Matthieu Kassovitz

Watch/rent on The Criterion Collection.

Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La Haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui), a Jew, an African, and an Arab, give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La Haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.
Friday, Feb 19 Trois Couleurs: Bleu (Three Colors: Blue)
 by Krzysztof Kieślowski
Watch/rent onThe Criterion Collection. In the devastating first film of the Three Colors trilogy, Juliette Binoche gives a tour de force performance as Julie, a woman reeling from the tragic death of her husband and young daughter. But Blue is more than just a blistering study of grief; it’s also a tale of liberation, as Julie attempts to free herself from the past while confronting truths about the life of her late husband, a composer. Shot in sapphire tones by Sławomir Idziak, and set to an extraordinary operatic score by Zbigniew Preisner, Blue is an overwhelming sensory experience.
Friday, Feb 26
Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond)
 by Agnès Varda

Watch/rent on The Criterion Collection.

Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César for her portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona, found frozen to death in a ditch at the beginning of Vagabond. Agnès Varda pieces together Mona’s story through flashbacks told by those who encountered her (played by a largely nonprofessional cast), producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman. With its sparse, poetic imagery, Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi) is a stunner, and won Varda the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.
Friday, Mar 5
Caché (Hidden)

by Michael Haneke

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime

Winner of a spate of awards, including best director for Michael Haneke at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, Caché stars Daniel Auteuil as Georges, a television talk-show host who lives a life of modern comfort and security with his wife, Anne (Juliette Binoche). One day, their idyll is disrupted by a mysterious videotape that appears on their doorstep. It shows them being filmed by a hidden camera from across the street, offering no clues as to who shot it, or why. As more tapes arrive containing images that are disturbingly intimate and increasingly personal, Georges launches into an investigation of his own. As he does so, secrets from his past are revealed, and the walls of security that he and Anne have built around themselves begin to crumble
Friday, Mar 12 Beau Travail
 by Claire Denis

Watch/rent on The Criterion Collection.

With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd, Sailor,” Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy, and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.






Friday, Apr 2 

Jean de la Florette 
by Claude Berri

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime Video

In this acclaimed French drama, the enterprising Ugolin Soubeyran (Daniel Auteuil) returns to his native countryside after the serving in the military. Intent on growing expensive flowers, he conspires with his uncle, Cesar (Yves Montand), to gain access to a hidden spring on a neighboring property. When their initial attempt to buy the land fails, they must contend with Jean de Florette (Gérard Depardieu), who arrives with his family to work the coveted plot and turn it into a profitable farm.

Friday, Apr 9

Entre les murs (The Class) 
by François Bégaudeau

Watch/rent on  Amazon PrimeVuduApple TV

Francois Marin (François Bégaudeau) is a French language and literature teacher at an inner-city Paris high school. As the new school year begins, he introduces himself to his new class and begins the arduous process of reaching out to each of them. Marin encounters his share of problem students, teen violence, ethnic tensions between classmates and education barriers within the group, all of which test his patience and -- more importantly -- his resolve as an educator. Palme d'Or Winner in 2008.

Friday, Apr 16 Etre ou avoir (To be and To Have)
 by Nicolas Philibert

Watch/rent on Kanopy or Hoopla

In rural France, schoolteacher Georges Lopez educates 12 children, whose ages range from 4 to 11 years old. Over the course of a year, the soon-to-retire Lopez instructs them all in one small classroom with the traditional tools of French teaching: rote repetition and the dictation of literary passages for copying. As the seasons pass, Lopez must keep his students disciplined while preparing the older children for the exams that will determine their educational future.
Friday, Apr 23 Divines 
by Houda Benyamin

Watch on Netflix 

In a housing estate on the outskirts of Paris, a teenager who is hungry for her share of power and success becomes a runner for a drug dealer. When she meets a male dancer, a window of opportunity offers a different kind of life. Winner of the Caméra d'Or for best debut feature at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Friday, Apr 30 Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night) by Luc Dardenne & Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime

The film follows Sandra, a young woman assisted by her husband, who has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job. Nominated for the Palme d'Or award at Cannes Film Festival.
Friday, May 7
Mouchette by Robert Bresson

Watch/rent on Criterion Channel and Kanopy

Robert Bresson plumbs great reservoirs of feeling with Mouchette, one of the most searing portraits of human desperation ever put on film. Faced with a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, the teenage Mouchette seeks solace in nature and daily routine, a respite from her economic and pubescent turmoil. An essential work of French filmmaking, Bresson’s hugely empathetic drama elevates its trapped protagonist into one of the cinema’s great tragic figures.
Friday, May 14
Au nom de ma fille (In Her Name)

by Vincent Garenq

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime

In the summer of 1982, 14-year-old Kalinka Bamberski died at her stepfather's house in Germany, where she was staying for the holidays of her boarding school. When the case was closed by the German authorities without a real explanation as to how the teenager died, her French biological father, André Bamberski, became certain that her stepfather, a German doctor, was involved in her death. He will spend the next 30 years fighting for the truth, pressuring both French and German authorities into investigating further..
Friday, May 21
Mon Oncle

by Jacques Tati

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime and Criterion Channel

Slapstick prevails again when Jacques Tati’s eccentric, old-fashioned hero, Monsieur Hulot, is set loose in Villa Arpel, the geometric, oppressively ultramodern home of his brother-in-law, and in the antiseptic plastic hose factory where he gets a job. The second Hulot movie and Tati’s first color film, Mon Oncle is a supremely amusing satire of mechanized living and consumer society that earned the director the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
Friday, Jun 4 Maison du Bonheur

by Sofia Bohdanowicz

Watch/rent on Kanopy

Filmed in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, Maison du Bonheur is a portrait of 77-year-old Juliane Sellam, who is as full of life and vibrancy as the iconic neighbourhood she calls home. The film focuses on the daily life of Sellam in the pre-war apartment that the French astrologer has lived in for half a century. In this intimate and eclectic space, Sellam’s world proves to be as expansive as the universe that lies at her doorstep.






Friday, Jun 11

L'heure d'été
 (Summer Hour)
by Olivier Assayas

Watch/rent on Apple TV and Amazon Prime

When elderly matriarch Hélène Berthier (Édith Scob) discovers that her health is declining, she contacts her three adult children about contending with her valuable art collection after her passing. As the family gathers, local son Frédéric (Charles Berling) is on hand, while his jet-setting siblings, Adrienne (Juliette Binoche) and Jérémie (Jérémie Renier), fly in from abroad. Together, they try to agree on what to do with their mother's collection, as they also grapple with her mortality.

Friday, Jul 9

L'ascension (The Climb)

by Ludovic Bernard

Watch on Netflix

A young Senegalese-French man, from humble roots in La Courneuve, sets out to climb Mount Everest to impress the woman he loves -- and slowly becomes a media sensation. Based on a true story.

Friday, Jul 16

Intouchables (The Intouchables)

by Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano

Watch/rent on Kanopy or Netflix

A Parisian aristocrat, quadriplegic since a paragliding accident, hires a young man to be his live-in caretaker. Although very different the two men bond and develop a close friendship.

Friday, Jul 23

Le journal d'une femme de chambre (Diary of a Chambermaid)
by Luis Bunuel

Watch/rent on KanopyAmazon Prime or Criterion

Jeanne Moreau is Celestine, a beautiful Parisian domestic who, upon arrival at her new job at an estate in provincial 1930s France, entrenches herself in sexual hypocrisy and scandal with her philandering employer (Michel Piccoli). Filmed in luxurious black-and-white Franscope, Diary of a Chambermaid is a raw-edged tangle of fetishism and murder—and a scathing look at the burgeoning French fascism of the era.
Friday, Jul 30

Ensemble, c'est tout (Hunting and Gathering)

by Claude Berri

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime or Kanopy

Based on  Anna Gavalda's 2004 novel. Franck, a boisterous restaurant chef, shares a large Paris apartment with Philibert, a postcard salesman who prefers to keep the world at arm's length. Then one day, their neighbor, Camille, becomes seriously ill, so Philibert invites her to stay with them. She initially clashes with the temperamental Franck, who is juggling work and taking care of his grandmother. But soon the four are living together happily -- almost.
Friday, Aug 6 Médecin de campagne (Irreplaceable) by Thomas Lilti Watch/rent on Kanopy Jean-Pierre Werner, a country doctor who has lived his life devoted to his job, finds out he is suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. His doctor advises him to retire and rest. Soon thereafter, a lady doctor from the city arrives to help him with his practice, but the arrangement unsettles Jean-Pierre, who considers himself indispensable.
Friday, Aug 13

Hippocrates (Diary of a French Doctor)
by Thomas Lilti

Watch/rent on Kanopy

This French coming of age story follows Benjamin, who is sure he's going to become a great doctor. But his first experience as junior doctor in his father's service, the Professor Barois, does not turn out the way he hoped. Benjamin will be brutally confronted with his own limitations, his fears, and those of his patients, families, doctors and staff. Winner of Best Supporting Actor and nominated for Best Film, and five other awards at the Cesar Awards.
Friday, Aug 20

2 days in Paris by Julie Delpy Watch/rent on Amazon Prime or Kanopy A European vacation intended to repair the tattered relationship between Jack, an American, and Marion, a French native, only dismantles further by the time they arrive in Paris to visit Marion's family. The city brings out aspects of Marion that only alienates the neurotic Jack further. From her in-your-face politics to the former boyfriends who seem to surface at every cafe they visit. The most romantic city in the world could possibly mean the end to this couple's romance.
Friday, Aug 27 Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One)
 by Guillaume Canet

Watch/rent on Kanopy

Margot was murdered by a serial killer eight years ago, and her husband, Alexandre, continues to mourn her death. One day, the police discover two dead bodies near Alexandre's home, along with a cache of evidence implicating him in the crime. On the same day, Alexandre receives an email with a video showing his wife alive and well, along with a simple message: "Tell no one." With the police breathing down his neck, Alexandre goes on the run.






Friday, Sept 17 

Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) 
by Jacques Demy

Watch/rent on HBO MaxHulu, or Kanopy

Geneviève, a beautiful young Frenchwoman who works at a small-town boutique selling umbrellas, falls for dashing mechanic Guy. Their brief romance is interrupted when Guy is drafted to serve in the Algerian War. Though pregnant by Guy, Geneviève marries an older businessman, Roland, and begins to move on with her life. Throughout the musical film, all the characters' dialogue is conveyed through song. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards, and it won the Palme d'Or at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.

Friday, Sept 24

L'Une chante, l'autre pas (One Sings, the Other Doesn't) 
by Agnès Varda

Watch/rent on Criterion Channel, Amazon Prime

In the early 1960s in Paris, two young women become friends. Pomme is an aspiring singer. Suzanne is a pregnant country girl unable to support a third child. Pomme lends Suzanne the money for an illegal abortion, but a sudden tragedy soon separates them. Ten years later, they reunite at a demonstration and pledge to keep in touch via postcard, as each of their lives is irrevocably changed by the women’s liberation movement.

Friday, Oct 1 Les Misérables
 by Ladj Ly

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime

Stéphane has recently joined the Anti-Crime squad in Montfermeil, a sensitive district of the Paris projects. Paired up with Chris and Gwada, whose methods are sometimes unorthodox, he rapidly discovers the tensions between the various neighborhood groups. When the trio finds themselves overrun during the course of an arrest, a drone begins filming every move they make. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Friday, Oct 8 Rien à déclarer (Nothing To Declare) 
by Dany Boon

Watch/rent on TubiAmazon Prime

A Belge-Francophobe customs officer is forced to team up with a Frenchman during the elimination of the Franco-Belge borders in the 90s.
Friday, Oct 15 Paulette by Jerôme Enrico

Watch/rent on Amazon Prime or Kanopy

Brash and opinionated retiree, Paulette lives alone in a housing project on the outskirts of Paris. One evening, upon observing some mysterious dealings outside her building, Paulette discovers a surprising way to supplement her meager pension - an unlikely, but successful career selling cannabis.
Friday, Oct 22 3 cœurs (3 Hearts) by Benoît Jacquot

Watch/rent on TubiAmazon Prime or Kanopy

After missing a train, Marc meets and falls in love with Sylvie. They agree to meet in Paris at the Jardin des Tuileries without exchanging contact information. On the time of the rendez-vous, Marc is held up in a meeting and they miss each other. Disappointed, Sylvie moves to the USA with her husband. Later, Marc meets Sylvie's sister Sophie and they fall in love. As Marc and Sophie's relationship becomes serious, he discovers she is Sylvie's sister.