Much of French humour is 'jeux de mots', untranslatable wordplays. It’s the play time before Play Time (1967). It’s wonderfully underplayed by his starry cast (Delphine Seyrig, Stéphane Audran, Fernando Rey, Jean-Pierre Cassel), and there’s a breeziness at play in Buñuel and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière’s script that somehow makes the satire even more potent. It may seem a bit exaggerated to place this series of movies as one of the greats of comedy, but the series solidified Louis de Funès’ iconic status as one of the most renowned French actors of all time. The story is of Antoine and Antoinette, a young couple who live contently in their simple life, but there are also some tragic elements, making this the only film on the list with this characteristic. The film is also surprising for its “diplomatic” image for Italy and France, including both countries’ languages. Jacques Tati before Monsieur Hulot, but still evincing his desire to perfect routines and scenarios already well-developed – in this case, from his short film L’Ecole des facteurs (1947), which also featured him as postman François. Provocation is present in multiple films, such as Going Places, La Grande Bouffe, Les Babas Cool, and Menage. As for the French, well, any nation that has adopted Jerry Lewis as the pinnacle of their own foreign comedy appreciation, is seen as lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. Before The Artist (2011) became an unexpected global hit and awards magnet, director Michel Hazanavicius and stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo teamed up to pay tribute to another 20th-century period and movie genre, with the first in a series of stylish spy spoofs. Despite not being the main objective of the movie, those feelings come to mind with the running of the action: Pierre Brochant is a highly successful publisher, rich and well-married. I went from the oldest to the newest movie. 20. 15. Explore the history of film in list form. All three have their charms (though for me, removing the anachronistic 60s artist is a definite improvement) and give a great account of one of French cinema’s masters forging his identity. Le gendarme de Saint-Tropez series (Jean Girault, 1964-1982). Jean Bruce’s source novels actually predate Ian Fleming’s 007, but the movie at least unerringly targets an inch-perfect recreation of Connery-era Bond. Marcel has to deliver parcels of meat to a client, and after knowing that his partner was arrested, he has to hire someone to replace him. In Europe, the theatrical genre-like comedy developed in the Greco-Roman antiquity, much like the tragedy theaters built in the Roman Empire. French comedy films I enjoy to watch and recommend. Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Dany Boon, 2008). The film tells the story of Philippe Abrams, a manager of a postal service, who after seeking a promotion, which is instead awarded to a disabled person, fakes being paraplegic to get the job. From girlhood to adulthood: six French films about sexual awakening, A user’s guide to the modern world... according to Jacques Tati. In his native France and throughout the world, Max Linder was a major comic feature and might qualify as the first true film star. He may be viewed as a fool, unpleasant and anarchic. In 1892, before cinema was created, Émile Reynaud recognized several comedy cartoons, including Le Clown et ses chiens. 14. On connaît la chanson (Alain Resnais, 1997). Le Père Noël est une ordure, or Santa Claus Is a Stinker (“stinker” being a kind translation), is that film, in spirit if not precise tone or plot. 18. Melding dream sequences to ‘reality’ without warning and conjuring up ghosts, this is late-period Buñuel at his most devilish, denying his outwardly civilised, inherently entitled characters their rightful place at society’s table, while gleefully exposing their hypocrisy and corruption for all to see. Starring Lino Ventura as an ex-gangster pulled back into the underworld by his dying boss, it’s a droll look at competing mobsters all vying for top-dog position, while Ventura himself spends as much time trying to keep his boss’s daughter, a self-declared good-time-girl, out of trouble as he does from avoiding gangland mutiny. When the sound entered cinema in 1927, comedy films returned to popularity, due to dialogue now being available for usage. What’s much easier to appreciate are Ventura’s nimble comic timing despite his lugubrious heft, a justly renowned moonshine drinking scene and an escalating sense of farce that threatens to overrun the gangsters’ need to keep up their image of control. Queen Cleopatra makes a bet with Julius Caesar: if the Egyptians build a larger palace than Caesar’s in the short time period of three months, then Caesar must acknowledge that Egypt is the greatest of nations. He is found out and punished by being sent to Bergues for two years, a city in the North of France. Comic films began to appear in significant numbers during the era of silent films, roughly 1895 to 1930. The purpose is the construction of relationships between people that are more connected and related to one another than one might think, initially. In fact, for a comedy, there’s a deep melancholy at Zazie’s core. Registered charity 287780. In 1962, Luis Buñuel made The Exterminating Angel, a Spanish-language surrealist farce about guests who find themselves unable to leave an upper-class dinner party. Brochant is stricken with very acute back pains and has to rely on the idiot he initially brought to dinner, beginning a series of very funny episodic moments between these two quite different personalities and showing just how interconnected and dependent we all are. All rights reserved. Subscribe now for exclusive offers and the best of cinema. A rundown, post-apocalyptic cityscape rendered in hues of tobacco stains and smoke, where people resort to cannibalism to survive. Chosen for this list for its unique characteristics and singularity, the film is a highly referenced Jacques Becker’ release, coming after the end of the Second World War. Also, the film highly develops the Ch’ti language throughout. Boudu sauvé des eaux (Jean Renoir, 1932). Jour de fête’s sleepy French country village charms provide the ideal contrast to François’s mission to ape the “American-style” hi-tech postal deliveries he’s seen in a promo film. He also may be viewed as outside-the-box, unusual, and atypical, symbolic of the inner desires of oneself. At the beginning of the 1970s, new actors from the baby-boomer generation starred in comedy films. A very early comedy short was Watering the Gardener (1895) by the Lumière brothers. Malle keeps the pace so relentless amid the food fights, casual vandalism and va-va-voom that it’s entirely possible to completely overlook the questioning self-critique of Paris chic, its denizens’ obsession with sex and even the new wave itself altogether. There’s a strong case to be made that when it comes to two of our greatest cultural strengths, popular music and comedy, we Brits can be more than a little sniffy at appreciating, in the title of one of the film selections below, ‘le goût des autres’. At the beginning of the 20th century, operettas were transformed into musical theatre. “France had had an incredibly painful year and to celebrate the best of French culture is a reminder that it’s not about fear, it’s about liberty, kindness, humour.”. Director Agnès Jaoui and her co-writer (and frequent co-star) Jean-Pierre Bacri had written award-winning plays and film scripts before Jaoui’s bittersweet, witty and wonderfully astute feature film debut swept the Césars at the turn of the new millennium. In Europe, the theatrical genre-like comedy developed in the Greco-Roman antiquity, much like the tragedy theaters built in the Roman Empire. Below is a list of the 20 most essential French comedies. Past the cultural shock and the inevitable mutual rejection phase, the protagonists inevitably realize that despite their differences (and before the end of the film), they are made for each other ... Culture shock, in several French comedies, oftentimes contain several 'clichés', which include: Some French comedy films are based on buddy film, in which two people with highly differing personalities are partnered up. Bourvil plays the sucker and has to transport the “goods” in a Cadillac without his knowledge. News, features and opinion on the world of film. The film stars Bourvil as a black-marketer named Marcel Martin, whose job is to deliver parcels to certain clients, and the legendary Jean Gabin as Grandgil, a famous painter and a somewhat unexpected and unstable character. Some examples would be Gérard Depardieu, the Splendid troupe, Daniel Auteuil, Daniel Prévost, and Coluche. He attends, on a weekly basis, an idiots’ dinner, where each successful guest must bring along an idiot, in order to mock and make fun of the idiot. The movie strongly criticizes the bourgeois mannerisms and ways of life, trying to redeem and save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. Instead of putting himself on the line or any of his men, he convinces a strange man to do the job.

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