The 10 best French films on HBO Max
Now that we’ve gone through the best films on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, TV5MONDE, it's time to look at the newly launch HBO MAX - which has an incredible selection of classic French movies (and not just New Wave). Perfect if you’re looking to perfect your knowledge of what made French cinema so special.
10 Le Samouraï
Alain Delon was at the top of his game in 1967 when this stylish and minimal thriller about a hitman’s last job was released. The movie notably influenced Hollywood’s suspensful films for years to come, even recently in 2011 with Drive starring Ryan Gosling.
9 Eyes Without a Face (Les yeux sans visage)
Sixty-one years after its release, George Franju’s horror classic about a brilliant but crazed surgeon resorting to horrifying measures to restore the beauty of his daughter's disfigured face is just as discomforting, chilling, weird and poetic as it was back then.
8 Breathless (À bout de souffle)
What hasn’t been said about Jean-Luc Godard’s ultimate French new wave classic? If you still haven’t seen Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg strolling around in the street of Paris in 1960, you have some explaining/soul searching to do!
7 The Wages of Fear (Le salaire de la peur)
One of the most influential thrillers comes from France and suspense master Henri-Gerorges Clouzot, who in 1953 directed this story of four drivers obliged to transport highly volatile nitroglycerine shipments across some of the most treacherous terrain on earth in South America. Winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Festival, it also inspired an American remake by William Friedkin entitled Sorcerer, released in 1977.
8 Diabolique (Les diaboliques)
Nicknamed the greatest film that Alfred Hitchcock never made, this dark thriller set in a boarding school is famous for its haywire plot twist including the very last one - which is now part of cinema history.
5 The Diving Bell and the butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon)
Based on a true story, Mathieu Amalric is superb at playing Bauby, or affectionately called "Jean- Do," a respected journalist and editor of Elle magazine, who one day, at the age of 43, suffered a massive stroke, rendering him paralyzed "from head to toe." A tragic and moving biopic and a powerful reflection on what it means to be alive.
4 Jules and Jim (Jules et Jim)
François Truffaut’s masterpiece is probably the most beautiful movie about love. Melancholic, certainly, but overall playful, humorous, and deeply joyful.
3 Black Girl (La noire de…)
The French-Senegalese film by writer/director Ousmane Sembène consciously explores the nature and effects of cultural domination. Black Girl records the story of a young black Senegalese woman, Diouana, brought to Antibes by a French couple previously based in Dakar. Under the mistaken assumption that she has been employed as a governess for the couple's children, Diouana soon becomes disillusioned when the family travels to the Riviera, where her comfortable duties as a nanny in a wealthy household are replaced by the drudgery and indignities of a maid. Powerful and tragic, an important anti-colonialist film that goes beyond cinema.
2 Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud)
Louis Malle's hypnotic film noir brings to another level the classic theme of lovers plotting to kill the husband. Imagine Hitchcock meets the French new wave with the music of Miles Davis.
1 Mon oncle
Jacques Tati, well-known in France for being the king of Slapstick and poetic comedy made this wonderful satire around modern life. A cinematic masterpiece for its meticulous rhythm and architectural framing.