Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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French Films at Ames Public Library

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A-B | C-D | E-H | I-M | N-S | T-Z | Other DVDs and Videos on French Topics

In French with English captions, unless otherwise noted.

Aaltra (DVD FOREIGN AAL)  90 min.  2004. 

Rural neighbors who hate each other come to blows and get tangled up in a farm tractor, leaving them both paralyzed, wheelchair-bound, and spiteful. But rather than feel sorry for themselves, the embittered paraplegics decide to seek revenge against the tractor's manufacturer.

An Affair of Love (DVD FOREIGN AFF)  78 min.  2000. 

A couple begins a sexual arrangement. They share no personal information, including their names. It is perfect until they fall in love.

Amélie (DVD FOREIGN AME)  122 min.  2001. 

Amélie had an unusual childhood; misdiagnosed with a heart condition. She didn't attend school, but spent most of her time in her room, where she developed a keen imagination and fantasy life. Nevertheless, Amélie has grown into a healthy and beautiful young woman who works in a cafe and has a whimsical, romantic nature. She steps into the lives of others around her to help them.

Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats) (DVD FOREIGN AMO)  95 min.  2010. 

Two friends compete for the affections of the same man. Marie is a woman, living in Montreal, who has frequently been let down in her relationships with men, while her friend Francis is a gay man who hasn't been faring much better. When Marie meets Nicolas, she's attracted to him and tries to win him over. However, Francis is equally drawn to Nicolas.

"Antoine and Colette" (DVD FOREIGN FOU)  30 min.  1962. 

This is the second of the Antoine Doinel series.  This short film "Antoine and Colette," which originally appeared as part of the film L'Amour à Vingt Ans, follows the film The 400 Blows, picking up Antoine's story a few years later. He is living on his own and pursuing his first love affair, initiating a lifelong career of quixotic dreams and amorous restlessness.

Apres Lui  (DVD FOREIGN APR)  89 min.  2009. 

A divorcee, devastated by her son’s death in a car accident, turns to his surviving friend. Where does a broken heart draw the line between love and obsession?

Ararat (DVD FOREIGN ARA)  115 min.  2002. 

A filmmaker of Armenian descent is in Toronto shooting a film of the Siege of Van, which led to the genocide of over a million Armenians by Turkish troops. Raffi goes to Turkey to shoot background footage. As he re-enters Canada with film, a suspicious official detains him.

Army of Crime (DVD FOREIGN ARM)  In French and German, with English subtitles.  138 min.  2009. 

In Paris, 1941, Armenian poet Missak Manouchian leads foreign-born resistance fighters against the Nazi occupation. Initially reluctant, Manouchian and his team use guerilla tactics and radical measures in the name of liberty. News of their daring attacks, including the assassination of an SS general, eventually reaches Berlin.

Army of Shadows (DVD FOREIGN ARM)  145 min.  1969. 

A civil engineer, one of the chiefs of the French Resistance, is betrayed and interned in a camp. He escapes to rejoin his network and have the traitor executed.

Around a Small Mountain (DVD FOREIGN ARO)  84 min.  2009. 

On a mountain road, Vittorio stops to help Kate, whose car has broken down. After making the repair, he speeds off. When their paths cross again, Kate has rejoined her family's traveling circus after leaving under mysterious conditions years ago. Vittorio stays for the show, and the next one, and little by little is integrated into the circus and the performers’ lives.

Artemisia (DVD FOREIGN ART)  96 min.  1997. 

The daughter of an Italian painter is forbidden to pursue her own passion for painting. She convinces Agostino Tassi to tutor her, and he not only liberates her artistic talent, but also initiates her into the world of love.

L'Atalante (DVD FOREIGN ATA)  87 min.  1934. 

Juliette marries Jean, and they live aboard the barge "L'Atalante" on the Seine River. The bride becomes bored, leaves for Paris, and starts flirting with other men.

Au Hasard Balthazar (DVD FOREIGN AU)  95 min.  1966. 

The life of an abused donkey, Balthazar, parallels that of his owner, Marie. A beast of burden suffering the sins of man, Balthazar nobly accepts his fate.

Au Revoir les Enfants (DVD FOREIGN AUR)  101 min.  1987. 

Based on the director's life, this film chronicles Malle's experiences during the German occupation of France in World War II.

L'Auberge Espagnole (DVD FOREIGN AUB)  In French and Spanish, with English or Spanish captions.  122 min.  2002. 

Xavier, a straight-laced French college senior, goes to Barcelona on a student exchange program. Sharing close quarters with other students leads to multi-cultural chaos. Russian Dolls is the sequel to this film.

Avenue Montaigne (DVD FOREIGN AVE)  101 min.  2007. 

Jessica is a beautiful young woman who has come to Paris from the provinces to wait tables at a chic bistro on the Avenue Montaigne. Her customers include an actress courting a Hollywood director for her first serious film role; an art collector liquidating a lifetime of treasures; and a classical pianist at odds with his manager/wife about his career. Jessica doesn't know these people are famous; her unintimidated place in their lives transforms them.

The Aviator's Wife (DVD FOREIGN AVI)  106 min.  1981. 

A young man in love with a slightly older woman sees another man leaving her apartment, and follows him when he sees him later that day.

Babette's Feast (DVD FOREIGN BAB)  In Danish, English, French, or Spanish, with English, French, Spanish or Chinese captions.  103 min.  1987. 

Babette, a civil war refugee, changes life for two sisters and their hamlet. She convinces them to try a gourmet meal, which scandalizes the elders, but not a visiting General.

Bamako (DVD FOREIGN BAM)  117 min.  2008. 

In French and Bambara, with English captions. Melé, a bar singer, and her unemployed husband Chaka are breaking up. In the courtyard of the house they share with other families in Bamako, Mali, African civil society representatives have taken proceedings against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, whom they blame for Africa's woes. As trial witnesses air indictments against the multinational economic machinery that haunts them, courtyard life presses forward.

The Barbarian Invasions (DVD FOREIGN BAR)  99 min.  2003. 

A narrow-minded professor and his stubborn son gather with family and friends to confront their differences, confess secrets, and celebrate life.

Battle of Algiers (DVD FOREIGN BAT)  In French and Arabic, with English captions.  121 min.  1966. 

1957 is a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. As violence escalates, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism. Children shoot soldiers and women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerians will not be suppressed.

The Beaches of Agnes (DVD 920 VARDA, A.)  107 min.  2008. 

Agnès Varda provides an autobiographical reflection. taking beaches as her point of departure. She weaves photographs, vintage footage, film clips, and present-day sequences into a voyage through her life, during which she confronts joy and pain. It plays against the context of the postwar explosion of cultural expression in France. She knew everyone: her colleagues in the French New Wave, the Black Panthers in California and Jim Morrison, who visited her in Paris.

Le Beau Serge (DVD FOREIGN BEA)  94 min.  1958. 

A successful yet sickly young man returns home to the small village where he grew up. There, he finds himself at odds with his former close friend − now unhappily married and a wretched alcoholic − and the provincial life he represents.

Beau Travail (DVD FOREIGN BEA)  90 min.  1999. 

This film is loosely based on Melville’s Billy Budd. The life of a sergeant in the French Foreign Legion in Djibouti is disrupted by a new recruit favored by the unit commander.

Beauty and the Beast (DVD FOREIGN BEA)  93 min.  1946. 

The love of a self-sacrificing beauty releases the prince within a kindly beast. Visual treats include tears that become real diamonds and walls that grow arms to light Beauty's path through the castle of the Beast.

Bed and Board (DVD FOREIGN BED)  In French and Japanese, with English captions.  97 min.  1970. 

In the fourth installment of the Antoine Doinel series, Antoine is 26, married, and expecting his first child. He struggles to find steady work. Antoine and Christine become parents, but Antoine tires of domesticity. He meets a Japanese woman and his marriage is threatened.

Belle de Jour (DVD FOREIGN BEL)  102 min.  1967. 

A a surgeon's wife indulges her masochistic fantasies by working as a prostitute in a Paris brothel.

La Bête Humaine (DVD FOREIGN BET)  96 min.  1938. 

Train engineer Jacques lusts after the wife of his co-worker Robaud. Robaud kills his boss and Jacques witnesses the murder. To keep Jacques quiet, Robaud allows Jacques to have an affair with his wife, creating a tragic love triangle.

Blame it on Fidel! (DVD FOREIGN BLA)  95 min.  2006. 

When Fernando and Marie dedicate themselves full time to various political causes, their nine-year-old daughter, Anna, learns to face the world on her own.

The Blood of a Poet (DVD FOREIGN BLO)  50 min.  1930. 

An artist is driven mad by the sight of his own blood and a drawing of a mouth that seems to come to life. The combination sends him off on a series of bizarre adventures that strive to explain how artists become obsessed with their own works.

Blue (DVD FOREIGN BLU)  98 min.  1993. 

In this first part of a trilogy (Red, White and Blue), a woman is devastated by the death of her husband and child. She retreats from the world, but falls into a web of lies and passion as the dark, secret life of her husband begins to unravel.

Bluebeard (DVD FOREIGN BLU)  80 min.  2009. 

This film employs a double narrative. One thread involves two young sisters who are reading the tale of Bluebeard, and the other tells the story of young Marie-Catherine, child bride to Bluebeard, an aristocratic ogre with a reputation for murdering his wives. The Princess must employ all her cunning to outwit her husband and escape.

Bon Voyage (DVD FOREIGN BON)  115 min.  2003. 

Following the premiere of her latest picture, Viviane finds a dead man in her Paris apartment. Frédéric is a writer whom Viviane has falsely accused of murder. Once he escapes from prison, he follows her to Bordeaux. When they reach the chaotic city, they become involved with a rickety physicist, his resourceful assistant, an amiable ex-con, a shady reporter, and several bottles of heavy water that absolutely, positively must not fall into the hands of the Germans.

Boudu Saved from Drowning (DVD FOREIGN BOU)  84 min.  1932. 

A wealthy bookseller rescues a tramp from a suicidal plunge into the Seine and his family dedicates itself to reforming him. He shows his gratitude by shaking the household to its foundations, challenging the hidebound principles of his hosts.

Breathless (DVD FOREIGN BRE)  90 min.  1960. 

A car thief shoots a policeman and hides in Paris with an American girl, trying to hustle enough cash for a getaway.

The Bridesmaid (DVD FOREIGN BRI)  106 min.  2004. 

It's love at first sight when bridesmaid Senta falls into the life of Phillipe at the wedding of his younger sister. As their passion intensifies, Phillipe discovers that Senta is shrouded in mystery. When she asks Phillipe to perform a terrible deed as proof of his love for her, Phillipe must come to terms with who his lover might really be.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (DVD FOREIGN BRO)  121 min.  1973. 

A compelling, insightful look at the early years of Francis of Assisi, who abandoned a life of wealth and comfort to seek a spiritual union with the world.

Brotherhood of the Wolf (DVD FOREIGN BRO)  151 min.  2002. 

Two unlikely heroes are called to fight a beast ravaging the countryside. They must face their fears, unearth a dark power, and reveal a deadly secret.



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