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.

The Earrings of Madame de…(DVD FOREIGN EAR)  100 min.  1953. 

The wife of a 19th century General sells the earrings her husband gave her on their wedding day to pay off debts, which sets off a chain reaction of deceit that includes her husband, his mistress, and her lover.

8 Women (DVD FOREIGN EIG)  111 min.  2002. 

A wealthy industrialist is murdered in his home while his family gathers for the holiday season. The house is isolated and the phone lines have been cut. Eight women are his potential murderers.  Each is a suspect and each has a motive.  Only one is guilty.

Eldorado (DVD FOREIGN ELD)  81 min.  2008. 

When Yvan, a quick-tempered vintage car dealer, catches young burglar and ex-junkie Elie trying to rob him, Yvan becomes strangely attached to Elie and agrees to drive him home to his parents in his old Chevrolet, leading to a bizarre journey through Belgium for the two loners.

Elevator to the Gallows (DVD FOREIGN ELE)  92 min.  1957. 

Florence Carala and her lover Julien Tavernier, an ex-paratrooper, want to murder her husband by faking a suicide.

L’Enfant (DVD FOREIGN LEN)  96 min.  2005. 

When a small-time crook and his young girlfriend have a child, he sells the baby. When his girlfriend finds out, she is hospitalized with shock. While she recovers, he tries to retrieve their son and redeem himself.

Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet (792.8 DVD ETO)  97 min.  2003. 

Celebrate the Paris Opera Ballet by weaving together rehearsals, interviews, and snapshots as the dancers work. Delve into the psychology of dancers who share how and why they endure the emotional and physical hardships of the drive to be on stage.

Eyes Without a Face (DVD FOREIGN EYE)  90 min.  1959. 

A plastic surgeon in a Paris mansion is slicing off the faces of kidnapped women and grafting the skin onto his beloved daughter, disfigured in an car accident.

The Fairy (DVD FOREIGN FAI)  94 min.  2012. 

In this charming adventure, a hotel clerk named Dom falls in love with a fairy who grants him three wishes. After the first two wishes come true, she mysteriously disappears. Determined to get her back, Dom searches everywhere, hoping to reunite with his one true love.

The Fall of the House of Usher (DVD FOREIGN FAL)  Silent with music score; French intertitles spoken in English.  66 min.  1928. 

In an aristocratic English family, the young lord finds to his horror, while painting his wife's portrait, that as the work progresses life drains from his lady. In this poetic horror film, called by some the most outstanding achievement of this genre, an absolute mastery of editing and rhythm is employed with lighting and Gothic sets combining to impart an unearthly sense of mystery.

Familia (DVD FOREIGN FAM)  102 min.  2005. 

Mimi, a divorced aerobics instructor who is up to her ears in debt, leaves Montreal with her restless 14-year-old daughter and moves in with her childhood friend.

Familiar Grounds (DVD FOREIGN FAM)  88 min.  2011. 

Maryse, a factory worker, lives a dreary suburban life with her husband. Her brother Benoit is trapped in endless adolescence, enamored with a single mom whose son does not approve of their relationship. An accident at the factory, a strange series of coincidences, and the arrival of a man claiming to come from the future launch Maryse and Benoit on a life-changing road trip.

The Fanny Trilogy (DVD FOREIGN FAN)  Marius: 130 min. 1931. 

Fanny: 140 min., 1932.  Cesar: 168 min., 1936.  Marcel Pagnol's masterpiece captures the spirit and the soul of life among a small group of friends and relatives living in the French seaport city of Marseilles.  Three films center on the lives of a Marseilles bar owner, César, his son Marius, a young girl named Fanny, and another merchant named Honoré Parisse.

Far Side of the Moon (DVD FOREIGN FAR)  106 min.  2003. 

After his mother’s death, a man looks for meaning in his life and the universe and works to rebuild a relationship with his brother.

Farewell (DVD FOREIGN FAR)  113 min.  2011. 

In 1981, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, U.S.-Soviet elations are at their lowest point in more than a decade. A French businessman based in Moscow, Pierre Froment, makes a connection with Grigoriev, a KGB officer disenchanted with what the Communist ideal has become under Brezhney. Grigoriev begins passing him information about the Soviet spy network in the U.S.

Fat Girl (DVD FOREIGN FAT)  86 min.  2004. 

Twelve-year-old Anaïs is fat. Her sister, Eléna, is a beauty. Eléna meets an Italian law student, who seduces her with promises of love, as the ever-watchful Anaïs bears witness to the corruption of her sister's innocence.

Father of My Children (DVD FOREIGN FAT)  111 min.  2009. 

Gregoire, a film producer, has it all, a beautiful wife, three adorable daughters, wealth and a buzzing career. He seems invincible, maintaining humor and charm as he juggles the demands of his production company with his family's needs. But when Gregoire's reserves reach a breaking point, his family's love and resilience is tested as their world changes.

The Fire Within (DVD FOREIGN FIR)  108 min.  1963. 

Alain Leroy is a self-destructive writer in a private hospital for treatment of alcoholism. The doctor only sees the surface problem and says it’s time for Alain to leave the hospital. Alain resolves to commit suicide, but first he goes to Paris to reconnect with old friends.

Flanders (DVD FOREIGN FLA)  91 min.  2006. 

André is forced to leave his secret love, Barbe, to serve as a soldier. On his last night of freedom, he witnesses Barbe and another local sleeping together in a parking lot. A twist of fate forces the two men to fight side by side.

Flight of the Red Balloon (DVD FOREIGN FLI)  115 min.  2008. 

This was inspired by Albert Lamorisse's classic 1956 Academy award winning short film, “Flight of the Red Balloon.” A young boy, dealing with the increased fragility of his loving but preoccupied mother, finds himself in a unique extended family when a Taiwan film student helps care for him.

Food Beware: the French Organic Revolution (664 DVD FOO)  112 min.  2009. 

In the mountains of France, the mayor of a small town brings locally grown organic foods to the school's lunch menu, providing safe food products and a healthy diet to the children. It features abuses of the food industry; challenges and rewards of safe food production; practical solutions; and interviews with children, parents, teachers, scientists, and more.

Forbidden Games (DVD FOREIGN FOR)  85 min.  1952. 

A young girl traumatized and orphaned by war is taken in by a peasant family. She becomes attached to 10-year-old Michel and together they build a small cemetery where they bury her dog and other animals, stealing crosses from the local graveyard.

The 400 Blows (DVD FOREIGN FOU)  99 min.  1959. 

The first in the Antoine Doinel series, this is a semi-autobiographical tale of a lonely 14-year-old Parisian youth buffeted by school and family problems. It portrays his aloof parents, oppressive teachers, petty crime, and a lifetime friendship. The film won the Best Director award at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival. Also includes the short film "Antoine and Colette," picking up Antoine's story a few years later, when he is living on his own and pursuing his first love affair, initiating a lifelong career of quixotic dreams and amorous restlessness.

La France (DVD FOREIGN FRA)  102 min.  2007. 

Camille is awaiting news of her husband, who is fighting at the front. After she receives a letter ending their relationship, she dresses up as a boy and joins a wandering regiment in search of him. Skirting the edges of battlefields, the platoon haunts the screen like shell-shocked specters, awakening for four uncannily beautiful musical numbers played on homemade string instruments.

Free Men (DVD FOREIGN FRE)  In French, with French captions.  95 min.  2011. 

This is the little-known, fictionalized story of a handful of Muslim agents who fought for the French Resistance. They used the Mosque of Paris as the base for operations that included rescuing Jewish fugitives and assassinating Vichy informants.

A French Gigolo (DVD FOREIGN FRE)  103 min.  2008. 

Marco leads a double life. He is a construction worker, but rich ladies craving sexual excitation know him as Patrick. As Marco, he is married to Fanny, a young businesswoman. Marco/Patrick is not a male prostitute at heart: he does the job in order to support his wife's business. This doesn't prevent Judith, an elegant tele-shopping presenter who buys his services, from falling in love with him. When Fanny learns what Marco does, she first gets mad but soon interferes.

The French Revolution (944.04 DVD FRE)  2005. 

A dethroned king, a flamboyant queen, the storming of a fortress prison, and an infamous bloodbath known as the Reign of Terror: this is an epic tale of political rebellion and economic upheaval. This film delves into the instability ushered in by the revolution and Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Maximilien Robespierre, Jean-Paul Marat, Georges Danton, and Charlotte Corday.

Gabrielle (DVD FOREIGN GAB)  90 min.  2005. 

Jean is a publisher with refined tastes and abundant possessions, among which he seems to include his wife, Gabrielle. One afternoon, Gabrielle leaves him for another man and then abruptly reverses her decision. Jean’s beliefs about his life and marriage fall apart.

Gainsbourg (DVD FOREIGN GAI)  130 min.  2010. 

Comic book artist Joann Sfar delivers a biography of French singer Serge Gainsbourg. Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Sfar follows his childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, his transition from painter to jazz musician to pop superstar, and his relationships with Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot, and Jane Birkin. She employs a style and soundtrack of 1960s Paris.

The Girl from Paris (DVD FOREIGN GIR)  103 min.  2001. 

In this touching story of growth, Sandrine is a Parisienne who tires of the rat race and buys Adrien's farm, with the caveat that he remain onsite for a time.

The Girl on the Train (DVD FOREIGN GIR)  105 min.  2009. 

Jeanne lives with her mother Louise, who earns her living by childcare. Jeanne is half-heartedly looking for a job. Louise hopes to get her daughter a job with lawyer Samuel Bleistein. Jeanne invents a lie that grows into the day’s biggest news and political story.

Girls Can't Swim (DVD FOREIGN GIR)  98 min.  2000. 

Teenagers Gwen and Lise will not vacation together this year as Lise's father's death keeps her at home. Gwen explores her sexuality with the local boys. Lise arrives unexpectedly, causing awkward, tender, and angry days as they re-examine their friendship.

Going Places (DVD FOREIGN GOI)  118 min.  1974. 

Jean-Claude and Pierrot are crude drifters who travel the French countryside in pursuit of petty crimes and wanton sex. When their abduction of a frigid young beautician becomes an exercise in frustration, they find solace in a sex-starved ex-convict. Can two lovable but amoral brutes survive an increasingly strange spree of love, pain, responsibility, car theft, and nymphomania?

Grand Illusion (DVD FOREIGN GRA)  111 min.  1938. 

In this classic adventure, duty and honor conflict in a German prisoner of war camp during World War I, when an aristocratic French officer becomes friends with the commandant, yet cooperates with his comrades in a daring escape.

Le Grand Voyage (DVD FOREIGN GRA)  In French and Arabic, with English captions.  108 min.  2004. 

Before his college entrance exams, Réda, a young man from southern France, feels obligated to drive his father to Mecca. The cultural and generational gap between them is worsened by their lack of communication. Réda finds it hard to accommodate his father, who demands respect for himself and his pilgrimage. From France, through Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan to Saudi Arabia, their road trip will change their lives.

The Grocer’s Son (Le Fils de l’Epicier) (DVD FOREIGN GRO)  96 min.  2008. 

Thirty-year-old Antoine must leave the city to return to Provençe. His father is sick, so Antoine must drive the family grocery cart from hamlet to hamlet, delivering supplies to the few remaining inhabitants. Accompanied by Claire, a friend from Paris, Antoine gradually warms up to his experience in the country and his encounters with the villagers, who initially seem stubborn and gruff, but ultimately prove to be funny and endearing. This surprise French box-office hit is about the coming-of-age of a man re-discovering life and love in the countryside.

Happily Ever After (DVD FOREIGN HAP)  105 min.  2004. 

They may look happily married, but Vincent and Gabrielle are having doubts about their relationship. Vincent begins to weigh his options. While his evasiveness increases, Gabrielle finds herself considering an affair of her own.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (DVD FOREIGN HE)  96 min.  2002. 

A student in love with a married doctor entreats him to leave his pregnant wife. Is the affair a hopeless obsessive dream that turns into a nightmare when she realizes it may not come true?

Heartbeat Detector (DVD FOREIGN HEA)  141 min.  2008. 

A psychologist working for a large corporation discovers a startling link between big business and Nazism.

Heartbreaker (DVD FOREIGN HEA)  105 min.  2011. 

Alex is a romantic for hire. If your daughter or sister is falling for the wrong man, Alex will get her to fall for him, watch her dump the loser, and then break her heart by leaving. She'll be sad but wiser and lucky to have avoided a bad relationship. It's a profitable business with one rule: don't fall in love. When Alex is hired to woo Juliette, he breaks her heart, and his own rule.

Hedgehog (Le Hérisson) (DVD FOREIGN HED)  99 min.  2009. 

Paloma is a serious and highly articulate but bored 11-year-old who has decided to kill herself on her 12th birthday. Fascinated by art and philosophy, she questions and documents her life and immediate circle, drawing trenchant and hilarious observations on her world. As her appointment with death approaches, Paloma meets some kindred spirits in her building's grumpy janitor and an enigmatic, elegant neighbor, who inspire her to question her pessimistic outlook.

Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (DVD FOREIGN HEI)  In French, Albanian, English or Serbo-Croation, with English captions.  108 min.  2008. 

When billionaire financier Nerio Winch is murdered, his second in command must locate his heir, an unknown adopted son, Largo. But first Largo, a twenty-something adventurer, must overcome drug traffickers, assassins, corporate raiders, and double-dealing insiders to fulfill his destiny.

Hello Goodbye (DVD FOREIGN HEL)  98 min.  2008. 

Alain is a doctor who has been married to Gisele most of his adult life. To embrace their Jewish heritage, they decide to move from Paris to Tel Aviv.

Hidden Love (DVD FOREIGN HID)  103 min.  2008. 

A mother was consumed with guilt and feelings of inadequacy when she gave birth. Disconnected from Sophie as a new mother, Danielle seemed to do nothing right. Sophie now has her own tale to tell as the past is slowly stripped of its secrets. In the present, the two of them clearly hate each other. This is the mountain that both must climb if they have any hope of moving on.

Hideaway (DVD FOREIGN HID)  90 min.  2011. 

Mousse and Louis are young, beautiful, rich, and in love, but drugs have invaded their lives. After Louis' fatal overdose, Mousse learns she is pregnant. Feeling lost, Mousse escapes to a beautiful beach house far from Paris and is joined in her refuge by Louis' gay brother, Paul. The two strangers develop an unusual and deeply moving relationship.

Hiroshima, Mon Amour (DVD FOREIGN HIR)  90 min.  1959. 

While filming an anti-war film in Japan, a French actress falls in love with a Japanese architect. They also share the memories of a war experienced at opposite sides of the world.

L’Histoire de Jen (DVD FOREIGN HIS)  113 min.  2011. 

After her father dies, a girl tries to deal with school, the neighbors, her depressed mother, and the feelings she has for her uncle, who moves into the house.

Home (DVD FOREIGN HOM)  98 min.  2008. 

A family's peaceful existence is threatened when a busy highway is opened only meters away from their isolated house in the middle of nowhere. Refusing to move, Marthe, Michel, and their three children find innovative ways to adapt to their new environment.

Honey & Ashes (DVD FOREIGN HON)  In French and Arabic, with English captions.  80 min.  1996. 

Lives of three Tunisian women, united only by the treatment of their gender by their countrymen, intersect in this drama that quietly protests the oppression of women in North African Moslem countries.

Hop (DVD FOREIGN HOP)  In French and Dutch, with English captions.  107 min.  2002. 

All Justin and his father want is to enjoy a soccer game together. This sparks a chain of events leading to his father's deportation, and Justin finds himself alone and on the run. Enlisting the help of a former anarchist, Justin embarks on an adventure to reunite with his father. But to fight the system, he will need to apply the secret of the Hop.

The Horseman on the Roof (DVD FOREIGN HOR)  119 min.  1990. 

In a world of revolution, two strangers - a renegade and a beautiful countess - find their chance for survival in each other. They undertake a journey of unmatched danger, excitement and passion.

House of Pleasures (DVD FOREIGN HOU)  125 min.  2012. 

Madam Marie-France provides a glamorous life for some of the most alluring women in Paris, but treats them as virtual slaves. A cheerful girl has a regular adoring john, one beauty disdains all the men fighting for her services, a long-legged stunner nears the end of her career, and a sweet and trusting new girl winds up with a rough customer.

Human Resources (DVD FOREIGN HUM)  103 min.  1999. 

Franck is an intern in Human Resources at a factory where his father works. When Franck's efforts to better the company lead to the firing of many employees, including his father, a furious confrontation ensues.


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