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.

A Tale of Springtime (DVD FOREIGN TAL)  107 min.  1989. 

The well-ordered life of Jeanne, a high school philosophy teacher, spins into disorder when she meets a young stranger who involves her in a devilish scheme.

The Taste of Others (DVD FOREIGN TAS)  112 min.  2000. 

Completely opposite men and women intersect in a funny web of romantic entanglements. While negotiating differences in wealth, status, style, and taste, the characters form outrageously volatile combinations! Internationally acclaimed for its sexy comic sophistication.

Tell No One (DVD FOREIGN TEL)  125 min.  2006. 

Eight years after the murder of his wife Margot, pediatrician Alex Beck still grieves. Two bodies are uncovered near the site of Margot's murder, the police reopen the case and Alex is suspected. Then he receives an e-mail with a video that suggests Margot is alive.

Testament of Orpheus (DVD FOREIGN TES)  80 min.  1959. 

A poet looks back over his life and work, recalling his inspirations and obsessions.

That Day (DVD FOREIGN THA)  105 min.  2003. 

The patriarch of a society family can no longer pay the bills. He conspires to bump off his harmlessly mad daughter, the heir to his wife's fortune.

That Obscure Object of Desire (DVD FOREIGN THA)  103 min.  1977. 

A middle-aged man falls in love with a much younger woman in this satire of sexual obsession.

Them (DVD FOREIGN THE)  In French or Romanian, with English captions.  77 min.  2006. 

Clémentine, a French school teacher in Bucharest, lives with her husband Lucas in a remote estate in Snagow. At night, outside noises wake them and Lucas sees their car being stolen. The lights go off, the phone line is dead, their property gate is trespassed, and they are surrounded by weird people. They hide in the cellar and try to escape.

Therese (DVD FOREIGN THE)  90 min.  1986. 

This film is based on the life of St. Thérèse Martin, the "Little Flower," who lived and died at a Carmelite convent of Lisieux. It inquires into the mystery of her sainthood, neither being propaganda for the church nor necessarily approving her choice of vocation.

36th Precinct (DVD FOREIGN THI)  French dubbed English.  111 min.  2004. 

In the Parisian criminal world, the police are frustrated by a gang of robbers. Leo Vrinks and Denis Klein are two cops seeking promotion, and the imminent departure of the chief has them competing for the vacancy. The competition becomes increasingly ruthless and blurs the lines of morality until there seems no difference between the police and the criminals.

Three Men and a Cradle (DVD FOREIGN THR)  106 min.  1985. 

Three clueless and hedonistic bachelors are forced to trade dames for diapers when an infant is left on their doorstep. Life will never be the same.

Time Out (DVD FOREIGN TIM)  128 min.  2001. 

Businessman Vincent is leading a double life. He was fired from his job and is pretending to his wife that he is employed. He must decide which of his lives is more important.  Despite his efforts, Vincent's wife begins to suspect something amiss.

Time Regained (DVD FOREIGN TIM)  158 min.  1999. 

Set in 1922, Proust is on his deathbed, looking back over his life. Gradually his own experiences give way to the characters in his novel.

Time to Leave (DVD FOREIGN TIM)  85 min.  2005. 

A successful fashion photographer learns that he has a malignant brain tumor. Hiding his diagnosis, he alienates his family and his young boyfriend, but during a short stay with his grandmother, his vulnerability is met with a big heart and sound advice. A chance encounter with a roadside café waitress results in an unusual bargain that provides a happy, playful dimension to the proceedings.

To Be and To Have (DVD FOREIGN TO)  104 min.  2002. 

A teacher nurtures a dozen children in all their schoolwork and life's lessons, showing how a well-trained teacher, dedicated and sensitive to a child's needs, can hugely influence a generation of children at their most critical time of development.

Tomboy (DVD FOREIGN TOM)  82 min.  2012. 

On arrival in a new neighborhood, Laure is a 10-year-old tomboy who lets Lisa and her crowd believe that she is a boy. Summer is a big playground and Laure pretends to be "Mikael", a boy like the others, different enough to get the attention of Lisa, who falls for him. Laure takes advantage of her new identity as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret.

Too Beautiful for You (DVD FOREIGN TOO)  92 min.  1991. 

A man who has the perfect wife falls in love with a coarse, unattractive woman.

Touchez Pas au Grisbi (DVD FOREIGN TOU)  96 min.  1954. 

An aging gangster is unwillingly brought out of retirement after one of his associates unwittingly betrays him to a rival.

Tous les Matins du Monde (All the Mornings of the World) (DVD FOREIGN TOU)  115 min.  1991. 

A provocative tale of romance, lust, desire, and intrigue is based on the lives of 17th century French composer Sainte Colombe and his protégé, Marin Marais.

Towards Zero (DVD FOREIGN TOW)  107 min.  2007. 

When Guillaume invites his ex-wife to the family reunion at the Aunt Camilla’s estate, his new wife Caroline is enraged. Guillaume hopes they will become friends, but the two women hate each other. When Camilla is found dead, inspector Bataille solves the puzzle.

Train of Life (DVD FOREIGN TRA)  103 min.  1999. 

The year is 1941, and a tiny Jewish community in France is shocked: the Nazis are coming. Shlomo, the not-so-foolish village idiot, has a plan: before the Germans can dispatch them to camps, the townspeople will 'deport' themselves - to freedom. In a race against time, they build their own train and, masquerading as Nazis and prisoners, attempt a great escape.

The Two of Us (Le Vieil Homme et l’Enfant) (The Old Man and the Boy) (DVD FOREIGN TWO)  87 min.  1967. 

Director Claude Berri's introduction on the title screens reads "This film is a true story but seen through the imagination a child who was sensitive to the tragic events surrounding him in occupied France. The affection of this good family who took him in nevertheless leaves him with a certain poetic nostalgia for this time and a deep gratitude toward them." This film is his re-telling of the life of a small Jewish boy from Nazi-occupied Paris, sent by his parents to the countryside to live with an elderly Catholic couple until France's liberation. Forced to hide his identity, eight-year-old Claude bonds with the irascible, staunchly anti-Semitic Grampa, who improbably becomes his friend and confidant.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (DVD FOREIGN UMB)  88 min.  1964. 

This tender, bittersweet love story is sung throughout in French.

The Valet (DVD FOREIGN VAL)  85 min.  2006. 

When an important CEO is photographed with his lover Elena, he tries to save his marriage by creating an elaborate scheme in which Elena is cast as someone else’s lover. When his wife finds out, she decides to play games with him.

Vampires (DVD FOREIGN VAM)  92 min.  2011. 

This is the “true” story of a clan of vampires trying to hold their family together and get along with the neighbors. Dad seems to be channeling Bela Lugosi. Mom's a little bit off. Throw a rebellious son and a daughter pining for her lost mortality into the mix, and it's a recipe for family discord. Add a bewildered documentary crew and things are bound to get a little chaotic.

Van Gogh (DVD FOREIGN VAN)  155 min.  2007. 

This film takes a look at the last few weeks before the famous painter’s untimely death.

Van Gogh (920 DVD GOGH, V.)  In English, German, Dutch, French, Italian or Spanish, with Chinese or English captions.  135 min.  2009. 

This film documents Vincent Van Gogh from his childhood in Brabant, his laborious years of apprenticeship in Nuenen, and his artistic coming-of-age in Paris to the exhilarating peak of his career in the south of France, and his tragic suicide in Auvers. Experts at the Van Gogh Museum speak of Vincent's sources of inspiration and show how he struggled to become a truly modern artist.

The Vanishing (DVD FOREIGN VAN)  In Dutch and French, with English captions.  106 min.  1988. 

During a road trip with her husband, a woman is abducted by a methodical, calculating psychopath. Her husband is obsessed with learning her fate, and neither time nor the love of another woman can end his tormented quest.

Venus Beauty Institute (DVD FOREIGN VEN)  105 min.  1999. 

A romantic comedy depicts Angèle, a forty-something woman who works at a Parisian spa and whose life has been a series of reckless one-night stands.

A Very Long Engagement (DVD FOREIGN VER)  133 min.  2004. 

Mathilde is waiting for her fiancé to return from the war. Bad news arrives, but she refuses to believe he is dead. She begins her own investigation into his infantry, hiring a private detective and piecing together his war stories.

La Vie en Rose (DVD FOREIGN VIE)  141 min.  2007. 

Edith Piaf, a French performer, was raised in a brothel, taken to work in a circus by her father, abandoned by her parents, and spent her teen years on the streets. Eventually "rescued" by a criminal who boosts her career, she makes her way to international success, despite recurring frailty, illness, wild moods, and drug and alcohol problems.

Les Visiteurs du Soir (DVD FOREIGN VIS)  121 min.  1942. 

In this lyrical medieval fantasy from director Marcel Carne, two strangers dressed as minstrels arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities. It is revealed that they are actually emissaries of the devil, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love. This film is often interpreted as an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France, during which it was made.

Viva Laldjérie (Viva Algeria)  (DVD FOREIGN VIV)  113 min.  2004. 

A mother, daughter, and prostitute live in a hotel in the center of town amid creeping fundamentalism. Goucem, the daughter, chooses a modern, emancipated life, spending steamy weekends in nightclubs. Her friend Fifi is a prostitute under the thumb of a local protector. Her mother Papicha eats pizzas in front of the television, torn between fear and nostalgia.

Voyages (DVD FOREIGN VOY)  In French, Hebrew, and Russian, with English captions.  115 min.  1999. 

From Poland to Paris to Tel Aviv, follow the intimate and personal story of the quests of three contemporary Jewish women whose lives and intertwining destinies create a moving and poignant story of survival.

Wages of Fear (DVD FOREIGN WAG)  140 min.  1953. 

In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Weapons of the Spirit (940.5318 DVD WEA)  The English version is narrated in English with captions; the French version is dubbed in French with no captions.  63 min.  1989. 

A village in France, le Chambon-sur-Lignon, took in and sheltered 5000 Jews from Nazis, as told by Jewish filmmaker Sauvage, who was himself born and protected in that community.

The Wedding Song (DVD FOREIGN WED)  In French or Arabic, with English captions.  100 min.  2008.  

Two 16-year-old girls have an intense friendship while living in Nazi-occupied Tunis in 1942. Nour is a Muslim who anticipates her wedding to a handsome cousin. Myriam is a French Jew who is resisting her betrothal to a much older doctor. However, his money is needed by her family to pay fines imposed by the Nazis.

Welcome (DVD FOREIGN WEL)  In French, English, and Kurdish, with English captions.  109 min.  2009. 

A 17-year-old Kurdish refugee has struggled his way in Europe, trying to reunite with his girlfriend in England. When he is stopped in France, he decides to swim the English Channel to complete his journey.  This DVD includes a 15-minute film “The Berlin Wall,” in which a 75-year-old man attempts to rebuild the Berlin Wall.

Western (DVD FOREIGN WES)  133 min.  1997. 

A chain of events causes a Spanish shoe salesman to lose his job and car after he picks up a Russian hitchhiker. The pair take off penniless on a three-week hitchhiking journey and discover their common struggles in life and love.

White (DVD FOREIGN WHI)  In French and Polish, with English captions.  92 min.  1994. 

In this second of the three colors trilogy, Red, White, and Blue; the colors symbolize liberty, equality, and fraternity. White was written about the destructive dynamics of a relationship based upon great inequality. Karol is a Polish hairdresser working in France. He loves his beautiful wife Dominique, but she is divorcing him for not consummating the marriage. Karol loses all of his possessions and is driven out of France. He fights to resolve his passion for Dominique with his own helplessness.

White Material (DVD FOREIGN WHI)  105 min.  2011. 

Maria is an entitled white woman living in Africa, unwilling to give up her family's crumbling coffee plantation despite the civil war closing in on her. This gripping evocation of the death throes of European colonialism takes a look at a woman lost in her own mind.

Who Knows? (DVD FOREIGN WHO)  154 min.  2001. 

This film follows the lives of three men and three women as their lives become tangled during the brief run of a play in Paris.

The Widow of Saint-Pierre (DVD FOREIGN WID)  In English and French, with English, French, or Spanish captions.  108 min.  2000. 

Based on a true story from 19th century St. Pierre, a convict sentenced to death strives to better himself in the eyes of the town. There is no guillotine or executioner, so they have to be brought from France.

Wild Grass (DVD FOREIGN WIL)  104 min.  2009. 

A lost wallet opens the door to Georges and Marguerite's romantic adventure. After examining the ID of its owner, it is not a simple matter for Georges to turn in the wallet he has found to the police. Marguerite cannot retrieve her wallet without curiosity about its finder. As George and Marguerite navigate the social protocols of giving and acknowledging thanks, turbulence enters their lives.

Wild Reeds (DVD FOREIGN WIL)  110 min.  1994. 

In this 1962 coming-of-age story set in France, François is uncertain of his sexuality as he is more attracted to his male friend than to his girlfriend. An older boy is drawn in, further complicating relationships. Through their passage into adulthood, the four experience a series of sexual and political conflicts as they explore the mysteries of the human heart.

With a Friend Like Harry (DVD FOREIGN WIT)  117 min.  2000. 

Michel and Harry were school chums. Twenty years later, Michel is married and has three young girls. On the way to his summer home, he meets Harry. Harry forces his way into their lives and nothing is the same again.

The Witnesses (DVD FOREIGN WIT)  112 min.  2008. 

The lives of a writer, her boyfriend, a well-known doctor, and an attractive gay man all intersect when they are faced with the AIDS epidemic during the sexual revolution in the early 1980s.

Wolves in the Snow (DVD FOREIGN WOL)  90 min.  2000. 

After a violent marital argument resulting in Antoine's death, Lucy discovers his secret life of gangsters, money laundering and violence. Followed, threatened and badgered by the gangsters, Lucie becomes trapped by her deceit.

The Woman Next Door (DVD FOREIGN WOM)  106 min.  1981. 

A man's marriage is endangered when a woman with whom he had a passionate and painful affair several years ago moves in next door.

The Women on the 6th Floor (DVD FOREIGN WOM)  In French or Spanish, with English captions.  104 min.  2012. 

Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis lives a bourgeois existence with his neurotic socialite wife while their children are at boarding school. Their world turns upside down when they hire Maria, a Spanish maid who introduces Jean-Louis to an alternative reality up on the sixth floor. The group of sassy Spanish maids teaches him there's more to life than stocks and bonds, and their influence on the house transforms everyone's life.

Yes, But…(DVD FOREIGN YES)  104 min.  2001. 

In this comedy, a girl undergoes therapy to help her with her overprotective mother, absent father, frustrated boyfriend, and fear and attraction to her newfound sexuality.


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