From the Golden Age of French cinema during the Popular Front years of the 1930s (when the style of poetic realism triumphed) through the French New Wave of the late ’60s onward, French movies set the pace for world cinema and helped create increasingly sophisticated movie-going audiences.
This six-week series presents some of the notable films in French cinema.
Hôtel du Nord (1938), Dir. Marcel Carné
The famed hotel serves as a metaphor for the Popular Front’s appeal to the community of man, as a series of bittersweet tales involving the neighborhood’s denizens unfolds.
Le Jour se lève [Daybreak] (1939), Dir. Marcel Carné
One of the first great French films noirs, it provided Gabin with one of his signature performances as the doomed rebel outsider fleeing the cops.
La Règle du Jeu [The Rules of the Game] (1939), Dir. Jean Renoir
Repeatedly cited as one of the greatest films of all time, this tragicomic farce blurs class distinctions during a country house gathering on the eve of World War II.
Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne [The Women of the Bois de Boulogne] (1945), Dir. Robert Bresson
Bresson’s beautifully stylized story redeems the soul of a fallen women through the love a man and the grace of God. One of Bresson’s finest films, it is a modern-day adaptation of a part of Diderot’s novel, Jacques le Fataliste.
The Earrings of Madame de . . . (1953), Dir. Max Ophüls
Cited as one of the greatest romantic tragedies ever filmed. Ophüls’s tale of a vain society woman in fin-de-siècle Paris who falls in love with a man not her husband and in the process transforms herself into vibrant soul is radical in its emotional transgression.
Un Condamné à Mort s’est Échappé [A Man Escaped] (1956), Dir. Robert Bresson
Based on the memoirs of André Devigny, a prisoner of war held at Montluc during World War II, Bresson (also a prisoner of war) orchestrates a gracefully executed prison break, which, in the process, becomes a spiritual liberation as well.
Andrew Dickos is the author of Street with No Name: A History of the Classic American Film Noir and Intrepid Laughter: Preston Sturges and the Movies. His third book, Abraham Polonsky: Interviews, is just out from the University Press of Mississippi.
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Eligible patrons will be able to order priority registration online.
Who is eligible for priority registration?
Individuals who have participated in 92nd Street Y programs over the past year in selected program areas, participants in certain memberships, and those who have made contributions of $500 or more to 92Y, are eligible to register for programs before they become available to the general public.
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Patrons that qualify for Priority Registration will receive packets in the mail explaining how to purchase online. Priority registration is normally mailed 2-3 weeks before a catalog is available. Registration information includes your Patron ID#. You can use this ID# to setup your login information online. This will allow you to register early for a course or event. Please note: if you receive a packet, you are only eligible to priority register for the programs covered in your packet.
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