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French Films - Just saw Wicker Park today

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
A few weeks ago I rented Wicker Park from Netflix. The only reason I rented it was because Diane Kruger was in it, and I am that shallow. I thought it'd be nice fluffery to fill time. So I finally find time today to watch it. In the intro scenes, I get my first Tyson-esque punch to the face: Adapted from the movie "L'Appartement." Now, this is a movie I saw in 1997 when I was 17 with Korean subtitles. I enjoyed it immensely (that, along with La Haine and Kieslowski films are what makes me think European cinema is superior in the aggregate.). So while I saw the move almost ten years ago, I remembered parts of it and knew that this movie was going to not live upto my expectations.

Surprisingly enough, it was pretty good... until the last 20 minutes. I was screaming at the screen because they Hollywood-ized the ending. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was.

Anyway, now I want to see olde french movies again. Does anyone know where I can get a good selection in the States (Region 1, if at all possible)? Mostly french, but a good selection of other countries' movies would be good. I am in the NYC area, so I suppose it's a bit easier. I tried Netflix, and looked on amazon and such, but not a good selection there. It seems like there's other European cinephiles on this board, so if they have good suggestions, it would be most welcome. Thanks.
post #2 of 13
suggestions for films or where to get them?
post #3 of 13
I have found amazon.com (or amazon.co.uk / amazon.de) to have the best selections of French and Italian cinema. If you cannot obtain them from amazon it may mean that the films have not been released on dvd. Which are the movies that you cannot obtain?
post #4 of 13
http://www.kino.com/ I'd like to try finding Wolfram Junghans's Maya Bee from 1926, Die Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for places to get films, but I will also take suggestions. I tend to lean towards the more modern French films, however (post 1980), and I want to look at the non-classics that the US general audience doesn't really know about.

I was looking for two to start with: L'Appartement and Un Coeur en Hiver. I don't necessarily need to buy them; I just need a place where I could rent one (even if VHS) although owning some of them would be pretty cool. I guess the biggest obstacle is that it's region 2 for most amazon.fr films, and both of them I looked at are out of stock-ish.

Any ideas on where to rent them? Is there a specialty shop in NYC somewhere perhaps?
post #6 of 13
If your interest in foreign cinema is serious, buy a region-free dvd player (I just know this suggestion is going to upset the sensibilities of those who favour import monopolies). You not be able to get all the movies you want otherwise, and you will save money. Virtually all dvd players in Australia are region free.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus_MD
If your interest in foreign cinema is serious, buy a region-free dvd player (I just know this suggestion is going to upset the sensibilities of those who favour import monopolies). You not be able to get all the movies you want otherwise, and you will save money. Virtually all dvd players in Australia are region free.

agreed, over here a regio free dvd player can cost as little as £50, and most of the better dvd players can be 'unlocked' to play any region - try searching the interweb for instructions.

best french film i've seen recently is 'the beat that my heart skipped' ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411270/ ) absolutley quality, and available on dvd: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...v=glance&n=130
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmover
I'm looking for places to get films, but I will also take suggestions. I tend to lean towards the more modern French films, however (post 1980), and I want to look at the non-classics that the US general audience doesn't really know about.

I was looking for two to start with: L'Appartement and Un Coeur en Hiver. I don't necessarily need to buy them; I just need a place where I could rent one (even if VHS) although owning some of them would be pretty cool. I guess the biggest obstacle is that it's region 2 for most amazon.fr films, and both of them I looked at are out of stock-ish.

Any ideas on where to rent them? Is there a specialty shop in NYC somewhere perhaps?

Suggestions: contact the French or Romance languages department of the nearest universities, they typically have a small library and may allow you to borrow movies. They also should be a good source for community ressources. Also, Canadian online stores, if you intend to buy.

I don't believe you should have much trouble finding Un cœur en hiver, I've seen it at my local Blockbuster and at several municipal libraries. Definitely not a Hollywood ending. I remember getting into an argument with a French friend about our respective interpretations of the ending.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Suggestions: contact the French or Romance languages department of the nearest universities, they typically have a small library and may allow you to borrow movies. They also should be a good source for community ressources. Also, Canadian online stores, if you intend to buy.

I don't believe you should have much trouble finding Un cœur en hiver, I've seen it at my local Blockbuster and at several municipal libraries. Definitely not a Hollywood ending. I remember getting into an argument with a French friend about our respective interpretations of the ending.

I will be on the lookout for the local video stores, I guess. When I was younger, I got all my french films from the Korean video rental places in Queens, as French Cinema was very popular in those days (American cinema pretty much took over these days).

My favorite part about French Films is the endings that are actually unpredictable and non-hollywood. I really wanted to stab my eyes out when the changed the ending to L'Appartement for Wicker Park.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmover
I will be on the lookout for the local video stores, I guess. When I was younger, I got all my french films from the Korean video rental places in Queens, as French Cinema was very popular in those days (American cinema pretty much took over these days).

My favorite part about French Films is the endings that are actually unpredictable and non-hollywood. I really wanted to stab my eyes out when the changed the ending to L'Appartement for Wicker Park.

http://www.greencine.com/main

Good online dvd rental company for various "alternative" movies. As for local dvd rental places, don't be lazy there's so many in NY, I think facets had some rental capacities, not sure anymore. You should also check out your local french consulate for various cultural activities, they'll have an institute that arranges showing of french films (if I remember correctly, I'm not in NY)

If you have an international player and want some links to buy just msg me I'll help you out.
post #11 of 13
If you're looking for a hard to find DVD (or VHS or Laserdisk or LP or CD or tape) you might give Amoeba Music a call, but you have to go in in person, or send a friend, for pickup. They're in Haight Ashbury, Berkeley, and Hollywood.

http://www.amoebamusic.com/www.amoeb.../html/home.htm
post #12 of 13
Try Kim's in NYC, by NYU. They specialize in the obscure.
post #13 of 13
Amelie and L'auberge Espagnol are two French films I found/find to be quite enjoyable.
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