Thank you so much for your participation! This is the result of our first poll – focussing on french movies. We’ll discuss the outcome, because we have to take into account a broad range in movie history. So it’s obvious that older movies can not compete with contemporary ones. All five have a special visual quality in terms of production design and their loctions/sets.
“Delicatessen” by Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet 1991 has been a landmark and the start of an era of experimental movies in terms of visual language and story telling. Here you can find a Making Of of this movie.
“Irréversible” by Gaspar Noé 2002 is a remarkable film and known for two things: it’s story is told in reverse order and the movie is considered to be part of New French Extremity and body horror. It’s intensity while watching the violence of two men to avenge a raped girlfriend led to the assumption this was the most walked-out-of movie of 2003.
“Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet 2001 is a kind of genre hopping of the director Jeunet: having the same extreme visual lust and imagination of “Delicatessen” applied to a – wait, what is it? – Love-Live-Embrace-your-Life genre kind of movie. People who are immune to it’s joy of life story are rare, although I personal know at least one. Which is not me and neither Roger Ebert.
“Paris, je t’aime” by a horseload of directors 2006 started as a conceptional movie: depicting 20 stories of different authors and directors – one per every arrondissement of Paris (2 where droped, because they could not appropriate be integrated). It’s a love letter for this town, therefore it is an movie which affects the emotions of it’s audience mostly gentle, offering a positive twist for each episode. See the ratings at Rotten Tomatoes.
“La Grande Illusion” by Jean Renoir 1937 has not raised any vote. Which is unfair – to set this movie on a list with the other four films already treats the movie injustly. It’s a movie telling a real story of a horror we’ve really been through: world war. It’s a masterpiece of distinctions, not joining a side in a time having had and soon will have almost all european countries with certain reasons to be in war against each other.
To have access to so many sources online these days is so overwhelming. See what Jean Renoir can tell you about his film by himself.
See what A.O. Scott can tell you about it in the series Critics’ Picks | The New York Times. We tend to include this movie in setscene anyhow, because of it’s escape topic and sets.