As with most things that come out of France, French films are really quite unique, full of passion and everything that is so continental. For many years the film industry in France has produced some amazing classic films starring true icons of the silver screen.
Brigitte Bardot, the stunning blond and Alain Delon, the handsome typically French actor, as well as Jean-Paul Belmondo to name but a few, have all graced the screens of French films and Hollywood ones too. Today we have stars like Jean Reno, Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Adjani who star in wonderful movies that tell such fascinating true stories as well as fictional ones.
One of my favourites was a film called ‘Camille Claudel’ which was about a 19th century woman sculptor who was romantically involved with Auguste Rodin. The film depicts their tempestuous love affair and is the very poignant story of her life. This is a very French movie made as only the French can do. It was a huge success in France when it came out in 1988 with nearly 3 million people going to the cinema to see it.
One of the all time great French film makers and actors was François Roland Truffaut. He produced and acted in many classic films and when his movie called ‘The 400 Blows’ came out in 1959, he really made his mark on the French cinema culminating in him winning the Best Director award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, although he had been banned from the festival the previous year. Truffaut collaborated with many other famous names of the French cinema. His most memorable films were a series called ‘The Antoine Doinel Cycle’. Franҫois Truffaut also starred in the Steven Spielberg film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ which came out in 1977, but sadly died from a brain tumour a few years later. During his career, he was a huge influence on French cinema.
The French film screen goddess was of course Brigitte Bardot. This ‘sex kitten’ which was how she was referred to after she starred in the movie ‘And God Created Woman’ remained how she was thought of for decades. Roger Vadim, another great name in French cinema directed the film which came out in 1956 and took the world by storm, making Brigitte Bardot an overnight sensation all over the world.
The French actor I loved the most in my youth though was Jean-Paul Belmondo. With his craggy French looks and superb smile, he starred in many movies and became another French icon of the Silver Screen. His father was the very famous French sculptor, Paul Belmondo and Jean-Paul Belmondo hit the headlines when he appeared in a film called ‘Breathless’, a Jean-Luc Goddard movie thatwas a massive success.
I remember him in many films in which he starred alongside another of my favourite French Actors, Alain Delon.
Catherine Deneuve famed as the ‘ice maiden’ French actress embodies all that is French in such a classically stylish way. She appeared in many movies namely ‘Repulsion’ and ‘Belle de Jour’. This truly beautiful actress is the best example of a French film icon known throughout the world.