Harry Bauer is Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret in the film by Julien Duvivier

French classics ‘David Golder’ and ‘La tête d’un homme’ on Criterion Channel

Julien Duvivier was once a giant of French cinema with a string of popular and critical hits in the thirties and a successful foray into Hollywood in the forties. He’s been largely forgotten as filmmaker even with though one of his biggest hits, Pépé le Moko (1937), remains a revered (and oft-revived) classic of gangster […]

Cyril Raffaelli and Dany Verissimo in 'District B13,' aka 'Banlieue 13'

‘District B13’ – Stunning stunt action on Hulu

District B13 (2004), Pierre Morel’s twist on Escape From New York set in a near-future Paris, is a lean, clean, adrenaline and indignation-fueled B-movie action machine. Urban athlete David Belle, one of the creators of the extreme sport known as Parkour, stars as ghetto hero Leito and he set the tone, the pace, and the […]

Hafsia Herzi and Habib Boufares in Abdellatif Kechiche's Cesar-winning film

‘The Secret of the Grain’ on Criterion Channel

The Secret of the Grain (France, 2007) – Tunisian-French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche’s rich drama of an aging French-Arab shipwright who, with the help of his extended family, transforms an abandoned ship left for scrap into a floating restaurant, is a magnificent journey through culture and family and community. The old man Slimane (Habib Boufares), divorced […]

Delphine Seyrig stars in the landmark film by Chantal Akerman

Blu-ray: ‘Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles’ on Criterion

“A singular work in film history,” begins the description on back of the case of Criterion’s release of Chantal Akerman’s astounding Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (France, 1975). That is no hyperbole. Jeanne Dielman is a painstaking, excruciatingly exacting portrait of the life of a perfectly organized homemaker, an epic portrait of […]

Matthias Schoenaerts stars in Alice Winocour's psychological thriller from France

‘Disorder’ on Netflix

Alice Winocour’s psychological thriller Disorder (France, 2015) stars Matthias Schoenaerts as Vincent, a French Special Forces soldier recovering from hearing loss and suffering from PTSD from his service in Afghanistan. While he awaits the medical verdict, he takes a security job for a Lebanese businessman throwing a lavish party filled with wealthy businessmen and government […]