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French Film Genre- How To Improvise

French"Perhaps you’re the woman I never met."
—Trois couleurs: rouge


Films made in France or elsewhere (such as Canada) in the French language. French films have a kind of passionate detachment in that the subjects are usually viewed detached, and are themselves often detached, but when emotional, they are very emotional.


  • Offbeat, innovative and even surreal, especially in narrative structure.
  • Quirky characters are passionate, yet detached
  • Comedies tend to be absurdist or farces.
  • Frequent nudity and sex.
  • Often not moralistic or morals tangled and complex.


Where France, or a slightly altered reality.
When Anytime but usually the present.
Who Quirky characters. Femmes Fatales. Sophisticated Parisians; Rustic farmers.
What Smoking; love-making; arguing; silences; dream sequences; long philosophical discussions (especially when naked and/or after sex); suicide.
Unconventional story arcs.
Example plot: obsessed boy spies on hairdressers. When he grows up he falls in love with one he has been watching. After a short courtship, they began an affair, frequently having sex in the shop itself. At the height of their relationship, after a very passionate bout of love-making, she slips out into the night and jumps into the weir. Her suicide note says she knew that life could not get any better than this. The man then opens the shop and tells people she’ll be in later.

Examples (from Amazon)

Also known as:

Cinéma Français
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