Described by director François Truffaut as “my first real film,” this exuberant, freewheeling short set the stage for the cinematic revolution of the French New Wave. Zigzagging across the ancient city of Nîmes, Les mistons follows a rambunctious gaggle of puppy-love-struck boys as they meddle mischievously in the summer romance between a local jeune femme (nouvelle vague icon Bernadette Lafont, in her screen debut) and her beau (Gérard Blain, “the French James Dean”). Bursting with stylistic embellishments—including breathless tracking shots, dynamic handheld camera work, and playfully oscillating frame rates—this bittersweet ode to wayward youth is giddy with the possibilities of moviemaking.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.