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.
This widely acclaimed film from Soviet director Elem Klimov is a stunning, senses-shattering plunge into the dehumanizing horrors of war. As Nazi forces encroach on his small village in present-day Belarus, teenage Flyora (Aleksei Kravchenko, in one of the screen’s most searing depictions of anguish since Renée Falconetti’s Joan of Arc) eagerly joins the Soviet resistance.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
DCP, 35 mm, Blu-ray, DVD