French movies

Since childhood, everybody likes to be told a story. Be it orally, in print or by film, people crave a good tale delivered by a good storyteller.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of good troubadours lately, especially among the French. Many of their movies reach an inconclusive and frustrating ending, and Gallic directors seem to have made a specialty of this sadistic genre.

There is nothing more exasperating than spending ninety minutes getting involved with the characters and suddenly being dumped into a dark dungeon full of unanswered questions.
I don’t know about other people, but personally I want a clear-cut ending. I demand to know who the murderer is, if the priest will marry the widow or if the heroine will walk again.
I don’t want an ambiguous ending leaving me wondering what happened, or what will possibly happen. It is not in my contract. My contract demands a neatly wrapped, bow tied ending.
At the end of the movie, I want a seamless conclusion or my money back.

I am not sure why some movies remain sketchy.
Could it be that the director was dealt an unfinished script? Or that the producers ran out of cash? Or that the main character walked off the set for artistic differences?
Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!
What I care about is a finished product. I want a well-told, realistic, believable movie with a plausible ending.

The French don’t have a monopoly of this non-sense either. They have many disciples.
I just watched an overwrought, (award winning?), Iranian movie called “A Separation” and like its French counterparts it leaves the most important question of the story unanswered. Verdammt!
What’s wrong with these people? Is it a religious thing?

I am not saying that all French movies are bad; some like “The Artist” or “Les Intouchables » are excellent, but too many badly scripted movies are released giving the public an impression of petulant callousness.

As I always said, vote with your wallet. Tell your friends to boycott a bad movie and let it die an ignominious slow death, ignored and forgotten by all.



2 thoughts on “French movies”

  1. Alain,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes an open-ended….end, can
    be warrantable, if written by a profound writer with the intention of making you reflect and
    think for yourself and then feel enlightened (by your own discovery). My own
    experience with these lingering, unfinished endings, is one of frustration where I
    say “what was all that about!” Maybe the writer is trying to be profound and hopefully
    imagines us sitting there stroking our chins trying to uncover his clever
    “trailing off” ……. rather than seeing through his pretentiousness.



  2. Alain,

    Some twenty years ago I attempted to write screenplays.

    Here is what I found:

    Big money is needed to make a movie. A script needs a big studio to put up the money.
    Big studios rely mostly on private and large investors to produce clips showing scenes: characters, location, action.

    Large investors want a known script writer, a successfull director, popular actors etc.
    It is not un-common when one of these well known professionals finance the movie or the script (or part of it).

    In France, the making of a movie is mostly institutional. Financial participants work in the film industry. The producer is often the money provider as well as the script writer. Scripts are rarely produced except for the spoken and photograph movie version.

    The film francais starts with an idea that is exploited different ways. There is no continuity in the story. Each segment of the story stands on its own and contribute little or nothing to the outcome of the story. The film becomes an amalgam of short situations that can be interesting on their own, and is what the public accepts.

    In America, scripts are routinely stolen by the studios, including big writers.To prove theft is very near impossible. (Ideas are a dime a dozen).

    My six screenplays were presented to professionals by an agent I met in Hollywood. A large studio complimented me but had no actor in its stable to make it. Personally, I believe that the original ideas were copied in three of them.

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