What All Indie Filmmakers Should Be Learning From French Cinema

By Noam Kroll

The first French film I ever saw in theaters was Swimming Pool by François Ozon, which left me feeling like I just took a masterclass in artistic filmmaking. At that point in my life I had already been heavily inspired and influenced by many other films (mostly American indies), but there was something about this small art film from France that was fundamentally different from what I knew, and I wanted to know why.

It didn’t take me long to figure out this special quality I found in Swimming Pool wasn’t unique to just this one film. It was something that existed in so many films originating in France – starting with the New Wave of the 1960’s and continuing up until many of today’s modern masterpieces.

In a lot of ways, it made sense that French films have always been on the cutting edge. After all, the French invented motion pictures and have continued to redefine the medium over the past 100+ years, which has resulted in a legacy of some of the best films ever made.

They’ve benefited from a very unique ecosystem in which their films have the ability to make their money back domestically (in France), and don’t need to rely heavily on foreign sales in order to make a profit. This has allowed filmmakers from France to tell stories that are highly relevant to their culture and are full of creative risks, as there is no pressure to pander to a more broad global audience.

That’s not to say that French films have not had a major impact on cinema across the globe, in fact the opposite is true. Much in the same way that American cinema influences the world when it comes to commercial films, France has arguably shaped the world of cinema from an artistic standpoint more → continue…

From:: Noam Kroll