SBS On Demand is the gift that keeps on giving, with a new batch of French movies available for a year, for free. Every day will feel like your birthday!
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SBS Movies

4 Mar 2015 - 1:16 PM  UPDATED 5 Mar 2015 - 11:12 AM

Wild Reeds

At a boarding school in the south of France, timid student François discovers his latent homosexuality when he enters into an erotic relationship with farm boy Serge. A bizarre love triangle soon forms between François, his best friend Maetie and Serge, while the French Algerian war rages in the background, paralleling the tumult of self-discovery that comes at the crossroads between youth and adulthood. A moving coming-of-age story by director André Téchiné (Alice and Martin, Changing Times).


All the World’s Mornings

Upon his wife's death, viola da gamba player Monsieur de Sainte Colombe is overwhelmed with grief and retreats from the outside world with his two daughters. However, word of his musical talent reaches aspiring musician Marin Marais, who intrudes on Colombe's seclusion with the hope of finding a mentor. The movie that revelead to the world Guillaume Depardieu, Gérard's son and "enfant terrible", who tragically died at 37 from pneumonia in 2008.


Beaumarchais the Scoundrel

Beaumarchais is famous for penning The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville. But who really was Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais? An unscrupulous businessman, a visionary politician, a brave man ready to fight with his words and his sword, a womaniser and a tireless human rights defender. A man of The Enlightenment, played by French powerhouse Fabrice Lucchini.


My Man

Marie is a successful career prostitute with a big heart. One night she finds Jeannot, a badly battered derelict in the hall of her building. She takes him to her flat, feeds him and offers him shelter for the night. They have sex and Marie is so overwhelmed by Jeannot's performance that she asks him on the spot to become her pimp. In My Man, iconoclast French director Bertrand Blier (How Much Do You Love Me?) works with one of his predilection themes: society outcasts.


The Lovers on the Pont-Neuf

Following a failed relationship, and suffering from a disease which is slowly destroying her sight, young painter Michèle is driven to a life on the streets. While sleeping rough on the Pont Neuf, Paris's oldest bridge, she meets another young vagrant Alex, a street performer addicted to alcohol and sedatives, and the two embark into a passionate and destructive love story. Juliette Binoche gives a captivating performance in director Leos Carax's (Holy Motors) most popular movie, which took more than three painstaking years to produce. 


Water Drops on Burning Rocks

Germany, the 1970's. Leopold, a smug 50-year-old businessman, seduces fresh-faced 19-year-old Franz, who swiftly moves into his bachelor pad. Their cozy relationship soon sours as Leopold turns cranky and argumentative. When Franz's buxom blond girlfriend surfaces, followed by Leopold's elegant and enigmatic ex-lover Vera, things get funnier, steamier and a lot more complicated. Directed by François Ozon and starring one of his key actresses Ludivine Sagnier, this 'huis-clos' was adapted from a theatre play by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.


Sitcom

Two years before Water Drops on Burning Stones, François Ozon released his first feature film, the cruel and farcical Sitcom, about an upper-class suburban family whose quiet lives spiral into madness with the arrival of a white rat in their home. The younger brother announces his homosexuality, the elder sister acts on her sado-masochist tendencies, while the uptight mother starts getting loose as well. 


Place Vendôme

Catherine Deneuve won a Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival for her unglamourous role as Marianne Malivert, the alcoholic wife of the head of a prestigious jewel broker’s firm on the exclusive Place Vendôme. Hampered by debt and implicated in trafficking of stolen jewels, he commits suicide, leaving Marianne, who spends her time in and out of rehab, to pick up the pieces. Emmanuelle Seigner was also nominated at the Césars for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Nathalie, the late husband's mistress.

Watch Place Vendome now


The Apartment

Young and handsome Max is engaged to be married. Before flying to Tokyo, he thinks he's recognised his long-lost love in a cafe. So begins a long, frantic and obsessive search for the elusive Lisa. The central focus point of this story is Lisa's apartment, which becomes the stage of a series of strange encounters, fantasies and mistaken identities. The set of The Apartment is where Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci, who recently ended their 14-year marriage, first met.

Watch The Apartment now


Diva

In the first feature film of director Jean-Jacques Beineix (who later went on to direct the steamy Betty Blue), a young mail carrier, Jules, becomes entranced with the voice of an American diva. She doesn't believe in being recorded, but Jules secretly records her singing on a tape. His recording gets mixed up with another tape that incriminates a police chief, who is working with the mob. Jules quickly becomes the target of mob gangsters, and he must find a way to get himself out of the situation alive.

Watch Diva now


Fear and Trembling

Based on popular Belgian novelist Amélie Nothomb's autobiographical book, Fear and Trembling follows Amelie, who after spending part of her childhood in Japan, goes back after graduating from college to work as an interpreter at a corporation. She hopes her perfect command of the Japanese language will open doors for her, but instead, she is viewed as lacking in proper humility, and is increasingly mistreated by her co-workers who conspire to put her in her place. 

Watch Fear and Trembling now


Criminal Lovers

Les Amants Criminels is a psychological thriller inspired by a true story, and the second feature by French director Francois Ozon. High school student Alice convinces her lover, Luc, to murder their classmate Saïd, whom she claims raped her with a group of his friends. Once the deed done, they dispose of the body in the woods, but are captured by a mysterious forest dweller. The movie gets stranger, when the young lovers are kept in his basement and he reveals his plans to eat them.

Watch Criminal Lovers now


Alice and Martin

Fresh from starring in international success The English Patient, Juliette Binoche returned in a smaller local film from André Téchiné (Changing Times), who had first cast her in 1985's Rendez-vous. She stars as Alice, a struggling violinist who falls in love with Martin, a young, damaged man who's recently arrived in Paris to escape his past and now works as a model. When Alice announces Martin that she's pregnant, it stirs up painful memories from the past and he's on the verge of madness. But Alice is prepared to stand by him whatever the cost.

Watch Alice and Martin now


Anthony Zimmer

An international game of cat and mouse ensues as the police seek the criminal genius, Anthony Zimmer. The authorities are at a disadvantage, as no one has ever laid eyes on the fugitive, but a policeman uncovers Zimmer's achilles heel in the mysterious Chiara who, to maintain the ruse, ensnares an unsuspecting 'ordinary man'. But they soon discover that they’re all merely pawns being played by the grand master. This stylish thriller marked the return of France's sweetheart Sophie Marceau to the big screen.

Watch Anthony Zimmer now


Au Petit Marguery

In this bittersweet comedy, Hippolyte, the chef at the small Paris restaurant "Au Petit Marguery", is losing his sense of smell due to cancer, which prevents him from cooking. He makes the hard decision to close the restaurant. The final dinner, with friends and relatives, brings with it the many memories and moments of joy as well as pain. Nostalgia can be food for the soul.

Watch Au Petit Marguery now


Carnage

After goring a matador, a bull is put to death in a bull-ring in Spain, and its body parts make their way across France and Spain to various recipients – a taxidermist, an actress, a teacher, a woman giving birth to quintuplets, a little girl who believes all animals are larger than humans – whose lives will become inextricably linked. A surrealist tale of everyday chance and coincidence, starring Chiara Mastroianni.

Watch Carnage now


The City of Lost Children

Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) and his comparse Marc Caro (Delicatessen) create a dark and nightmarish universe where cynical adults long for the innocence of childhood. In a derelict port, a joyless genius Krank has devised a machine to steal children's dreams. Local heavies, the Cyclops, abduct children for him and their latest victim is the adopted brother of One, a gentle giant who will stop at nothing to get his brother back. He's helped in his quest by a group of orphan thieves and their leader, a 10-year-old girl called Miette. Nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

Review: The City of Lost Children

Watch The City of Lost Children now


Colonel Chabert

French cinema giant Gérard Depardieu stars as Colonel Chabert (adapted from the eponymous classic novel by Honoré de Balzac), who after being presumed killed at the battle of Eylau, presents himself 10 years later at the office of sollicitor Mr. Derville. He's alive and kicking, intent on claiming back what belongs to him. However, his wealth has since been squandered by his widow, the Countess Ferraud and her new husband. 

Watch Colonel Chabert now


The Axe

An industrial chemist Bruno Davert loses his job when, after 15 years of service, his company decides to downsize and relocate. Two years later and still jobless, he hits on a solution: to kill his competition one by one. A dark look at unemployment in today's society by director Costa-Gavras (Z), which was nominated for two César Awards in 2006, including Best Actor for the chilling performance of José Garcia, more used to comical registers.

Review: The Axe

Watch The Axe now


Under the Sand

The fearless Charlotte Rampling (Melancholia) gives a poignant performance as Marie, a woman who is deeply in love with her husband, Jean. One day, while vacationing at the seashore, Jean disappears into the ocean. A distraught Marie notifies the authorities, but they find no trace of her husband. But when Marie sees Jean in her apartment and at breakfast the next morning, it quickly becomes apparent that Marie's imagination enables her to go along in life as if nothing happened to Jean. A sensitive and poignant look at grief and obsession by François Ozon (Swimming Pool).

Review: Under the Sand

Watch Under the Sand now


Special Forces

In this French action movie (shot in beautiful locations of Central Asia), war correspondent Elsa Casanova is taken hostage in Afghanistan by the Taliban and is faced with her imminent execution. The French president decides to dispatch six members of the Special Forces unit to rescue her. A relentless pursuit begins between her kidnappers who have no intention of letting their prey escape them, and a group of soldiers who risk their lives to save her. 

Watch Special Forces now


Love Me If You Dare

Julien and Sophia (real-life couple Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard) are drawn to each other through emotional tragedies in their childhood. Unable to express their feelings, they instead play a game that involves the exchange of a tin music box (a gift to Julien from his dying mother). The one who takes the box has to commit some wild and crazy prank, and each new dare becomes more extreme and tragic. 

Review: Love Me If You Dare


The Overeater

French poet, painter and soccer legend Eric Cantona as you've never seen him before. In The Overeater, he plays Séléna, the chief of Marseilles Police. Respected and feared by his men, his sole enemy seems to be himself, along with his 160kg frame. Séléna is the only person who knows that Elsa was guilty of the murder of her uncle, a wealthy ship owner. Fascinated by the young woman’s beauty, he offers her a strange deal: in exchange for his silence, he demands that she dines with him every night for a year. Fiction met reality as Cantona and Rachida Brakni fell in love on set and are now married with two children.

 

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