Need a break from the Trumpocalypse? Me too. Here are three very strange French films to help you take a vacation from reality.
Peau d'Âne (Donkey Skin) from 1970 is a French musical by Jacques Demy. The plot follows a highly questionable French fairy tale about a king who wants to marry his own daughter, forcing her to flee and masquerade as a peasant wearing a stinking donkey skin while she waits for her prince to rescue her. With Disneyesque musical numbers ranging from twee to disturbing, crazy technicolor sets, and some very hammy acting, this film is equal parts so-bad-it's-good and unintentionally hilarious. You can view the best bits on youtube if you're not up to the whole thing, but the ending is worth seeing, trust me.
Delicatessen, the French 1991 post-apocalyptic comedy with echoes of Sweeney Todd, is gory but funny and truly strange. In a France where food is in short supply and grain is currency, landlord Lapet, a butcher by trade, lures victims to his apartment building with the promise of a handyman's job and then murders them for their flesh. Add to the mix a former circus clown, a woman who repeatedly tries to kill herself, and the sewer-dwelling resistance in their diving suits and you get a faint idea of what the film is like. Highly recommended, but not for the faint of heart.
|Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/|
L'Écume des jours is called Mood Indigo in English, but the literal translation is "the foam of days." The film, starring Audrey Tautou, is an adaptation of Boris Vian's novel Froth on the Daydream, and it's completely bonkers. It only takes a few moments for the movie to tumble into bizarro world, and suddenly you're wondering if somebody slipped some LSD into your tea while you weren't looking. The symbolism gets so OTT that you just have to laugh despite the serious themes of love and loss the film explores.
Need more? I found a site than lists strange films and did a search for French titles. You can check it out here:
What about you, what's the weirdest film you've ever seen? Doesn't have to be French, any language will do if it's available with English subtitles.