The theme of this year’s festival is a play on the 1966 Godard film title Masculin Feminin, “Masculin, Masculin” celebrates a bevy of the most beloved actors in French cinema. Here are 10 reasons why you should see these actors at their best whether you’re French, American, or somewhere in between.
1. The James Dean look-alike
A fan of James Dean? Come see Alain Delon, the French look-alike who exudes identical vintage-cool vibes in the thriller Purple Noon on May 30th in Central Park.
2. The hardened gangster
If you can appreciate a good, gangster film, then Washington Square Park is the place to be on June 6th for the screening of the comedy Les Tontons Fingueurs. An European champion of wrestling, Lino Ventura built up his acting career playing hardened gangsters—except this time around, Ventura makes fun of the type that made him so famous.
3. The quintessential French actor
Is there an actor more quintessentially French than Gérard Depardieu? Director Bertrand Blier was inspired by Depardieu, perhaps the most famous of French actors, when he wrote the surreal story Buffet Froid. Long-time collaborators, Blier and Depardieu have worked together an impressive seven times. Find out what makes the pair’s chemistry so lasting in Buffet Froid, screening on June 13th in Washington Square Park.
4. The comédien
Despite his preference for theatre, Fabrice Luchini has still managed to be nominated for 9 Césars (the French equivalent of the Oscars). An unquestionable talent, Fabrice Luchini occupies a place without equal in French comedy. See his prolific comedy skills in action in The Women on the 6th Floor, screening on June 20th in Tompkins Square Park.
5. The epitome of urban cool
Get a glimpse of the Parisian banlieue with La Haine, the universally critically acclaimed film that launched Vincent Cassel to stardom. Screening on June 27th in Tompkins Square Park, La Haine is described as “one of the most blisteringly effective pieces of urban cinema ever made.”
6. Mustache or not mustache?
Who, other than the French, would make a movie about a mustache? The Moustache is the first work of fiction by Emmanuelle Carrère, who was first known as a writer. Carrère directs Vincent Lindon in the film version of his book, The Moustache, screening on July 11th in Riverside Park.
7. The icon of cinema
President Roosevelt once declared, “all the democrats of the world should see this film.” Released in France in 1937, Grand Illusion, starring Jean Gabin, was immediately a huge critical success. See what had a president of the United States raving as Grand Illusion screens on July 18th in Riverside Park.
8. The New Wave hero
Synonymous with “supercoolitude,” Jean-Paul Belmondo is reason enough to run straight to Films on the Green. According to Quentin Tarantino, Belmondo is “not only the name of a movie star, not only the name of a man, but a verb that represents vitality, charisma, and strength of spirit.” Le Magnifique screens in Transmitter Park on July 25th.
9. The up-and-coming talent
Vincent Macaigne has been declared THE comedian of young French cinema and the actor of a generation. Find out why Macaigne earned this humble title from the French media at the screening of the comedy 2 Autumns, 3 Winters on August 1st in Transmitter Park.
10. The beautiful, French man
The real reason you’ve been coming all along—beautiful, French men! Raphaël Personnaz was told he was too handsome to be an actor at the beginning of his career. Ogle his good looks and marvel at his subtle facial expressions in The French Minister screening on September 4th at Columbia University.