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French Double Feature

In my continuing quest to find the hidden cinema treasures lurking within the Netflix Instant View I’ve watched not one, but two French films.  

I think the main reason that it’s harder to find good movies to watch on Netflix is because all of the studios got wise to Netflix and renegotiated terms making it so that Netflix could only afford less well known movies.  It this theory is correct, then I guess it would make sense that it might be easier to find some good foreign films, because they already are less desirable because they are in a foreign language, so if you are willing to read a bit, your chances of finding a great foreign movie in the Netflix instant view is even greater.

As luck would have it I just watched two great French movies within the last 24 hours.  The first was a comedy called OSS 117:  Lost In Rio and was made by the same people who brought you this years Academy Award Winner The Artist.

This film is very much a spoof of the James Bond series and was quite fun.  I first heard about the series from my friend Brian who recommended it after seeing it at work.  I’ve since learned that I should have started with OSS117 Nest of Spies, which is the first movie in the series. Like you might expect from a 007 spoof there are many ludicirously staged fight sequences, international intrigue, and some very good laughs.  I loved the way that it highlighted the embedded racism, classism, and sexism of 60’s era spy films.  It was really fun.

District B13

The second film that I wanted to mention is a straight up dystopian action film called District B13.  It was fantastic.  I’m sure most of my friends have seen it, but I have kids so it has been sitting around in my cue forever.  The movie wastes no time getting to the action and keeps a pretty breathless pace throughout.  It’s use of parkour and well choreographed fight scenes made me think of great Jackie Chan movies of the past.  There were many, many, things to love about this movie.  If you’ve never heard of it or you haven’t taken the time to watch it yet, go watch it.