In preparation for the heat of summer and the long hours of the summer holidays, we have drawn together a list of summery French films on MUBI to get you in the holiday spirit. From feature films to documentary shorts, this list encompasses some of the great auteurs of French cinema, as well as some rising stars.
Guillaume Brac (2020)
Across his filmography, Guillaume Brac repeatedly returns to the heat of the French summer, and All Hand on Deck is no exception. Felix falls in love over the course of a night with Anna in Paris, and impulsively decides to surprise her where she is holidaying. Dragging along his best friend, the two of them will hitch a lift with a stranger who will rapidly become one of the gang as they head for the campsite. Focussing on moments of brief connection and intimacy amongst its characters, the mixture of professional and street cast actors gives this film a groundedness and realism that is typical of Brac’s filmography.
Eric Rohmer (1996)
Part of Rohmer's “Tales of the Four Seasons” quartet, this seaside drama tells the story of Gaspard, on holiday in Brittany and waiting for his sometimes girlfriend Lena to join him. But while he's waiting for her, he’ll meet Margot and Solène and begin to spend time with them too. Eventually, he will have to choose between them. A funny and charming coming of age film full of love and longing by one of the masters of the Nouvelle Vague.
Agnes Varda (1958)
Commissioned by the French office for tourism, Agnes Varda brings us a portrait of the Cote d’Azur with her usual humour and style, with particular focus on its tourists themselves, and the Riviera’s qualities as a holiday destination. A whirlwind tour of the Cote’s most famous sites and visitors, this documentary short captures all of the fun and excess of the French Riviera in the late 1950s.
Jean Vigo, Boris Kaufman (1930)
What starts off as a snapshot of Nice’s Promenade des Anglais in the 1930s, quickly becomes a satirical take on the contrast between its poorest inhabitants and its wealthiest visitors. A carnivalesque tour of 1930s Nice, this short film offers a fascinating glimpse into its parades, balls and seaside life, as well as a great snapshot of its inhabitants, with striking visual contrasts.