As well as being an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, international cinema can be an excellent means of absorbing the language of another nation while helping viewers to understand the cultural context that surrounds it.
So for this Bastille Day, our friends at language-learning platform Brother Tongue bring you this selection of ten short films for anyone looking to brush up on their French, gain rich insight into another way of life or just enjoy some great French-language films. All ten of these shorts are available to watch for free below.
Carn (dir. Jeffig Le Bars, A1 – Beginner Level)
This animated short is as engrossing as the vocabulary is simple and the speaking pace is slow. Though a sad film, the animation is beautiful. A must-watch.
Shotgun (dir. Maverick Moore, B1 – Intermediate Level)
Probably one of the funniest shorts on this list, the first 6 minutes of Shotgun are dedicated to French speech delivered by English-speaking American girls. You can of course hear the accent but it should serve as a pleasant listening experience for any French learner. Plus, the movie itself is quite fun.
Yukiko (dir. Eric Dinkian, B2 – Upper Intermediate Level)
Just a few lines for this movie, and the pace is good, but the vocabulary used is of the medical variety, so quite high level. Even though the speech is not the easiest to figure out, the film itself should provide the suitable context to make it understandable.
Solus (dir. Camille Dellerie, A2 – Pre-Intermediate Level)
This animation, which sees a meeting between a lonely middle-aged man and a mysterious young boy, is an appropriate fit for the pre-intermediate level. The pace is quite fast but the content of the conversations is simple.
The City Without Windows (dir. Julien Fonfrede and Karim Hussain, C1 – Advanced Level)
Out of all the selections in this list, this movie is probably the most bizarre. The storyline is original but the pace of the narrator’s voice is low and creepy. Check it out and form your own opinion.
Café allongé (dir. Maxime Paccalet, A1 – Beginner Level)
No French voicing here but this short would make for a perfect class watch for total beginners. At the very least, you can think of this movie as a cultural entry to French clichés where you can see the tremendous thinkings of a young guy wanting to hit on a girl.
Jiminy (dir. Arthur Môlard, B1 – Intermediate Level)
Probably the most original storyline of this list. The speaking pace makes the French pleasant to listen to and the words are clearly understandable, though the sci-fi topic may prove difficult to follow from beginning to end for those at a beginner level.
Voice Over (dir. Martín Rosete, B2 – Upper Intermediate Level)
Our favourite short of this selection. You don’t know the story is super kitschy until the end of the movie, though the work as a whole – packed with strange and compelling situations – makes it all pretty funny. While the diction is totally clear, the language itself can get a little tricky, making this film a recommended watch for more experienced learners.
Skhizein (dir. Jérémy Clapin, B2 – Upper Intermediate Level)
This peculiar story of a man who must live exactly ninety-one centimetres from himself is equal parts sad and amusing, with some lovely illustrations. The main character is speaking slowly but the vocabulary used can sometimes be a bit difficult.
La tangente (dir. Vincent Vesco, B2 – Upper Intermediate Level)
Nice road movie that offers a glimpse of some beautiful southern French landscapes. The language of the two protagonists is delivered at a fast pace but they use some worthwhile idiomatic expressions and swear words (which are helpful to learn too). Do check it out!
About Our Guest Curator
Brother Tongue is a platform dedicated to helping you acquire a new language the same way you learned your mother tongue: Practice. They have developed a learner-focused approach that takes into account each student’s needs. You can start learning on the go through unique, meaningful conversations with experienced teachers via instant messaging.
In celebration of our new partnership, we’d like to offer you a coupon for 20% off your first four language lessons. Simply input the code FMDOO14 during payment to activate your discount (offer expires 31st August 2017).
Visit their website here.