We have the brothers Lumiere to thank for the fact that we actually have movies. It all started out with footage of a train driving into a station. People were so surprised by how real it seemed that they were afraid that the train would actually hit them. This had quite the shock effect. The use of film was first primarily deployed for means of pure entertainment. Of course, very soon filmmakers started to realise the potential it had for art. As you can guess by their names, the brothers Lumiere were French. They have made France the birthplace of film. Since then France has remained a central country when it comes to film. Not just for European film, but also in world cinema.
Movies are a part of France. It is without a doubt one of the biggest thngs defining French culture. Just think of the fact that Paris is the city with the highest density of movie theaters in the world. From all over Europe movie directors came to France with dreams of making great cinema. And they did. They have coloured French film with their foreign influences. Furthermore, there were a lot of French directors that have left France to a career in Hollywood, and a lot of them did just that. It is also important to understand that the French government has always done everything within its powers to support French filmmakers. Thanks to the French government France has remained an important player in world cinema. Also the prestigious film festivals like the Cannes film festival make that France remains very respectable.
In the last decade French movies have again been very successful all around the world. In particular, the film ‘Le Fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain’ (2001) was very popular. It received five Oscar nominations. In 2008 the French film Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis broke all the box office records in France. It was the most popular movie after Titanic. Moreover, France has pretty much every year been nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film, but it has not received the award since ‘Indochine’ won it in 1992. However, in 2012 ‘The Artist’ has won an impressive 4 Oscars, and also the film ‘Involuntary’ did very well, and is currently a hit in movie theatres worldwide. According to the French film producers, France is back and they promise the best things for French cinema in the upcoming years. And indeed, for 2012 there are already a few great film.