I was lucky enough to spend half of my twenties studying film and working with the great French filmmaker, Eric Rohmer, in Paris. As Victor Hugo says, "if you study in Paris, you are born again there."
Each of the Comedies & Proverb films begins with a proverb and in The Aviator's Wife "it is impossible to think of nothing." That implies that the film has passive action but the real activity is in the obsessive thinking of its characters.
All the Oscar talk about this year's Best Foreign Film, Amour, has me thinking about the many French films I watched during my yearlong experiment of importing certain French parenting lessons to use on my two daughters.
Whether or not you personally love their work, it is difficult to dismiss the impact of the French New Wave. To reinforce this strongly held position, here is a pungent mix of Truffaut, Godard and Rohmer.