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Films on the Green returns with free outdoor screenings of the hottest French movies of all time

Joshua Rothkopf
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf

We know you love outdoor movies come summertime, especially free ones. You’ve already bookmarked our dopest-of-dope calendar of every outdoor movie screening from now until September.

Now that lineup gets a whole lot more ooh la la: Films on the Green, the annual screening series curated by the cultural wing of the French Embassy, has announced 10 free movies. All of them are très French and this year's theme is “a summer in Paris,” so brace yourself for sweltering subtitled romance. The free screenings will happen at several different parks around the city (all noted below), so you’ll be exploring new places as well. Show up earlier than sunset—circa 8pm—for decent lawn space.

Here’s the announced schedule, with some of our own program notes and the designated location:

June 7 Breathless Jean-Luc Godard’s sexy 1959 tale about the adventures of a doomed young thug and his American lover rewrote the rules of cinema; it’s totally of its time, ahead of its time and yet, somehow, timeless. At Central Park (enter at 79th St and Fifth Ave)

June 10 The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe He should be pretty easy to spot, don’t you think? Even with all the spies and shenanigans around him. A very cool caper from 1972. Washington Square Park

June 17 Air of Paris Rarely screened, Marcel Carné’s enjoyable 1954 boxing film has a crusty trainer, a young hopeful and lots of sexual distractions. Washington Square Park

June 24 Subway This early Luc Besson film has all the characteristics of his later debacles: style subbing for substance, gratuitously Europunk fashions and painfully bad acting (even from Isabelle Adjani as a gangster’s moll). It’s charming despite itself. Transmitter Park (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

July 1 The 400 Blows François Truffaut’s masterful 1959 debut, which introduces his recurring Antoine Doinel character (played over many years by Jean-Pierre Léaud), is one of the all-time great coming-of-age movies, and concludes with the most expressive freeze-frame in the history of the medium. Transmitter Park (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

July 8 April and the Extraordinary World This is a relatively new (but well-regarded) animated film, whose teenage heroine is voiced by Marion Cotillard. Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th Street)

July 15 Un Flic Jean-Pierre Melville’s final film—also known in the U.S. as Dirty Money—features Alain Delon as a cop struggling to bust a drug cartel. Along the way, he falls for Catherine Deneuve, unaware of her connection to the bad guys. Moody and intense, it’s the playbook for John Woo and Michael Mann. Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th Street)

July 22 Cleo from 5 to 7 While a beautiful woman waits for her cancer-test results, she takes to the streets of Paris—trailed by Agnès Varda’s ace camera—and rediscovers the everyday. Michel Legrand composed the romantic score. Tompkins Square Park

July 29 Boyfriends and Girlfriends The original French-language title, which translates as My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, provides more of a clue about the romantic messiness that ensues in one of Eric Rohmer’s most overtly farcical and fun scenarios. Tompkins Square Park

Sept. 8 Girlhood Too many coming-of-age movies hover like helicopter parents. But few of them cut as sharply as director Céline Sciamma’s drama, attuned to race, solidarity and the dead ends that noncollege-bound kids have to avoid. It’s about squad goals—and all the pros and cons involved with them. Columbia University (at 116th St)  

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