15 Essential Films For An Introduction To The New French Extremity

Controversy about New French Extremity rises from the term itself. Coined by critic James Quandt as a rather pejorative term to recall a series of transgressive films, mostly French, developed under the turn of 21st century, it is discussed whether it stands as a genre or not.

Those in favor of a positive position face, among other things, the accusation of making a simplistic reduction of the films they tend to enlist as New French Extremity samples, making thus a difficult playground for the appreciation of the movies as well as for the public who attempts to close to them.

While the recent decrease of the discussion does not mean that the matter is solved, we can partially solved the mentioned difficult playground by having some of the New French Extremity films’ common elements in mind.

Mixed and accentuated in different ways and perspectives depending on each film director’s vision, we can find a recurrence to brutality and sexuality so excessive that it drives to the tiredness of the senses; everyday life’s violence depictions; the implications or lack of implications behind sex; social decadence; the psychotic struggle of inner urges; the construction (or destruction) of identities and a glimpse of political criticism that some might qualify as progressive while others as conservative or even fascist.


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