Seeking Film Suggestions

For a couple years now, I’ve been meeting with some friends once or twice a month to eat lunch and discuss a movie. We’ve always taken turns picking films, sometimes grouping the choices around a particular theme or genre, but it’s been a fairly random affair. Since leaving academia, this group has been a lifesaver — my one regular opportunity to have a rigorous intellectual discussion without apology or embarrassment. The other members have become good friends, and, importantly, I’ve come to really trust them. Even when they don’t particularly like a film, I can always count on them to engage with it honestly and on its own terms. I’m guessing other cinephiles will be able to sympathize with me on this somewhat odd point: Sharing a loved film with others involves some emotional risk-taking. I don’t trust Beau Travail and The Son to just anyone. (To their credit, my friends all loved those films, which were two of my first, strategically-chosen picks.)

We’ve hit a point where we want to rethink our group a bit, so after a fun discussion yesterday it was decided that, instead of choosing individual films, we’d take turns programming and moderating short series. I’m going first and have settled on the New Wave as a topic. Before I joined, the group watched Breathless, and a few months ago we did My Night at Maud’s. We’re going to begin the series with The 400 Blows, which none of the others have seen, and then I’m probably going to pick a late-60s Godard, maybe Week End or Two or Things I Know About Her. But what I’m most excited about is picking contemporary films that allude in various ways to the New Wave. So, for example, I’m starting with the Truffaut so that we can later watch Tsai’s What Time Is It There? I’m playing with other ideas but would be curious to hear suggestions:

What films would you show to illustrate the spirit and lasting influence of the New Wave? And what are some of your favorite reads on the subject?