• Guillaume Canet, right, stars in A Better Life.

For the past few weeks I’ve felt as if I’ve discovered a significant French filmmaker every time I’ve turned my head. This feeling derives in part from the recent Chicago runs of Philippe Garrel’s A Burning Hot Summer and Benoît Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen (which I wrote about on Friday); the Music Box Theatre’s upcoming French film series is another factor. Screening in this series are A Better Life and 38 Witnesses, whose accomplished directors—Cédric Kahn and Lucas Belvaux, respectively—have even less of an American following than Garrel or Jacquot. Both filmmakers belong to a generation of actor-directors that became active around the early 1990s and who often act in each other’s movies. This loose-knit group would also include Xavier Beauvois (who directed Of Gods and Men and Le Petit Lieutenant and acted for Garrel and Jacquot, among others), Noémie Lvovsky (who appears in two films in the Music Box series, 17 Girls and Guilty, along with Farewell, My Queen), and Guillaume Canet (who stars in Better Life and directed Tell No One).