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French Cinema

Globalization, Representation, and Resistance

Graeme Hayes and Martin O'Shaughnessy

It is now twelve years since French brinkmanship pushed American negotiators and the prospects of a world trade deal to the wire, securing the exclusion of cultural products and services from the 1993 GATT agreement and the maintenance of European systems of national quotas, public subsidies, and intellectual property rights in the audiovisual sector. The intervening period has not been quiet. Although the Multilateral Agreement on Investment was sunk when Lionel Jospin pulled the plug on negotiations in October 1998, the applications of new central European entrants to join the European Union and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have been accompanied by a continuing guerrilla battle fought by successive American administrations against the terms and scope of the exclusion.

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Off the Beaten Path

Non-Metropolitan Representations of Homosexuality in Three French Films

Romain Chareyron

This article offers a reflection on the ways in which the representation of gays and lesbians in contemporary French cinema has mostly focused on specific and limiting traits. With their choice of locales (Paris and other cities) and bodily characteristics (young, fit), these films convey a restrictive view of homosexuality. Such portrayals have gained traction due to their numerous iterations in films and in the media. By focusing on the works of three directors who have adopted a radically different perspective in their portrayals of homosexuality, this article will highlight the close ties that exist between sexuality and topography. Providing a more true-to-life account of homosexuality, the films move away from cities to investigate the geographical margins. In so doing, they question the tenets of France’s republican ideals, where differences tend to be smoothed out in favor of unity and homogeneity. These films reinstate diversity and individuality at the heart of their narratives.

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Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Jane Mayo Roos, Robin Walz and Tamara Chaplin Matheson

Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson Paris: Capital of the World, trans. Arthur Goldhammer by Patrice Higonnet

Jane Mayo Roos Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life under Siege 1870-71 by Hollis Clayson

Robin Walz Genre, Myth, and Convention in the French Cinema, 1929-1939 by Colin Crisp

Tamara Chaplin Matheson The de Gaulle Presidency and the Media: Statism and Public Communications by Jean K. Chalaby

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Charlie Michael

For those of us accustomed to thinking of French cinema as a low-budget, philosophical alternative to Hollywood, the past few years might have been a bit disorienting. Established auteurs (Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Agnès Varda) and challenging newcomers (Gaspard Noé, Catherine Breillat, Erick Zonca) continue to impress, but their idiosyncratic views are now complemented by an increasing number of what look a lot like, well, French “blockbusters.” These are popular genre films that feature special effects and glossy production values.

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After GATT

Has the Revival of French Cinema Ended?

Jonathan Buchsbaum

When the parties of the entire French political spectrum lined up to fight the US position on GATT in 1993, French cinema’s future appeared threatened. The audience had shrunk, theaters were closing, production had plummeted, and most direly, French market share had dipped to 30 percent for the first time in its history, as the US film share was at a postwar high of 58 percent. Ten years later, all of those indicators had turned around dramatically. The audience had returned to theaters, new theater construction and renovation were booming, production topped 200 films, up from just over 100, and market share had risen as high as 41 percent. Yet

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Eloquent Fragments

French Fiction Film and Globalization

Martin O'Shaughnessy

I will begin this piece with two contradictory observations that I will later try to reconcile.1 The first is that neoliberal globalization is deeply resistant to representation within the framework of conventional fiction. The second is that, following its much trumpeted return to the real in the 1990s, French cinema could not avoid figuring the consequences of that same capitalist globalization. Reconciliation of this paradox will lead to the suggestion that French (or rather Franco-Belgian) cinema has above all focused on the fragments left behind once globalization has passed through the social terrain. But, far from producing a satisfactory solution, this reconciliation only opens onto a dilemma.

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More Than Just a Simple Refrain?

The Figure of the Girl in International Cinema

Elspeth Mitchell

political issues of queerness and the problem of representation as well, particularly in relation to the intersection of gender, sexuality, and adolescence. In their respective chapters, Mary Harrod and Fiona Handyside both address French cinema's ability to

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What Was So Funny about Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob (1973)

A Comedic Film between History and Memory

Michael Mulvey

eschewed analysis of Rabbi Jacob , perhaps because the film lacked the stylistic innovation of nouvelle vague or politically committed films. 6 Guy Austin noted that there has been a tendency to think of French cinema as intellectual and cerebral rather

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Ivan Mozzhukhin’s Acting Style

Beyond the Kuleshov Effect

Johannes Riis

A major star of prerevolutionary Russian cinema and French cinema in the 1920s, Ivan Mozzhukhin will always be associated with a lost experiment from around 1920 carried out by Russian film director Lev Kuleshov. The purported result of the

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Sophie Meunier

, a record number since 1952. The main international market for French cinema became, for the first time in 2014, North America, which now surpasses Western Europe. In 2015, China became the number one country for admissions to French movies. 2015 was