Space, cinema, being
in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
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This chapter provides an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book establishes what makes each director's strategies of negotiating cinematic space powerful, progressive and unique. It considers the spaces of work and non-work in Laurent Cantet's films and asks what constitutes space and place within the contemporary field of social relations. The book engages with cultural space as the site of social integration and metissage in the work of Abdellatif Kechiche who operates from within the context of France's marginal and diasporic communities while always in dialogue with the white mainstream in recognisable, highly contested urban locales. It examines the continually shifting points of passage between inside and outside, objective and subjective, in the restless flux of Claire Denis's film work that crosses a continually expanding spectrum of physical and formal spaces, from remote natural landscapes to intimate passages of intertextual 'grafting'.

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