Dialogue writing in multicultural France since 2000
Exploring the words of young people
in Screenwriters in French cinema
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This chapter discusses how screenwriters have developed effective strategies for transposing transient, non-standard, local language variation into dialogue. It investigates the writing process, the texture of the dialogue and its performativity in several key films made after 2000, including L’Esquive (Kechiche 2004) and Entre les murs (Cantet 2008). It explores how the screenwriting strategies of both Kechiche and Cantet embrace the dichotomy between authenticity quest and a mere masking of dialogue contrivance. As screenwriting directors, Kechiche and Cantet capture, and sometimes appropriate, the language codes of young people in urban communities. They implement screenwriting dispositifs that impact on the characters’ language use and the creation of film dialogue serving their authorial signature style. In doing so, they address and subvert the stereotypes attached to parlers jeunes while displaying on film the oral qualities and inventiveness of the dialogue.

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