Guy Austin
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French cinema from 1895 to 1968, a brief survey
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The year 1995 saw France celebrating the centenary of cinema as a national achievement, a celebration enhanced by the recent victory over the United States regarding the exemption of films from the GATT free-trade agreement. A hundred years after the Lumières' break-through in 1895, the film industry remained the barometer by which the French measured the cultural state of their nation. The French box office of the 1960s was dominated by the popular genres of the thriller and the comedy. Although cinema-going in France declined over the decade, from 355 million spectators in 1958 to 185 million in 1970, there were notable hits, including Yves Robert's childhood comedy La Guerre des boutons. The late 1960s also saw increasing numbers of pornographic films being made in France, a trend which was to culminate in the mid-seventies with the temporary acceptance of pornography into mainstream French cinema.

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Contemporary French cinema

An introduction


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