Women film-makers in France
in Contemporary French cinema
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Although film-making remains male-dominated in France as elsewhere, 'more women have taken an active part in French cinema than in any other national film industry'. France claims not only the first woman film director - Alice Guy, but also the first feminist filmmaker, Germaine Dulac, a pioneer of 'impressionist' cinema or 'the first avant-garde' in the 1920s. Two of the principal auteurs in French film since the 1960s, women whose idiosyncratic styles epitomise avant-garde auteur cinema, are Marguerite Duras and Agnès Varda. Less radical, both ideologically and aesthetically, than Duras or Varda, Diane Kurys and Coline Serreau took women's film-making into the popular mainstream during the mid-1980s. Whereas during the 1970s, films set in the French colonies tended to dwell on the military or the political, it was only in the 1980s that 'the personal experience or semi-autobiographical recollection of an ex-colonial' became a common theme.

Contemporary French cinema

An introduction


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