The série-Z, politics and the thriller genre
in French cinema in the 1970s
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The most frequently noticed effect of the new post-1968 climate on the French cinema was a change in the nature of the thriller. This chapter focuses on three 1970s political thriller: série-Z, Yves Boisset's L'Attentat, and René Gainville's Le Complot. The term série-Z had been coined by Nouvelle critique to describe the New Thriller, and adopted by Guy Hennebelle in Ecran 72. The most persistent face of the série-Z was Jean Bouise, who appeared in L'Attentat, Dupont Lajoie, Le Juge Fayard, Z, L'Aveu, and Section spéciale. The chapter considers the debate which was provoked by the intrusion of radical politics into a popular genre, and the disquiet that this caused among the defenders of both genres of film. Costa-Gavras' politics are international; indeed, only the 'historical' Section spéciale relates to France, a fact which was not neglected when his impact on the politicisation of French cinema was considered.

French cinema in the 1970s

The echoes of May

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