In the eye of the storm
in Louis Malle
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This chapter presents some key concepts discussed in the book. Louis Malle's films are a body of work that most film critics around the world recognise as being one of the most productive in post-war international cinema, including as it does triumphs such as Ascenseur pour l'échafaud; Le Feu follet; Lacombe Lucien; Atlantic City USA; and Au revoir les enfants. Malle's work attracted intense public controversy. Viewed in historical retrospect, Malle is a director who was consistently in the eye of the storm. This chapter highlights four turbulent periods that mark out the career: the New Wave; May '68; the 1970s; and finally Malle's experience of filmmaking in the USA and his return to work on selected projects in France (1978-95). The historical and cultural analysis positions Malle in relation to the dominant social and cultural forces of his times in the two countries in which he worked.

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