Active pessimism and the politics of the 1950s
in Louis Malle
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

As Louis Malle was to himself admit, he once held complex cultural affinities with the radical right-wing, although these were in themselves subtle and ambiguous connections. This chapter discusses Ascenseur pour l'echafaud, Les Amants, and Le Feu follet in the light of this admission. It also offers an opportunity to analyse Malle's political journey from the cultural right-wing to the libertarian left, to explain how Le Souffle au coeur marked a radical break with the 1950s by speaking of that era through a comic mode. A brief résumé of the basic plots of Les Amants, Vie privée, or Le Feu follet confirm Malle's propensity for active pessimism. The conservative portrayal of women in his cinema remained relatively stable throughout the oeuvre. Malle's films of the 1950s converged with the world of the extreme right-wing literary tradition, often loosely defined as 'the Hussard' movement.


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 54 21 5
Full Text Views 22 8 0
PDF Downloads 5 4 0