Will Higbee
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This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book begins with a consideration of the origins and influences that have shaped Mathieu Kassovitz's development as a director, but also the cultural context within which he emerges as a filmmaker. It argues that his particular brand of popular cinema is entirely consistent with the tastes and consumption practices of youth audiences in France. The chapter focuses on Métisse and La Haine, which use the arena of popular culture as a space of 'constant contestation', in which the discourses and modes of representation employed by hegemony in relation to issues such as race, ethnicity, youth and exclusion are actively challenged. It examines the American influences evident in all of Kassovitz's films to date as a director and explores the continuity and difference between his films as actor and director.

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