Will Higbee
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The popular polemicist
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This chapter explores the cultural context within which Mathieu Kassovitz emerged to direct his first three short films, concentrating in the second half on key transformations relating to youth culture that have taken place in relation to French popular culture. One of the most important of the trips to the cinema came in the mid-1970s when Kasso-vitz was about 10 and his father took him to the Paris Cinémathèque to see Duel. The young Kassovitz was immediately struck by Spielberg's directorial style - accurately described by Kolker as a proficient structuring of narrative and control of mise en scène that encourages the spectator to surrender themselves to the narrative. Kassovitz's first short film Fierrot le pou became a statement of intent from the ambitious young director. Through his cultural references and influences Kassovitz makes a conscious effort to place his films in the realm of mass popular culture.

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