The actor/auteur
in Mathieu Kassovitz
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Though La Haine may well have emphatically announced the arrival of Mathieu Kassovitz the director to French cinema audiences, it was in fact two years earlier and as an actor that he was first officially recognised as one of French cinema's emerging young talents. By the mid-1990s, Kassovitz had been identified as an actor of considerable talent with, potentially, a significant screen career ahead of him. This chapter addresses whether or not we can think of Kassovitz in terms of stardom, that 'elusive quality', defined by Vincendeau, as the: 'amalgam of character type, performance style, looks and "aura" that allows a few actors, in Richard Dyer's words, to "crystalise and authenticate" social values and become emblematic of their time'. With the official selection at Cannes of films such as La Haine and Assassins, he announced his presence in the mid-1990s as the young rebel of French cinema.


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