Brigitte Rollet
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A rebel with causes
Coline Serreau and politics (1972–96)
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This chapter considers the specificity of French cinema in the 1970s before analysing in more detail Coline Serreau's first film. Serreau's work on stage and on big or small screens was strongly influenced by the political mood which succeeded May '68 in France. In France, the Utopian tradition in literature is particularly marked in the period preceding and following the 1789 Revolution. The presence in the background of a huge reproduction of a painting by the French seventeenth-century painter Lorrain reinforces in a way the idea of performance since the rebellious artists appear in some long shots to be part of the painted background. What J. P. Jeancolas calls the 'vague contemporary', which for him characterises French cinema before the 1970s, became much more precise afterwards. The 'contemporary' was mostly expressed through socio-political films.

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