Coline Serreau is one of the most famous female French directors alive, not only in France but also abroad. This chapter presents the director's films in chronological order and situates them in their political, social and cultural context. During the 1980s, Serreau's career moved towards fiction, and she worked both for the cinema and the theatre. Serreau often underlines her family's lack of financial resources. Serreau's reputation as a serious feminist documentary filmmaker was reinforced in 1979 by her contribution to a series produced by the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel and devoted to grandmothers. She was awarded 600,000 French francs which allowed her to finish the editing of Mais qu'est-ce qu'elles veulent? The chapter considers the way her films epitomise the evolution of French cinema and society. May '68 is considered by historians as a watershed in French society as well as in French culture.
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in this book. The book reveals the extent of Jacques Rivette's engagement with the ethics of cinema's aesthetic and the demands he made of the films he saw and, later, of himself as filmmaker. His career has also been characterised by a more general intellectual curiosity which led him to seek out Roland Barthes, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Pierre Boulez to interview them for Cahiers, and to cultivate a particular interest in experiments going forward in other artistic fields, especially theatre and music. In Rivette's fifty years of filmmaking career, he has developed and pursued an extremely individual trajectory which has made his output and his position in French cinema unique. Rivette's system of storytelling depends explicitly on evoking curiosity in others.
Karel Reisz's chief motivator as a director, which radically limited the number and types of projects he chose to film, but at the same time guaranteed a clear line of continuity in his own work, was the interior life of his characters. This interest led to his movement away from documentary realism to a more personal, hybrid mode of film-making. Although Reisz kept a firm critical distance from his characters' self-interpellating 'madness', he was also an obvious admirer of the outsider's will-to-power and the subjective, often dreamlike world (Morgan, Isadora, Everybody Wins) that they construct for themselves outside the prevailing Zeitgeist. Reisz was able to sustain this enquiry by radically transforming the nature of cinematic realism as a viable critical medium. Reisz knew when to let the art direction do the work, and when to move the camera in order to open up shifting correlatives within a single take.
The film industries of North and South Korea adopt totally different production and distribution systems under opposite state ideologies: communism and capitalism. The adaptations of Ch'unhyangjon epitomise how South and North Korean films tailor the common legacy of Confucian sexual morality and class distinction differently. Several South Korean films made in the 1980s and 1990s tend to tackle social problems involving those who were mobilised for the arduous economic development plans during the 1960s and 1970s but have been alienated from the economic progress of their society. They address the despair and anger of the masses over socio-economic injustice. The future of the Korean film industry depends on a host of external parameters. In the South, the factors are mainly economic whereas in the North, they are primarily political.
The body of films, the products of beur, banlieue and Algerian filmmaking in France, constitute a challenging intervention to narratives of nation in contemporary French cinema. The reframing of difference in beur filmmaking has been dominated by the need to counter the stigmatisation of the beurs, and the banlieues, in dominant media discourses, including the cinema. Across a range of comedies and dramas, action films and auteur films, beur and black actors are able to embody characters who are not exoticised or demonised but whose interactions with France's white citizens are increasingly normalised. For filmmakers of Maghrebi descent, filmmaking is more than just a question of representation, it is also a way of negotiating their own position within French society. By establishing commonalities between beurs and others, the films clearly demonstrate the unacceptability of racist attitudes and behaviour.
Popular film in Brazil has historically been characterised by a city-countryside dialectic, to give just one example. This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the previous chapters of this book. The study presented has established the multiple roots of commercially successful cinema in Brazilian popular culture, such as the teatro de revista, the circus and carnival. The chanchada, from its inception in the 1930s, harked back to a pre-industrial era, rejecting modernity and urbanisation in favour of the nostalgic assertion of traditional values of friendship, camaraderie, neighbourliness and a community lifestyle typical of rural regions or the poor suburbs of the big cities of the South. In popular film, the precarious and fragmented nature of everyday life for the poor is mirrored in the constant interplay between fantasy and reality, carnival interludes and the daily grind.
Despite her established reputation as a successful filmmaker, Coline Serreau could not find a producer to support her project for a silent film called Chari-Bohu in 1990. In the conclusion of her book on French Women's Writing 1848-1994, Diana Holmes emphasises the dilemma women writers were confronted with and which many women filmmakers in France have encountered in their career. More important perhaps is the emergence of filmmakers coming from outside the traditional film circles, whose social and ethnic background contrast with their elders'. The success of Y aura-t-il de la neige à Noël? shows that the 'feminisation' of French cinema seems to go beyond the increasing number of female directors within the French film industry. The huge difficulties most women filmmakers faced to finance their films meant that, when they could find a producer, they were (are), willingly or not, reduced to making cheaper films than their male counterparts.
Robbe-Grillet's cinema inhabits a very particular world into which realism rarely intrudes. The aged, the very young, the working-class, the uneducated, the ugly are all notable by their absence, and some might regret these omissions, arguing that his films do not deal with 'real-world' issues. Any violence in Robbe-Grillet's films is never truly realistic, always highly stylised. To his credit, Robbe-Grillet accepted that this tension existed from the 1980s onwards, retrospectively acknowledging its presence even in the early novels. Robbe-Grillet's cinema is, both outside and within itself, a re-engagement with age-old and deep-seated human concerns. In his unique attempts to renew cinematic forms and in the eternally relevant questions about sexuality and the self that his work poses, the not insignificant corpus of Robbe-Grillet's filmic uvre represents a lasting contribution to experimental and avant-garde cinema.
This chapter talks about constructing subjectivity in the absence of the father and the mother. By reducing subjectivity to a fixed gendered entity (as masculine or feminine), dominant ideology (patriarchy) normalises away questions of power relations. The chapter investigates the issues of transgressive 'child' and absent parent in Luc Besson's films and is going to do so through the triple-optic of genre and gender construction, regression and pathology, resistance and power relations. It first considers the genres that Besson's films exemplify. It is noteworthy that in the main his films are hybrid genres. Thus Subway is a musical and a thriller. Léon is a thriller and a melodrama. Nikita is a film noir and a futurist fantasy. Only Le Dernier Combat and Le Grand Bleu appear to be single generic types.
Film in Korea has always been under governmental censorship. This book examines the ways in which Korean film reveals the ideological orientation of the society in which it is created and circulated. It examines the social and political milieu in which the Korean film industry developed from its beginning during the Japanese colonial period to its bifurcation into South and North Korean cinemas. The book presents a critical analysis of the selected films, which were all made between 1960 and 1990. It discusses the cultural identity of contemporary Koreans by analysing five films based on a popular traditional folk tale, Ch'unhyangjŏn. Three of the five films were made in South Korea: Shin Sangok's Song Ch'unhyang, Pak T'ae-wŏn's The Tale of Song Ch'unhyang and Han Sanghun's SongCh'unhyang. The significance of gender and class issues in Ch'unhyangjŏn can be glimpsed through the three variants of the film title. The book then examines the notion of nationhood held by contemporary Koreans from two interrelated perspectives, political and cultural. It explores the films in relation to the conflicting ideological orientations of North and South Korea. In the North Korean films, anti-imperialism constitutes the core of their definition of nationhood. Class is one of the foremost factors in the formation of cultural identities of contemporary Koreans living as a divided nation. The book discusses six films in this context: The Untrodden Path, The Brigade Commander's Former Superior, Bellflower, A Nice Windy Day, Kuro Arirang and Black Republic.