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An introduction
Author: Guy Austin

This book provides an introduction to French film studies. It concentrates on films which have had either a theatrical or video release in Britain, or which are available on video or DVD from France. Most avant-garde film-makers, including Germaine Dulac, were unable to continue in the 1930s, faced with the technical demands and high production costs of the sound film. Exacerbated by the Depression, and above all by the financial collapse of both Gaumont and Pathé, film production fell from 158 features the previous year to only 126 in 1934, and 115 in 1935. While poetic realism was at its height, a talismanic figure in post-war film was faced with a generally lukewarm reception from critics and audiences. Thanks largely to German finance and also to an influx of filmmakers replacing those who had departed, after 1940 French film. If 1968 marked a watershed in French cinema's engagement with politics and history 1974 did the same for representations of sexuality. In that year, pornography entered mainstream French cinema. Although film-making remains male-dominated in France as elsewhere, 'more women have taken an active part in French cinema than in any other national film industry'. A quarter of all French films made in 1981 were polars, and many of those were box-office successes. French fantasy has had a particular national outlet: the bande dessinée. The heritage film often takes its subject or source from the 'culturally respectable classicisms of literature, painting, music'.

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Author: Douglas Morrey

Jean-Luc Godard enjoyed a comfortable and cultured upbringing, acquiring a literary sensibility that would inflect the whole of his career in the cinema. Godard began to study anthropology at the Sorbonne, but dropped out, and the subsequent decade of his life was spent drifting between various occupations. It is this period of Godard's life in particular that has given rise to speculation, rumour and apocryphal stories. Along with other critics at Cahiers du cinéma, including Truffaut, Rivette, Chabrol and Rohmer, Godard's writing on film in the 1950s played an important role in shaping the canon of great film directors that would influence the development of both French and anglophone film studies. A mixture of playfulness and reverent cinematic homage is to be found in the film language that Godard employs in A bout de souffle. The film became famous for its use of jump-cuts, and it may be difficult for today's viewers, familiar with the ultra-rapid editing of music videos and advertising, to appreciate how disruptive this technique appeared to contemporary spectators. Vivre sa vie, like Le Petit Soldat, appears, in places, to appropriate a kind of existentialist narrative form, only to move beyond it into something much stranger and more troubling. Jean-Luc Godard's Masculin féminin is about young people in Paris in the winter of 1965-1966. Godard in the 1970s is doubtless addressing issues such as the nature of capitalism, and the possibilities for revolt. France tour détour deux enfants is a fascinating glimpse of what television could be.

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Ben McCann

Chair de poule featured young Parisian working-​class men seemingly being left behind by the economic prosperity of the trente glorieuses; thirty years earlier, Duvivier had injected his populist films (such as Le Paqubot Tenacity and La Belle équipe) with similar ‘types’. Thus, the book has engaged with key debates in French film studies, notably auteurism, stardom, genre, and questions of the national and international, and as well as Duvivier’s historical range and political inflections. Duvivier’s existential pessimism and misanthropy manifested thematically

in Julien Duvivier
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Continuing negotiations
Julia Dobson

interactions between the trajectories used to address (their) cinema and include: the continuing and recently reasserted dominance within French Film Studies of constructions of the director as auteur , the particular debates around the female auteur , the opposition between contemporary auteur film and popular genre production and the location of the political in contemporary French film. Directing

in Negotiating the auteur
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Gemma King

’Esquive as multilingual in their own, if murky, ways. In multilingual films, it is not so much the mere presence of ltiple languages on the soundtrack that is significant. Instead, mu­­ it is the portrayal of characters adept at moving among different languages and using them to strategic effect, which renders these films so important for French film studies. This movement between languages is studied in a number of forms, particularly code-switching and translanguaging. Focusing on back-and-forth switching between languages, code-switching in film refers to passages of

in Decentring France
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Duvivier and the 1930s
Ben McCann

proficiency […] The French film studies its character with thought and patience’ (Landazuri 2016). Duvivier was able, with La Bandera, La Belle équipe, and Pépé le Moko, to combine commercial success with personal themes and approaches. La Bandera and Pépé le Moko were enormously popular at the French box-office, and La Belle équipe was also a success (see Crisp 2002: 318–​31). Duvivier shows how popular and personal, genre and auteurism can co-​exist, and work dynamically together. Un Carnet de bal (1937) Duvivier’s box-​office success would continue with Un Carnet de bal

in Julien Duvivier