The great American film critic Manny Farber memorably declared space to be the most dramatic stylistic entity in the visual arts. He posited three primary types of space in fiction cinema: the field of the screen, the psychological space of the actor, and the area of experience and geography that the film covers. This book brings together five French directors who have established themselves as among the most exciting and significant working today: Bruno Dumont, Robert Guediguian, Laurent Cantet, Abdellatif Kechiche, and Claire Denis. It proposes that people think about cinematographic space in its many different forms simultaneously (screenspace, landscape, narrative space, soundscape, spectatorial space). Through a series of close and original readings of selected films, it posits a new 'space of the cinematic subject'. Dumont's attraction to real settings and locality suggests a commitment to realism. New forms and surfaces of spectatorship provoke new sensations and engender new kinds of perception, as well as new ways of understanding and feeling space. The book interrogates Guediguian's obsessive portrayal of one particular city, Marseilles. Entering into the spaces of work and non-work in Cantet's films, it asks what constitutes space and place within the contemporary field of social relations. The book also engages with cultural space as the site of social integration and metissage in the work of Kechiche, his dialogues with diasporic communities and highly contested urban locales. Denis's film work contains continually shifting points of passage between inside and outside, objective and subjective, in the restless flux.

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Framing space and social exclusion in the films of Laurent Cantet
James S. Williams

4 Heading nowhere: framing space and social exclusion in the films of Laurent Cantet Space and being in contemporary French cinema Space and social exclusion in Laurent Cantet Acoustic space has the basic stucture of a sphere whose focus or centre is simultaneously everywhere and whose margin is nowhere. (M. McLuhan) What am I doing here? (Ellen in Vers le sud) Place, power, politics Cantet is one of the most rigorous and acute exponents of social space working in French cinema today. All space within his work is presented as socially constructed and

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
Guy Austin

raw energy off screen, into the realm of ‘the real’. Class war and family conflict in Ressources humaines Laurent Cantet’s Ressources humaines ( Human Resources , 1999) refers back to the political counter-cinema of the late sixties and early seventies, and in particular to Godard’s Tout va bien (1972, see chapter 2 ) in its focus on a factory occupation and on the issues of

in Contemporary French cinema
James S. Williams

need to be fully alert to its intricacies of spatial form, dimension and valency. To maintain these two broad lines of spatial enquiry in productive, mutual tension will constitute in itself an experience of difference and relationality that defines the nature of space in cinema. The five contemporary French filmmakers explored in Space and Being in Contemporary French Cinema – Bruno Dumont, Robert Guédiguian, Laurent Cantet, Abdellatif Kechiche and Claire Denis – address the specific effects of reality and lived experience on the human perception of space and time

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
James S. Williams

mapping of the metropolis is not really about geophysical space at all, for it is thoroughly predetermined by his understanding of the irremediability of political time. In this Williams, Space and being in contemporary French cinema.indd 285 11/01/2013 15:18:47 286 Space and being in contemporary French cinema closed world, there is rarely any possibility of spontaneous urban encounter or spatial surprise. Laurent Cantet’s method is very different in that he reconceives the space/frame relation by exposing and undermining the logic of the frame frontally, sideways

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
Transcending the question of origins
Emna Mrabet

(13), 307–19. Strand, D. (2009). ‘Être et parler: Being and Speaking French in Abdellatif Kechiche’s L’Esquive (2004) and Laurent Cantet’s Entre les murs (2008),’ Studies in French Cinema 9(3), 259–72. Swamy, V. (2007). ‘Marivaux in the Suburbs: Reframing Language in Kechiche’s L’Esquive (2003),’ Studies in French Cinema, 7(1), 57–68. Tarr, C. (2005). Reframing Difference: Beur and Banlieue Filmmaking in France, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Tarr, C. (2011). ‘Class Acts: Education, Gender, and Integration in Recent French Cinema,’ in S. Durmelat and V. Swamy

in Reimagining North African Immigration
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Continuing negotiations
Julia Dobson

. The desire to characterise and construct the history of contemporary French film is already asserting the twin dominance of the divergent threads of a return to political realism and the foregrounding of explicitly political content (Laurent Cantet, the Dardennes, Bruno Dumont) and a radically haptic cinema of sensation (Claire Denis, Philippe Grandrieux). The oppositional exclusivity of such threads

in Negotiating the auteur
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On the humanism of precarious works
Anna Dezeuze

‘living paralysis’ and ‘playful repetition’ which, according to Berlant, ‘has become a convention of representing the impasse’ in the 1990s ‘cinema of precarity’ that she discusses.31 In fact, as she demonstrates, this ‘cinema of precarity’ deals specifically with the experience of living in an ‘impasse’. In her analyses of films by the Dardennes brothers and Laurent Cantet, Berlant focuses mainly on the way ‘[p]eople are destroyed’ and ‘discouraged’ in this impasse, and how they try ‘maintaining … things’ despite the difficulties that they encounter. She acknowledges

in Almost nothing
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Gemma King

correspondingly polycentric French and global spaces. Films such as Polisse (Maïwenn 2011), Entre les murs (Laurent Cantet 2008), Un prophète (Jacques Audiard 2009), Dheepan (Jacques Audiard 2015), Welcome (Philippe Lioret 2009), La Graine et le mulet MUP_King_Printer.indd 4 22/06/2017 11:03 Introduction 5 (Abdellatif Kechiche 2007), London River (Rachid Bouchareb 2009) and Des hommes et des dieux (Xavier Beauvois 2010) thus re-envision the role multilingualism has to play in contemporary French culture. In her analysis of beur and other multicultural French films, Carrie

in Decentring France
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Polisse and Entre les murs
Gemma King

mother’s native language of Tamazight, MUP_King_Printer.indd 73 22/06/2017 11:03 74  Decentring France Figure 6  Entre les murs (Laurent Cantet, Haut et Court) Souleymane is called on to interpret, and thus to facilitate the hearing which may lead to his expulsion. Processes of translation and multilingualism suddenly become crucial to the scene. Indeed, without Souleymane’s interpretation, the committee meeting cannot continue. In the early stages of the meeting, Souleymane whispers in Tama­­ zight to his mother, interpreting the French-language conversation for

in Decentring France