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Coline Serreau and politics (1972–96)

-political film and was also strongly influenced by May ‘68. This is a major aspect of Serreau’s work as shown later in this chapter. Utopia Etymologically, the word ‘utopia’ derives from the Greek ‘ou’ (not) ‘topos’ (place), and thus means ‘what has no place’. Since Thomas More’s 1561 book entitled Utopia, the word has come to mean an imagined society that has (at least as yet) no place in reality. In France, the Utopian tradition in literature is particularly marked in the period preceding and following the 1789 Revolution. It

in Coline Serreau
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one hand and ‘flesh and life’ (l’incarnat et la vie) on the other. At this point he thus chose a term that etymologically still carried the reference to the Christian mystery of incarnation but had, in its abbreviated form, become a word for the red colour of flesh in the French art literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Diderot transformed these mystifying ideas about the animation of art works by grounding them in the physicality of the living body. He uses the word peau, giving a materialist account of the transmission of the emotions via coloured

in Fleshing out surfaces

The surface’s substance The naked areas an artist represents when painting a human body were traditionally not conceived of in terms of skin but of flesh. It was the body’s substance, its living matter, rather than its surface that was meant to be brought on to the canvas (or any other support such as wood, or a wall in the case of frescoes). The medieval and early modern art literature referred to painterly imitations of the unclothed human body in terms related to flesh: the Italian carnagioni as well as the French carnation derived from the Latin word for

in Fleshing out surfaces
From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

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eighteenth-century French literature are also an obvious inspiration. Taking intertextuality in its broadest sense, Chapter 3 will assess the strong literary influence on the tone, genre and content of Serreau’s films and dramas. Fairy-tales and philosophical tales, together with the social and political satire characteristicof seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French literature,are combined with a 1970s’ flavour by the director-dramatistwho addresses issues of gender and race which were not on the agenda of the male French

in Coline Serreau
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un couffin – perceived by French audiences and by many critics as a feminist comedy – the gap between the French and the Anglo-Saxon receptions and perceptions of her work seems extremely wide. Without analysing this point in detail, I would prefer to focus on the wider issue of women in contemporary French cinema from the mid-1980s onwards. 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

in Coline Serreau
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Representing people of Algerian heritage

allowing their parents to speak. Here the personal is inevitably political; and it is precisely because the first generation of migrants still has no prominent voice in the public sphere of daily life in France that it is in such an innocuous, domestic setting that the past is reclaimed. This echoes Bhabha’s (1994: 13) concept of the ‘in-betweenness’ of the diasporic subject where (here with reference to literature): Private and public, past and present, the psyche and the social develop an interstitial intimacy. It is an intimacy that questions binary divisions through

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture

1942 text Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art, which came out in French translation in 1965. 38 Didier Semin, ‘Le chaudron’, in Daniel Abadie et al. (eds), Les années Supports/ Surfaces, 19. 39 Wolin, The Wind from the East, 3.

in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Popular advice manuals and the orchestration of the private interior

ideal, harmonious interior organized around a pre-established theme that would allow for a total artistic experience was developed earlier, in the literature about proper collecting and decorating in the private home. Published in 1884, the Grammaire de la curiosité (L’Art intime et le goût en France) by Spire Blondel (1836–1900), an art historian, critic, and collaborator at the Gazette des beaux-arts, praised the benefits of collecting, emphasizing the role that art and curiosities in general played in the creation of a relaxing and agreeable atmosphere in one

in Interior decorating in nineteenth-century France
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– as stylistically unified wholes.5 As such, the new generation of graduates did not merely espouse new styles over those of the past; it also threatened to destroy the faubourg’s long-held belief in guilds and trades, each responsible for a small part of what could be a larger – though yet unnamed – profession. 2 Interior decorating in nineteenth-century France This book analyzes the early stages of the interior design profession as it began to be articulated within various circles involved in the decoration of the private home in the second half of the

in Interior decorating in nineteenth-century France