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Auteurism from Assayas to Ozon

There have been vigorous debates about the condition and prospects of auteur cinema in France over the last decade, debates that seem mostly to have gone unreported in anglophone criticism of francophone cinema. But these have been paralleled by a revival of international debate about the status of the auteur: in their extended chapter on auteur cinema added to the second edition of Cook's The Cinema Book, Pam Cook and Mieke Bernink observe that this was definitely underway by 1995. This book summarises the development of auteurism as a field up to the 1990s, drawing particularly on Wright Wexman's historical overview. Georges Méliès was the first auteur. Following the advent of structuralism and structuralist approaches to narrative and communication in the mid 1960s, a type of auteurism was born that preserved a focus on authorship. The book presents an account of the development of Olivier Assayas' career, and explores this idea of what one might call 'catastrophe cinema'. Jacques Audiard's work reflects several dominant preoccupations of contemporary French cinema, such as an engagement with realism (the phenomenon of the 'new new wave') and the interrogation of the construction of (cultural) memory. The book then discusses the films of the Dardenne brothers and their documentaries. Michael Haneke's films can be read as a series of polemical correctives to the morally questionable viewing practices. An introduction to Ozon's films that revolve around the centrality of queer desire to his cinema, and the continual performative transformations of identity worked within it, is presented.

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Kate Ince

By focusing on the issue of auteurism in the introduction to this book, I left unmentioned other parallels and intersections between the films of Assayas, Audiard, the Dardenne brothers, Haneke and Ozon. One is that the long-standing binary opposition between ‘European’ (for which read ‘art-house’) and genre cinema is thoroughly deconstructed in the work of these directors, who have proved themselves

in Five directors
The Dardenne brothers
Martin O’Shaughnessy

The Dardenne brothers first achieved major critical recognition with La Promesse (1996) and have confirmed their status as leading international filmmakers by twice winning the Cannes Palme d’Or, the first time with Rosetta (1999), the second with L’Enfant (The Child, 2005). Coming between the latter two films, Le Fils ( The Son, 2002) was also a striking critical success. The four films

in Five directors
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Kate Ince

television companies, such as France 2 Cinéma. Where the Belgian Dardenne brothers (to whom I shall refer as one director, given the near-interchangeability of the directing and producing roles of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne on their four features to date) and Michael Haneke are concerned, however, the picture is more complex, and probably more indicative of current trends in francophone cinema. All four of the Dardenne brothers

in Five directors
Guy Austin

’s Dogme manifesto in 1995, jeune cinéma has tended to rely on handheld cameras and ambient sound, while often avoiding sound-track music in order to maintain the realist illusion (as in the films of the Dardenne brothers). After ten years or so this style of filming has become widespread, and functions to present the moral choices and social struggles experienced by its characters without an ironic or critical distance. In

in Contemporary French cinema
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Another cinema – a project in time
Joseph Mai

, when they no longer want to continue (‘shall we continue?’, a question in so many films), or when they die. This unique project, invested in a group of people rather than in an art form or industry, explains why Guédiguian would divide film-​makers into those who are ‘inside’ the cinema (like the Dardenne brothers, whom he admires) and those like him:  ‘In my relation to the cinema I  am inside/​outside all of the time’ (Danel 2008:  79–​80). We enter easily into Guédiguian’s narrative world, but we find there an enduring monument to something outside, larger than

in Robert Guédiguian
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Genre and the birth and childhood
Matthew Page

(accessed 29 April 2017). Shohat Ella ( 2004 ) ‘ Sacred Word, Profane Image: Theologies of Adaptation ’ in Stam , Robert, and Raengo , Alessandra (eds) A Companion to Literature and Film , Oxford : Blackwell , pp. 23 – 45 . Slater-Williams , Josh ( 2016 ) ‘ Interview: Eugène Green Talks The Son of Joseph, Compositions and the Dardenne Brothers ’, , 14 December. Online at: (accessed 1 July 2017). Sobchack , Vivian ( 1995

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
Mark Bould

Crunch’ The Times , 20 April 2009, pp. 8–9]. For an overview, see Kay Shaw, Crunch Lit (London: Bloomsbury, 2015). Although no one has yet proposed a ‘crunch cinema’, it would include black comedies, crime movies, true-story dramatisations, thrillers, family melodramas, naturalist dramas and yuppie nostalgia-fests, such as The Boss of it All (von Trier 2006), Headhunters (Tyldum 2012), Human Capital (Virzi 2013), The Wolf of Wall Street (Scorsese 2013), Two Days, One Night (Dardennes brothers 2014), The Big Short (McKay 2015) and I, Daniel Blake

in The films of Costa-Gavras
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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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Andrew Dix

in Hollywood, are working outside their first language as well as their national cinema. One instance of this type of transnational star is Penélope Cruz, who has alternated between commercial American movies and art cinema in Spain; another is Marion Cotillard, with the flexibility to follow a US blockbuster like The Dark Knight Rises with a French-language art film such as Two Days, One Night (2014), directed by Belgium’s uncompromising Dardenne brothers. Given the present gaze of the US towards the potent economies of the Pacific Rim, it is

in Beginning film studies (second edition)