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Claire Denis' first film, Chocolat, was a deceptively gentle family chronicle set in colonial Africa. She focuses on ordinary people, men and women, black and white, homosexuals and heterosexuals, whom displacement and difference have set apart, relegated to the outskirts of society and to the margins of representation. In her films, the perception of the Other is always complex and ambiguous. This book outlines the multi-faceted, poetic vision of the contemporary world that emerges through Denis' filmmaking to date and to bring to light its main thematic, temporal, spatial and stylistic implications. The analysis presented focuses on her fictional feature films, which form the main body of her work and have generally become easily accessible in video or DVD format. In her first feature, Chocolat, the director's early experiences made her sensitive to oppression and misappropriation, exile and racism, alienation and transgression. Location and space emphasise a sense of displacement and function as metaphors for the process of potential exclusion of the individual (body) from society. But the metaphor also evokes an inner sense of exile and longing, a feeling of foreignness that is played out at the level of the individual and of the individual's body through relations of desire, fear and rejection. Denis' work stands apart from a tradition of screenplay and dialogue-based cinema that defines much of France's auteur as well as of its popular production. Denis' work has an echo of a wide range of contemporary thought and the traces of influential aesthetic and genre models.

Ports and watery borderlands from Calais to Lesbos
Michael Gott

2009 and 2016, and that represent the area and its migrants in different ways: Une saison en France / A Season in France (Mahamet-Saleh Haroun, France/Chad), 2017 and Le Havre (Aki Kaurismäki, France/Finland, 2011). I then move to the Mediterranean to consider films by two French auteurs whose work has consistently problematised binary approaches to borders and

in Screen borders
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Martine Beugnet

While most directors blessed by a successful début choose to follow the safe path and to attempt to meet their audiences' expectations, Claire Denis' work has remained in constant mutation. Her work offered, within a coherent thematic framework, a renewed exploration of film's less charted territories. The examination of the issues that are at the centre of her concerns, exile and alienation, desire and transgression, have become an intrinsic part of a specific stylistic approach, unrestricted by categorisations, genres and established conventions. As a result, Denis' work stands apart from a tradition of screenplay and dialogue-based cinema that defines much of France's auteur as well as of its popular production. Denis' work has an echo of a wide range of contemporary thought and the traces of influential aesthetic and genre models.

in Claire Denis
Cristina Johnston

Catherine Deneuve has appeared in at least one major film every year since turning 50 in 1993, often starring in several works in the same season in a career which has encompassed, and continues to encompass, work with leading French auteurs. This chapter focuses on three of Deneuve's films: Belle Maman, Dancer in the Dark, and Le Vent de la nuit/Night Wind. It offers an examination of the varied portraits of older women and of the processes of ageing offered by (and indeed to) Deneuve. Through an examination of Deneuve's roles in these three very different films, there will emerge a vision of her portrayal of gendered ageing as multilayered and complex. Deneuve's roles in these three works engage at once with established on-screen images of both maternity and sexuality while posing a series of challenges to the perceived status of '50 plus' actresses on the international screen.

in From perversion to purity
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Will Higbee

the narrow definition of the ‘Frenchauteur – which is to say one that is uniquely understood in terms of an intimate, introspective, and often intellectual cinema – preferring instead the idea of the contemporary American auteur : Depuis vingt ans, les États-Unis ont un bon cinéma commercial qui est un cinéma

in Mathieu Kassovitz
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Gemma King

And finally, like his enigmatic character Hermann in Les Frères Sisters , even as a director, a position – particularly in the context of French auteur cinema – so often considered to be one of sole creative autonomy, Audiard prefers to work in a team. Audiard’s record of long-term working relationships based on collaboration and creative exchange is noteworthy, from his co

in Jacques Audiard
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Continuing negotiations
Julia Dobson

Masson features regularly in (longer) lists of contemporary French auteurs. Both Lvovsky and Masson are included in a recent list of 37 contemporary French auteurs (Vasse 2008 : 5) and in Ciment’s recent defence of the rich diversity of contemporary French cinema (Ciment 2010 : 1). The absence of Cabrera and Vernoux (and others) from such lists can be framed not as a qualitative judgement but

in Negotiating the auteur
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Kate Ince

français into ‘two major trends’, one of which she calls the ‘French auteurs’ trend (the other is a ‘genre-oriented – and more masculine – cinema’ associated with a group of male directors) (Vincendeau 2005 : 34). She associates the ‘French auteurs’ trend with directors such as Xavier Beauvois, Arnaud Desplechin, Sandrine Veysset, Laetitia Masson and Bruno Dumont, and describes it as a cinema of ‘“small” auteur films

in Five directors
James S. Williams

adventures in audiovisual space. I would like to end, however, by suggesting that even within the familiar spheres of French auteurism, new and fertile cinematic regions are forming beyond the strict confines of the cinema. Agnès Varda and Jean-Luc Godard, for example, have recently taken their work into different physical spaces in order to expand and energise their filmic practice: for Varda, with her exhibition L’Île et Elle at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 2006; for Godard, with his Voyage(s) en Utopie, Jean-Luc Godard, 1946–2006 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
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Peter William Evans

– a quality that already makes it an odd entry in the annals of cinema history. French auteur cinema rarely expresses exuberance without political or social critique. The realities underlying enchantment in Cherbourg and Rochefort – the grey façades of the post-war provinces, the Algerian war, the discomfort of class differences, the impossibility of the heterosexual couple – pass many spectators by. Demy’s cinema

in From perversion to purity