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Author: Gemma King

This is the first book dedicated to the career and films of Jacques Audiard. It argues that the work of this prominent French director both reinforces and undermines the traditional concept of the auteur.

The book traces Audiard’s career from his early screenwriting projects in the 1970s to his eight directed feature films. From a prison outside Paris to a war zone in Sri Lanka, from a marine park on the Côte d’Azur to the goldfields of the American Wild West, these films revolve around the movement of bodies. Fragile yet powerful, macho yet transgressive, each of these films portrays disabled, marginalised or otherwise non-normative bodies in constant states of crisis and transformation.

This book uses the motif of border-crossing – both physical and symbolic – to explore how Audiard’s films construct and transcend boundaries of many forms. Its chapters focus on his films’ representation of the physical body, French society and broader transnational contexts. Located somewhere between the arthouse and the B movie, the French and the transnational, the feminist and the patriarchal, the familiar and the new, this book reveals how Jacques Audiard’s characters and films reflect his own eternally shifting position, both within and beyond the imaginary of French cinema.

Susan Ireland

significant memory carriers in the context of immigration. Few fiction films depicting the war were made in the 1980s and 1990s, and the harkis generally played only a very minor role in those produced by majority-French directors. For example, in Pierre Schoendoerffer’s L’Honneur d’un capitaine (1982), which addresses the French Army’s use of torture and summary executions, harkis appear briefly in just a small number of episodes, mostly as translators, in scenes where French soldiers interact with villagers, but also as witnesses of violence, as when an adolescent is

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Mona El Khoury

5 Seeking paths to existence in Rachid Djaïdani’s Rengaine Mona El Khoury Rengaine, Rachid Djaïdani’s first feature-length film not only expands on 1980s and 1990s works by Maghrebi-French directors,1 but is quite original in the themes it tackles.2 Indeed, if Djaïdani’s film shares ‘a concern with the place and identity of the marginal and excluded in France’ (Tarr, 2005: 3) which is typical of beur and banlieue films, it innovates through its focus on minority racism and its treatment of identity construction.3 The original choice of telling a philosophical

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Christopher Lloyd

technically brilliant craftsman, a skilled manipulator of audiences, who produced a series of arresting genre films? If he was as much an entertainer as an artist, why in that case did he direct so few films? And finally, were his films influenced in any way by the rise of the New Wave of French directors and critics from the late 1950s, or did they remain rooted in what some hostile commentators saw as a conventional and stultifying classicism? Although Clouzot’s output as a director spanned a period of twenty-six years, in this time he released only ten full-length feature

in Henri-Georges Clouzot
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Contesting filiations
Julia Dobson

After substantial success as a screenplay writer, Jacques Audiard has directed some of the most engaging and enduring films of the last decade in France. His films, Regarde les hommes tomber (1994), Un héros très discret (1996) and Sur mes lèvres (2001), received critical recognition, yet he is often absent from canon-forming lists of contemporary French directors. This will undoubtedly change

in Five directors
Brigitte Rollet

It runs in the family: Serreau’s family background Coline Serreau is one of the most famous female French directors alive, not only in France but also abroad. She is the only woman with a film figuring in the list of the twenty most popular French movies since the start of the Fifth Republic (1958), reaching fourth position with Trois hommes et un couffin. Coline Serreau was born in Paris on 29 October 1947, the daughter of Geneviève Serreau (1915–1981), a writer and translator, and of Jean-Marie Serreau (1915

in Coline Serreau
Martin O’Shaughnessy

composition was at times so mobile, Renoir is a challenge to constricting frames. Because he is widely seen as the greatest French director and one of the major figures of world cinema, Renoir has become a plum prize for critics (especially French ones) to fight over. The principal combatants have been critics of the left and auterists. Yet each camp has difficulty with Renoir because of the discontinuities and shifting contexts

in Jean Renoir
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Author: Brigitte Rollet

Coline Serreau is one of the most famous female French directors alive, not only in France but also abroad. This book is devoted not only to some relevant biographical aspects of Serreau's personal and artistic life, but also to the social, historical and political context of her debut. It deals with the 1970s' flavour of Serreau's work and more especially with the importance of politics. Taking intertextuality in its broadest sense, it assesses the strong literary influence on the tone, genre and content of Serreau's films and dramas. The book is concerned with the cinematographic genres Serreau uses. It provides a description and an analysis of Serreau's comedies, within the wider perspective of French comedies. The book also deals with the element of 'family' or community which is recurrent in Serreau's films and plays. During the 1980s, Serreau's career moved towards fiction, and she worked both for the cinema and the theatre. Serreau often underlines her family's lack of financial resources. The book considers the specificity of French cinema in the 1970s before analysing in more detail Serreau's first film. Serreau's work on stage and on big or small screens was strongly influenced by the political mood which succeeded May '68 in France. The book also discusses the idea of utopia which was the original theme of Serreau' first documentary and which is central to her first fiction film, Pourquoi pas!. Female humour and laughter cannot be considered without another powerful element: the motivation of often transgressive laughter.

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Jean Renoir is widely seen as the greatest French director and one of the major figures of world cinema. This book introduces Renoir's life and his highly uneven career. It demarcates his vision of his films, craft and ideological evolution and draws substantially on his writings and interviews. As he made films addressing different audiences with varying degrees of freedom in shifting production and socio-historical contexts, the book identifies the periods when the contextual factors remained relatively stable. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, mon père is the text most frequently drawn upon to fill in his early years. The book deals with Renoir and his leftist critics and the auterists. He is a challenge to auteurists because of his commitment and his many changes of direction. Cahiers was a polemical journal, and the Cahiers critics were far from uniform in their general outlook or their specific response to Renoir. It then considers the films that Renoir directed during his first decade as a film-maker. They are considered in two groups: the silent films and those that followed the introduction of sound. Critics seem to assume a dehistoricised and homogenised America that is somehow the antithesis of France. Perhaps this is because 'Renoir américain' was seen on European screens when the cold war was raging and the world seemed polarised between two monolithic blocs. The book also deals with Renoir's late films after his return to France in 1951, after an absence of more than ten years.

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Author: Sarah Cooper

The study of film as art-form and (to a lesser extent) as industry, has become a popular and widespread element of French Studies, and French cinema has acquired an important place within Film Studies. The adoption of a director-based approach raises questions about auteurism. This book aims to provide informative and original English-language studies of established figures, and to extend the range of French directors known to anglophone students of cinema. Chris Marker began his career as a writer. He entered filmmaking in the first instance as a writer. His finely tuned skills in this capacity are evidenced from the outset in the richness and beauty of his poetic commentaries. The first decade of Marker's filmmaking career encompasses what Chris Darke terms the 'lost period' of his oeuvre. He co-directed one film with Alain Resnais (Les Statues meurent aussi) and directed five of his own (Olympia 52; Dimanche à Pékin; Lettre de Sibérie; Description d'un combat; and Cuba Si!). Marker's idiosyncratic documentaries reassess what the term 'documentary' means. Two key essayist interventions, Lettre de Sibérie and especially Sans Soleil, have earned him a stellar reputation in the manipulation of this personalised form. The rethinking of filmic time and alternative lives in his many and varied works is enabled, rather than blocked, by an engagement with death and stasis. There is certainly something of this in Marker's oeuvre, which aches at times for what was and what could have been.