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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
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
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
‘French’ style in Saint-Louis and on Gorée Island
Benjamin Steiner

The constellation the French encountered at the coast of Senegambia was already one of a mixed society formed over centuries after the arrival of Portuguese traders in the region. But following the founding of the Senegal Company, French directors and the Company’s agents pursued a more ambitious building programme that included larger fortresses on Gorée Island and on Saint-Louis Island in the estuaries of the Senegal River. The style of colonial buildings in Saint Louis and on Gorée Island did not develop in the same manner as it did in the Antilles, Pondichéry or, for that matter, in Canada. Government buildings, trade houses, and residences were, for example, largely influenced by the ornamental style of the Toucouleur, an ethnic group of Muslim faith that settled in the area of today’s Mali. It was only in the later period of territorial colonization of West Africa that the colonial style superseded the local Creole style.

in Building the French empire, 1600–1800

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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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.