This book offers an opportunity to reconsider the films of the British New Wave in the light of forty years of heated debate. By eschewing the usual tendency to view films such as A Kind of Loving and The Entertainer collectively and include them in broader debates about class, gender and ideology, it presents a new look at this famous cycle of British films. Refuting the long-standing view that films such as Billy Liar and Look Back in Anger are flawed and therefore indicative of an under-achieving national cinema, the book also challenges the widely held belief in the continued importance of the relationship between the British New Wave and questions of realism. Drawing upon existing sources and returning to unchallenged assumptions about British cinema, this book allows the reader to return to the films and consider them anew. In order to achieve this, the book also offers a practical demonstration of the activity of film interpretation. This is essential, because the usual tendency is to consider such a process unnecessary when it comes to writing about British films. The book demonstrates that close readings of films need not be reserved for films from other cinemas.
The British New Wave 1 The British New Wave: a certain tendency? The terrible thing about the cinema is the way it uses up everything. It exhausts ideas, stories, brands of stories, and suddenly finds itself faced with a kind of gulf, a ditch across which it must leap to capture some new and absolutely unforeseen territory. We’re not talking, obviously, about eternal masterpieces: clearly Shakespeare always had something to say, and he didn’t have to jump any ditch. But it’s a situation ordinary film production is likely to run into every five years or so. In
This chapter focuses on another important stage in Carné’s career by examining his relationship with a key moment in French film history – indeed, probably its most famous moment – the French new wave. In the last chapter and in Chapter 1 I began to discuss the significance of this meeting, between one of France’s great classical directors and the filmmakers of the new wave. While ‘Most Cahiers du Cinéma
Chabrol has excellent new-wave credentials and is in some ways a representative figure for this innovative movement in French cinema. A film fan from an early age, he ran a film club in the village of Sardent (to which he had been evacuated from Paris during the Second World War). On his return to the capital, he frequented student film clubs where he met the future new-wave directors François Truffaut
resignation and defiance. Suddenly, his mood lightens: ‘Come on duck, let’s get down’. He pulls her up and together they walk away from the camera towards the city below. As we noted at the end of the last chapter, the so-called ‘British New Wave’, of which Reisz’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is exemplary, emerged less out of the documentary roots of Free Cinema than in response to the burgeoning world of proletarian drama
This book provides a comprehensive study of the cinema of Philippe Garrel, placing his work within the political context of France in the second half of the twentieth century (including the tumultuous events of May 68) and the broader contexts of auteur cinema and the avant-garde. Challenging the assumption that Garrel’s oeuvre exists in direct continuity with that of Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut et al., this study locates a more radical shift with Garrel’s predecessors by observing the eclecticism of the influences absorbed and exploited by the director. In doing so, it explores contexts beyond French cinema in order to interpret the director’s work, including avant-garde movements such as the Situationists, Surrealism, Arte Povera and the American Underground. Acknowledging Garrel’s role as an unofficial historian of the so-called ‘post-New Wave’, the study equally considers his relationship with other members of this loose film school, including Jean Eustache, Chantal Akerman and Jacques Doillon. The book is structured according to both a chronological and thematic reading of Garrel’s oeuvre. This method introduces different conceptual issues in each chapter while respecting the coherence of the various periodisations of the director’s career.
One of the most gifted directors of the post New Wave, Maurice Pialat is frequently compared to such legendary filmmakers as Jean Renoir and Robert Bresson. A quintessentially realist filmmaker, who, like Bresson, was trained as a painter, his particular form of realism influenced an entire generation of young filmmakers in the 1990s. This study of Pialat's cinema in English provides an introduction to a complex and difficult director, who saw himself as a marginal and marginalised filmmaker, but whose films are deeply rooted in French society and culture. Pialat was long considered the only major filmmaker to portray ‘la France profonde’, the heart of France—the people who, as he put it, ‘take the subway’. Taken as a whole, his work can be seen both as an oblique autobiography and the portrait of a fundamental institution—the family—over several generations, from the Third Republic through the end of the nineties. The power of Pialat's realism has often overshadowed his formal originality, and this study gives equal attention to formal issues, including the crucial role of montage in the elaboration of his filmic narratives. It provides a brief biographical sketch of the filmmaker, situating his work in relation to the New Wave and the popular Saturday night cinema of his childhood, as well as giving an overview of the major themes and formal preoccupations of his work. Subsequent chapters provide readings of each of Pialat's full-length films.
This review article charts the general direction of scholarship in James Baldwin studies between the years 2015 and 2016, reflecting on important scholarly events and publications of the period and identifying notable trends in criticism. While these years witnessed a continuing interest in the relationship of Baldwin’s work to other authors and art forms as well as his transnational literary imagination, noted in previous scholarly reviews, three newly emergent trends are notable: an increased attention to Baldwin in journals primarily devoted to the study of literatures in English, a new wave of multidisciplinary studies of Baldwin, and a burgeoning archival turn in Baldwin criticism.
The new wave of Korean cinema has presented a series of distinct genre productions, which are influenced by contemporary Japanese horror cinema and traditions of the Gothic. Ahn Byeong-ki is one of Korea‘s most notable horror film directors, having made four Gothic horrors between 2000 and 2006. These transnational horrors, tales of possession and avenging forces, have repeatedly been drawn to issues of modernity, loneliness, identity, gender, and suicide. Focusing on the figure of the ghostly woman, and the horrors of modern city life in Korea, this essay considers the style of filmmaking employed by Ahn Byeong-ki in depicting, in particular, the Gothic revelation.
This essay draws on James Baldwin’s ideas on race, immigration, and American identity to examine the experience of contemporary African immigrants in the United States. More Africans have come to the U.S. since 1965 than through the Middle Passage, and only now is their experience gaining the full creative and critical attention it merits. Since becoming American entails adopting the racial norms and sentiments of the U.S., I explore how African immigrants contend with the process of racialization that is part and parcel of the American experience. Drawing on Baldwin’s idea of blackness as an ethical category, I also consider the limits of the concept of Afropolitanism to characterize the new wave of African immigrants in the U.S.