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Documenting movements in time and space
Todd W. Reeser

An intellectual director, Sébastien Lifshitz makes films treating journeys in time and space that lead to – or have the potential to lead to – new ways of being and of relating to others. Those journeys can be seen as beginning with photography. In an interview on the Plein sud DVD (Lifshitz, 2010 ), the filmmaker notes that he wanted to be a photographer, but then

in Queer cinema in contemporary France
Five directors

"What does queer signify in twenty-first-century French film? How are lesbian, gay, and trans* characters represented on screen? The book responds to these questions via the cinema of five emblematic directors: Jacques Martineau, Olivier Ducastel, Alain Guiraudie, Sébastien Lifshitz, and Céline Sciamma. From gay sex at a nudist beach to lesbian love at a high school swimming pool, from gay road trips across France to transgender journeys through time, the films treated in this study raise a host of key questions about queerness in this century. From award-winners such as Stranger by the Lake and Portrait of a Lady on Fire to the lesser-known Family Tree and Open Bodies, these productions gesture toward an optimistic future for LGBTQ characters and for the world in which they live, love, and desire. Comprehensive in scope, Queer cinema in contemporary France traces the development of queerness across the directors’ careers, from their earliest, often unknown works to their later, major films. Whether they are white, beur, or black, whether they are lesbian, gay, trans*, or queer, the characters open up oppressive notions of hetero- and cisnormativity to something new, something unexpected, and something oriented towards the future.

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Martine Beugnet

have no preconceived, coherent vision of her ‘trajectory’. When asked, in Sébastien Lifshitz’s filmed documentary, Claire Denis, La Vagabonde ( 1995 ), 1 to define the overall direction of her work, she answered: ‘Ce qui est troublant, c’est que j’ai une vision floue de cette perspective ... Hors les films, pas de sens’. 2 Denis’ filmmaking eschews conventions and pastiche, but it nevertheless draws on a diversity of

in Claire Denis
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Queer productions
Todd W. Reeser

I begin with two films that conclude in the light of queerness. In the final shot of Sébastien Lifshitz’s Wild Side (2004), the three queer characters Djamel, Stéphanie, and Mikhail, asleep in a train compartment, are heading back to Paris from the north of France ( plate 10 ). The sun coming through the window slowly moves across their intertwined bodies as the train moves along

in Queer cinema in contemporary France
Abdellatif Kechiche and the politics of reappropriation and renewal
James S. Williams

-to-date account of Maghrebi-French (beur) filmmaking in France, see Higbee 2007, Wagner 2011 and Levine 2008, which provides an incisive overview of the aesthetics of beur/ banlieue filmmaking). 3 One such example of literal transit is Sébastien Lifshitz’s Wild Side (2004) which, with its shifting urban and rural tableaux and occasional glimpses of trans sub-culture, rehearses a transgender, transcultural and transgenerational fantasy of errance featuring a young beur hustler, a Russian immigrant sans-papiers and a transsexual prostitute who form a ménage-à-trois in the rural

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema