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Les Amants du Pont-Neuf and the spectacle of vagrancy
Fergus Daly and Garin Dowd

principal causes: its cinéma vérité-style opening sequence suggests a commitment to verisimilitude and a refusal of artifice on the one hand (i.e. a ‘realism’ deriving mainly from the fact that genuine down-and-outs are captured on film), while the theme of homelessness gestures towards the traditions of naturalism (see Chapter 3 ), social and poetic realism on the other. The combination, then, paves the way for an entirely symbolic reading of the

in Leos Carax
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Author: Andrew Tate

This book is a full-length study of Douglas Coupland, one of the twenty-first century's most innovative and influential novelists. It explores the prolific first decade-and-a-half of his career, from Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture (1991) to JPod (2006), a period in which he published ten novels and four significant volumes of non-fiction. Emerging in the last decade of the twentieth century—amidst the absurd contradictions of instantaneous global communication and acute poverty—Coupland's novels, short stories, essays, and visual art have intervened in specifically contemporary debates regarding authenticity, artifice, and art. This book explores Coupland's response, in ground-breaking novels such as Microserfs, Girlfriend in a Coma and Miss Wyoming, to some of the most pressing issues of our times.

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Sam Rohdie

that is real and involves a drama that could be real and in the end, turns out to be deadly. The scene is at once farce and serious drama. The guests are uncertain how to take the ‘performance’. Does it belong to the gaiety and play of the fête or is it real? The world of the servants and of the guests, of lower class and upper class is ruled by conventions and appearances. It is artifice that holds it

in Montage
Affect and artifice in the melodramas of Isabel Coixet
Belén Vidal

through identification and displacement. The repeated motif of the laundromat suggests that, by mobilising an American indie aesthetic as a ready-made idiom, Coixet’s films are also able to borrow its ironic and detached stance as a deliberate artifice that, paradoxically, gives expression to a search for a visual vocabulary of intimacy and affect. Words lie at the centre of such visual vocabulary of small

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
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Sam Rohdie

– outside the frame was only offscreen but always, nevertheless, present. In Kuleshov’s experiment this was not the case. Not only were the joins and continuities revealed as fictive in fact (Kuleshov’s experiments were demonstrative), but the real space of which the shot was only a fragment was equally fictive (the action in each shot came from diverse spaces and times; it was only the artifice of editing

in Montage
‘The Platonic differential’ and ‘Zarathustra’s laughter’
Mischa Twitchin

– literally more Greek than Latin – between the theatrical and the philosophical? Here we are engaged with a paradox. For the humanist world of theatrical analogy, with its metaphysically grounded ethical concerns with relations between face and mask, nature and artifice, itself conforms to a Platonic dramaturgy. This mundane theatre adheres to an interpretative

in Foucault’s theatres
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Sam Rohdie

exceptional in their performances, what makes them stars, is the success of their masquerade, of becoming other than they are, to become a character, if only momentarily, in order to return as a star. Masquerade in Bertolucci’s cinema is paradoxical, not only with regard to character but with regard to setting, plot, drama, citation. Masquerade becomes evident, displays its artifice. A citation is always on the outside, referring to what is beyond itself, external to it. In so doing, what is referred to seems to swell, to be itself and, simultaneously, to be more than it is

in Film modernism
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Steven Peacock

reading of Fear Eats the Soul sees colour as crucial to the apparently contradictory elements of Fassbinder’s powerful ‘antistyle’. Fassbinder’s aesthetic is rife with impulses pushing in different directions: putative opposites that somehow mesh. Thomson describes a cinema of social realism and formal experimentalism. Fassbinder fills everyday settings with artifice and illusion to get to life’s truths. His films comprise an

in Colour
Elza Adamowicz

Salon d’Automne in 1923 (misleadingly dated 5 July 1937 on the canvas). Its simplified forms, strong flat colours on an empty ground, its deformed or masked features recall a circus poster. Naturalism is eschewed in the two-dimensionality and opacity of the cutout figures, whose artifice is made overt. The mix of art-historical reference – the source of the male figure has been identified as one of the figures from the classical Greek sculptural group, the Farnese Bull, dated 100 bce (Camfield 1979: 190) – and popular culture style destabilises the homogeneous

in Dada bodies
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Authors: Fergus Daly and Garin Dowd

Leos Carax's early career was in two complementary ways conducted under the scrutiny of the French film journal Cahiers du Cinéma. In his 1999 television interview with Pierre-André Boutang, Carax touches on many of the qualities of a still developing personal mythology. Carax's first finished film, Strangulation Blues is in the director's own words the student film he never made. The 'autistic' part of 'autistebavarde' as this persona populates the films of Carax must be differentiated from this metaphorical usage. The typology developed by Carax contributes to the characters' withdrawal from verisimilitude; they are presented to us less as formed, reified types, or exemplars than as 'supple individuals'. This book performs a minute dissection of the heterogeneous elements shaped by Leos Carax into works of great complexity and élan in order to isolate the true singularity and originality of his 1980s films, Boy Meets Girl and Mauvais Sang. The haste with which Carax's overbudget film of 1990, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf has been categorised and in certain quarters thereby dismissed, combined with the spectacular budget catastrophe and the myths developed around the on-set events, contributed to a widespread misunderstanding of the film, as well as to a certain blindness among critics as to the merits. The title of Leos Carax's Pola X was an acronym of the title in French of Herman Melville's novel of 1852, Pierre, or The Ambiguities, that is, Pierre, ou les ambiguïtés.