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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.

Marina Warner and Dan Smith

provide his stories with the necessary apparatuses. These invisible forces become the novum, the new and shocking element, of his tales. MW: He is so original and exciting because he makes everything banal. That was his great innovation. I really enjoy the way that in The War of the Worlds [1898], you look out of the window and see Martians coming across the unexciting landscape of Surrey. This is a lesson that needs to be learnt by contemporary cinema. Films now create these elaborately fantastic, incredibly distant scenarios, whereas this thrilling presence of the

in The machine and the ghost