Resnais's films are often perceived as demanding, cerebral or soporific.
Resnais's directorial ambitions were first realised in a series of
documentaries and, from 1959 onwards, in feature films. As his career develops,
his filmography replaces his biography in the spotlight of critical interest.
This book offers introductions to individual films in its eight chapters.
Reflecting on the disruption of chronology in Resnais's films, and their
focus on intense pain and rarefied mental activity, notions of trauma and
post-traumatic stress disorder have been key to recent critical discussion. In
Hiroshima mon amour, the history of Hiroshima is embedded within the
first traumatic and erotic images of the film. Resnais's second feature
film, L'Année dernière à Marienbad, is composed of echoes of
Chekhov. Muriel is a film which plays on our nerves. Between 1964 and
1976 Resnais made three films: La Guerre est finie, Je t'aime je
t'aime and Stavisky; he also contributed a section to Chris
Marker's collaborative Loin du Viêt-nam (1967) and worked on a
number of projects which did not come to fruition. Providence is a film
which is self-conscious about cinema as medium. From his extraordinary reckoning
with parallel lives and human behaviour in Mon oncle à Amérique, he moves
to a tightly interwoven yet farcical drama about history and education in La
Vie est un roman, two delicate chamber pieces about love and death,
L'Amour à mort and Mélo, and a burlesque yet melancholy film
about an American cartoonist, I Want to Go Home.
Claire Denis' first film, Chocolat, was a deceptively gentle family
chronicle set in colonial Africa. She focuses on ordinary people, men and women,
black and white, homosexuals and heterosexuals, whom displacement and difference
have set apart, relegated to the outskirts of society and to the margins of
representation. In her films, the perception of the Other is always complex and
ambiguous. This book outlines the multi-faceted, poetic vision of the
contemporary world that emerges through Denis' filmmaking to date and to
bring to light its main thematic, temporal, spatial and stylistic implications.
The analysis presented focuses on her fictional feature films, which form the
main body of her work and have generally become easily accessible in video or
DVD format. In her first feature, Chocolat, the director's early
experiences made her sensitive to oppression and misappropriation, exile and
racism, alienation and transgression. Location and space emphasise a sense of
displacement and function as metaphors for the process of potential exclusion of
the individual (body) from society. But the metaphor also evokes an inner sense
of exile and longing, a feeling of foreignness that is played out at the level
of the individual and of the individual's body through relations of desire,
fear and rejection. Denis' work stands apart from a tradition of screenplay
and dialogue-based cinema that defines much of France's auteur as well as
of its popular production. Denis' work has an echo of a wide range of
contemporary thought and the traces of influential aesthetic and genre
One of the key features of Jean-Jacques Beineix's relationship with the film
image is the notion of seduction and the erotic. This book shows Beineix's
films form a coherent body of work and sketches out a psychodrama formed by
Beineix's feature films. It explains, the cinéma du look was placed
by many, including Beineix himself, in a position of confrontation with the
cinema of the nouvelle vague. The book considers the early 1980s debates
concerning the film image which led to the view espoused by Jean-Michel Frodon,
after a brief account of Beineix's apprenticeship years. It attempts to
place Beineix's work within the context of the development of French
cinema, and discourses on the French cinema, as they evolved during the 1980s.
Beineix's first feature film, Diva, enjoyed considerable success,
becoming something of a cult film for the youth audience of the time, as well as
launching the careers of Richard Bohringer and Dominique Pinon. More than any of
the films of the cinéma du look, La Lune dans le caniveau
exemplifies the characteristics Bassan enumerates: a mise en scène, which
privileges exuberance, light, movement, especially the curves and curls of the
camera, and an emphasis on sensation. Bereavement after IP5 turned
Beineix away from feature filmmaking, despite several propositions from American
producers, Alien Resurrection and The Avengers among them.
Over fifty feature films have been made either in or about Brighton and they have all
contributed to popular understandings of Brighton‘s history and its character.
Collectively, they present the city as a site for extreme emotions and conflicts
found within narratives that are always set either on the seafront or at the Royal
Pavilion. It can be argued that these Brighton films are not about Brighton at all
but instead serve as vehicles for the expression of popular anxieties, concerns and
desires. As such, they transcend the specificities of place and history and become
projections of what could be described as a national unconscious.
Since its inception by the Council of Europe in 1989, Eurimages has been to the fore
in financing European co-productions with the aim of fostering integration and
cooperation in artistic and industry circles and has helped finance over 1,600
feature films, animations and documentaries. Taking as its thesis the idea that the
CoE seeks to perpetuate Europes utopian ideals, despite the dystopian realities that
frequently undermine both the EU and the continent at large, this article analyses
select Eurimages-funded dystopian films from industrial, aesthetic and socio-cultural
standpoints with a view toward decoding institutionally embedded critiques of the
This book offers introductory readings of some of the well-known and less well-known feature productions coming out of Australia since the revival in the national film industry at the end of the 1960s. The interpretations of the texts and the careers of their makers are considered in relation to the emergence of an indigenous film culture and the construction of national identity. The majority of the films examined in the book have had theatrical or video releases in the UK. The independent development of several indigenous film genres has been an important feature of recent production, and helped to punctuate and bracket the streams of feature production that have evolved since 1970. These Australian genres have been identified and evaluated (the Australian Gothic, the period film, the male ensemble film) and are worthy of consideration both in their own right and in their intersection with other conventionalised forms. These include science fiction, fantasy and horror in comparison with the Gothic, the heritage film and literary adaptation in connection with the period film, and the war film and rite of passage in relation to the male ensemble. More recently, an aesthetic and thematic trend has emerged in the examples of Strictly Ballroom, The Adventures of Priscilla, and Muriel's Wedding, which foregrounds elements of the camp, the kitsch and the retrospective idolisation of 1970s Glamour. Such chronological, stylistic and thematic groupings are important in the interpretation of national filmmaking.
Most of Beineix’s featurefilms to
date were released in a single decade, the 1980s, and he is generally seen
as the best example of what came to be known as the cinéma du
look. This was one of the two new types of film to emerge in the 1980s
(the other being the heritage film), to join the other popular French genres
of the comedy and the police thriller. For reasons which I shall explain,
John Izod, Karl Magee, Kathryn Hannan, and Isabelle Gourdin-Sangouard
cited as this chapter’s epigraph fifteen years before he made his
first featurefilm. It was not an exact forecast: by the time he reached
forty he had to his credit extensive critical writing, eight short films and
several televised episodes of The Adventures of Robin Hood
(1955–56). He had also developed a substantial career in theatre,
directing no fewer than ten plays at the Royal Court between 1957 and 1961.
filmmaking to date, and to bring to light its main thematic, temporal,
spatial and stylistic implications. The analysis will focus primarily on her
fictional featurefilms, which form the main body of her work and have
generally become easily accessible in video or DVD format. It will also
include brief discussions of her documentary and short films. Less readily
available for viewing, these works nevertheless form an important aspect of
tradition and trends over recent years, including the increasing
presence of featurefilm aesthetics and entertainment values.
By the time JFK hit US cinemas in late 1991, Stone’s political filmmaking was the subject of op-ed pages in major national newspapers, not simply the province of independently-minded film critics.
The initial reception to the counter-mythic rendering of Kennedy’s
death constructed two opposing ranks almost immediately. In one
corner stood the media –primarily print journalists, but supported
by a few television commentators