Debates about (and resistances to) France's changing identity as a plural, multi-ethnic society are thus at the forefront of public preoccupations. This book aims to assess the ways in which filmmaking in France might contribute to such debates by foregrounding the voices and subjectivities of ethnic others and thereby reframing the way in which difference is conceptualized. The core focus is the appearance and after-effects of two related phenomena in the history of French cinema, cinéma beur and cinéma de banlieue. The book traces the history of beur filmmaking practices from the margins to the mainstream, from low-budget autobiographically inspired features to commercial filmmaking, and assesses their effectiveness in addressing questions of identity and difference. It attempts to gauge the significance of place in the construction of identity through an analysis of films set in the multi-ethnic banlieue. The book also assesses the extent to which the inscription of displacement and identity in films by emigre Algerian filmmakers overlaps with or differentiates itself from that found in beur cinema. For filmmakers of Maghrebi descent, filmmaking is more than just a question of representation, it is also a way of negotiating their own position within French society. Bensalah's Le Raïd demonstrates how the themes of beur filmmaking can be recuperated by beur filmmakers as well as by white filmmakers. Ameur-Zaifmeche's difficulties in making Wesh wesh illustrate how beur filmmaking may still take place in the interstices of the French film industry.
that of the actress unhappy with the
roles available to her as a woman, her filmmakingpractices remain embedded
within a patriarchal culture. This is even the case with the way music is
used within the films, for Kurys’ musical advisors are male (as are
the musicians represented in Après l’amour) and the songs
used to comment on the action of the (mostly) female-centred films are
written and in most cases sung by men
this volume. The desire on the part of Bekolo to forge his own specific
lineage within African cinema is a subject that will be examined in greater
depth in the final section of this chapter, for (as was argued in the
introduction to this volume) it underlines the importance of tracing
multiple strands within African cinema, and developing more complex
genealogies of African filmmakingpractice.
Bekolo’s second feature film
’s earlier socialist aspirations,
these late films might allow us to revisit the earlier work in order to see
the full range of Sembene’s concerns, which were often obscured from
view in the more ideologically polarised era of the 1960s and 1970s.
This section will examine various
aspects of Sembene’s filmmakingpractice, beginning with an assessment
of aspects of his film style that have been
filmmakingpractice. Even though we have only been
able to briefly touch on these elements, and have offered a very partial
consideration of Aurenche and Bost’s considerable
œuvre , we have aimed in this chapter to reinstate the
voices of these major screenwriters in the dialogue and recontextualise
both their legacy and that of the tradition of quality.
Films written by Aurenche and Bost in date order
Patrick Keiller’s film Robinson in Ruins was shot on location in and around the Cherwell Valley in rural Oxfordshire. Keiller offers insights into his filmmaking practice – in particular his technical choices when it came to filming the landscape. He also explains how far the film was prompted by what appeared to him to be a discrepancy between, on one hand, the cultural and critical attention devoted to experience of mobility and displacement and, on the other, a tacit but seemingly widespread tendency to hold on to formulations of dwelling that derive from a more settled, agricultural past.
This chapter discusses Bergman’s potential worth in the commercial film market on the basis of the director’s own correspondence with potential co-producers and international distributors of his films. The author first studies Bergman’s ample correspondence with Carl Anders Dymling, the powerful head of the Swedish production company Svensk Filmindustri between 1942 and 1961; most of Bergman’s early films were produced by Svensk Filmindustri. This correspondence concerns Bergman’s potential turn to the more profitable colour-film format in the early 1960s, a turn resisted by Bergman on artistic grounds; Bergman’s first colour film would eventually be the relatively unknown comedy, All these Women, in 1964. Second, the author examines Bergman’s correspondence with New York agent Bernhard L. Wilens regarding a possible film adaptation of French author Albert Camus’s short novel The Fall (La Chute, 1956). Third, the chapter explores Bergman’s correspondence with his American distributors, Janus Films, who famously specialized in the art-house market. Here, Janus is represented by Cyrus Harvey. Bergman never made a colour film during Dymling’s reign at Svensk Filmindustri, nor did he ever direct a film based on Camus’s novel. He did have a lengthy relationship with Janus Films, however. The chapter demonstrates how Bergman’s conception of himself as an artist conflicted with Hollywood, especially with regard to filmmaking practices. As an auteur in the European tradition, Bergman would always strive for artistic control of the entire production and distribution processes.
-Griersonian documentary’ and have interrogated the
possibility of a documentary form that exceeds the traditional strictures
of documentary representation.6 Jennings’ foundational effect and
lasting achievement is a similar contribution to revised understand
ings of the techniques, approaches and the very conception of ‘docu
mentary’. As such, it must be remembered, Jennings’ films exceed the
boundaries of an accepted documentary filmmakingpractice mapped
out by Grierson and the forms and styles maintained within the docu
mentary canon. This is the core of his legacy, and a viable
Duras’s childhood and adolescence. What she aimed to convey both in the book
and in what might have been her own film version of it was her emotional experience
of her life in Vietnam, her painful relationship with her mother, her love
affair with the Chinese man, and not whether her shoes were gold or black.
Indeed, judging by her own filmmakingpractices, it was unnecessary to go to
Vietnam to make The Lover
critically on their ﬁlmmakingpractices. It is almost as if, sooner or later, the professionally driven
requirement to get their subjects to indulge in various types of retrospection eventually motivates them (the ﬁlmmakers) to engage in
a similar kind of accounting exercise.3 Most ﬁlmmakers are happy
to concede that in the course of working on these projects they
have learned some hard lessons from mistakes or miscalculations
they had made in earlier ﬁlms and that they are grateful that each
new ﬁlm has brought the opportunity to introduce certain course