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Beur and banlieue filmmaking in France

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.

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Kurys’ authorial signature
Carrie Tarr

that of the actress unhappy with the roles available to her as a woman, her filmmaking practices 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

in Diane Kurys
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David Murphy
Patrick Williams

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 filmmaking practice. Bekolo’s second feature film

in Postcolonial African cinema
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David Murphy
Patrick Williams

’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. The films This section will examine various aspects of Sembene’s filmmaking practice, beginning with an assessment of aspects of his film style that have been

in Postcolonial African cinema
Writing the ‘tradition of quality’
Sarah Leahy
Isabelle Vanderschelden

filmmaking practice. 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

in Screenwriters in French cinema
A personal view of documentary

The Art of the Observer is a personal guide to documentary filmmaking, based on the author’s years of experience as a writer on film and a maker of ethnographic and documentary films. It devotes particular attention to observational filmmaking and the distinctive philosophy and methodology of this approach. Each of its chapters addresses a different aspect of filmmaking practice, offering both practical insights and reflections on what it means, in both intellectual and emotional terms, to attempt to represent the lives of others. The book makes clear that documentary cinema is not simply a matter of recording reality, but also of analytically and artfully organising the filmmaker’s observations in ways that reveal the complex patterns of social life.

Interview with Patrick Keiller
Paul Newland

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.

in British rural landscapes on film
Open Access (free)
Notes on the director’s ‘worth in the market’
Olof Hedling

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.

in Ingmar Bergman
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Keith Beattie

-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 filmmaking practice 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

in Humphrey Jennings
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Renate Günther

portrayal of 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 filmmaking practices, it was unnecessary to go to Vietnam to make The Lover

in Marguerite Duras