Diane Kurys

Author: Carrie Tarr

Diane Kurys' first film, Diabolo menthe (Peppermint Soda), made in 1977, depicts the lives of two schoolgirl sisters growing up in the early 1960s, a period which coincides with Kurys' own adolescence. Kurys' films are of interest not just as projections of individual preoccupations but also because their focus on girls and women of the baby-boomer generation produces a symptomatic text for analysing wider issues relating to female identity. Her work needs to be understood within the specific context of French cinema and French culture, in which the concept of the auteur, if ostensibly ungendered, remains resolutely masculine. The commercial and critical successes of Diabolo menthe and Coup de foudre, Kurys' two most incontrovertibly women-centred films, coincide with the period when the women's movement in France had its greatest impact on social and political life. In the light of recent gender theory which insists on the fluidity and constructedness of gender positions, Kurys' signalling of 'femininity' in François Truffaut's films might be considered progressive. Diabolo menthe was a huge success, well received by the majority of critics and the highest grossing French film of 1977, at one point coming second only to Star Wars. Cocktail Molotov focuses on a trio of teenagers who miss out on what was going on. Un homme amoureux, Après l'amour and A la folie are some other films that are discussed in this book.

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