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Unraveling French Cinema: From L'Atalante to Caché

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8451-9
232 pages
December 2009, ©2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Unraveling French Cinema: From L
Unraveling French Cinema provides a much needed introduction to the complexities of French film for students, cineastes, and the movie-loving public.
  • Looks at the differences between French and American national cinema
  • Explores how French directors shape their films around two potentially divergent goals: the narration of a story and an elaboration of some theory about film itself.
  • Demystifies the "difficulty" of French cinema, allowing the American movie-goer to enjoy films that are too often perplexing at a first viewing.
  • Offers extended analyses of classic, New Wave, and contemporary French films—including L'Atalante, Adele H., The Rules of the Game, and Cache.
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Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

1 Cinema and/as Poetry: L'Atalante's Apples as Poems.

2 Cinema and the Real: Renoir's Rules.

3 Cinema and/as Crime: Breaking the Law in The Children of Paradise, Pickpocket, and Breathless.

4 Cinema and/as Mapping: Reorienting Ourselves Through Film.

5 Cinema and/as Dream: Truffaut's "Royal Road" to Adele H.

6 Cinema and/as Hypnosis: Jacquot's Seventh Heaven.

7 Cinema and/as Mourning: Anne Fontaine's How I Killed My Father.

8 Cinema and/as Terror: Michael Haneke's Caché.

9 Beautiful Fragments: Discontinuity and the French Cinema.

Notes.

References.

Index.

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T. Jefferson Kline is a Professor of French at Boston University where he served as Chair of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures (1979-88) and more recently received a Metcalf Award for excellence in teaching. His publications include Bertolucci's Dream Loom, I film di Bertolucci, Intertextuality in New Wave French Cinema and various edited works and essays on literature.
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  • Looks at the differences between French and American national cinema
  • Explores how French directors shape their films around two potentially divergent goals: the narration of a story and an elaboration of some theory about film itself.
  • Demystifies the “difficulty” of French cinema, allowing the American movie-goer to enjoy films that are too often perplexing at a first viewing
  • Offers extended analyses of classic, New Wave, and contemporary French films—including L’Atalante, Adele H., The Rules of the Game, and Cache.

 

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"T. Jefferson Kline's recent book is an interesting, instructive, and at times intriguing Read. . . Jean Vigo's L'Atalante is presented as an excellent example of how poetry can be achieved through cinematography." (Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 1 September 2011)

"Cinema historians or those specialists in film studies interested in the links between film and history may find something still to be desired from these combinations, even if the analysis offered does shed quite a different light on some of the most famous films of French cinema." (FH, 2 June 2011)

"In Unraveling French Cinema by T. Jefferson Kline, the focus (and astoundingly detailed focus it is too) is on the complexities of this strain of cinema divided appropriately into eight sections accompanied by in-depth examinations of ten films." (M/C Reviews, August 20,  2010)

"I enjoyed this book very much and found it to be challenging, rewarding and worthwhile. Kline has an engaging prose style and clearly knows his stuff. Envy his students." (Jildy Sauce, April 2010)

"Unravelling French Cinema is both a model of pedagogy and an introduction to the prismatic art of reading cinema.  It is a brilliant an enduring contribution to film studies." Tom Conley, Harvard University

“T. Jefferson Kline provides a gentle yet intelligent introduction to what makes French cinema French.  Unraveling French Cinema  offers lucid and compelling discussions about some of French film history's most significant films, such as Jean Vigo's  L'Atalante  and François Truffaut's  Adèle H.,  that will prove especially useful in the classroom.” Hilary Radner, University of Otago, New Zealand

"An original, bold, and exciting new look at the history of French cinema and its masterpieces. Ideal for classroom use as well as a "must read" for film scholars and French cultural historians." Richard Golsam, Texas A&M University

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