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A Companion to Contemporary French Cinema

A Companion to Contemporary French Cinema

Alistair Fox (Editor), Michel Marie (Editor), Raphaëlle Moine (Editor), Hilary Radner (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-58542-9

Dec 2014

712 pages

$160.99

Description

A Companion to Contemporary French Cinema presents a comprehensive collection of original essays addressing all aspects of French cinema from 1990 to the present day.

  • Features original contributions from top film scholars relating to all aspects of contemporary French cinema
  • Includes new research on matters relating to the political economy of contemporary French cinema, developments in cinema policy, audience attendance, and the types, building, and renovation of theaters
  • Utilizes groundbreaking research on cinema beyond the fiction film and the cinema-theater such as documentary, amateur, and digital filmmaking
  • Contains an unusually large range of methodological approaches and perspectives, including those of genre, gender, auteur, industry, economic, star, postcolonial and psychoanalytic studies
  • Includes essays by important French cinema scholars from France, the U.S., and New Zealand, many of whose work is here presented in English for the first time
List of Contributors xii

Acknowledgments xviii

Editorial Practice xx

Introduction: Contemporary French Cinema – Continuity and Change in a Global Context 1
Alistair Fox, with Michel Marie, Raphaëlle Moine, and Hilary Radner

Contexts: Institutional, Political, Cultural, and Economic 4

Characteristics of Contemporary French Cinema 4

Thematic Preoccupations 7

Trends, Developments, and the Future of French Cinema 10

Part I Economic, Institutional, and Political Contexts 15

1 The Political Economy of French Cinema: Attendance and Movie Theaters 17
Laurent Creton

Changing Patterns of Cinema Attendance 20

Cinematic Production and Its Outcomes 23

The Competitiveness of French Cinema and Market Share 25

Concentration and Diversity 30

The Transformation of the Pool of Theaters 32

The Future of Cinematic Theaters 35

2 “Do We Have the Right to Exist?” French Cinema, Culture, and World Trade 45
Jonathan Buchsbaum

France 49

Europe: Television Without Frontiers 51

Cultural Exception: GATT 56

Cultural Diversity: MAI/UNESCO 62

3 Historicizing Contemporary French Blockbusters 74
Charlie Michael

A Tentative Typology 75

“Cultural Diversity” or Cultural Crisis? 77

The Second Lang Plan (1989–1993) 79

The Maturation of a “Forced Marriage” 82

StudioCanal in the Crosshairs 84

A New Oligopoly? 87

4 Moving Between Screens: Television and Cinema in France, 1990–2010 96
Guillaume Soulez

The Role of Television in the Financing of Cinema 97

Arte as a Stimulus and Sponsor of the New Cinema 98

A Cinema of Collections 98

Realism and Television 100

The Revival of Documentary 101

Films/Telefilms: A Play of Mirrors 103

“Television Films” and Cinema Formatting 104

From Comic Television to Comedy in Cinemas 106

Cinema and Televised Series 109

5 Contemporary Political Cinema 117
Martin O’Shaughnessy

Taking Stock: Working-Class Histories and the Exit from Fordism 118

Outsiders and Victims, Ethics and Politics 125

Political Effectiveness 131

New Departures? 133

6 Diasporic and Postcolonial Cinema in France from the 1990s to the Present 136
Will Higbee

Auteur-led Productions and the “Return” of the Political in Diasporic and Postcolonial Cinema Since the 1990s 139

From Margins to the Mainstream: Postcolonial Comedy and the Mainstreaming of Maghrebi-French Filmmakers in the 2000s 144

Memorializing Colonial History: From Neo-Colonial to “Counter-Heritage” Cinema 148

Return Narratives in Diasporic Cinema of the 2000s 153

Beyond Ethnicity? Reconfiguring Difference in Diasporic Cinema 154

Part II Auteurs and Auteurism 161

7 The Veterans of the New Wave, Their Heirs, and Contemporary French Cinema 163
Michel Marie

The Extraordinary Fecundity of the Veterans of the New Wave 163

The Quartet of Founding Members: Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette, Godard 166

The “Left Bank” of the New Wave 173

A Problematical Legacy 177

Epilogue: The Enduring Influence of Bresson and Pialat 181

8 Was There a Young French Cinema? 184
Jacqueline Nacache

To What Does the Term “Young French Cinema” Refer? 185

The Arrival of the New Cinema 187

The Counter-Attack of Positif 190

Maturity and Defining Parameters 192

New Appraisals, New Perspectives 195

Consensus and Uncertainties 197

What Remains of the Young French Cinema? 198

9 Auteurism, Personal Cinema, and the Fémis Generation: The Case of François Ozon 205
Alistair Fox

Characteristics of Auteur Cinema 206

Categories of Auteur Directors 207

Auteurist Styles 208

Cinephilia and Its Influence 209

The Personal Dimension 210

The Functions of Personal Cinema 213

François Ozon: A Case Study 216

Symbolic Figuration and Ozon’s Personal Myth 217

The Common Denominator of the Cinéma d’Auteur 225

Part III Genres, Cycles, and Cinematic Forms 231

10 Contemporary French Comedy as Social Laboratory 233
Raphaëlle Moine

Popular, Local, and Starved of Affection 236

Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, a Popular French Comedy 239

Comic Misadventures of Masculinity 243

The Emergence of Auteur Comedy 245

The Ambivalence of Auteur Comedy: Variations on Personal Relationships and Middle-Class Navel-Gazing 247

11 Between Tradition and Innovation: French Crime Films During the 2000s 256
Thomas Pillard

The Paradoxes of the American-style Thriller: Desire for a Globalized Cinema and Rejection of the “New Europe” 257

The Invention of a New Type of Transnational Crime Film 258

The “Last Combatant”: Defending French Identity in the Context of Globalization 260

The Ideological Conservatism and Pessimism of the “Old-style” Film Noir: Cinematic Nostalgia and Suffering Men 262

The Perils of Modern Capitalism and Supermodernity in the Social Crime Film: Between Documentary and (Masculine) Tragedy 266

12 Contemporary French Horror Cinema: From Absence to Embodied Presence 275
Guy Austin

The Place of Genre in French Cinema 276

French Horror since 2000 277

Horror and the Body 279

Historicizing Horror 280

The Cutting Edge of Horror Spectatorship 284

13 The Historical Film and Contemporary French Cinema: Representing the Past in the Present 289
Hilary Radner

Genre, the Historical Film, and Historical Thinking 290

The New History Film 292

From Heritage Film to Biopic 293

The Historical Film: Moving into the Twenty-First Century 295

Sensationalism: The Spectacle of History 297

The Age of Individual Moral Choice 301

Collective Memory and Twentieth-Century History 302

The Biopic and the Cult of the Individual 305

14 Major Stars, the Heritage Film, and Patrimonial Values in Contemporary French Cinema 314
Gwénaëlle Le Gras

French Heritage Stars: Trends and Parameters 315

Responding to the Contemporary Sense of Crisis 319

Bridging the Gap between Auteur Cinema and Commercial Cinema 322

A Reaction to the Disappearance of the Classical Star System 324

Countering the Supremacy of Hollywood 325

The Younger Generation and the Uncertain Future of the Heritage Solution 328

15 French Animated Cinema, 1990 to Present 333
Richard Neupert

Michel Ocelot’s Model for Feature Film Production 334

Toward a “New Wave” of French Animation 340

French Animation: 2011–2012 346

16 Contemporary French Documentary: A Renaissance, 1992–2012 356
Alison J. Murray Levine

What is a Documentary? 357

The Market for French Documentary: A Deceptive Renaissance? 359

Recent French Documentaries: People, Subjects, Forms 361

Webdocs and the Future of Documentary 370

Part IV Gender and Sexuality 377

17 Pitiful Men, Instrumental Women: The Reconfiguration of Masculine Domination in Contemporary Popular French Cinema 379
Geneviève Sellier

At the Top of the Box Office, a Gendered Asymmetry 380

1994: Women Become Visible, But at What Price? 382

2010: The Diversity of the Masculine, the Archaism of the Feminine 386

18 French Women Directors Since the 1990s: Trends, New Developments, and Challenges 399
Brigitte Rollet

Women’s Access to Filmmaking in France: Old and New Trends 400

Agnès Varda and The New Wave 402

The Generation of 1968 403

The Fémis Generation 406

Generation 2000 408

An(other) French Exception? Auteur Cinema / Popular Cinema 408

“New” Genres: Rom-Com 410

Queens of Comedy: The “Millionnaires” of the 2000 s 411

First Films: And After? 412

19 Modes of Masculinity in Contemporary French Cinema 419
Tim Palmer

Creating/ive Masculinity: The Artistic Agency of Emmanuel Mouret and Romain Duris 421

In the Wilderness: Atavistic Masculinity and the Cinéma du corps 424

The Refracted Man: Representations of Masculinity in Films by Women 429

20 Hors milieu: Queer and Beyond 439
Nick Rees-Roberts

Visible 442

Invisible 445

Relational 448

Cruising and Disorientation 450

Male Space 453

21 Sexually Explicit French Cinema: Genre, Gender, and Sex 461
Kelley Conway

Romance (Catherine Breillat, 1999) 465

Baise-moi (Virginie Despentes and Carolie Trinh Thi, 2000) 470

Choses secrètes ( Jean-Claude Brisseau, 2002) 474

Part V Continuities and Emerging Trends 481

22 Booking Passages: Adventures in Adaptation in Recent French Cinema 483
T. Jefferson Kline

Adaptations of Historical Novels 484

Adaptations of Foreign Novels 491

Adaptations of Recent Best-Selling French Novels 497

23 The Return of Theatricality in French Cinema of the 1990s: A New Imbrication of Comedy and Melodrama 507
Marguerite Chabrol

The Theatrical “Revival” 507

Context, Successes, Strategies: The Spectacular 508

Value Judgments: The Mingling of Categories 510

A Typology of Theatrical Films: Continuities and Innovations 512

The Place of the Spectator: Identification and Detachment 516

On “Pop” Cinema 517

Stereotypes and Performance 520

An American Approach? 524

24 Soundscapes of Loss: Songs in Contemporary French Cinema 527
Phil Powrie

The Contemporary Musical 528

Songs in Contemporary Non-Musical Films: Theoretical and Methodological Issues 530

French-Language Songs 532

English-Language Songs 535

The Final Song in French 539

25 From the Margins to the Center: French Stardom and Ethnicity 547
Ginette Vincendeau

Globalization and Diversity in Twenty-First Century French Stardom 547

Ethnic Casting: From the Margins to the Center 551

The “Trojan Horse” of Comedy 556

Trans-Ethnic to Color-Blind Casting: Erasure or Integration? 560

The Power of Global Celebrity Culture 565

26 An Invention with a Future: French Cinema After the End of Cinema 570
Martine Beugnet

Vintage Cinema 571

Only the Cinema 573

Animation Retro-Style 577

Twilight Visions 580

27 The Amateur in Cinema, in France, Since 1990: Definitions, Issues, and Trends 590
Roger Odin

Familial Space: The End of the Family Film 591

The Space of “Amateur Cinema” 594

The Space of “Different” Cinema 597

Amateur Cinema Recognized at Last: The Space of the Document 601

The Space of Everyday Communication: Beyond “Cinema,” the Language of Images and Sounds 606

List of Contemporary French Films Since 1990 Cited in this volume 612

Bibliography 631

Index 655

""The Companion is divided into five parts with 27 chapters or essays, newly written, from different hands. The academics involved are from the UK, the USA, New Zealand and nearly half from France. There is a list of all the films cited in the volume (18 pages) and an extensive bibliography (24 pages), as well as an index."" (Reference Reviews 2016)