Chris Marker is one of the most extraordinary and influential filmmakers of our time. In landmark films such as Letter from Siberia, La Jetée, Sans Soleil, and Level Five, he has overturned cinematic conventions by confounding the distinction between documentary and fiction, writing and visual recording, and the still and moving image. Yet these works are only the tip of the iceberg; Marker's career has also encompassed writing, photography, television, and digital multimedia. Chris Marker is the first systematic examination of Marker's complete oeuvre. Here, Catherine Lupton traces the development and transformation of the artist's work from the late 1940s, when he began to work as a poet, novelist, and critic for the French journal Esprit, through the 1990s and the release of his most recent works, including Level Five and the CD-ROM Immemory. Lupton explicates Marker's work as a circular trajectory, with each project recycling and referring back to earlier works as well as to a host of adopted texts, always proceeding by oblique association and lateral digression. This trajectory, which Lupton outlines with great care and precision, is critical to understanding Marker's abiding obsession: the forms and operations of human memory. With this theme as her architecture, Lupton presents the most comprehensive and incisive analysis of Marker to date. Incorporating historical events and cultural contexts that have informed each phase of Marker's career, Lupton gives readers access to an artist who stands outside of the mainstream and thus defies easy explanation. There is no better guide than Lupton's to this modern master's prolific and multidimensional career.
In Paris in the Dark Eric Smoodin takes readers on a journey through the streets, cinemas, and theaters of Paris to sketch a comprehensive picture of French film culture during the 1930s and 1940s. Drawing on a wealth of journalistic sources, Smoodin recounts the ways films moved through the city, the favored stars, and what it was like to go to the movies in a city with hundreds of cinemas. In a single week in the early 1930s, moviegoers might see Hollywood features like King Kong and Frankenstein, the new Marlene Dietrich and Maurice Chevalier movies, and any number of films from Italy, Germany, and Russia. Or they could frequent the city's ciné-clubs, which were hosts to the cinéphile subcultures of Paris. At other times, a night at the movies might result in an evening of fascist violence, even before the German Occupation of Paris, while after the war the city's cinemas formed the space for reconsolidating French film culture. In mapping the cinematic geography of Paris, Smoodin expands understandings of local film exhibition and the relationships of movies to urban space.
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
In this study of the impact and influence of the New Wave in French cinema, Douglas Morrey looks at both the subsequent careers of New Wave filmmakers and the work of later film directors and film movements in France. This book is organized around a series of key moments from the past 50 years of French cinema in order to show how the meaning and legacy of the New Wave have shifted over time and how the priorities, approaches and discourses of filmmakers and film critics have changed over the years. Morrey tackles key concepts such as the auteur, the relationship of form and content, gender and sexuality, intertextuality and rhythm. Filmmakers discussed include Godard, Truffaut, Varda, Chabrol and Rohmer plus Philippe Garrel, Luc Besson, Leos Carax, Bruno Dumont, the Dardenne brothers, Christophe Honoré, François Ozon and Jacques Audiard.
French film noir has long been seen as a phenomenon distinct from its Hollywood counterpart. This book - an innovative departure from conventional noir scholarship - now adopts a biocultural approach to exploring the French genre through the years 1941-1959. Chapters reveal noir as a product of the social and cultural factors at play in occupied, liberated and post-war France: marked by malaise at military defeat, Nazi collaboration and the impact of industrialisation. Furthermore, the book uncovers the evolutionary mechanisms of sexuality and reproduction beneath the national context that drive gendered behaviour on screen. During this period, for example, the emerging urgent demand for population growth, coupled with the severe shortage of eligible males, rendered the mating game particularly perilous for traditional women beginning to enter the workplace. This explains the cynical yet seductive behaviour of the femme fatale. Deborah Walker-Morrison focuses on the dangerous, often deadly, desires of an array of male and female character-types: moving past the celebrated, fatal `femme' to tragic heroines, psychopathic narcissists, fatal `hommes' and gangster anti-heroes. The book re-examines productions by directors such as Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jacques Becker and Jules Dassin and pulls together strands of sociological, biological, psychological and evolutionary science to create an illuminating study of the cut-throat world of noir.
How should we understand film authorship in an era when the idea of the solitary and sovereign auteur has come under attack, with critics proclaiming the death of the author and the end of cinema? The Bressonians provides an answer in the form of a strikingly original study of Bresson and his influence on the work of filmmakers Jean Eustache and Maurice Pialat. Extending the discourse of authorship beyond the idea of a singular visionary, it explores how the imperatives of excellence function within cinema's pluralistic community. Bresson's example offered both an artistic legacy and a creative burden within which filmmakers reckoned in different, often arduous, and altogether compelling ways.