Cover image for French cinema : from its beginnings to the present
French cinema : from its beginnings to the present
Fournier-Lanzoni, Rémi.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Continuum, [2002]

Physical Description:
496 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
PN1993.5.F7 L33 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Author Notes

Remi Fournier Lanzoni, a native of Lyon, is Assistant Professor of French and Italian of Elon University, North Carolina

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Lanzoni (Romance languages, Elon Univ.) offers an academic and chronological survey of French filmmaking from 1895 to 2002. He is particularly interested in how 20th-century events have affected French cinema, notably the German occupation during World War II, which paradoxically represented a creative high point; the Algerian War; the "New Wave" explosion of the early 1960s; the student uprisings of May 1968; and recent tariff movements to reduce American domination of European film markets. Readers hoping for an in-depth portrait of the many distinctive French actors and directors will be disappointed. In his eagerness to explore the length and breadth of French film history, Lanzoni relegates even the most colorful and prominent personalities to mere mentions. The author fares better in his discussion of how the film criticism journal Cahiers du Cinma served as a sounding board for the theories of New Wave directors like Franois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, manifestos that ultimately energized the world cinema scene. Unfortunately, Lanzoni fails to stir any similar excitement; this rather dry study won't lead many readers to check out France's rich and varied film heritage. The book does include valuable lists of Cannes Film Festival winners, recipients of the Cesar Awards, and France's biggest box office hits. Useful only as a supplement to earlier histories like Roy Armes's French Cinema and Melissa Biggs's French Films: 1945 Through 1993. (Index not seen.)-Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Covering material ranging from the Lumieres to Pitof's Vidocq (2001), "the first all-digital feature film," this crammed survey provides an excellent introduction to a hardy national cinema--and to film in general. Lanzoni (Elon Univ.) sets the political, cultural, and industrial context, decade by decade, surveying key and less-known figures and films. In "The Golden Age of French Cinema," he provides a strong paragraph on Sacha Guitry, three pages on Pagnol, two on Gabin, five on Carne, six on Renoir, two on Vigo, then pauses on Lazare Meerson's set design. In "French Cinema and the Occupation," Carne gets another nine pages, half of them properly dedicated toLes enfants du paradis. Lanzoni shifts shrewdly from Martine Carol through Bardot to Simone Signoret. The usual nouvelle vague giants are followed with solid coverage of directors like Costa-Gavras, Blier, Tavernier, Pialat, Annaud, and the newer wave (Besson, Beineix, Serreau, and Zidi). In the upbeat conclusion ("The Last Decade and Beyond"), Lanzoni describes how cable funding and recent technology excite a new generation of filmmakers: Jeunet, Caro, Kassovitz, Zonca. The appendix lists awards and box office champs. This engaging, readable book provides all one needs to know about French film. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All film collections. M. Yacowar University of Calgary

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. 11
Introductionp. 17
Chapter 1 The Invention of Motion Pictures and the Silent Era of Filmp. 23
France at the Turn of the Twentieth Centuryp. 23
The Invention of the Cinematographep. 25
Georges Melies and the Adventure of the Film Studiop. 32
Growth of a National Cinema: Charles Pathe and Leon Gaumontp. 36
The Invention of Genres: Louis Feuillade and Max Linderp. 39
Avant-garde Cinema, French Impressionism, and Surrealism: Louis Delluc, Abel Gance, Marcel L'Herbier, Luis Bunuel, and Rene Clairp. 45
Chapter 2 The Golden Age of French Cinemap. 53
The Style of the 1930sp. 53
The "Talkies"p. 55
French Cinema and Economic Recessionp. 62
Verbal Cinema or Filmed Language? Marcel Pagnolp. 67
Beyond Filmed Theater: Toward Poetic Realismp. 73
Artists and Masters of Poetic Realism: Jean Gabin, Arletty, Marcel Carne, Jean Renoir, and Jean Vigop. 75
Cinematography and the Poetics of Imagesp. 100
Chapter 3 French Cinema of the Occupationp. 103
France in 1940p. 104
The Exodus of French Cinema Celebritiesp. 106
French Cinema and Vichyp. 111
Propaganda and Censorship: The Case of Henri-Georges Clouzotp. 115
Working Conditions under the Occupation: Marcel Carnep. 124
Resistance and Liberationp. 136
Chapter 4 The Postwar Erap. 143
The Fourth Republic and Postwar Francep. 144
The Blum-Byrnes Agreementsp. 148
The Prestige of French Cinema or Cinema of Prestige? Jean Cocteaup. 150
A Certain Tradition de Qualitep. 157
Comedy a la francaise: Claude Autant-Larap. 167
Film Noir or film d'ambiance: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jacques Becker, and Rene Clementp. 170
Toward a New Cinema: Robert Bresson, Jacques Becker, and Rene Clementp. 183
Chapter 5 The Years of the French New Wavep. 195
France during and after the Events of 1958p. 196
The Signs of Change: Louis Mallep. 201
Les cahiers du cinema and the Auteur Theoryp. 206
The Emergence of the New Wave: Claude Chabrol, Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, and Agnes Vardap. 210
The Return of Commercial Movie Successesp. 239
Chapter 6 French Cinema of the 1970sp. 245
May '68: A New Cultural Erap. 246
Economic Assessment of French Cinemap. 249
The "Scandal" of the Cinematheque Francaisep. 252
Political Cinema as a New Genre: Louis Malle, Joseph Losey, and Costa-Gavrasp. 253
The Last Days of the French Polar: Jean-Pierre Melville and Henri Verneuilp. 262
The Humanists' School: Claude Sautet, Francois Truffaut, and Eric Rohmerp. 270
The Storytellers: Bertrand Blier and Bertrand Tavernierp. 286
Chapter 7 The Cinema of the 1980sp. 298
France in the 1980sp. 299
French Cinema of the 1980s: Over One Thousand Films Producedp. 304
Transformations in the French Film Industryp. 306
A New Partner: Televisionp. 310
The Old School of Filmmakers: Francois Truffaut, Bertrand Tavernier, Bertrand Blier, and Maurice Pialatp. 313
The Super Productions: Claude Berri and Jean-Jacques Annaudp. 326
New Directors for a New Generation: Jean-Jacques Beineix and Luc Bessonp. 338
The Rebirth of Popular Comedies: Coline Serreau and Claude Zidip. 346
Chapter 8 The Last Decade and Beyondp. 349
French Society in the 1990sp. 350
The Improving Health of French Cinemap. 351
A Unique Financial-Aid Systemp. 354
French Televisionp. 358
French Cinema Abroadp. 361
New Artists, New Creators: Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Carop. 365
The Epics: Regis Wargnier and Claude Berrip. 376
Period Dramas: Patrice Chereau, Alain Corneau, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, and Patrice Lecontep. 382
The Return of Comedies at the Box Office: Jean-Marie Poire and Francis Veberp. 400
The New French Cinema--Le Jeune Cinema: Mathieu Kassovitz and Eric Zoncap. 405
The Digital Revolution and the High-Definition System: Pitofp. 414
Abbreviationsp. 419
Appendixp. 421
Notesp. 434
Select Bibliographyp. 468
Indexp. 475