Nationalism and the Cinema in France: Political Mythologies and Film Events, 1945-1995

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Berghahn Books, Jul 1, 2014 - Performing Arts - 250 pages

It is often taken for granted that French cinema is intimately connected to the nation’s sense of identity and self-confidence. But what do we really know about that relationship? What are the nuances, insider codes, and hidden history of the alignment between cinema and nationalism? Hugo Frey suggests that the concepts of the ‘political myth’ and ‘the film event’ are the essential theoretical reference points for unlocking film history. Nationalism and the Cinema in France offers new arguments regarding those connections in the French case, examining national elitism, neo-colonialism, and other exclusionary discourses, as well as discussing for the first time the subculture of cinema around the extreme right Front National. Key works from directors such as Michel Audiard, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Melville, Marcel Pagnol, Jean Renoir, Jacques Tati, François Truffaut, and others provide a rich body of evidence.

 

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Contents

From International High Art to the Parisian Political Melee
1
The Cinema of Selfpromotion Patriotic Subtexts in Films about Films
16
The Search for National Unity through History
43
The Representation of a Modern ChicPeople
74
A Paradox in AntiAmericanism Public Protest and Visual Ambiguity
100
The Maintenance of Neocolonial Attitudes
129
The Persistence of AntiSemitism
157
The Cinema and the Extreme Rightwing Undercurrent
189
Conclusion
216
Bibliography
223
Index
231
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Hugo Frey is Head of Department and Professor of Cultural and Visual History at the University of Chichester, UK. He is the author of Louis Malle (2004) and co-author with Jan Baetens of The Graphic Novel: An Introduction (2015). He has published articles on historiography, cinema and graphic novels in journals such as Contemporary French Civilisation, Journal of European Studies, South Central Review, and Yale French Studies. Since the fall of 2013 he has been an invited guest lecturer on French cinema for the Prince's Teaching Institute, London.

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