Further reading

Writing on the French cinema is extensive. We confine ourselves here to major works published in the last 20 years or so, which students may find helpful in thinking about French cinema. We have not listed encyclopaedias or dictionaries (of which there are many published in French and, increasingly, in English); nor have we listed volumes on individual directors, since these are too numerous; many of them are referred to in Chapter 3 of this volume. It is also worth signalling Manchester University Press's recent French Directors series which, at the time of writing, has volumes on Besson, Beineix, Blier, Bresson, Chabrol, Kurys, Melies, Renoir, Serreau, Truffaut and Varda, with volumes on Carax, Cocteau, Duras, Godard, Leconte, Resnais, Tavernier, Techine and Vigo to appear. These volumes give critical bibliographies for the directors.

The following reading list is split into two sections: the first for books in English, the second for books in French.


Abel, Richard (1984) French Cinema: The First Wave, 1915-1929 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Abel's work is essential reading if you are interested in early French cinema. Abel, Richard (1994) The Cine Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896-1914 (Berkeley:

University of California Press). Austin, Guy (1996) Contemporary French Cinema: An Introduction (Manchester University Press). Very good on the cinema of the 1980s and 1990s. Crisp, Colin (1993) The Classic French Cinema: 1930-1960 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). An essential study, with excellent background on the industry for this period. Forbes, Jill (1992) The Cinema in France after the New Wave (Basingstoke,

Hampshire: Macmillan). An essential volume by the writer to whom this book is dedicated.

Greene, Naomi (1999) Landscapes of Loss: The National Past in Postwar French

Cinema (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press). Explores the way in which the past resurfaces in film; see the appraisal in Chapter 3 of this volume.

Hayward, Susan (1993) French National Cinema (London and New York:

Roudedge). A key volume that attempts to redefine the history of French cinema.

Kline, T. Jefferson ( 1992) Screening the Text: Intertextuality in New Wave French Cinema (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press). An innovative study of a key period of French cinema.

Mazdon, Lucy (2000) Encore Hollywood: Remaking French Cinema (London: BFI). A clear introduction to one of the more interesting features of 1980s film production; see the appraisal in Chapter 3 of this volume.

Mazdon, Lucy (ed.) (2001) France on Film: Reflections on Popular French Cinema (London: Wallflower). A collection of essays on recent cinema. Films covered include Jean de Florette, Les Visiteurs, Gazon Maudit, Romance.

Powrie, Phil (1997) French Cinema in the 1980s: Nostalgia and the Crisis of

Masculinity (Oxford: Clarendon Press). A set of essays on individual films covering three major genres: heritage, police thriller and comedy.

Powrie, Phil (ed.) (1999) French Cinema in the 1990s: Continuity and Difference

(Oxford: Oxford University Press). Essays, mainly on individual films from the 1990s, preceded by a long introduction.

Tarr, Carrie with Brigitte Rollet (2001) Cinema and the Second Sex: Women's Filmmaking in France in the 1980s and 1990s (New York and London: Continuum). An essential history that complements Powrie (1997; 1999).

Vincendeau, Ginette (2000) Stars and Stardom in French Cinema (London, New

York: Continuum). An essential volume by one of the leading academics in French Film Studies; see the appraisal in Chapter 3 of this volume.

Williams, Alan Larson (1992) Republic of Images: A History of French Filmmaking (Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University Press). Good on the early periods, skimpy on the 1980s.

Wilson, Emma (1999) French Cinema since 1950: Personal Histories (London:

Duckworth). A useful complement to Forbes (1992) and Greene (1999), particularly in its focus on trauma.


General histories

Billard, Pierre (1995) L'Age classique du cinéma français: du cinéma parlant à la Nouvelle Vague (Paris: Flammarion). Well-known film reviewer; large, detailed and very accessible volume produced for the centenary of the cinema.

Frodon, Jean-Michel (1995) L'Age moderne du cinéma français: de la Nouvelle Vague

à nos jours (Paris: Flammarion). Le Monde's film reviewer; large, detailed and very accessible volume produced for the centenary of the cinema.

Jeancolas, Jean-Pierre (1995) Histoire du cinéma français (Paris: Nathan). Perhaps the best short introduction by a respected historian and regular contributor to the journal Positif.

Prédal, René and Michel Marie (1991) Le Cinéma français depuis 1945 (Paris: Nathan). A useful complement to Frodon (1995) by two academics.

Siclier, Jacques (1990) Le Cinéma français (Paris: Editions Ramsay). Vol.1: De La Bataille du rail à la Chinoise, 1945-1968; Vol.2: De Baisers volés à Cyrano de Bergerac, 1968-1990.

Specific periods

Buache, Freddy (1987) Le Cinéma français des années 60 (Renens: 5 Continents/Paris: Hatier).

Buache, Freddy (1990) Le cinéma français des années 70 (Renens: 5 Continents/Paris: Hatier).

Chirat, Raymond and Micheline Presle (1985) La IVe République et ses films (Renens: 5 Continents/Paris: Hatier).

Guillaume-Grimaud, Geneviève (1986) Le Cinéma du Front Populaire (Paris: Lherminier).

Jeancolas, Jean-Pierre (1983) 15 ans d'années trente: le cinéma des Français, 1929-1944 (Paris: Stock).

Marie, Michel (2000) La Nouvelle Vague: une école artistique (Paris: Nathan).

Predal, Rene (2002) Le jeune cinéma français (Paris: Nathan). More academic than Trémois.

Trémois, Claude (1997) Les Enfants de la liberté: le jeune cinéma français des années 90 (Paris: Seuil). A useful introduction by the film critic of Télérama.

Theoretical and practical issues

Aumont, Jacques and Michel Marie (1988) L'Analyse des films (Paris: Nathan).

Although a university textbook, this is sometimes heavy going in its outline of the various film theories.

Aumont, Jacques, Alain Bergala and Michel Marie (1983) L'Esthétique du film (Paris: Nathan). A standard textbook in France and a very thorough introduction to film analysis.

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