Introduction

1. History 3 1896-1929: the silent period 3 1930-1939: the 'early classic era' - from sound to the Second World War 7 1939-1945: the war years 13 1945-1959: le cinéma de papa 16 1959-1968: the New Wave 20 1968-1981: the New Wave (postscript), realism and comedy 28 1981-2001: heritage, the look, women, Beurs, Banlieue, Le Jeune Cinéma 36 Conclusion 53

2. Theory 54 1900-1945: early film theory 56 1945-1960: André Bazin and the politique des auteurs 58 1950-1970: sociology and structuralism 60 1968-1970: ideology and suture 66 1970-1980: psychoanalysis and post-structuralism 68 The space (s) of cinema: Daney, Burch and Gardies 71 The movement(s) of cinema: Deleuze 74 The sound(s) of cinema: Chion 80

3. Practice 85

4. Writing about French films 93

Essays 93

Sequence analysis 127

Appendices 163

Table 1: History of the French cinema (stars, movements, directors) 163

Table 2: French theorists of the cinema 164

Table 3 and Figure 1: numbers of spectators 1945-1999 166

Table 4 and Figure 2: numbers of films produced 1945-1999 167

Table 5 and Figure 3: share of the French market 1945-1999 170

Table 6: best-sellers 1945-1999 171

Table 7: the top 50 French films 1945-1999 (by number of spectators) 183

Table 8: French prizes 1945-1999 185

Table 9: Oscar for Best Foreign Film won by French films 192

Table 10: key technical terms in English and French 192

Further reading 196

Bibliography 199

Index of films and proper names 209

This book is dedicated to the memory of our colleague and friend Jill Forbes, Professor of French at Queen Mary & Westfield College, London. Jill was one of the finest writers on French cinema; she died at the far too early age of 54 on Friday, 13 July 2001.

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