Screening the Paris suburbs: From the silent era to the 1990s

Derek Schilling, Philippe Met

The record of French cinema's many forays into the Paris suburbs is far more than a prehistory of the 'film de banlieue'. Decades before the emergence - around 1995 - of a self-styled 'hood' film in France, filmmakers looked beyond the gates of the City of Light for inspiration and content.

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Book Information

Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publish Date: 02/16/2018
Pages: 248
ISBN-13: 9781526106858
ISBN-10: 152610685X
Language: English

Full Description

The record of French cinema's many forays into the Paris suburbs is far more than a prehistory of the 'film de banlieue'. Decades before the emergence - around 1995 - of a self-styled 'hood' film in France, filmmakers looked beyond the gates of the City of Light for inspiration and content.

In the jumble of spaces surrounding Paris they found an inexhaustible reservoir of forms, landscapes and social types in which to anchor their fictions. Idyllic or menacing, wide-open or claustrophobic, these locales served divergent ideological and aesthetic programmes. From the bourgeois villas and vacant lots of Louis Feuillade's serials of the 1910s and the bucolic watering holes of 1930s poetic realism to the vast post-war housing estates showcased by Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Tati and Maurice Pialat, the gritty noir d cors of Jean-Pierre Melville or the sleek, post-modern new towns shot by ric Rohmer, the Paris suburbs came to form a key site in the national imaginary.

For the first time in English, the fifteen contributors to this volume address key aspects of this long screen history, which intersects with themes central to French cultural modernity, including class conflict, leisure, boredom, alienation and anti-authoritarianism. Diverse in focus and expansive in scope, Screening the Paris suburbs will interest students and scholars of French film, cultural studies and urban/suburban studies.

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