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Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility in Classic French Film

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Publisher Comments:

Just before World War II, French cinema reached a high point that has been dubbed the style of "poetic realism." Working with unforgettable actors like Jean Gabin and Arletty, directors such as Renoir, Carné, Gremillon, Duvivier, and Chenal routinely captured the prizes for best film at every festival and in every country, and their accomplishments led to general agreement that the French were the first to give maturity to the sound cinema. Here the distinguished film scholar Dudley Andrew examines the motivations and consequences of these remarkable films by looking at the cultural web in which they were made.

Beyond giving a rich view of the life and worth of cinema in France, Andrew contributes substantially to our knowledge of how films are dealt with in history. Where earlier studies have treated the masterpieces of this era either in themselves or as part of the vision of their creators, and where certain recent scholars have reacted to this by dissolving the masterpieces back into the system of entertainment that made them possible, Andrew stresses the dialogue of culture and cinema. In his view, the films open questions that take us into the culture, while our understanding of the culture gives energy, direction, and consequence to our reading of the films. The book demonstrates the value of this hermeneutic approach for one set of texts and one period, but it should very much interest film theorists and film historians of all sorts.

Synopsis:

Just before World War II, French cinema reached a high point that has been dubbed the style of "poetic realism." Working with unforgettable actors like Jean Gabin and Arletty, directors such as Renoir, Carné, Gremillon, Duvivier, and Chenal routinely captured the prizes for best film at every festival and in every country, and their accomplishments led to general agreement that the French were the first to give maturity to the sound cinema. Here the distinguished film scholar Dudley Andrew examines the motivations and consequences of these remarkable films by looking at the cultural web in which they were made.

Beyond giving a rich view of the life and worth of cinema in France, Andrew contributes substantially to our knowledge of how films are dealt with in history. Where earlier studies have treated the masterpieces of this era either in themselves or as part of the vision of their creators, and where certain recent scholars have reacted to this by dissolving the masterpieces back into the system of entertainment that made them possible, Andrew stresses the dialogue of culture and cinema. In his view, the films open questions that take us into the culture, while our understanding of the culture gives energy, direction, and consequence to our reading of the films. The book demonstrates the value of this hermeneutic approach for one set of texts and one period, but it should very much interest film theorists and film historians of all sorts.

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1Introduction: A Compass in the Mist of Poetic Realism2
Ch. 2Impressionism and Surrealism: The Origins of an Optique24
Ch. 3Adolescents in an Adolescent Industry52
Ch. 4French Cinema and the Sonic Boom88
Ch. 5Theatrical Models for French Films114
Ch. 6The Literary and Artistic Sources of Poetic Realism148
Ch. 7Demands of Realism194
Ch. 8Figures of the Poetic232
Ch. 9Jean Renoir: Adaptation, Institution, Auteur274
Ch. 10The Myth of Poetic Realism318
Ch. 11Epilogue: Le Temps des cerises and the Fruit of Regret334
Appendix: Chronology of French Films Mentioned351
Notes359
Bibliography391
Index of Film Titles397
General Index401

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691008837
Author:
Andrew, Dudley
Author:
Andrew, James Dudley
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
History
Subject:
Film - General
Subject:
Film - History & Criticism
Subject:
Motion pictures
Subject:
France
Subject:
Aesthetics
Subject:
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Subject:
Comparative Literature
Subject:
Film Studies
Subject:
Culture in motion pictures
Subject:
Motion pictures -- France -- History.
Subject:
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 1995
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
132 halftones
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 22 oz

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Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility in Classic French Film New Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691008837 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Just before World War II, French cinema reached a high point that has been dubbed the style of "poetic realism." Working with unforgettable actors like Jean Gabin and Arletty, directors such as Renoir, Carné, Gremillon, Duvivier, and Chenal routinely captured the prizes for best film at every festival and in every country, and their accomplishments led to general agreement that the French were the first to give maturity to the sound cinema. Here the distinguished film scholar Dudley Andrew examines the motivations and consequences of these remarkable films by looking at the cultural web in which they were made.

Beyond giving a rich view of the life and worth of cinema in France, Andrew contributes substantially to our knowledge of how films are dealt with in history. Where earlier studies have treated the masterpieces of this era either in themselves or as part of the vision of their creators, and where certain recent scholars have reacted to this by dissolving the masterpieces back into the system of entertainment that made them possible, Andrew stresses the dialogue of culture and cinema. In his view, the films open questions that take us into the culture, while our understanding of the culture gives energy, direction, and consequence to our reading of the films. The book demonstrates the value of this hermeneutic approach for one set of texts and one period, but it should very much interest film theorists and film historians of all sorts.

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