2017 - 2018

  Contemporary French Cinema  
Yael MunkMexico - Arts119Tue1600-2000 Sem  1
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

It has been contended that French cinema's peak was back in the Sixties, during the days of the French New Wave. Its attempt to investigate the cinematic language boundaries while offering an adequate alternative to Hollywood mainstream cinema gave birth to a cinematic current that was to influence the entire West. Time has since passed, however, and French cinema has failed in its attempt to reproduce the astounding phenomenon of the French New Wave.   Today, fifty years later, French cinema is again popular; but its identity and cinematic plots are now different. The end of colonialism, the massive immigration and the older generation's coming to terms with painful war memories have led to the appearance of a brave cinema that dares to examine the past and reveal what the Empire could not admit at the time. It seems that it is not only the end of colonialism and the massive immigration that are today threatening French identity but rather the European Union ideology that threatens to blur the borders of both identity and memory. Consequently, accompanying the growing unemployment of a disabused younger generation, the New French Cinema reveals a profound nostalgia for a period that may have never existed in reality (except in the films of the Old Masters, Alain Resnais and Claude Chabrol). The course will provide a survey of French cinema from the romantic days of false postmodern nostalgia, which still today can be found in a certain kind of mainstream French cinema, and up to the painful recognition of the Algerian war trauma that has remained silenced for too long. 

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