La Grande Illusion

Overview

Jean Renoir's cinematic masterpiece La Grande Illusion (1937) tells the story of two French prisoners-of-war escaping through Germany towards France during the First World War. Its themes of loyalties divided by class, racial and national identities and the conflict between patriotism and pacifism made it particularly compelling and controversial on its release in the last days of the French Popular Front. Julian Jackson's study of the film places it in the historical context of France in the late 1930s, and also...

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Overview

Jean Renoir's cinematic masterpiece La Grande Illusion (1937) tells the story of two French prisoners-of-war escaping through Germany towards France during the First World War. Its themes of loyalties divided by class, racial and national identities and the conflict between patriotism and pacifism made it particularly compelling and controversial on its release in the last days of the French Popular Front. Julian Jackson's study of the film places it in the historical context of France in the late 1930s, and also addresses the film's unforgettable character studies and its unusual structure, with the narrative divided into a series of self-contained set pieces.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844572854
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: BFI Film Classics Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,273,185
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Julian Jackson is Professor of Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London. His publications include The Dark Years 1940-1944 which was shortlisted for the 2002 Los Angeles Times history book prize, and The Fall of France won 2004 Wolfson Prize for history. He is the editor of The Short Oxford History of Europe 1900-1945.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 6

Introduction Paris 1937 7

1 Renoir before La Grande Illusion 11

2 An Escape Story 17

3 The Making of the Film: Auteur as 'Ringmaster' 20

4 Variations on Realism: 'Interior Truth' and 'Exterior Truth' 30

5 Boundaries and Crossing Boundaries 50

6 Politics: La Grande Illusion between the Popular Front and Vichy 73

7 Afterlives: Escape and Survival 90

8 What Illusion(s)? 103

Notes 108

Credits 112

Bibliography 114

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