Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility in Classic French Film / Edition 1

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Choice
A perceptive, subtle account of French 'poetic realist' cinema in the 1930s.
French Cultural Studies
Essential reading, this work makes a valuable contribution to scholarly research published on 1930's French cinema, [Well}-researched and informative without being over-scholarly, Andrew's evident enthusiasm for the topic cannot fail to inspire interest and enthusiasm.
From the Publisher
"A perceptive, subtle account of French 'poetic realist' cinema in the 1930s."—Choice

"Essential reading, this work makes a valuable contribution to scholarly research published on 1930's French cinema, [Well}-researched and informative without being over-scholarly, Andrew's evident enthusiasm for the topic cannot fail to inspire interest and enthusiasm."—French Cultural Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691008837
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/6/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction: A Compass in the Mist of Poetic Realism 2
Ch. 2 Impressionism and Surrealism: The Origins of an Optique 24
Ch. 3 Adolescents in an Adolescent Industry 52
Ch. 4 French Cinema and the Sonic Boom 88
Ch. 5 Theatrical Models for French Films 114
Ch. 6 The Literary and Artistic Sources of Poetic Realism 148
Ch. 7 Demands of Realism 194
Ch. 8 Figures of the Poetic 232
Ch. 9 Jean Renoir: Adaptation, Institution, Auteur 274
Ch. 10 The Myth of Poetic Realism 318
Ch. 11 Epilogue: Le Temps des cerises and the Fruit of Regret 334
Appendix: Chronology of French Films Mentioned 351
Notes 359
Bibliography 391
Index of Film Titles 397
General Index 401
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