The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers: Responsible Realism

The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers: Responsible Realism

by Philip Mosley
     
 

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The brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have established an international reputation for their emotionally powerful realist cinema. Inspired by their home turf of Liège-Seraing, a former industrial hub of French-speaking southern Belgium, they have crafted a series of fiction films that blends acute observation of life on the social margins with moral

Overview

The brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have established an international reputation for their emotionally powerful realist cinema. Inspired by their home turf of Liège-Seraing, a former industrial hub of French-speaking southern Belgium, they have crafted a series of fiction films that blends acute observation of life on the social margins with moral fables for the postmodern age. This volume analyses the brothers' career from their leftist video documentaries of the 1970s and 1980s through their debut as directors of fiction films in the late 1980s and early 1990s to their six major achievements from The Promise (1996) to The Kid with a Bike (2011), an oeuvre that includes two Golden Palms at the Cannes film festival, for Rosetta (1999) and The Child (2005). It argues that the ethical dimension of the Dardennes' work complements rather than precludes their sustained expression of a fundamental political sensibility.

Editorial Reviews

David James
A brilliant account of the Dardenne brothers' cinema... their politically engaged social realism and concern with the pauperized victims of global capital are beautifully complemented by the precise lucidity of the author's prose, the nuance of his textual analysis, and his provocative but non-dogmatic social theory.

Felix Thompson
An excellent introduction to the Dardenne brothers' films but also a lucid exposition of the historical and intellectual frameworks in which their social realism can be evaluated. This volume also explains how their filmmaking can be understood in terms of major contemporary philosophical currents.

Film Quarterly - Melina Gils
A comprehensive overview.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231163286
Publisher:
Wallflower Press
Publication date:
03/19/2013
Series:
Directors' Cuts Series
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Felix Thompson

Not only an excellent introduction to the Dardenne brothers' films but also a lucid exposition of the historical and intellectual frameworks in which their social realism can be evaluated. This includes a detailed account of how their work has developed against the destructive forces of industrial decline and globalisation in Belgium, while explaining how their filmmaking can be understood in terms of major contemporary philosophical currents.

David James

This brilliant account of the Dardenne brothers' cinema is immediately the standard Anglophone text on these most important filmmakers. The Dardennes' politically engaged social realism and their concern with the pauperized victims of global capital are beautifully complemented by the precise lucidity of the author's prose, the nuance of his textual analysis, and his provocative but non-dogmatic social theory.

Meet the Author

Philip Mosley is professor of English and comparative literature at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of many works, including Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and Cultural Identity (2001) and a translation from French of The Book of the Snow by François Jacqmin, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize.

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