Republic of Images A History of French Filmmaking

ISBN-10: 0674762681
ISBN-13: 9780674762688
Edition: 1992
Authors: Alan L. Williams
List price: $44.00
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Description: Chronicling one of the greatest and most popular national cinemas, Republic of Images traces the evolution of French filmmaking from 1895--the year of the debut of the Cinematographe in Paris-to the present day. Alan Williams offers a unique  More...

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Book details

List price: $44.00
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/1/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 472
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Chronicling one of the greatest and most popular national cinemas, Republic of Images traces the evolution of French filmmaking from 1895--the year of the debut of the Cinematographe in Paris-to the present day. Alan Williams offers a unique synthesis of history, biography, aesthetics and film theory. He brings to life all of the major directors, setting before us the cultures from which they emerged, and sheds new light on the landmark films they created. He distills what is historically and artistically unique in each of their careers and reveals what each artist has in common with the forebears and heirs of the craft. Within the larger story of French cinema, Williams examines the treasury of personal expression, social commentary, and aesthetic exploration that France has produced so consistently and exported so well. It is the tale of an industry rife with crises, and Williams offers a superb narrative of the economic, political, and social forces that have shaped its century-long history. He provides biographical sketches of filmmakers from the early pioneers of the silent era such as Louis Lumiegrave;re and Alice Guy to modern directors such as Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol, and Franccedil;ois Truffaut. Some of their careers, he shows, exemplify the significant contributions individuals made to the development of French fllmmaking; others yield illuminating evidence of the problems and opportunities of a whole generation of filmmakers. Throughout, he presents critical analyses of significant films, from the Assassination of the Duc de Guise (1908) to works by the post nouvelle vague directors. Williams captures the formal and stylistic developments of film in France over nearly one hundred years. Free of cant and jargon, Republic of Images is the best general account available of the rich interplay of film, filmmaker, and society. It will delight both general reader and student, as well as the viewer en route to the video store.

Kevin Lane Dearinger teaches English at The Browning School in New York City.

A Note on Film Titles and Dates
Introduction
French Cinema Dominates the World Market
The Cinema Before Cinema
An Industry Begins
Growth and Diversification
The Golden Age of the Silent Film
Decline and Mutation
The Mental and the Physical
The Commercial and the Esoteric
The Golden Age of the Sound Cinema
An Unexpected Upheaval
Art and Entertainment in the Sound Film
Politics, Poetics, and the Cinema
A New Kind of Cinema
War and Occupation
Liberation-Change and Continuity
An Alternative Film Culture
The Nouvelle Vague and After
Fourth Wave
Filmmaking at the Margins
Winds of Change
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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