French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present

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9780826413994: French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present

The story of French filmmaking in many ways reflects the whole history of cinema. From the earliest flickering images of the Lumiere brothers in the late 19th century and throughout the years that followed, France has sometimes preceded and often paralleled the technical and artistic developments in cinema occuring internationally. Remi Lanzoni examines a large number of the world's most beloved films through the silent era, the Surrealist influence, the Nazi Occupation, the glories of the New Wave, into the 1990s and beyond. Focusing on the personalities that have created and formed an international art form, Lanzoni concentrates on directors and stars, bringing new insights into the work of Robert Bresson, Jean Cocteau, Jean Renoir, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Yves Montand and Jeanne Moreau among others.

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About the Author:

Rémi Lanzoni earned his M.A. in French from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, USA, and his PhD in French from Florida State University, USA. He also earned a second PhD in Italian from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. He has written two books, French Cinema: From its Beginnings to Present (2003, Continuum) and Comedy Italian Style: The Golden Age of Italian Film Comedies (Continuum, 2009) as well as several articles on Italian cinema.

From Library Journal:

Lanzoni (Romance languages, Elon Univ.) offers an academic and chronological survey of French filmmaking from 1895 to 2002. He is particularly interested in how 20th-century events have affected French cinema, notably the German occupation during World War II, which paradoxically represented a creative high point; the Algerian War; the "New Wave" explosion of the early 1960s; the student uprisings of May 1968; and recent tariff movements to reduce American domination of European film markets. Readers hoping for an in-depth portrait of the many distinctive French actors and directors will be disappointed. In his eagerness to explore the length and breadth of French film history, Lanzoni relegates even the most colorful and prominent personalities to mere mentions. The author fares better in his discussion of how the film criticism journal Cahiers du Cin ma served as a sounding board for the theories of New Wave directors like Fran ois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, manifestos that ultimately energized the world cinema scene. Unfortunately, Lanzoni fails to stir any similar excitement; this rather dry study won't lead many readers to check out France's rich and varied film heritage. The book does include valuable lists of Cannes Film Festival winners, recipients of the Cesar Awards, and France's biggest box office hits. Useful only as a supplement to earlier histories like Roy Armes's French Cinema and Melissa Biggs's French Films: 1945 Through 1993. (Index not seen.)-Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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