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French Film in Britain
Sex, Art and Cinephilia
Lucy Mazdon and Catherine Wheatley
248 pages, 30 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-350-1 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (March 2013)
eISBN 978-0-85745-379-2 eBook
“…like the way the book has a good variety of sources with critics, distributors, film society members and historians all having a voice. This adds to the mix but also helps explain some of the contradictions the book highlights such as aesthetic quality versus bums on seats.” · Media Education Journal
“…a fascinating study of film industry and culture, which ultimately reveals as much about Britain as France.” · Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
“This is an excellent book, rich in insight into an original and important topic … [It] will make a valuable contribution to the study of film culture in Britain, and will be a great tool for students of French cinema more generally.” · Roland-François Lack, University College London
In a market long dominated by Hollywood, French films are consistently the most widely distributed non-English language works. French cinema, however, appears to undergo a transformation as it reaches Britain, becoming something quite different to that experienced by audiences at home. Drawing on extensive archival research the authors examine in detail the discourses, debates and decisions which have determined the place accorded to French cinema in British film culture. In so doing they provide a fascinating account of this particular instance of transnational cinematic traffic while simultaneously shedding new light on British film history. From the early days of the Film Society, via the advent of the X certificate to the new possibilities of video and DVD, this book reveals the complex and detailed history of the distribution, exhibition, marketing and reception of French cinema in Britain.
Lucy Mazdon is Professor in Film Studies at the University of Southampton. Her publications include Encore Hollywood: Remaking French Cinema (BFI, 2000), France on Film: Reflections on Popular French Cinema (Wallflower, 2001), (with Mike Hammond) The Contemporary Television Series, (EUP, 2005) and (with Catherine Wheatley) Je t’aime, moi non plus: Franco-British Cinematic Relations (Berghahn Books, 2010).
Catherine Wheatley is Lecturer in Film Studies at Kings College London. She is the author of Michael Haneke’s Cinema: The Ethic of the Image (Berghahn Books, 2009) and a BFI guide to Haneke’s Hidden, and editor (with Lucy Mazdon) of Je t’aime, moi non plus: Franco-British Cinematic Relations (Berghahn Books, 2010). She regularly contributes to Sight and Sound.
Subject: Film Studies
List of Illustrations
Chapter 1. The Advent of Sound, A Changing Film Culture (1925-39)
Chapter 2. Cinema Goes to War (1939-1950)
Chapter 3. ‘Saucy and Naughty and Witty and Chic’: Can French Films Fill the Gap? (1950-1959)
Chapter 4. The French New Wave on British Shores (1959-1970)
Chapter 5. ‘A New Low in French Films’: Changing Perceptions of French Cinema (1970-1982)
Chapter 6. Video Saved the French Film? (1982-2002)
Notes on Contributors
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