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French Cinema and the Culture of Authorship
206 pages, 24 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-571-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2017)
eISBN 978-1-78533-572-3 eBook
“As academic interest in Bresson ﬁnally seems to grow, The Bressonians forms an excellent addition to scholarship on the ﬁlmmaker, exploring in particular how and why Bresson’s ﬁlms reinforce the signiﬁcance of French auteur cinema, as well as oﬀering a timely contribution more generally to auteur theory and questions of inﬂuence and style.” • Studies in European Cinema
“The Bressonians is well written and contains many perceptive insights into seminal French films, expanding our understanding of the complex network of competing artistic schools and influences during the post-war period. The book also offers a fascinating account of the evolution of authorship in French cinema, from Bresson in the 1960s to the obsessions with auteurism during the Nouvelle Vague.” • H-France
“Superbly written in a lucid and elegant style, this is an important intervention in French cinematic and cultural history. The Bressonians offers a series of compelling readings of important filmmakers, and demonstrates an illuminating attentiveness to the aesthetic texture of their films.” • Scott Durham, Northwestern University
How should we understand film authorship in an era when the idea of the solitary and sovereign auteur has come under attack, with critics proclaiming the death of the author and the end of cinema? The Bressonians provides an answer in the form of a strikingly original study of Bresson and his influence on the work of filmmakers Jean Eustache and Maurice Pialat. Extending the discourse of authorship beyond the idea of a singular visionary, it explores how the imperatives of excellence function within cinema’s pluralistic community. Bresson’s example offered both an artistic legacy and a creative burden within which filmmakers reckoned in different, often arduous, and altogether compelling ways.
Codruţa Morari is Assistant Professor of French and Media Studies at Wellesley College. She holds a doctorate in Film Studies from the University of Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle.