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June 2013, Week 1


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Mon, 3 Jun 2013 20:02:46 +0100
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1. SFC Annual Conference

2. SFC 13:2

3. New books

4. CFP: fixxion


1. SFC Annual Conference, Middlesex University, 27 June 2013

The provisional programme is now available. The keynote will be given by Sarah Cooper (King’s College, London) on ‘Thoughts of the Soul: Revisiting the Body of French Film Theory’. The other papers to be given on this one-day conference are as follows:

Elizabeth Benjamin - How am I not myself? Dada Cinema’s Existential Crisis, or, the Authenticity of Ambiguity
Marie Berne - L’animal en gros plan : redécouvrir le cinéma de Jean Painlevé
Jocopo Bodini - The desire-image: an anti-oedipal lecture of François Truffaut’s cinema
Katrine Chevalier - Derrière les masques du cinéma français
Julia Dobson - Special Affects: the melodrama and / of spectatorship in De Rouille et d'os (Audiard 2012)
Jeff Fort - From the Photogram to the Monogram: Blanchot, Nancy, Kant and the Death Mask of Cinema
Albertine Fox - Ravel and the Listening Body in Jean-Luc Godard’s Lettre à Freddy Buache (1982) and Puissance de la parole (1988)
Laura McMahon - Animal worlds: Denis Côté’s Bestiaire (2012)
Giuseppina Mecchia - Time, Sense and the Image:  On the “French” Cinema of Raoul Ruiz
Henry Miller - Film and Reality
Keith Reader  - The banlieue in 1930s French cinema
Chiara Tognolotti - Marie Epstein, or The Lady Doesn’t Vanish Anymore

Laura Vichi - Le documentaire, libérateur du cinéma et source de photogénie

See here for further details:


2. SFC 13:2

SFC 13:2 has been published. It contains the following articles:

Paul Cuff, Napoléon, vu par Abel Gance (1927): the case for enthusiasm
MARY HARROD, Sweet Nothings? Imagining the Inexpressible in Contemporary French Romantic Comedy
Eric Smoodin, Paris, America, the world: Chevalier, Dietrich, and international stardom during the transition to sound
CÉCILE SORIN, Le Pasticciaccio à la française: les dialogues dans les films de Kechiche
Nancy Virtue, Jacques Demy’s Les Parapluies de Cherbourg: A national allegory of the French-Algerian War
RAYMOND WATKINS, Robert Bresson’s Surrealist Ghosts


3. New books

Colleen Kennedy-Karpat, Rogues, Romance, and Exoticism in French Cinema of the 1930s (Fairleigh Dickinson UP)

Ben McCann, Ripping Open the Set: French Film Design, 1930-1939 (Peter Lang)


4. CFP: fixxion

« Off Screen »: On the existence of para-filmic literature

Reading the cinema was one of the main ambitions of film theory from the 1960s on—linguistics, semiotics and narratology all were put to work in the analysis of films considered as “texts”, following a model that Albert Laffay explored as early as 1964 with his Logique du cinéma, and which both Chritian Metz (« Cinéma: langue ou langage ? », Communications, n° 4, 1964) and Roland Barthes (« Le troisième sens », Cahier du cinéma, n° 222, 1970) credit.  Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier later derived from Laffay a fruitful framework for her works extending from De la littérature au cinéma (Colin, 1970) through Écraniques: le film du texte (PUL, 1990), while André Gardies, François Jost and Dominique Chateau simultaneously contributed to the development of a systematic analysis of the cinematographic narrative. Does the exhaustion of interpretive models borrowed from literary theory (itself later replaced by philosophical analysis of films) irrevocably condemn all efforts to “read films”? While the study of the ennuciative processes and the construction of point of view in cinema remains current, Jean-Marie Schaeffer has nonetheless clearly marked the theoretical limits of such exercises in a short but luminous chapter of Pourquoi la fiction? (1999).
            Must we succumb to nostalgia? In this issue of the journal Fixxion we invite contributors rather to renew the idea of “reading the cinema,” or “reading” and “the cinema,” by completely modifying the object of study. The silver screen has been the site of an intense literary production that has not necessarily taken the teleological form of scripts—fated to cede their value to the filmed work (although of course these texts are to be read and are of interest). We prefer to turn away from the screen to the corpus of novels, memoirs, essays and articles that screenwriters, filmmakers, producers and actors, but also critics and theorists, have written since the beginnings of the Seventh Art. These works extend the domain of the cinematographic into the specifically textual, but through works whose literary status remains largely undetermined.
            The task thus will be to read these works that constitute what we would call “para-filmic literature” in all of its varied forms:

-       scripts written for publication such as Donogoo Tonka ou les Miracles de la science (1919) by Jules Romains, subtitled “cinematographic tale”;

-       literary quality essays, such as Photogénie, Charlot or La Jungle du cinéma, collected in Louis Delluc’s “film writings”;

-       novels published by filmmakers, such as René Clair’s Adams or Denis Marion’s Si peu que rien;

-       numerous collections of film criticism by writers (Jacques Audiberti, Jean-Louis Bory, Colette, Robert Desnos, Claude Ollier, Pierre Mac Orlan, Roger Vailland) but also those collections of critics-cum-writers (Bazin, Truffaut, etc.);

-       literary histories of cinema such as Bardèche and Brasillach’s Histoire du cinema or René Clair’s Cinéma d’hier, cinema d’aujourd’hui (1970);

-       Memoirs and published interviews (Renoir, Cocteau, Roger Vadim, Marcel Carné, Jean-Pierre Melville, Claude Chabrol, Sacha Guitry, Louis Malle, Marcel L’Herbier, Jean Delannoy, Jean-Jacques Beinex…);

-       Notebooks (such as Au dos de nos images of the Dardenne brothers)….
From the contributions of Blaise Cendrars, Benjamin Fondane (« Ouvrons donc l’ère des scenarii intournables »), and André Berge (« Cinéma et littérature », L’Art cinématographique, t. III, Félix Alcan, 1927) to the cinema-haunted literature of Tanguy Viel or Emmanuel Carrère, this issue, number 7, of Fixxion proposes to explore the various modalities of an off-screen literature.

Proposals of approximately 300 words in French or in English may be sent to Jean-Louis Jeannelle ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) and Margaret C. Flinn ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) by 1 August 2013. The journal also accepts submissions on open topics.



Phil Powrie
Professor of Cinema Studies
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences
The Elizabeth Fry Building
University of Surrey

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Faculty Administrative Officer and PA to the Dean: Linda Ellis < [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> >/+44 (0)1483689445
Studies in French Cinema:

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