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February 2018, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:50:15 +0000
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Michael Witt <[log in to unmask]>
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The French Cinema Book, 2nd Edition (BFI Publishing)

Edited by Michael Temple and Michael Witt

This extensively revised, updated and expanded new edition of The French Cinema Book offers an innovative multi-authored account of the richness and diversity of French film history from the 1890s to the present. It contains both thoroughly updated and entirely new contributions from thirty-six leading commentators on French cinema from the around the world: Richard Abel, Nicole Brenez, Noël Burch, Teresa Castro, Ian Christie, Laurent Creton, Colin Crisp, Monica Dall’Asta, Sébastien Denis, Sam Di Iorio, Elizabeth Ezra, Hélène Fleckinger, Jean-Michel Frodon, Will Higbee, Anne Jäckel, Kira Kitsopanidou, Laurent Jullier, Laurent Le Forestier, Franck Le Gac, Jean-Marc Leveratto, Alison J. Murray Levine, Laurent Mannoni, Daniel Morgan, Charles O’Brien, Martin O'Shaughnessy, Alastair Phillips, Keith Reader, Geneviève Sellier, Alison Smith, Michael Temple, Muriel Tinel-Temple, Hunter Vaughan, Ginette Vincendeau, Jennifer Wild, James S. Williams, Michael Witt.

The book is organised into four chronological sections (1890-1920, 1920-1950, 1950-1980, 1980-present), each of which is divided into seven distinct approaches to the study and appreciation of French cinema:

• PEOPLE: Who are the men and women who have made French cinema happen?

• BUSINESS: What is the industrial culture in which French cinema has developed?

• TECHNOLOGY: To what extent have technological factors determined the course of French cinema?

• FORMS: How can we study the diversity of ­film forms practiced across French cinema, and the evolution of the formal ‘languages’ of ­ film?

• REPRESENTATIONS: What have French ­ films shown us of France, its society, its concerns, and the changing lives of its citizens?

• SPECTATORS: How have audiences’ experiences of film-going changed in France over time?

• DEBATES: How has cinema been represented and discussed in French culture?

For the full Table of Contents and a sample chapter, see the publisher’s website:

‘Those who love the body of French films can now look with amazement into the internal organs that have kept that body vibrant, period after period. Temple and Witt targeted seven sites to be probed by astutely selected specialists. With these vivid, detailed x-rays, we can begin to comprehend the workings of the most consistently attractive national cinema out there.’ – Dudley Andrew, R. Seldon Rose Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of Film Studies, Yale University

‘The second edition is as remarkable an achievement as the first. It retains the incisive structure of the first edition, but has the timely addition of work by a range of French academics, and vastly expanded coverage of the period since the 1980s. This will be required reading for anyone interested in French cinema.’ – Phil Powrie, Professor of Cinema Studies, University of Surrey

‘This inviting, thoroughly up-to-date new edition of The French Cinema Book replaces Michael Temple and Michael Witt’s 2004 edition, offering the reader insightful, erudite and well-written analyses by many more experts from a wider array of specializations. The juxtaposition of essays under the headings People, Business, Technology, Forms, Representations, Spectators and Debates within four periods encourages comparative thinking about method, substance and choices of a huge number of films and personnel. At a time when “French film” necessarily includes many international co-productions that presuppose reassessments of the evolution of France’s colonial history, this is an outstanding choice for an engaging textbook that does not rest content with received wisdom and that includes carefully selected bibliographical, filmographical and on-line resources.’ – Janet Bergstrom, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, UCLA

‘A must-read collection of essays by some of the finest film scholars. All students and cinephiles will read this book with great profit and pleasure.’ – Ludovic Cortade, Associate Professor of French Literature, Thought and Culture, New York University

Michael Temple is Director of Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Essay Film Festival. He is the author of Jean Vigo (2005), and has co-edited several books about Jean-Luc Godard, as well as Decades Never Start on Time: A Richard Roud Anthology (2014).

Michael Witt is Professor of Cinema and Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures at the University of Roehampton, London. He is the co-editor of For Ever Godard (2004) and Jean-Luc Godard: Documents (2006), and the author of Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian (2013).

370 pages

£24.99 / $39.99 (paperback 9781844574650)

£65.00 / $89.99 (hardback 9781844574667)

£19.99 (ebook 9781349929092)

A launch event is being held on Tuesday 27th February at 7.00pm at the Institut français (London) in collaboration with Alastair Phillips and Ginette Vincendeau, whose book Paris in the Cinema: Beyond the Flâneur has recently appeared with the same publisher. We look forward to seeing some of you there:

With best wishes,

Michael Witt and Michael Temple

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