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October 2007, Week 2


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Phil Powrie <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Oct 2007 08:39:34 +0100
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Studies in French Cinema Conference 2008: 'French Cinema to 1940'. Call for papers


The first four decades of French cinema produced some of its most iconic films, as well as its most celebrated directors, stars and scriptwriters. It is the time of the great pioneers of cinema (Lumière, Méliès, Gance, L'Herbier, Guy) and the period when France was at the forefront of both technological cinematic development and aesthetic experimentation. 

Some aspects of this cinematic history are well documented. Certain figures (Renoir, Clair, Gabin), films (from Le Voyage à travers l'impossible to La Règle du jeu) hold clear positions, canonized in the story of world cinema. And yet, compared with the critical and scholarly attention currently devoted to contemporary cinema, there remain many aspects of French film history from this period that have yet to be investigated, or which are ripe for re-evaluation. For example, scholarly work on the silent period has largely focused on the high brow, from the impressionist films of Epstein or Dulac to the epics of Abel Gance, while popular stars (Chevalier, Linder, Mistinguett, Musidora) and genres (crime films, melodramas) have attracted less attention. And, while the 1930s may be synonymous with the classic films of Poetic Realism, or the avant garde challenges of Surrealism, as Dudley Andrew points out, these films represent less than 10% of those produced during the decade (1995: 16). 

The aim of this conference, then, is to go some way to redressing the balance, to encourage scholarship in this area, to re-examine some well-worn myths of these foundational decades of French cinema, and to open up new areas for historical investigation. Papers are invited on any aspect of French cinema prior to the Occupation. In particular, papers are solicited on the following areas: 

*	Silent French cinema
*	The transition from silent cinema to sound
*	Cinema and music
*	Stardom and performance
*	Popular genres and series
*	Colonial cinema
*	French cinema in the international arena
*	Cinema and the avant-garde
*	Cinema and politics in the Third Republic
*	Structures of the industry

Please send abstracts of between 200 and 300 words to Sarah Leahy ([log in to unmask]) by 1 December 2007.

NOTE A L'INTENTION DE COLLEGUES FRANCOPHONES: Nous faisons circuler les communications ecrites quinze jours avant le colloque et le jour meme nous demandons aux intervenants un resume de 5-10 minutes, suivi de debats. Vous pouvez nous proposer des communications en francais, mais normalement nous vous demanderions de presenter votre communication en anglais.

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