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French Cinema. Past and present. Outline. Introduction Part I. The birth of cinema Part II. The classics Part III. The 7 th art in the 21 th century Conclusion References. Introduction.

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French Cinema

Past and present

Outline l.jpg

  • Introduction

  • Part I. The birth of cinema

  • Part II. The classics

  • Part III. The 7th art in the 21th century

  • Conclusion

  • References

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  • Until World War I, European filmmakers dominated the world film market. France was considered the leading film-producing country

  • U.S. companies soon took over markets overseas, using the same tactics of high-volume production and lower prices that the Europeans had. By the 1920s some three-quarters of films screened around the world came from the United States

  • France, though no longer dominant, remained a center for theorizing about cinema and producing innovative and experimental works

  • New artistic movements like surrealism, poetic realism and nouvelle vague (new wave), brought new concepts to filmmaking and revitalized the role of France as a leader in world cinema culture

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Part I. The birth of cinema

  • In terms of commercial filmmaking, France’s film industry, the world’s strongest before World War I, occupied a struggling role after the war

  • No other country had a so firm commitment to the medium as an art form or so rich a culture of journals and clubs devoted to criticizing and viewing innovative film work

  • By 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumière developed a lightweight, hand-held camera that used a claw mechanism to advance the film roll. They named it the Cinématographe

  • Their first screening for the general public was held in Paris in December 1895; Lumière,innovative filmmakers as well as inventors and manufacturers

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Part II. The classics

  • Georges Melies (1861-1938), professional magician, first saw the new "moving pictures" in 1895; Melies made over 500 films, but his most famous -- Voyage dans la lune, Le (1902) (Voyage to the Moon); father of special effects in the movies

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a. The directors

  • Cocteau, Jean (1889-1963), French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, and filmmaker. La belle et la bête(Beauty and the Beast, 1946), Orphée (1950), and Les enfants terribles (1950)

  • Malle, Louis (1932-1995), French director of influential and often controversial motion pictures Zazie dans le Métro (Zazie, 1960); Le Souffle au Coeur (A Murmur of the Heart, 1971); Au Revoir, les Enfants(Goodbye, Children)

  • Truffaut, François (1932-1984), French motion-picture director and critic, a leader of the nouvelle vague (new wave); 400 Blows (1959), The Last Metro (1980)

  • Renoir, Jean (1894-1979), French actor and motion-picture director, one of the master filmmakers of world cinema, son of impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir; Nana (1926), Madame Bovary (1934), Grand Illusion(1937)

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b. The movies

  • Among the most celebrated movies, Un chien Andalou (1929), L’age d’or (The Golden Age, 1930), L’atalante (1934)

  • Le jour se lève (Daybreak, 1939), La grande illusion (Grand Illusion, 1937) and La règle du jeu (Rules of the Game, 1939)

  • After the war,La belle et la bête, Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows, 1959), À bout de souffle (1959; Breathless, 1961)

  • The most popular French movies in France

  • French directors

  • French actors

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Part III. The 7th art in the 21th century

  • In Paris, in 1895, Louis Lumière screens his first film La sortie des Usines: the birth of cinema. The first films are silent, in black and white, short and filmed hurriedly

  • The French hegemony is complete as 70% of the films exported in the world come from the production companies Pathé, Gaumont and Éclair. The spoken cinema comes to France in 1929

  • After World War II, the French public turns to Hollywood

  • The New Wave (la Nouvelle Vague) takes a break. This movement of young French directors enforces a new style in film-making: small budget, shooting on location and a team of more natural actors

  • Nowadays, The French production is among the most dynamic productions of Europe with about a hundred films being produced every year (4000 cinema halls in France )

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a. French studios

  • From the time it was set up in 1895, Gaumont, the oldest of the motion picture companies, began filming current events

  • Pathé, leading independent film producer in Europe,

  • Universal Pictures, part of Vivendi Universal.

  • Studio Canal, part of Vivendi Universal. Production of feature films; co-produces or acquires such European or American feature films as "Irreversible", "All or Nothing", "The Adversary", "The Pianist", "The Others", "Gosford Park", In the Bedroom"...

  • UGC, production, distribution, 850 screens.

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b. French directors

  • Jean-JacquesAnnaud(1943-)internationally acclaimed filmmaker Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose(1986), The Bear (1989), The Lover (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

  • Luc Besson (1959-), Joan of arc (1999), Leon (1994), Atlantis (1991), Le grand Bleu (1988), the Fifth Element (1997)

  • Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1953-), Amelie Poulin(2001), Alien (1997), La Cite des enfants perdus(1997), Delicatessen (1991)

  • Roman Polanski (1933-), Le Pianist (2002), Tess(1979), Chinatown (1974), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Frantic (1988)

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c. French actors

  • Depardieu, Gérard (1948- ), French actor, Le dernier métro (The Last Metro, 1980), directed by François Truffaut; Cyrano de Bergerac(1990), Germinal (1993)

  • Deneuve, Catherine (1943- ), whose mysterious film persona and distinctive beauty have made her an icon of European cinema; Le dernier métro(1980), Indochine(1992)

  • Reno, Jean (1948- ), Ronin(1998), Leon (1994), Les Visiteurs(1993), Nikita (1990), Le grand Bleu (1988)

  • Isabelle Adjani (1955-), La Reine Margot(1994), Camille Claudel(1988), Subway (1985), Adele H (1975)

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  • Contemporary French cinema is rich and varied. It can be strong and violent or gentle and subtle

  • Every year, in May, during two weeks, the International Film Festival takes place in Cannes, a city in the south of France, chosen for its sunshine and beautiful scenery

  • This event is considered the most prestigious in the world, not only proposes film screenings, but also numerous cultural and artistic activities

  • Info about 10 French movies on Internet: La Beaute du Diable, Le grand Bleu,Sept ans au Tibet, Ridicule, Le Nom de la Rose, Indochine, Cyrano de Bergerac, Le Cinquieme Element, Amelie Poulin, Le Pacte des Loups)

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