French films are shit. Porquoi?

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It can't just be that the subtitler has no idea of how to convey the deep emotional angst that their ever so bored faces are desperately not trying to put across. Perhaps there is just a deeper malaise in all of French culture which has bubbled up into producing self-obsessed dinner party pieces which only appeal to self obsessed foreigners who have dinner parties.

Or is it that there aren't any dinosaurs or robots?

Pete, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

betty blue was great, horshima mon amoour was not the bomb, they do sex quite nicely in france

Geoff, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

If you like Betty Blue I suggest you go and get some proper porn. The Big Blue is also terrible (both versions). Are all movies with the word Blue in the title terrible - Derek Jarman's Blue being the perfect example. I remember people at the time talking in hushed tones (notably during the film) at how the shade seemed to subtly change. It was still BLUE.

And don't even think of mentioning Blue Fucking Velvet.

Pete, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

This must the place where I get to repeat my 1988 observation on how the four student-poster flicks were The Blues Brothers, Betty Blue, Blue Velvet and The Big Blue.

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

BLUE YET GOOD Die Blaue Engel
Blue water, White Death [= a documentary abt sharks which we always ended up seeing in Towyn cinema when it rained on holiday, and my mum always screamed when the shark's snout bumped the camera]
Blue Murder at St Trinians

mark s, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

what about Borsalino, thats ace

gareth, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

and Une Femme est Une Femme is great too, as are probably a couple of hundred French movies. But yeah, subtitles - exploding starships + beautiful women = bit hard to understand some people ;)

Omar, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Gross simplication:

French films were popular in the 80s because people were simple and thought that dead-classy French birds having emotional traumas = art. The the forerunners of ILE came along an said 'errgh - you idiots'. Is Scandinavian arthouse the new French arthouse?

Nick, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Maybe it's not French films being shit so much as Francophiles bowing down before the dullest ones and paying homage. And pretending they dug that four hour film with Emmanuelle Beart naked getting painted because it said a lot about the artistic process, not because Beart was nude on screen longer than anyone in film history. That said, there is nothing worse than a really bad French arthouse film: The Green Ray or J'Embrasse Pas spring painfully to mind: lots of miserable people moping philosophically and pulling sour faces. And the least said the better about the dreaded Betty/Big Blue combo ("No its really good the soundtrack's great I don't understand you're the one who likes all that subtitled shit why don't you...") (Not that there aren't great French films, of course. Just a lot less of them than the French themselves and Susan Sontag - Gilbert Adair contingent reckon)

MarK Morris, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Ah, no Nick: Scandanavian arthouse isn't the new French arthouse for the simple reason that the bulk of the Danish/Swedish/Norwegian films of recent years are really good. Except for Dancer In The Dark, which isn't.

Mark Morris, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Jules et Jim, La Femme Nikita, Bout De Souffle, Rififi, Le Placard... all excellent, all French, hardly any dinner party moments at all.

Dave M., Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

sp. = bit hard to understand *for* some people. Jeez! And yes there are plenty of duller than dull French movies (things really went downhill in the 90s).

Omar, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Nick: I am distrustful of your sense of false populism.

Dave M., Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Omar, did you see Les Nuits Fauves? Then again there was Baise Moi which I found disgusting to say the least.

nathalie (nathalie), Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Maybe The Green Ray seemed clumsy at times, i.e. the premise for the title, but I thought it had good moments, i.e. when she goes on a walk at her friend's family's place. There are some films that I feel uncomfortable watching - the protagonist is not a sympathetic character or whatever, but then I often think of them later. Anyway, I thought it really got across what the feeling of being alone is like.

youn, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Hold on space cadets! No robots in French films??? niet!...you forget the French/Spanish film from 1966 CARTES SUR TABLE/ATTACK OF THE ROBOTS!!...there is a review of it here...
http://users.aol.com/timothyp2/francofolder/articles/attack robots.html

Rogue agent, over and out.

jel, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

French cultural policy toward film (ie subsidisation) combined with quite large pop'n of France combined with French TV (= total shit) MEANS THAT a large no.of v.ho- hum middlebrow ["eek"] movies (equiv. of Brit middlebrow ["eek"] TV) gets made for purely internal suburban consumption, never exported. Top level of this, exported, gets mixed up with la dregs of New Wavism (Chabrol, Rohmer) and second or third levels of Le Cinéma du Look (= poncy Cahiers term for flashy but braneless action sci-fi stuff from Beneix, Carax et al). French historical drama is exactly the cop-out that UK hist- dram is, we're just not quite so *bored* by the actors and actrixes. Plus there's nudity. Plus violent bloodshed and plaguepits (in La Reine Margot)

In a total class of his own, geniuswise, pretention-wise, boringness-wise = Godard.

Grate Gilbert Adair story (which he tells against himself, I shd add). GA arrives at a screening late, asks bloke seated next to him what's happened. Bloke obliges with plot so far. Afterwards GA goes off on one as to why is to that, when asking what one has missed so far, you always get narrative, and no one ever obliges with the MISE EN SCENE? All critics and reviews present to hear this rant fall about, and NEVER STOP TEASING HIM about it.

mark s, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

There were so many classic French films and French directors (Chabrol, Renoir, Truffaut, Ophuls, Godard, Melies, etc.) that it's hard to say that French films are all shit. On the other hand, in the States we tend to get the better products of the French film industry, or at least those French films with pretensions of artistic quality. I suspect the French tend to keep their equivalents of Dude, Where's My Car? contained to the homeland. American studios should do the same -- imagine how much more respect and prestige the American film industry would have if the only films they released abroad were those by folks like Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, or Tim Burton (OK, well maybe not Planet of the Apes).

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Les Nuits Fauves, Nathalie, I'm afraid not, altohugh title sounds pretty good...recommendation? I'm a little out of touch these days, the lil' one demands too much attention.

Omar, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

the lil' one demands too much attention.
Shouldn't this one go in the wank-thread? Just kidding. I quite like Les Nuits Fauves; but then I quite like John Hughes' films.

nathalie (nathalie), Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

When I wrote that sentence the thought crossed my mind "she can misread it, nah, she won't...or?" :)

Mmm, Les Nuits Fauves: French nymphs running through the woods, etc? The reference to J.Hughes is a bit alarming though.

Omar, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

NO no no no, as usual I post much to quickly. What I meant to say was that my taste is very patchy. Les Nuits Fauves is based on a real story. A guy falls in love with a girl but doesn't tell her he's HIV positive until later on in the relationship. Very very very sad.

nathalie (nathalie), Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Hold on space cadets! No robots in French films??? Also don't forget Alphaville - classic and predated Blade Runner and the rise of Microsoft.

Jason, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, Breathless, Joan of Arc, The Vampires, 400 blows , My Life in Rose , Jules and Jim, Rules of the Game.
NOTHING RULES OVER FRENCH CINEMA: PEROID !

anthony, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Luis De Funes. Need I say more?

nathalie (nathalie), Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

French films are great. But my tastes run more towards German expressionist films (Fritz Lang, von Stroheim, Dr. Caligari, Pabst). That would explain why I like David Lynch and Tim Burton films so much, too.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Sure sure robots but OU EST LES DINOSAURS?

Anyway, it should also be mentioned that when Fr. cinema tries not to be Fr. cinema and go for that mainstream-appeal thing it gets much worse i.e. Les Visiteurs, Asterix movies, any 'French action movie' etc.

Tom, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Re: French action. I thought Taxi 2 was OK, as it happens, if really really racist. Oh, and there's meant to be this '60s film with Jean-Paul Belmondo that Indiana Jones was allegedly ripped off (L'Homme Du Rio), which sounds fantastic, but I've never seen it. Anyone?

Mark Morris, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Pete -- does your 'Blue' movie theory extend to all blue movies too?

alex thomson, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Only if they have the word blue in the title - though that should be the subject of a seperate thread. I'm torn on Blue Hawaii.

I actually have a soft spot for a lot of French films, despite lack of dinosaurs and robots, though i do think they can sometimes settle into the similar problem of a lot of American indie films. Too much pointless and possibly substandard dialogue. Of course my only knowledge of dialogue is from the subtitles which will not get across the nuances. Films like Les Dinner De Cons actually do the dinner party thing well, whilst other French stuff I have enjoyed thoroughly over the last few years include The Girl On The Bridge, A La Place Du Couer and Resources Humaine.

I really dislike Claire Denis though.

Pete, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

The French: they call London Londres, and Julius Caesar Jules César. IE THEY TOTALLY RENAME THEM for who knows what reason.
So answer me this: Do they also have komikal kustomised Académie de Français=approved misnomens for DINOSAURS?

"Stegosaurus? Je ne comprends pas. Il y a L'Éstegousauron.... Etc."

mark s, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

"There is a lost French film from 1909 based upon Jules Verne's A Journey to The Centre of The Earth that allegedly contains dinosaurs" source - http://www.dinosaur.org/MovieHistory.htm

I feel that I have failed, as I cannot find any other ones.

jel, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Well no surprise really since they don't have proper words for them.

Tom, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

English-French On-line Dictionary Search
Results
This dictionary database is from the freeware multilingual program Ergane. It contains over 10,000 terms. Also see travlang's French-English Dictionary.

Enter a word or words to search for: dinosaur

Notes: Searches are case insensitive. You can use a * as a wildcard. Boolean searches are allowed.

Result of search for "dinosaur":

No matching entries found.

= proof by science that French films are rubbish

mark s, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

In my Collins Robert French Dictionary (2nd ed.), dinosaur = le dinosaure. Ergo, French films are not rubbish.

youn, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Think Mark M is a bit harsh on Jacques Rivette's La Belle Noiseuse - it isn't JUST an excuse to have E. Beart naked for 4 hours. Rivette urgent and etc. for all sorts of reason; he makes you question certain assumptions you might have about the length of films, the way they can be edited OR NOT edited, improvisation, cinema v. theatre, performance, magic, etc. etc. Can't better David Thomson's entry on Rivette in his 'Biographical Dictionary...' - give it a go! One of Rivette's most recent flicks, 'Secret Defense', mesmerisingly boring and brilliant 'thriller' that mostly consists of the lead actress Sondrine Bonnaire(sp) traveling round on French tubes and trains (I exaggerate...but hardly the stuff of a cynical old satyr...)

Godard is champ, of course, the silly sexist old Maoist. Some of his recent work - esp. his video 'histories of cinema' - as brilliant and downright barmy as any of his 'classic' Nouvelle Vague stuff. Have sort've been taken aback by the anti-art flavour of some of the posts - we can have rockets and rayguns AND chin-scratching pseudery, we can have it ALL! Ok maybe we only get the 'cream' of French cinema - but what cream! And I haven't even mentioned Vigo, Renoir, Truffaut, Betrand Blier, etc etc.

Andrew L, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Pah, looking something up in a BOOK isn't science, youn! It's only science when you look it up on the internet!! (Plus: does it have stegosaurus... )

Rivette also made OUT ONE (which is 12 hours long), which = a film I must see before I die (tho won't). The cut version, OUT ONE: SPECTRE is a mere four hours long. I keep meaning to go see some of the Godards at the Lux or the NFT, but can find no one to go with!!

mark s, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Stegosaurus? Je ne comprends pas. Il y a L'Éstegousauron.... Etc."

Huh ? Dinosaures, brontosaures, tyrannosaures, etc. etc. What, do all other languages use the exact english words for dinosaurs? One translation thing that does get embarrassing is english movie titles turned into cutesy France slang, which never fails to sound incredibly dorky to Québec ears. Or worse, bad France translations of US TV shows where all the cultural references are turned into French ones - Family Ties in French is an all-time landmark of unspeakableness (unspeakability ?). However, translations of the Flintstones and The Simpsons = made in Québec, and they totally rox0r.

Patrick, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Gilbert Adair is always good for well-written pedantry: I remember him declaring c.1981 that the credits rolling across the screen on Gone With The Wind were "a virtual parody of the act of reading"

French film seen at young age and stuck with me permanently: "L'Atalante"

Robin Carmody, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

five months pass...
Pete, you're an idiot. There are many more excellent French films produced each year than American ones. I'd say one-in-three American films are worth sitting through and have some redeeming qualities. It's more like one-in-two French films. It's just most French films never make it to the US, just the ones which the distributors believe the American audiences will like, ie the insipid ones full of special effects. Americans don't like thinking any farther than their wallets, and nobody is asking them to change. Why do Americans so very much desire that the rest of the world become like them? As far as films are concerned, French films (which are really co-European productions these days) are far superio

Simon Benson, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Simon, Pete is not based in the US.

Aren't you making some awfully sweeping generalizations?

Nicole, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Read about the best French film ever he re. The reason French films are shit now is that Jacques Tati is no longer alive.

MarkH, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

This thread was started in the young days of ILE and was a deliberately provocative attempt to get serious debate on the subject of French films - which are often treated as being superior merely because they are French. (Much what you appear to be doing here - how do you know that proportion is good if you never get to see them). I live in London and get to see an awful lot of French films and - with some notable exceptions - the collection of late have pandered to the stereotype and been poor.

I am not an idiot, I am a dolt - as I explained somewhere else.

Pete, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

far superio

This is like..

N., Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

eleven months pass...
I don't remember typing that.

N. (nickdastoor), Friday, 10 January 2003 00:17 (nineteen years ago) link

Porquoi?

Is that like the French version of Porky's?

o. nate (onate), Friday, 10 January 2003 00:20 (nineteen years ago) link

special effects deserve respect too obv (ie they can be done well or badly): are there *any* good french SFX movies after abt 1920?

you hate melies = you hate me

mark s (mark s), Friday, 10 January 2003 10:42 (nineteen years ago) link

CIty OF Lost Children. Good French Spesh EffXor film. Also a lot of money thrown on a kids film which was too violent and disturbing for the censors over here to let kids see. Ha Ha.

Pete (Pete), Friday, 10 January 2003 10:49 (nineteen years ago) link

city of lost children is k-lame though

mark s (mark s), Friday, 10 January 2003 10:54 (nineteen years ago) link

I thought it would have been your cup of tea Mark. See, no point second guessing other peoples likes. A good 1990's Brother's Grimm I thought.

Pete (Pete), Friday, 10 January 2003 11:16 (nineteen years ago) link

the sheer quantity of french films about bourgeois city dwellers 'out of water' on a ill-advised adventures to the countryside where they learn to connect with what's real and also have a fling with a local or two before returning to the real world wiser and more fulfilled is just staggering, is there a quota or something?? it's like the french version of origami, or king cab pickups - a timeless art that they can produce endless minute variations on for centuries

Tracer Hand, Sunday, 5 December 2021 21:40 (eight months ago) link

"city dwellers 'out of water' on a ill-advised adventures to the countryside where they learn to connect with what's real and also have a fling with a local or two before returning to the real world wiser and more fulfilled"

my family and ! have been joking that is the plot of every Hallmark Christmas movie (except in those there is only one fling and there is no return to the real world)

Dan S, Sunday, 5 December 2021 23:20 (eight months ago) link

I really enjoyed Petite Maman and Only the Animals recently, which fit these conditions to a point

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Sunday, 5 December 2021 23:29 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

The free translated opening from a paywalled Le Monde article:

In recent weeks, the rare images filmed by Jean Eustache (1938-1981) that were roaming the Internet have vanished; to be reborn better, in the coming months. After a meticulous restoration, the works of the filmmaker close to the New Wave, author of the legendary La Maman et la Putain (1973) , will finally find their way back to theaters.

The dispute which hindered the distribution of his filmography, never released on DVD and rarely shown on television , has just been lifted, following an agreement between the heir, Boris Eustache, and Les Films du Losange, as well as reveals to the world its new president, Charles Gillibert . Passed by MK2, founder of CG Cinéma, this 44-year-old producer took over this emblematic New Wave authors' house in July 2021, with two partners, investor Alexis Dantec and entrepreneur Jacques Veyrat.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 19 January 2022 23:42 (six months ago) link

Cool, thanks.

Tapioca Tumbril (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 20 January 2022 02:40 (six months ago) link

Excellent news!

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 20 January 2022 12:24 (six months ago) link

niiiice!

Piano Mouth, Thursday, 20 January 2022 13:24 (six months ago) link

three months pass...

Could someone give me some hints as to what the most essential French filmmakers of the 70's and 80's were? Making my way through a Tavernier box and would like to get a better grasp of the context he was operating in. Feels like international attention stayed focused on the nouvelle vague/left bank crowd for the most part.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 17 May 2022 10:04 (two months ago) link

Pialat probably first and foremost

Eggs Benedick (Eric H.), Tuesday, 17 May 2022 13:03 (two months ago) link

Bertrand Blier too.

Beineix.

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Tuesday, 17 May 2022 13:13 (two months ago) link

I know Chabrol was technically nouvelle vague but he was so damned prolific, and seemed to do the bulk of his most acclaimed work in that 70s/80s period.

Eggs Benedick (Eric H.), Tuesday, 17 May 2022 13:15 (two months ago) link

Don't know how high his commercial profile was at the time, but André Téchiné?

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 17 May 2022 13:17 (two months ago) link

Bit obvious but Rohmer?

ignore the blue line (or something), Tuesday, 17 May 2022 21:38 (two months ago) link

Malle
Pialat
Beineix
Rohmer
Denis

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 17 May 2022 21:48 (two months ago) link

Pialat
Sautet
Eustache

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 18 May 2022 05:30 (two months ago) link

Rohmer and Malle are part of that 60's canon I mentioned before, thanks for all the other recs!

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 09:52 (two months ago) link

Yeah, but they were at their best in the '80s. Rohmer never topped his 1980s filmography.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 18 May 2022 10:08 (two months ago) link

Not disagreeing, it's just that my initial prompt for asking is that I feel 70's and 80's French cinema is v much overshadowed by those figuring towers from the 60's and I wanted to explore what was going on beyond that.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 10:13 (two months ago) link

Guess his standing isn't great but I caught some 80s Carax and I liked them.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 10:18 (two months ago) link

Will respectfully disagree that Malle was at his best in the 80s

Portrait Of A Dissolvi Ng Drea M (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 18 May 2022 10:33 (two months ago) link

Bresson still essential in the 70s
Jacques Deray made a number of interesting, mainstreamish thrillers throughout the 70s and 80s
Marguerite Duras stands alone
Claude Berri's Jean De Florette and Manon des Sources - MASSIVE hits in the 1980s
I don't really know Claude Sautet's work from the 70s, but again I think he was a reliable, more mainstream auteur

Two favourites from the 1980s:

Le Cop aka My New Partner (1984) - genuinely entertaining French comedywith a great lead performance from Phillipe Noiret as a corrupt cop
La Letrice (1988) - a film about reading and erotic pleasure, couldn't really get any more French if you tried

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 11:00 (two months ago) link

"Marguerite Duras stands alone"

Very much so.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 11:18 (two months ago) link

If Swiss and Belgian Francophones count, Alain Tanner and Chantal Akerman.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 11:49 (two months ago) link

Malle began the decade with two of his strongest films, though, yeah, Au Revoir les Enfants is meh.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 18 May 2022 12:01 (two months ago) link

New 4K restoration of The Mother and the Whore opens Cannes with Jean-Pierre Léaud and Françoise Lebrun in attendance:

https://www.cahiersducinema.com/actualites/eustache-les-yeux-neufs/?fbclid=IwAR0K8g-Z9Bt6TdEh3Aqlg4xgZQn31zDUg3KGgol14-KIfyURajRLGRsDPwk

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 19 May 2022 13:36 (two months ago) link

Is there an ok for a DVD?

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 19 May 2022 13:47 (two months ago) link

I think that's the plan - legit, remastered physical media releases for all of Eustache's stuff, finally approved by his estate.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 19 May 2022 14:11 (two months ago) link

Great, great news!

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 19 May 2022 14:14 (two months ago) link

Janus Films has the US rights, so forecasters are anticipating Criterion Collection editions.

Infanta Terrible (j.lu), Thursday, 19 May 2022 16:03 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Did the auteur movement signify a shift in opportunity and power from playwrights to screenwriters to directors? How was this enabled by Hollywood? Has a similar shift ever been thought possible from composers to conductors? Is there a difference in performative or interpretive license or in recognition of sources of inspiration or authorship? Does the concept of inspiration in the arts or in human endeavor originate from what one can do with language?

youn, Monday, 6 June 2022 07:37 (two months ago) link

What does a shift in opportunity mean?

I think if it means power or credibility or prestige then there is some of that. You seldom get a retro season which is focused on a producer or cinematographer though you get seasons on an actor. The focus on a director definitely takes it away from the array of technicians that work on film.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 6 June 2022 08:37 (two months ago) link

Auteur theory was never a 'movement'

Ward Fowler, Monday, 6 June 2022 08:46 (two months ago) link

My apologies for poor word choice. I blame Wikipedia, although retrospectively a source for self-justification in the face of ILX critics ;) :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_New_Wave

I think I meant directors realized they had leverage in the culture among critics and gatekeepers and influences to create or modify popular understanding of a genre.

youn, Monday, 6 June 2022 09:26 (two months ago) link

influencers

youn, Monday, 6 June 2022 09:26 (two months ago) link

Sorry I can't really make sense of your second post. Directorial power in and out of Hollywood existed before and after auteurism and was of course economically based - ie if you were a proven hitmaker (like Chaplin, say) you had much greater freedom than a studio contract director. I can't think of any directors who set out to 'modify popular understanding of a genre', or what this actually means in practice - what genres in particular do you mean?

Ward Fowler, Monday, 6 June 2022 09:33 (two months ago) link

Don't ever use 'influencers,' especially applied retroactively

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 June 2022 10:02 (two months ago) link

To answer your question --

Auteurism and the rise of the university are inexorably connected.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 June 2022 10:03 (two months ago) link

I think I would like to focus not so much on popular reception but on what forms of art (or science) enable with respect to authorship or creativity, and the origins of such a concept in particular in relation to creativity with language. (I am sorry for using influencers; I feel very badly about that.)

youn, Monday, 6 June 2022 10:07 (two months ago) link

One thing worth pointing out is the French cinema industry was based around the director in a way that the US wasn't, even before auteur theory was ever conceived (US industry would have producer in that role).

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 6 June 2022 10:11 (two months ago) link

Just a few bits and bobs:

I guess the New Wave had a lot of writers/critics, who loved literature and old Hollywood, who then sorta empowered themselves to make the films they wanted to make. Some of those made money, so producers got into the action in the 60s. The 'new wave' in turn also made for a pre-packaged writing up of new Waves (the Taiwanese new Wave etc.) when trying to introduce a crowd to films from far away places.

However those conform to films that are in conversation to Western modes of filmmaking.

The reviews of the Cimino biog remind me that yes there was an era where a few directors got the studios to put a lot of cash into a filmmaker's vision, some of which had diminishing returns. And so the story goes that the likes of Star Wars broke that. I guess Marvel is an update to this as well.

The discourse has sorta come down to an old auteur putting out a headline remark like 'Martin Scorcese thinks Marvel is shit' or that 'Spielberg doesn't think film should be shown on Netflix first' but cinema as a space and one of a number of entertainment is being reconfigured all the time, as time and technology passes. So that power they might've to bring people along isn't there anymore. Whether it was much a thing anyway is also a question.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 6 June 2022 10:17 (two months ago) link

For example, perhaps an auteur had her own version of the Iowa Writers' Workshop in her mind and what can be seen but not told but is first driven or inspired by language, or perhaps entirely outside of language.

Was a shaky camera at first from lack of funds and did it only later come to signify a story naturally and privately told? Or when does your glance wander and what do you perceive? (riffing horribly off the mention of cinematographers)

How did techniques specific to cinema come to be added to the techniques of writing?

Yes, the industry is important to consider and to return to.
http://www.dominicsmith.net/the_electric_hotel.php

youn, Monday, 6 June 2022 10:23 (two months ago) link

Did the auteur movement signify a shift in opportunity and power from playwrights to screenwriters to directors?

Reading this again I'm not sure there was ever a time where the screenwriter had much power in Hollywood? Always quite low on the totem pole I think. Famous playwrights/writers getting their stuff adapted a different kettle of fish ofc.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 6 June 2022 11:07 (two months ago) link

Has a similar shift ever been thought possible from composers to conductors?

Except in the most industrial, regimented film industry situations, I'm sure that film directors have more control and leeway over their work than orchestra conductors.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 6 June 2022 15:20 (two months ago) link

the thing about influencers is that they deal in pictures (right now from what i can gather) and if anyone feared that language would disappear as a consequence, then fear no longer: i think by now everyone knows the limitations are obvious. but film and video communicate consequence and that still strikes me as a danger to surplace language. for artists and scientists i think one wants the greatest challenge in being clear when the meaning can be ambiguous.

youn, Tuesday, 7 June 2022 12:13 (two months ago) link

communicate consequence and experience

youn, Tuesday, 7 June 2022 12:25 (two months ago) link

perhaps silent film is so much followed because it was when film had to speak for itself and at first only gags or memes (sorry for retrospective use) were thought possible and remarkably it was possible and so the lurking possibilities of suggestion lingered in those who cared about the history

youn, Sunday, 12 June 2022 22:03 (two months ago) link

I want to see all of Jean-Louis Trintignant's films that I have not yet seen.

youn, Saturday, 18 June 2022 16:25 (one month ago) link

That guy was so good.

Ride into the Sunship (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 18 June 2022 19:34 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

V nice piece on Eustace, May 68 and French Cinema (revived from the archives as the writer has passed away) (apart from a couple of bits that don't scan for me)

https://www.bfi.org.uk/sight-and-sound/features/mother-whore-dandy

xyzzzz__, Friday, 5 August 2022 21:21 (one week ago) link


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