Monday, August 26, 2019

Hitchcockian: François Truffaut 's The Soft Skin (1964)

 ...For the Vive la France Blogathon...


35 years after his death in 1984, François Truffaut is best known as the most successful of the youthful filmmakers to emerge from the nouvelle vague (New Wave) movement that swept French cinema in the late 1950s. But before he would write and direct his first full-length feature in 1959, Truffaut would make his name as an enfant terrible critic at the influential post-war film journal Cahiers du cinema (Notebooks on Cinema). It was Truffaut who authored a famous/infamous January 1954 article, an impassioned and polemic piece, that advanced the “auteur theory.”  This theory maintains that auteur films reflect the filmmaker’s personal/artistic vision and possess an identifiable style along with recurring themes and motifs. Alfred Hitchcock, a director revered by Cahiers’ young critics, personified the auteur concept and Truffaut was one especially smitten with his work. He would author 27 articles on Hitchcock over the course of the 1950s.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

"Vive la France!" - the Blogathon


Welcome to the Vive la France! blogathon. My co-host, Christian Esquevin of Silver Screen Modes, and I have been thrilled that so many joined in with us to celebrate the films of France along with non-French films set in France. Our participating bloggers have chosen an exciting range of subjects - covering nine decades - we know you will enjoy.

Blog post titles in bold contain links to each piece - click-and-read on!


A very big thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who took part in our blogathon. Who knows, maybe we'll do it again next year - on Bastille Day...


Saturday, August 24, 2019

The French Roots of Noir: Two Films by Marcel Carné with Jean Gabin




...For the Vive la France Blogathon...


In 1946 four relatively recent American films inspired Italian-born French film critic Nino Frank to pen an article for the August 1946 issue of the newly launched film periodical L’écran française. Titled “A New Kind of Police Drama: the Criminal Adventure,” the article pointed out that these films - The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Laura and Murder, My Sweet - seemed more concerned with psychological motivations and undercurrents than crime solving. In his piece, Frank would use the term film noir and from then on be commonly given credit for coining the expression.

Years later the research of film studies professor Charles O’Brien, among others, would reveal that the term film noir had already been in use in France by the late 1930s in reviews and articles written about emerging French films of a certain kind.