Screening the Paris suburbs

From the silent era to the 1990s

Edited by Philippe Met and Derek Schilling

Screening the Paris suburbs


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0685-8
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: February 2018
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Popular culture, Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, The arts / Film: styles & genres, Urban Communities, France, The arts / Film theory & criticism, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban, ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Film and Media, Literature, Urban communities, Film history, theory & criticism, City & town planning: architectural aspects, HISTORY / Europe / France, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture


Decades before the emergence of a French self-styled 'hood' film around 1995, French filmmakers looked beyond the gates of the capital for inspiration and content. In the Paris suburbs they found an inexhaustible reservoir of forms, landscapes and social types in which to anchor their fictions, from bourgeois villas and bucolic riverside cafés to post-war housing estates and postmodern new towns. For the first time in English, contributors to this volume address key aspects of this long film history, marked by such towering figures as Jean Renoir, Jacques Tati and Jean-Luc Godard. Idyllic or menacing, expansive or claustrophobic, the suburb served divergent aesthetic and ideological programmes across the better part of a century. Themes central to French cultural modernity - class conflict, leisure, boredom and anti-authoritarianism - cut across the fifteen chapters.


'This edited volume is an important contribution to conceptions of geography and French cinema. The fifteen contributions address the banlieue in film as geographic suburb and mise-en-scène that is both incidental landscape and elemental context for cinematic storytelling. Overall, the volume demonstrates how notions of banlieue cinema allow us to reconsider well-known French interwar and postwar films with an awareness of the postcolonial and hip-hop discourses that have over-coded an underlying historical context. The richness of this approach lies in how it foregrounds spatial dynamics within the Hexagon, or metropolitan France, as supplemented by longstanding histories of migration and regional idioms [...] A wide range of perspectives thus describe and reconsider the "space of periphery" in French cinema.'
Peter J. Bloom, University of California, H-France Review, Vol. 19 (2019)


Introduction - Philippe Met and Derek Schilling
1 On the origins of the banlieue film, 1930-80 - Annie Fourcaut
2 Lumière, Méliès, Pathé and Gaumont: French filmmaking in the suburbs, 1896-1920 - Roland-François Lack
3 Roads, rivers and canals: spaces of freedom from Epstein to Vigo - Jean-Louis Pautrot
4 The banlieue in French cinema of the 1930s - Keith Reader
5 Julien Duvivier and interwar 'banlieutopia' - Margaret C. Flinn
6 Margins and thresholds of French cinema: Ménilmontant, Le Sang des bêtes, Colloque de chiens - Eric Bullot
7 Georges Franju and the grotesque genius of the banlieue - Tristan Jean
8 Tati, suburbia and modernity - Malcolm Turvey
9 A crucible of emotions: Maurice Pialat's L'Amour existe - Elisabeth Cardonne-Arlyck
10 Godard's suburban years - Térésa Faucon
11 The banlieue wore black: postwar French polar, from Becker to Corneau - Philippe Met
12 Erasing the suburbs: the grands ensembles in documentary film and television, 1950-80 - Camille Canteux
13 Elusive happiness: screening France's new towns after 1968 - Derek Schilling
14 Towers of evil: Jean-Claude Brisseau - David Vasse
15 What's left of the 'red suburb'? Hervé Le Roux's Reprise as case study - Guillaume Soulez


Philippe Met is Professor of French and Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

Derek Schilling is Professor of French at Johns Hopkins University

Screening the Paris suburbs

Edited by Philippe Met, Derek Schilling

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

Paperback £21.00 / $30.95

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