Robert Guédiguian

By Joseph Mai

Robert Guédiguian


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0778-7
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: April 2017
  • BIC Category: Film history, theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Films, cinema, The arts / Film theory & criticism, Film and Media, Literature
  • Series: French Film Directors Series


On one level, this book provides a concise and comprehensive account of Robert Guédiguian's numerous films, combining meticulous stylistic analyses with historical, political, and generic context. But more deeply, it makes the case that Guédiguian's work represents one of the most discretely original and radical projects of contemporary French cinema. When Marius et Jeannette (1997) made Guédiguian a household name in France, most viewers were unaware that the film's freshness was the product of a project that Guédiguian had started in 1981 and that continues today: to make politically committed films with friends, predominately in a local space, over a long period of time.

Starting with an in-depth consideration of the philosophy of friendship and its relation to politics, relation, time, and space, this book traces this unique collaboration. It starts in the Estaque neighborhood of Marseille and unfolds through the political transformations of the 1980s, the local activism of the 1990s, and spreads through Guédiguian's diverse experimentation with genres and registers. It emphasises Guédiguian's political assessments and his frequent meditations on history, violence, and utopia. But it returns consistently to the underlying themes of friendship, and thus intervenes at the crossroads of affect, politics, philosophy, and art.


'With the excellence of his scholarship, his judicious but accessible use of theory, his thorough knowledge of context and his careful eye for detail, Mai has written a book that will be a key reference on the director for years to come.'
Martin O'Shaughnessy, Nottingham Trent University, H-France Review, Vol. 18 (January 2018), No. 24


1. Living with Friends
2. Fragile Friendships
3. Crossing Every Barrier: The 'Conte de l'Estaque'
4. Themes and Variation: Films Since 2000
5. Conclusion: A Project in Time


Joseph Mai is Associate Professor of French at Clemson University

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