Modernity and archaïsm in the New Wave

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Friday, February 12, 2010 - 16:30
Concordia University

The Office of the Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies
Le département de communication de l’Université de Montréal
are pleased to present a public lecture with

Geneviève Sellier
Université de Caen

Modernity and archaïsm in the New Wave

Cinephilia and academic tradition look at the French New Wave as the birth of aesthetic modernity in film.  I will propose a different approach of this very crucial moment for the French cinema and French society. I will adopt a perspective of cultural history to explore the central problematic in the majority of the films made by the new film-makers around nineteen sixty: the relations between men and women, and, more generally, the constructions of gender.
Through contextualizing and analyzing three major films, Les Cousins (Chabrol, 1958), À bout de souffle (Godard, 1969) and Jules et Jim (Truffaut, 1962), I will look at the contradictions between modernity and archaïsm they offer in gender representations.

Geneviève Sellier, professor of film studies at l’Université de Caen (France), is author of the following books : in 1989, Jean Grémillon, Le cinéma est à vous (Méridiens-Klincksieck); in 1992, Les Enfants du paradis de Carné et Prévert, analyse critique (Nathan, Synopsis); in 1996, La Drôle de guerre des sexes du cinéma français, 1930-1956, with Noël Burch (Nathan/Armand Colin); in 2005 La Nouvelle Vague, un cinéma au masculin singulier (CNRS éditions) – a work that was translated by Kristin Ross and published in 2008 by Duke University Press as Masculin singular: French New Wave Cinema ; and finally in 2009, with Noël Burch, Le cinéma au prisme des rapports de sexe (Vrin). She is a member of the Institut Universitaire de France.