“Thanks to this unwavering translation, Geneviève Sellier’s bracing exposé has stripped the New Wave of its stylish attire to reveal an unappealing male body. Vigilant and determined, she has trolled a sea of French criticism to net her evidence.”—Dudley Andrew, Yale University — N/A
“This remarkable book will change readers’ view of New Wave cinema. Geneviève Sellier approaches this key movement in French cinema from an original perspective, developing a nuanced yet incisive argument about the links between masculinity, auteurism, and filmic representations.”—Ginette Vincendeau, author of Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris — N/A
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Sellier draws on sociological surveys, box office data, and popular magazines of the period, as well as analyses of specific New Wave films. She examines the development of the New Wave movement, its sociocultural and economic context, and the popular and critical reception of such well-known films as Jules et Jim and Hiroshima mon amour. In light of the filmmakers’ focus on gender relations, Sellier reflects on the careers of New Wave’s iconic female stars, including Jeanne Moreau and Brigitte Bardot. Sellier’s thorough exploration of early New Wave cinema culminates in her contention that its principal legacy—the triumph of a certain kind of cinephilic discourse and of an “auteur theory” recognizing the director as artist—came at a steep price: creativity was reduced to a formalist game, and affirmation of New Wave cinema’s modernity was accompanied by an association of creativity with masculinity.
Geneviève Sellier is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Caen. Her books include Jean Grémillon: Le cinéma est à vous and La Drôle de guerre des sexes du cinéma français, 1930–1956 (with Noël Burch). Kristin Ross is Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University. She is the author, most recently, of May ’68 and Its Afterlives and Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture.
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