The Wounded Screen

Martine Beugnet

in The New Extremism in Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641604
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651221 | DOI:
The Wounded Screen

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This chapter focuses on post-war cinema, considering how an emerging extreme cinema deals with political conflicts and concerns about France's involvement in traumatic historical events in ways very different to the tradition of political, social realist filmmaking. It discusses the ‘sensory overload’ of the ‘cinema of sensation’ by comparing Agnès Varda's classic art film, Cléo de 5 à 7 (France, 1962) and Claire Denis's ‘blood-soaked gore opus’, Trouble Every Day (France, 2001). It explores how both films, though separated by forty years, work with categories emblematic of the post-war cultural shift identified by Kristin Ross in her important study of post-war French society, Fast Cars, Clean Bodies (1999). Through references to disease, both films evoke the legacy of French colonial history, and in doing so, each connects the individual and the filmic body with the national body and history's festering wounds.

Keywords: France; extreme cinema; sensory overload; Agnès Varda; Cléo de 5 à 7; Claire Denis; Trouble Every Day; Kristin Ross; Fast Cars; Clean Bodies

Chapter.  6658 words. 

Subjects: Film

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