French and Francophone Film and Media  (Panel / In-Person)


Special Session
French and Francophone / Film and Media Studies

Iliana Cuellar (University of California - Riverside)
icue@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

This panel invites paper proposals on contemporary French and Francophone film history and culture that focus on the concept of national cinema in the age of mass globalization. Proposals may consider topics such as multinational film production, depictions of migration and immigration, postcolonialism, auteurism, race, gender, and sexuality, etc.

France has a rich cinematic history marked with innovative technologies and genres. From the very first film by the Lumière brothers, L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat (1855) to the New Wave of the 60s, and, most recently, the New Extremity of the 2000s, French filmmakers have continually pushed the boundaries of cinema. No longer a cinema powerhouse yet marked by its specter, how does a contemporary French and Francophone cinema define itself and how do we as viewers engage with such a definition? François Truffaut challenged the “cinéma de papa” in his 1954 essay-manifesto, “Une certaine tendance du cinéma français.” Olivier Assayas presented yet another challenge to the nostalgia surrounding French cinema for the contemporary French filmmaker in his 1996 Irma Vep. These challenges signal a tension with a history and inheritance valuable to cinema as a whole and especially to France, but how is any national cinema to define itself with the many global interests involved in a single production? Whether it’s Maggie Cheung or Twilight (2008) sweethearts Robert Pattinson or Kirsten Stewart starring in the next French feature, the question remains: how does French cinema define itself in the time of mass media and globalization?