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Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Joseph Mai
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 176
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  • Book Info
    Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
    Book Description:

    For well over a decade, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have produced highly original and ethically charged films that immerse their audiences in an intense and embodied viewing experience. Their work has consistently attracted international recognition, including the rare feat of two Palmes d'Or at Cannes._x000B__x000B_In this first book-length study of the Belgian brothers, Joseph Mai delivers sophisticated close analyses of their directorial style and explores the many philosophical issues dealt with in their films (especially the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas). Mai discusses the Dardennes' varied and searching career from its inception in the late 1970s, starting with the working-class political consciousness and lost utopias of their documentary period; passing through their transition toward fictional narrative, experimental techniques, and familial themes; and finishing with a series of in-depth and philosophically informed interpretations of the brothers' more recent work. In such highly influential films such as La promesse, Rosetta, The Son, and The Child, the brothers have recast filmmaking through what Mai calls a "sensuous realism"--realism capable of touching the audience with the most compelling problems and moral dilemmas of contemporary society. This volume also features an interview in which the Dardennes discuss their approach to film production and the direction of actors._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09177-3
    Subjects: Film Studies, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xviii)
  4. Encounters Through a Frame
    (pp. 1-124)

    WhenLa promessewas revealed at the Cannes festival in 1996, it was hailed as a startlingly original breakthrough film. Audiences particularly noted its stark but hopeful depiction of Seraing, the disaffected suburb of Liège, where the Dardenne brothers filmed. It is, however, still surprising to some viewers thatLa promessewas not the Dardennes’ first attempt to film this space, nor even their second, but that they had been making documentary films about Seraing and its inhabitants since the early 1970s. In fact, their undying devotion to the place is probably unique among filmmakers and endures to the present...

  5. Interview with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne “In the midst of things”
    (pp. 125-140)

    I leave the reader with a slightly abridged interview (translation mine) conducted in June 1999 by Bernard Benoliel and Serge Toubiana forLes cahiers du cinéma,after the release ofRosetta.In it, the brothers give a detailed description of how they work with actors and crew. They also provide a precious look at their approach to costumes, make-up, and some of the inventive technicalbricolagethat goes into their work. Its title sums up much about the brothers’ approach. Chosen by the editors ofLes cahiers,it comes from a phrase in the interview that typifies the brothers’ frankness,...

  6. Filmography
    (pp. 141-146)
  7. Bibliography
    (pp. 147-152)
  8. Index
    (pp. 153-156)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 157-158)