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André Téchiné

André Téchiné

Bill Marshall
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    André Téchiné
    Book Description:

    This is the first full-length monograph in English about one of France’s most important contemporary filmmakers, perhaps best known in the English-speaking world for his award-winning Les Roseaux sauvages/Wild Reeds of 1994. This study locates André Téchiné within historical and cultural contexts that include the Algerian War, May 1968 and contemporary globalisation, and the influence of Roland Barthes, Bertolt Brecht, Ingmar Bergman, William Faulkner, and the cinematic French New Wave. The originality of Téchiné’s sixteen feature films lies in his subtle exploration of sexuality and national identity, as he challenges expectations in his depictions of gay relations, the North African dimensions of contemporary French culture, and the centre-periphery relationship between Paris and especially his native southwest. The book also looks at the collaborative nature of Téchiné’s filmmaking, including his work with Catherine Deneuve, who has made more films with him than with any other director, and the role of Philippe Sarde’s musical scores.

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-178-8
    Subjects: Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Series editors’ foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)

    To an anglophone audience, the combination of the words ‘French’ and ‘cinema’ evokes a particular kind of film: elegant and wordy, sexy but serious – an image as dependent on national stereotypes as is that of the crudely commercial Hollywood blockbuster, which is not to say that either image is without foundation. Over the past two decades, this generalised sense of a significant relationship between French identity and film has been explored in scholarly books and articles, and has entered the curriculum at university level and, in Britain, at A-level. The study of film as an art-from and (to a...

  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. 1 Emergence
    (pp. 1-29)

    André Téchiné’s sixteen feature films to date include a range of low- and high-budget productions, some involving major stars of the French cinema, some a cast of (at least at the time) unknowns, some highly successful in terms of the box office (1.1 million domestic entries forMa Saison préférée/My Favourite Seasonin 1993 remains the highest), some far less so. The biggest critical success was arguablyLes Roseaux sauvages/Wild Reeds(1994), which won the César (the equivalent of the Oscar in the French film industry) for best film of its year. Arguably, these two films, and alsoLes Voleurs/Thieves...

  7. 2 New realisms
    (pp. 30-65)

    Hôtel des Amériquesopens with a shot of a moonlit beach, shoreline and promontory, the gentle waves audible on the soundtrack. The caption ‘Biarritz’ appears, followed by opening credits over the same shot announcing the presence of the film’s two stars, Catherine Deneuve and Patrick Dewaere. The credits continue after a fade to a montage of black and white archive footage of the town, accompanied by the first presence on the soundtrack of a melancholic Philippe Sarde melody played on piano and strings which will accompany the love story at the film’s centre. These shots concentrate on wide angles of...

  8. 3 Families and sexualities
    (pp. 66-96)

    At the start of Téchiné’s seventh feature,Le Lieu du crime, co-scripted with Pascal Bonitzer and Olivier Assayas, 13-year-old Thomas (Nicolas Giraudi) chances upon Martin (Wadeck Stanczak), an escaped convict hiding out in a cemetery near his home in rural south-west France. Martin demands money but later saves his life, stabbing his fellow-escapee Luc (Jean-Claude Adelin) when he tries to strangle Thomas. Martin falls in with Thomas’s mother Lili (Catherine Deneuve), a forty-something divorcee who runs a night club by the river, and he offers her an escape from her stifling Catholic milieu and mother (Danielle Darrieux), and unhelpful ex-husband...

  9. 4 Itineraries of Frenchness
    (pp. 97-131)

    InMa Saison préférée, seemingly one of the mostintimisteof his films, Téchiné deliberately opens out certain dialogues in spatial terms. Melding Bergmanesque emotional and interpersonal intensity with a characteristic emphasis on movement, he has key conversations take place at roadsides or at motorway service stations, cars roaring past. Furthermore, the film can also be read as a kind of primer on post-war French modernisation. The generational and spatial differences made explicit by distinct relationships to modernity also imply a national narrative: Antoine and Emilie’s parents partook of developments in the 1950s when an older peasant rural France was...

  10. 5 Collaborations
    (pp. 132-152)

    Téchiné’s sixteenth and latest film, centred as it is on its two stars, is a useful point of departure for examining the collaborative nature of his work, and shows the extent to which an approach excessively centred on the director asauteurrisks missing wider creative processes. The subject matter ofLes Temps qui changentis echoed in its procedure. Antoine, a French engineer (Gérard Depardieu), travels to Tangiers to supervise the construction of buildings for a new television station in the ‘free zone’. His real motivation, however, is to seek out his first love from thirty years before, Cécile...

  11. Filmography
    (pp. 153-158)
  12. Select bibliography
    (pp. 159-160)
  13. Index
    (pp. 161-168)