French Comedy on Screen: A Cinematic History by Rémi Fournier Lanzoni

By Rémi Fournier Lanzoni

French movie comedies have regularly been very popular with English-speaking audiences, in particular in the US with the various Hollywood remakes of comedies from France. those movies occupy a selected cultural house and are motivated through nationwide traditions and shared cultural references, yet whilst they've got continuously been tough to categorise. frequently a mixture of a number of genres, they are often defined as a hybrid paintings shape, incorporating simple slapstick components (the Lumière's brothers L'arroseur arosé, 1895) all of the solution to relatively bold, even tender topics corresponding to warfare (Autant-Lara's los angeles traversée de Paris, 1956) or racism (Philippe de Chauveron's Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu? 2014). the range of disciplines - background, linguistics, social and political sciences - that shape the historical past of this research promises quite a few techniques. French Comedy on display investigates the several tools within which those comedies textually inscribed and exemplified numerous cultural and old landmarks.

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Framed as a flashback, the story comprised a series of independent episodes linked together in a chronological order. Instead of cutting dialogues from his stage comedy, Guitry had the idea of using text, written in the first person, as a commentary on the series of filmed images that would simply serve as a support for the narration. Created in an idiosyncratically aesthetic manner, the film promoted the art of ellipse conjugated with a cynical lens. One example of the filmmaker’s innovation was the film’s prologue where Guitry takes the spectator on a tour of his set and introduces most of his crew one by one (including supporting actors and staff members).

2 A specialist of visual aesthetics, Clair imposed himself from the beginning as a figure of the avant-garde. In 1928, the filmmaker found himself as destabilized as the film industry in the wake of the arrival of the talkies. While the French film industry had found great benefit in the purely visual dimension of silent film (also a means of distributing most productions internationally), Clair promoted the universal character of his visual poetry as purified language from any presence of literature.

Montignac: D’ailleurs, les hommes qui s’imaginent que les femmes s’habillent pour eux sont des naïfs!  . vous vous habillez contre les femmes! Odette: C’est un peu vrai. 18 On the cinematic level, the beginning of Désiré was particularly original with several successive plans, where spectators could follow the living arrangements accentuating the parallelism of actions. Guitry often used the process of developing a feeling, a reaction to the comfort of a chic living room and the kitchen space. Comparisons also took place as a parallelism of words this time, contrasting the so-called bienséance and the argot in the kitchen space.

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