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Overview

Students can learn a great deal about French culture, history, politics and social problems by studying French cinema, and this text is based on the premise that the discussion and in-depth analysis of specific films is the ideal way for students to deepen that knowledge. SEPTIЀME ART teaches students to use language in a meaningful way through the study of film and the exploration of the different cultural aspects portrayed in both popular and "high art" films. By taking them on a culturally-authentic, chronological journey through French cinema, the text challenges students to develop not only better conversational skills, but important writing and critical thinking skills as well-resulting in a deeper, more meaningful understanding of both French language and culture.

David Aldstadt, Southern Methodist University

David Aldstadt received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 2002. His specialty areas are French cinema, modern French culture and literature, and language teaching. He is currently an assistant professor of French at Southern Methodist University, where he teaches courses in French language, literature, culture, and film. He recently received a University Research Council grant to fund research at the Marcel Carné archives at the French Library in Boston.

Jean-Louis Hippolyte, Rutgers Univesity-Camden

Jean-Louis Hippolyte received a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1998, and he is currently an Assistant Professor of French at Rutgers University (Camden). His area of specialization is Twentieth-Century French Literature, with a focus on the extreme contemporary. His teaching interests include French language and culture, contemporary literature and criticism, and French cinema. He is currently working on a book on the topic of uncertainty in literature entitled Fuzzy Fiction.
  • Each chapter features an introductory reading that summarizes the French cultural issues and cinematic trends during the decade or period in question. These selections are followed by comprehension and analytical questions in the form of a mini-quiz or in-class conversational activity to help students strengthen their understanding of the context of the films they are about to study.
  • At the beginning of each "Dossier," a mini biography of the director, a short summary of the film ,and a featured video still, "Autour d'une image", serves as an advanced organizer in which students sharpen their analytical skills.
  • Instructors can utilize one or both of the two film "dossier" sections found in each chapter, one of which presents a popular film of the period, while the other presents a "high art" film focused on visual sophistication. Both dossiers are accompanied by pre-viewing ("Avant de regarder"), viewing ("En regardant"), and post-viewing ("Après avoir regardé") tasks as well as shot and sequence analysis activities that help students connect the film's thematic content to the formal language of film.
  • A "Réflexion" section at the end of each chapter gives suggestions for further study of similar films, styles, and directors; comprehensive analysis and comparison of both dossier films; ideas for class projects, term papers, and exposés; and suggestions for student filmmakers.
  • A handy fold-over bookmark offers students immediate access to the terms needed to analyze film (e.g. mise-en-scène, fondu enchaîné, plan-séquence, etc.), which are initially explained and demonstrated through images in the Chapitre Préliminaire.
CHAPITRE PRELIMINAIRE. LE LANGAGE DU CINEMA ET LE VOCABULAIRE TECHNIQUE.
Sujets. Le langage du cinéma. Les métiers du cinéma et le tournage d''un film. Le vocabulaire technique pour l''analyse d''un film. Introduction. Le langage du cinéma. Le vocabulaire technique. Le vocabulaire technique (suite). Le vocabulaire technique (fin). Réflexion.
1. DU CINEMA «SPECTACLE» AUX SERIES.
Sujets. Le 19e siècle et la Belle Epoque. L''invention du cinéma. Les premiers films, les cinéastes et les studios. L''établissement de l''industrie du cinéma. Le cinéma «spectacle». Les séries (les policiers à épisodes). Introduction. Une nouvelle forme d''art. Dossier 1. Les «vues» des frères Lumière (1895-1897). Dossier 2. Voyage dans la lune (Georges Méliès, 1902). Réflexion.
2. LES ANNEES 20: LE CINEMA MUET ET L''AVANT-GARDE.
Sujets. Le cinéma et la politique. Le cinéma narrative et les genres populaires. L''avant-garde. La photogénie. La menace du son. Introduction. Le cinéma des années 20: entre la droite et la gauche, entre le cinéma du samedi soir et l''avant-garde. Dossier 1. Un Chien andalou (Luis Buñuel, 1928). Dossier 2. La Passion de Jeanne d''Arc (Carl Dreyer, 1928). Réflexion.
3. LES ANNEES 30: «L''AGE D''OR» DU CINEMA PARLANT.
Sujets. La standardisation. Le théâtre filme. Le cinéma personnel. Le réalisme poétique. Le cinéma engagé. Introduction. L''âge d''or entre deux crises. Dossier 1. L''Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934). Dossier 2. La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1938). Réflexion.
4. LES ANNEES 40: LE CINEMA DE L''OCCUPATION ET DE LA RECONSTRUCTION.
Sujets. La «drôle de guerre». L''Occupation. Vichy. Le C.O.I.C. La Libération. L''épuration. La reconstruction. Le C.N.C. La qualité française. Introduction. Guerre et reconstruction. Dossier 1. Les Enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné, 1945). Dossier 2. La Belle et la Bête (Jean Cocteau, 1946). Réflexion.
5. LES ANNEES 50 ET 60: LA <<QUALITE FRANÇAISE>> ET LA NOUVELLE VAGUE.
Sujets. Les «trente glorieuses». La France sous De Gaulle. La tradition de la qualité. La Nouvelle Vague. Le cinéma d''auteur. Introduction. Nouvelle société, nouveau cinéma. Dossier 1. A Bout de soufflé (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960). Dossier 2. Hiroshima mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1960). Réflexion.
Exploration DVD Interactif: Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1960).
6. LES ANNEES 70-80: LE CINEMA FEMININ.
Sujets. La condition féminine en France. Le cinéma: Regard masculin? La difficulté d''un autre regard. Introduction. La voix des femmes. Dossier 1. Diabolo menthe (Diane Kurys, 1977). Dossier 2. Sans Toit ni loi (Agnès Varda, 1985). Réflexion.
7. LES ANNEES 80: POSTMODERNITE ET CINEMA DU LOOK.
Sujets. Les années Mitterrand. Le plaisir des images (le je[u] des surfaces) et le retour du cinéma populaire. La déconstruction des genres (le collage postmoderniste). Le marginal comme héros: le chaos comme modèle. Introduction. Le cinéma du look. Dossier 1. Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981). Dossier 2. Le Grand Bleu (Luc Besson, 1988). Réflexion.
8. LES ANNEES 80-90: RETOUR SUR L''HISTOIRE�LES LIEUX DE MEMOIRE.
Sujets. La Deuxième Guerre mondiale: L''événement capital du 20e siècle. Revivre l''Occupation: Entre collaboration et résistance, les deux faces extrêmes de la guerre. Le spectre de l''Holocauste. La commémoration: Filiation et lieu de mémoire. Introduction. Histoire et culture. Dossier 1. Au Revoir les enfants (Louis Malle, 1987). Dossier 2. Un Héros très discret (Jacques Audiard, 1996). Réflexion.
9. LES ANNEES 90 (I): NOUVELLES DIRECTIONS, NOUVEAU REALISME.
Sujets. L''intégration: Succès ou faillite? Les banlieues: Zones de non droit? La fracture sociale. Le retour d''un cinéma engagé. Introduction. La crise au cinéma. Dossier 1. La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995). Dossier 2. La Vie rêvée des anges (Erick Zonca, 1995). Réflexion.
10. LES ANNEES 90 (II): L''IDENTITE EN QUESTION.
Sujets. L''homosexualité. La transsexualité. L''homophobie. Comédie et engagement politique. Introduction. L''orientation sexuelle au cinéma. Dossier 1. Gazon maudit (Josiane Balasko, 1995). Dossier 2. Ma Vie en rose (Alain Berliner, 1997). Réflexion.
11. LE CINEMA AFRICAIN FRANCOPHONE.
Sujets. Le cinéma africain. Le cinéma de l''immigration. La langue et l''identité dans le monde francophone. Le prise de parole et d''images a l''époque postcoloniale. Introduction. Le cinéma africain francophone. Dossier 1. Faat Kiné (Ousmane Sembene, 2000). Dossier 2. Inch''Allah Dimanche (Yamina Benguigui, 2001). Réflexion.
12. LA NOUVELLE DECENNIE: LA PART DU REVE.
Sujets. Le cinéma retro. Archétypes et mémoire collective. Le pluriculturalisme. L''Europe. Introduction. Le cinéma d''aujourd''hui�rêve ou produit? Dossier 1. Le Fabuleux Destin d''Amélie Poulain (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001). Dossier 2. L''Auberge espagnole (Cédric Klapisch, 2002). Réflexion.

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  • ISBN-10: 1133379036
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"Students will be introduced to film movements and major figures in French cinema as they develop their fluency. Students tend to like to talk about cinema, and the text poses questions that should spark fruitful and engaging conversations."

"It is a great combination of history/ culture/ cinema. With the activities you have developed, it is certainly much more adapted for the use of culture as well as cinema."