Marcel Pagnol

By Brett Bowles

Marcel Pagnol


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7381-6
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: January 2012
  • BIC Category: Individual film directors, film-makers, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers, Film and Media
  • Series: French Film Directors Series


Though long ignored or dismissed by film critics and scholars, Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974) was among the most influential auteurs of his era. This comprehensive overview of Pagnol's career, the first ever published in English, highlights his unique place in French cinema as a self-sufficient writer-producer-director and his contribution to the long-term evolution of filmmaking in a broader European context. In addition to reassessing the converted playwright's controversial prioritisation of speech over image, the book juxtaposes Pagnol's sunny rural melodramas with the dark, urban variety of poetic realism practised by influential peers such as Jean Renoir and Marcel Carné.

In his penchant for outdoor location shooting and ethnographic authenticity, as well as his stubborn attachment to independent, artisanal production values, Pagnol served as a precursor to the French New Wave and Italian Neo-Realism, inspiring the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Vittorio De Sica, and Roberto Rossellini.


This is an insightful and touching tribute to one of the most influential authors,
playwrights, directors, and producers.

Bowles's book will surely prove the de?nitive work on Pagnol in English for some time to come.

Bowles skillfully situates the filmmaker's work within the larger context of classic French cinema and of a great visual and literary heritage, causing us to see Pagnol's
work as inherently cinematic


Brett Bowles is Associate Professor of French Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington


List of Plates
Series Editors' Foreword
Introduction: Pagnol as auteur
1. The emergence of a dramatic author
2. Pagnol, Paramount and Marius
3. Cinématurgie revisited
4. Another poetic realism
5. Pagnol and the French cinema industry
Epilogue: Pagnol's legacy
Select bibliography

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