- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-0-7190-9150-6
- Pages: 208
- Publisher: Manchester University Press
- Price: £75.00
- Published Date: July 2015
- BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Film theory & criticism, Film and Media, Films, cinema
- Series: French Film Directors Series
Laurent Cantet is of one France's leading contemporary directors. In a series of important films, including Human Resources, Time Out, Heading South, The Class and Foxfire, he takes stock of the modern world from the workplace, through the schoolroom and the oppressive small town to the world of international sex tourism. His films drive the hidden forces that weigh on individuals and groups into view but also show characters who are capable of reflection and reaction. If the films make their protagonists rethink their place in the world, they also challenge the positions of the viewer and the director. This is what makes them so worthy of study.
Combining a fine eye for detail with broad contextual awareness, this book gives an account of all Cantet's works, from the early short films to the major works. Martin O'Shaughnessy is a leading international writer on French cinema, especially in film and politics.
'While every chapter of the volume charts a compelling path through Cantet's work,
the probing critical analysis in the chapter devoted to Vers le sud is particularly rewarding.'
Laura McMahon, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Contmporary French Civilization
'This study provides students and scholars of contemporary French social cinema with a useful key to understand the reinvention of political cinema in France since the mid-1990s.'
Audrey Evrard, Fordham University, Modern and Contemporary France
'O'Shaughnessy's book is nuanced, insightful and an important contribution to the study of contemporary political cinema.'
Jessica Livingston, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, H-France Review Vol. 17, March 2017
'The publication offers a wide-ranging and scrupulous evaluation of the filmic, the
social and the political contexts in which Cantet operates. It conveys with an acute awareness how he has become one of France's most exciting working directors. Indexed, complete with thirteen illustrations, a detailed filmography and suggestions for further reading, O'Shaughnessy's Laurent Cantet will provide a rich trove of information for all those with an interest in contemporary France, and its cinematic output specifically. It should also appeal to those concerned with questions of power relations, political address and sociocultural equality more generally. Staying true to the series editors' intention "to contribute to the promotion of the formal and informal study of French films, and to the pleasure of those who watch them" (x), the author's blend of scholarship and accessibility is fitting for a broad audience. Amplifying the sociological implications of Cantet's cinema, O'Shaughnessy's compelling appraisal also stimulates careful introspection, undoubtedly prompting those who read it to ponder "elle est où, ma place?"'
Ally Lee, University of Warwick, Alphaville Journal of Film and Screen Media, Issue 11
'O'Shaughnessy's writing is clear and engaging, and his discussions move supply between filmic material, theoretical reference points and contextual French political and cultural issues. In its elucidation of Cantet's work through a cogent interdisciplinary framework, this is an addition to scholarship on contemporary French cinema that feels as punctual as the film-making with which it engages.'
Rhiannon Harries, University of Cambridge, New Review of Film and Television Studies
Martin O'Shaughnessy is Professor of Film Studies at Nottingham Trent University
1. A director and his methods
2. Early applications
3. The work diptych
4. Going global, heading south
5. Between republican walls
6. Before and after the political