This book fundamentally re-examines French cinema of the 1970s. It focuses on the debates which shook French cinema, and the calls for film-makers to rethink their manner of filming, subject matter and ideals in the immediate aftermath of the student revolution of May 1968. Alison Smith examines the effect of this re-thinking across the spectrum of French production. Using examples from a wide variety of films - political thrillers, period features, new naturalism, utopian fantasies - she investigates both the rise of the new genres and the re-formulation of the old. A particular concern is the extent to which film-makers' ideas and intentions are contained in or contradicted by their finished work, and the gradual change in these ideas as the decade progressed. The final chapter is a detailed study of two directors who were deeply involved in the debates and events of the 70s, William Klein and Alain Tanner, here taken as exemplary spokesmen for those changing debates as their echoes reached the cinema.
Alison Smith is Lecturer in French and European Film Studies at the University of Liverpool