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Hugo Frey

Nationalism and the Cinema in France

Political Mythologies and Film Events, 1945-1995

Berghahn Books 2014

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in FilmNew Books in French StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books Network April 24, 2015 ROXANNE PANCHASI

Hugo Frey‘s new book, Nationalism and the Cinema in France: Political Mythologies and Film Events, 1945-1995 (Berghahn Books, 2014) distinguishes between a national cinema...

Hugo Frey‘s new book, Nationalism and the Cinema in France: Political Mythologies and Film Events, 1945-1995 (Berghahn Books, 2014) distinguishes between a national cinema (films made in France) and a nationalist cinema motivated by the specific agenda to promote une certaine idee de la France. Working with ideas about “political mythology” and the “film event,” Frey analyses a series of films and filmmakers, including: Michel Audiard, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lelouch, Jean-Pierre Melville, Marcel Pagnol, Jean Renoir, Jacques Tati, and Francois Truffaut.

Contributing to a vast and complex field of work on the cinema in France since 1945, Nationalism and the Cinema in France offers readers an analysis of French “metafilms” (films about film and filmmaking) in the postwar period; the representation of French history and modernity; the conversation between French cinema and Hollywood  (and France and the United States more generally); the complex relationship between French film, nationalism, and empire; antisemitism; and the politics of the extreme Right up to the mid-1990s.

In our conversation, Hugo and I consider the legacies of the fifty year period covered in the book, including the links between the issues discussed in its pages and more contemporary struggles over national identity and difference.