French Road Movies

Elective Courses

CINE 383 - French Road Movies

FREN 383
401 |Michael Gott |TR 3:00-4:30pm |WILL 216

The French road movie has increasingly becoming a popular mode of expression, offering nuanced perspectives on contemporary French identity as well as on France’s position vis-à-vis its own shifting identity, its former colonies, a new “borderless” Europe, and the rest of the World. The goal of the course is to closely examine a genre often associated with “outsider” and even “outlaw” status and to consider how it is employed within the context of the contemporary French identity debates. Through film we will examine postcolonial and post-E.U. expansion identity factors, considering how road films offer compelling transnational counter-narratives to visions of French national identity. Starting with the maligned banlieue and the often contestatory cinema linked to it, the course will follow films as they branch out across France, Europe and the Maghreb. In the process we will become familiar with the conventions of the road movie, a genre both engaged with and thoroughly distinct from its North American counterpart. We will examine the genre’s penchant for “border crossing” and the nature of borders crossed in French films, both physical and metaphorical (be they gender-related, sexual, religious or cultural). Of particular interest is the use of music (and its link to identity) in the French road film, from rap to flamenco and beyond. The course will be conducted in English.

last updated 06/17/2014 - 11:00am

Cinema Studies Program
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