Courses > 2004 Spring


CINE 346 - French Film Noir

FREN 380
401 Philippe Met | T 3-6pm

If the term film noir was originally coined by French critics during the 40s to describe what was then perceived as a predominantly American genre (Hollywood adaptations of hard-boiled detective fiction), France is also the only country outside the US to have built up a large and consistent body of crime films or polars which more often than not manage to combine critical status with popular appeal. This course will provide students with an overview of the evolution and scope of French film noir, emphasizing key historical phases and subgenres: psychological thrillers (Clouzot's Les Diaboliques) or gangster flicks in the 50s (Becker's Grisbi, Dassin's Rififi); the stylized man's world of Melville and the social comments of Corneau's or Chabrol's films in the 60s and 70s; the auteur films (Pialat, Tavernier, Godard) and various forms of neo-noir (Miller, Sluizer, Audiard…) in the 80s-90s. In addition to the study of the socio-political, psychoanalytical or gender implications of the policier, we shall look for/at the cultural and esthetic specificities of noir à la française.