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Screening the Paris suburbsFrom the silent era to the 1990s$
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Derek Schilling and Philippe Met

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526106858

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526106858.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use (for details see www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 14 December 2018

Godard’s suburban years

Godard’s suburban years

Chapter:
(p.126) 10 Godard’s suburban years
Source:
Screening the Paris suburbs
Author(s):

Térésa Faucon

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526106858.003.0011

Far from a simple backdrop, the lived environment was for Jean-Luc Godard capable of eliciting specific modes of cinematographic thought; choice of locations could impact the shape and feel of a film more than its screenplay. Prevalent in his works of the 1960s are suburban landscapes and locales, from the villas, cafés and roadways frequented by the characters of Bande à part (1964) to the high-rises of La Courneuve shown in the essay in phenomenology 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle (1967). Without positing an equivalence between suburban heterogeneity and Godard’s jarring late-modern aesthetic, the author argues for the generative, transgressive capacity of a capitalist space in the throes of transformation and shot through with fragments of history. Shooting near Joinville-le-Pont and Vincennes in Bande à part, Godard pays homage to those pioneers who came before him, like Mack Sennett or Louis Feuillade. In other contexts, like the science-fiction sendup Alphaville (1965), he finds signs of the future in the present, showing Lemmy Caution moving through sleek, well-lit neighbourhoods of high-rises. The spatio-temporal rupture characteristic of Godard’s approach to suburban space resurfaces to surprising effect in Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012).

Keywords:   capitalism, aesthetics, appropriation, heterotopia, transgression

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