Acting After the New Wave: The Political Aesthetics of Performance in France, 1968-1981 /

This dissertation explores the role of performance, gesture, and the body in post-'68 French film in order to examine the intersections of cinematic form, politics, and everyday experience. The period covered in my dissertation - the long decade bounded on one side by the ultimately unsuccessfu...

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Hubbell, Matthew Tyler, author.
Imprint:Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2021
Description:1 electronic resource (167 pages)
Language:English
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/12641742
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
2021
ISBN:9798460475155
Notes:Advisors: Morgan, Dan Committee members: Steimatsky, Noa.
Dissertations Abstracts International, Volume: 83-04, Section: A.
English
Summary:This dissertation explores the role of performance, gesture, and the body in post-'68 French film in order to examine the intersections of cinematic form, politics, and everyday experience. The period covered in my dissertation - the long decade bounded on one side by the ultimately unsuccessful student protests and mass strikes of May 1968 and on the other by the election of Francois Mitterrand, the first socialist president under the Fifth Republic, in May 1981 - offers particularly fertile ground for thinking about the political possibilities of cinematic performance. Giving rise to the now commonplace claim that "the personal is political," this era was engaged in enlarging the scope of what kind of activity might be understood as historically and politically significant. In light of this expansion of the political, common approaches to film acting as an isolated aesthetic tradition -to be approached exclusively in terms of competing schools of training, style, and technique - are clearly inadequate, since they fail to acknowledge the extent to which performance and bodily habitus themselves became inextricably political practices in the wake of '68. In opposition to this model, my dissertation develops an expanded understanding of cinematic performance, which takes the body as a site upon which the social, political, and historical pressures of the era are both felt and made visible. To speak of the political aesthetics of performance thus means to think about the dynamic relationship between cinema as a means of reproducing, constructing, and experimenting with modes of corporeal movement, and the social field in which the most inconspicuous and intimate details of our bodily inhabitation of the world are invested with political significance. In order to work through this relationship, the dissertation explore a number of different conjunctions between cinematic performance and a range of political and social events, developments and discussions that arose in France in the wake of May 1968. For instance, the spread of improvisational acting techniques in experimental theater and cinema is viewed in relation to leftwing debates about the efficacy of spontaneity, in order to think about the ways in which acting might serve as a model - or a substitute - for political action. While demonstrating how thoroughly questions of performance and the cinematic body are invested with political significance, this dissertation also argues that we should reassess the position of acting and gesture within film studies, putting them at the center of our understanding of cinematic form.
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