Citation Beugnet M & Ezra E (2010) Traces of the Modern: An Alternative History of French Cinema. Studies in French Cinema, 10 (1), pp. 11-38. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1386/sfc.10.1.11/1
Abstract This collaborative article examines the vision of modernity that emerges intermittently but persistently in French cinema throughout its history, and which is expressed between two contrasting thematic and aesthetic poles: between what might be termed an aesthetic of restraint and an aesthetic of excess or of expenditure, in other words, a cinma du corps. From Feuillade to Desplechin (via surrealism, Tati, Franju, Jeunet and Caro, Denis, De Van, Haneke and Klotz), the human body as corpse, dismembered and mutilated, decomposing yet impossible to dispose of, signals the limits of the forces of instrumental reason that prove incapable of superseding the contingent and the material, and of expunging the unclean, the mortal and the historical.