Queering Contemporary French Popular Cinema

Images and their Reception

by Darren Waldron (Author)
©2010 Monographs X, 308 Pages
Series: Framing Film, Volume 9


Queering Contemporary French Popular Cinema combines close film analysis with a small-scale qualitative investigation of audience responses to examine images of queerness in contemporary French popular cinema and their reception. Through its blending of the textual and the empirical, this book provides a unique insight into the ways in which sexuality and gender are represented on the cinema screen, as well as the spectator reactions they elicit. Since the mid-1990s, depictions of lesbians, gay men, and queer forms of sexual desire and identity have shifted to the mainstream of French cinematographic representation – as evidenced by the box-office success of a series of highly commercial comic films, including Gazon maudit (Josiane Balasko, 1995), Pédale douce (Gabriel Aghion, 1996), Le Placard (Francis Véber, 2000), and Chouchou (Merzak Allouache, 2003). Alongside this commercial strand, a series of small-budget alternative comedies and other genre films have also challenged heteronormative conceptualizations of sexuality and gender. Films such as Sitcom (François Ozon, 1998), L’Homme est une femme comme les autres (Jean-Jacques Zilbermann, 1997), Pourquoi pas moi? (Stéphane Giusti, 1999), Drôle de Félix (Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, 2000), and Les Chansons d’amour (Christophe Honoré, 2007) portray desire as fluid and/or gender as unfixed. With their use of parody and their blending of comedy with the musical, melodrama, romance or road movie, these and other similar films have resonated with a burgeoning viewing public, tired of having to seek queerness in connotation, of appropriating marginal characters in ostensibly straight narratives, and of tragedy and trauma as the principal modes of representation and spectator address.


X, 308
ISBN (Softcover)
Popular Comedy Sexuality Gender Queer Audiences Frankreich Film Homosexualität (Motiv) French Cinema, Popular Comedy, Sexuality, Gender, French Cinema
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. X, 308 pp.

Biographical notes

Darren Waldron (Author)

The Author: Darren Waldron is Lecturer in French Screen Studies at the University of Manchester. He received his Ph.D. in contemporary French cinema from the London Metropolitan University. He has published several articles, including «Fluidity of Gender and Sexuality in Gazon maudit» in France on Film: Reflections on Popular French Cinema, «Incorporating Qualitative Audience Study in French Film Research: The Case of Gazon maudit» in Studies in French Cinema, «New Clothes for Temporary Transvestites? Sexuality, Crossdressing and Passing in the Contemporary French Film Comedy» in Modern and Contemporary France, and «From Critique to Compliance: Images of Ethnicity in Merzak Allouache’s Salut cousin and Chouchou» in Studies in European Cinema. He is also co-editor of France at the Flicks: Trends in Contemporary French Popular Cinema.


Title: Queering Contemporary French Popular Cinema