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Cross-Channel Perspectives

The French Reception of British Cinema


Leila Wimmer

This book is the first ever full-length study of the reception of British cinema in post-war France, challenging François Truffaut’s infamous dismissal of British cinema as ‘a contradiction in terms’, a comment which has been, and still is, widely reproduced, yet has until now remained critically unexplored.
A historical account, the book gathers together well-known episodes (such as Cahiers du cinéma in the 1950s) and critics (André Bazin, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard), along with original new material, and thus throws new light on a topic which, given the influential nature of French film criticism and cinephilia, continues to be at the core of film culture.
Contents: Realism and ‘Impure’ cinema: the positive reception of British cinema after WWII – François Truffaut and the New Wave: the vilification of British cinema – The creation of an alternative canon: Positif, Midi-Minuit fantastique, British horror and the fantastic – The ‘return of the social’: Ken Loach in the pantheon – Contemporary press reviews – Interviews with French and British film critics Jean-Paul Török and V.F. Perkins.