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.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2009. 313 pp.
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.