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Ebook Information

Claire Denis

The themes underlying the work of a maverick female filmmaker

Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and passionate filmmakers working in France today, Claire Denis has continued to make beautiful and challenging films since the 1988 release of her first feature, Chocolat. Judith Mayne's comprehensive study traces Denis's career and discusses her major feature films in rich detail.

Born in Paris but raised in West Africa, Denis explores in her films the legacies of French colonialism and the complex relationships between sexuality, gender, and race. From the adult woman who observes her past as a child in Cameroon to the Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in Paris and watches a serial killer to the disgraced French Foreign Legionnaire attempting to make sense of his past, the subjects of Denis's films continually revisit themes of watching, bearing witness, and making contact, as well as displacement, masculinity, and the migratory subject.


"Claire Denis is an essential volume on an important director from one of the very top scholars in feminist film criticism. Denis has proven herself to be a key figure in the development of contemporary French cinema beyond its New Wave background and into new directions that explore race, sexuality, desire, postcoloniality, urban life, and everyday culture. This is a book without competition."--Dana Polan, University of Southern California


Judith Mayne is an emerita professor of French at the Ohio State University. Her books include Framed: Lesbians, Feminists, and Media Culture; Directed by Dorothy Arzner; Cinema and Spectatorship; The Woman at the Keyhole: Feminism and Women's Cinema; Kino and the Woman Question: Feminism and Soviet Silent Film; and Private Novels, Public Films.

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