Berkeley Film & Media Seminar
BFMS Lecture Series: Geneviève Sellier -
Popular cinema and the mass audience in postwar France, 1945-1958
142 Dwinelle Hall
French film studies has traditionally restricted itself to aesthetic approaches to the « seventh art » and to the study of film-makers considered, according to a tradition of cinephilia, to be « auteurs. » This tradition has left aside the popular dimensions of French film, including the study of genre and of reception. In this talk, I present my research, undertaken over the past decade, into the public reception of French cinema in the postwar period, drawing on mail sent to popular magazines, especially Cinémonde, in whose pages a new form of popular cinephilia took shape in the 1950s. This correspondence also provides the only existent archive of a feminine cinephilia in this important period of French film history.
Geneviève Sellier is one of France’s leading film scholars. She is the author of Masculine Singular: French New Wave Cinema (trans. Kristin Ross, Duke University Press, 2008) and, with Noël Burch, The Battle of the Sexes in French Cinema, 1930-1956 (trans. Peter Graham, Duke University Press, 2013), among many other works. Sellier is University Professor at Bordeaux 3.