‘Over 400 pages, Drazin proves to be a peerless guide through French cinema’s development … this is a super primer for anyone interested in the origin and development of French film’ – Empire
‘Drazin retells the story of French cinema fluently and engagingly, wearing his learning lightly’ – Irish Times
‘Charles Drazin has succeeded in writing a history of French cinema that can be read from beginning to end. Of all the varieties of writing about film, with the exception of some niche scholarship, chronological history is the one least characterized by readability; so Drazin’s achievement is considerable and extremely welcome’ – Literary Review
Exploring France’s rich film heritage, Charles Drazin begins his story with the early pioneers who transformed a fairground novelty into a global industry. Surrendering its position as the world’s dominant film-making power after WW1, the French cinema forged a new role for itself as a beacon of cinematic achievement. Suggesting a Gallic attitude that has always considered the cinema to be as much a cause as a business, Drazin looks at the extraordinary resilience of an industry that, in the midst national catastrophe, produced such remarkable classics as Le Corbeau and Les Enfants du Paradis. Finally, he traces its remarkable post-war regeneration – from Bresson to Besson. He looks at the seminal impact of the New Wave of film-makers – typified by Truffaut and Godard – but also at the other waves that have followed since.