Responding to Globalization: The Evolution of Agnès Varda


Long before Luc Besson shot Fifth Element (1997) in English, and long before the squabble over whether Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement [2004]) was really a French film or a Warner Brothers’ film, the “national” in French national cinema was complicated. And yet a quick glance at the course offerings of most film departments will tell us that the discipline of Film Studies persists in employing a national cinema model when conceptualizing non-Hollywood cinema. In fact, French cinema has been global from its inception, if we think of globalization as the “increasing speed, ease, and extent with which capital, goods, services, technologies, people, cultures, information, and ideas now cross borders” (Gordon and Meunier 5). Indeed, throughout the history of French film, we can find examples of films, filmmakers, and business models that challenge a unified notion of national cinema.

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