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The ‘beautiful people’ of Christophe Honoré: New Wave legacies and new directions in French auteur cinema

Vanderschelden, Isabelle (2010) The ‘beautiful people’ of Christophe Honoré: New Wave legacies and new directions in French auteur cinema. Studies in European Cinema, 7 (2). 135 -148. ISSN 2040-0594

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Abstract

Drawing on current debates on the legacy of the New Wave on its 50th anniversary and the impact that it still retains on artistic creation and auteur cinema in France today, this article discusses three recent films of the independent director Christophe Honor: Dans Paris (2006), Les Chansons d'amour/Love Songs (2007) and La Belle personne (2008). These films are identified as a Parisian trilogy that overtly makes reference and pays tribute to New Wave films' motifs and iconography, while offering a modern take on the representation of today's youth in its modernity. Studying Honor's auteurist approach to film-making reveals that the legacy of the French New Wave can elicit and inspire the personal style and themes of the auteur-director, and at the same time, it highlights the anchoring of his films in the Paris of today. Far from paying a mere tribute to the films that he loves, Honor draws life out his cinephilic heritage and thus redefines the notion of French (European?) auteur cinema for the twenty-first century.

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