Études sur Paris (1928) by André Sauvage
Paris, c’est nous: Paris in French-language film
178A :  Studies in French Film
Fall 2023
Class No: 31009
B-4 Dwinelle
Maya Sidhu
11:00 AM - 12:29 PM

Course taught entirely in French. This course will explore how Paris provides an inspiration to filmmakers both past and present as a site to explore questions of French national culture, and its relationship to race, class, gender, and sexual identities. This course will culminate in a study of a cohort of contemporary filmmakers creating new representations of Paris that film critic Claire Diao calls “La Double Vague,” or “The Double Wave,” referring to their dual cultural identity. This will include films by Franco-Senegalese directors, Alice Diop and Maïmouna Doucouré, Franco-Moroccan director Houda Benyamina, and Franco-Malian director Ladj Ly, among others.  Throughout our course, we will also consider how French-language filmmakers view the city of Paris as emblematic of French cinematic identity. We will look at how films throughout history interrogate the way Paris figures as its own text in films of The French New Wave (1958-1962) and in the films of the banlieue genre of the 1990s. We will also examine the precursors to this contemporary movement through films set in Paris such as: Le Joli Mai (Chris Marker, 1963) and J’ai pas sommeil (Claire Denis, 1994)This class is open to both French and Film majors, though a knowledge of French is required (Film students will not be assessed on their competency in French). Students counting this course towards the major or minor in French must submit all written work in French. Class discussions are in French.