French Film                                                                                                   name:

Spring 2020   




  1. Film form: briefly define in your own words the technical terms below. Complete sentences unnecessary.


depth of field


jump cut

angle-reverse angle shot

tracking shot

diegetic/non-diegetic sound


  1. Film history: briefly describe in your own words (one or two sentences) how the following figure in the history of French cinema. Complete sentences unnecessary.



Etienne Jules-Marey

Eadweard Muybridge

Auguste & Louis Lumière

Georges Méliès

Alice Guy

Gaumont/Pathé studios

the avant-garde and cinema of the 1920s

Poetic Realism

Continental Films

New Wave

André Bazin/Cahiers du Cinéma

“auteur” theory

the “Cinéma du Look”

the “New French Extremity”

banlieue cinema (For those interested in its lasting influence, here’s a good article on La Haine:


III. Short essay questions (say half a page?)


1) Discuss a film from this class that changed the way you think about film art, or politics, or the French, or gender, or love/sex/relationships, or…? For reference, here’s the list of our films:


Dmitri Kirsanoff: Ménilmontant (1926)

Luis Bunuel: Le Chien andalou (1929)

Jean Vigo: L’Atalante (1934)

Jean Cocteau: La Belle et la bête (1946)

Henri-Georges Clouzot: Le Corbeau (1943)

Jacques Tati: Mon oncle (1958)

Agnès Varda: Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962)

Jean-Luc Godard: Breathless (1960)

François Truffaut: Jules et Jim (1962)

Mathieu Kassovitz: La Haine (1995)



2) Like the novel, to which it is in many ways closely related, people have been predicting the death of cinema for decades. Do you see cinema, i.e., motion pictures projected on large screens, as an important living art and entertainment form, or as an interesting historical phenomenon like the music hall, vaudeville, or radio drama? Does the experience of “going to the movies” have an enduring appeal for you, and if so, why? How do you see this art form evolving?