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Intermedial DialoguesThe French New Wave and the Other Arts$
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Marion Schmid

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474410632

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410632.001.0001

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Architecture of Apocalypse, City of Lights

Architecture of Apocalypse, City of Lights

(p.127) Chapter Four Architecture of Apocalypse, City of Lights
Intermedial Dialogues

Marion Schmid

Edinburgh University Press

The inception of the New Wave coincided with a profound mutation of the French urban fabric: parts of historic city centers were razed in post-war modernisation schemes, while 'new towns' were planned outside major cities to relieve the pressure of population growth. This chapter analyses New Wave filmmakers' diverse engagement with architecture - old and new - and urban change in both fictional and documentary genres. Themes for discussion include New Wave directors' ambivalent representation of the new forms of architectural modernity that emerged in France in the 1950s and 60s; their interrogation of the living conditions on modern housing estates; and their examination of the relationship between the built environment, affect, and memory. The chapter also considers the movement's fascination with the tactile textures and surfaces of the city.

Keywords:   film and architecture, post-war modernisation, 'new towns', urban change, trauma and memory, city of lights

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