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Matthieu Kassovitz (1995, France) World Cinema: Urban Stories.

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Presentation on theme: "Matthieu Kassovitz (1995, France) World Cinema: Urban Stories."— Presentation transcript:

1 Matthieu Kassovitz (1995, France) World Cinema: Urban Stories

2 So how do films from outside of the US and the UK represent urban youth culture? What themes or issues do most of urban drama films deal with? What did we say about ‘Clockers’ and ‘Bullet Boy’? Do you think world cinema films represent urban youth in the same way as UK and US films? Yes and no. why? Yes: Many issues concerning urban youth are universal (dealing drugs to survive is the same in Johannesburg as it is New York for example). No: However as we have already said you cannot label every nation outside of the US and the UK as the same. They each have their own specific social /cultural issues (In Slumdog, the caste system in India for example). Question: What causes urban environments to supposedly malfunction? Do urban based youth films have to be entirely negative?

3 ‘Vive la France! La Haine is a French film that is said to ‘subvert cultural expectations’. Parlez vous la Francais? Have you been to France? What stereotypes would we associate with French culture and France as a nation? Love of art and high culture Fine wine and cuisine Haute couture fashion Garlic and smelly cheese Gross toilets! What about characteristics/stereotypes of French people: Sophisticated and stylish. Passionate, romantic Rude and arrogant. Feel they are superior. The last two are negative views often from a British perspective. Indeed the French think the British are equally rude and arrogant- and that we can’t cook!

4 ‘La Haine’ and modern multicultural France La Haine is set in the banlieues of Paris. The phrase les banlieues has been increasingly used as a euphemism to describe low-income housing projects in which mainly French of foreign descent reside. What do we know about the immigrant groups in France? Is France multicultural? Can you name any famous non-white European French people? So modern France is very multicultural with lots of immigrant communities mainly from Africa. Why Africa? French colonial rule of Africa. Many nations in Africa speak French as first language including, Morocco, Tunisia Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and many more

5 ‘La Haine’ intro The film is about three teenage friends and their struggle to live in the banlieues of Paris. The film focuses on a single day in the lives of three young friends in an impoverished multi-ethnic banlieues housing project in the aftermath of a riot. Vinz (Vincent Cassel), who is Jewish, is filled with rage. A aspirational gangster.Vincent Cassel Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) is a happy and talkative Maghrebin (Arab) who tries to find middle ground between his two friends' responses to life.Saïd Taghmaoui Hubert (Hubert Koundé) is an Afro-French boxer and drug dealer. The quietest of the three, he sadly contemplates the ghetto and the hate around him.Hubert Koundé The title derives from a line spoken by one of them, Hubert: "La haine attire la haine!", "hatred breeds hatred."

6 ‘La Haine’ ‘La Haine’- make notes on the sheet provided on the following areas: Representational issues Narrative Ideology and messages Mise-en-scene/Iconography Other technical areas

7 Representation of urban youth culture Key scene: the opening 10 minutes. Watch the opening ten minutes where we are introduced to the three main characters and make notes on the following areas: How are the three characters set up by the opening sequence? Can you identify any obvious youth stereotypes? How does the opening establish that it’s an urban film? (mise-en- scene, performance, cinematography) Why do the characters act as they do? How are contrasts between characters emphasised?

8 The WJEC board The WJEC board: Specialist Study 1 – Urban Stories: Power, Poverty and Conflict An appreciation of the messages and values contained within the chosen films. An understanding of the relationship between form and content, possibly with a particular reference to distinctive stylistic features. An understanding of contexts, especially time and place.

9 How is culture and ethnicity represented? Watch key scene: breakdancing’. What cultural stereotypes are being adhered to or subverted? How does the film represent France and French culture? Do the characters appear to be influenced by other cultures? Do they identify with French culture? What does the opening and the film as a whole say about multiculturalism in France? Representation of culture and nation

10 La Haine- ideology What is the film’s message? Consider it from an ideological standpoint, thinking about class ethnicity and France as a nation? Key scene: ‘Vinz and the gun’. The masses rising up and revolting against the dominant ideology? Power to the people? The working classes being kept in their place by the ruling classes? Immigration doesn’t work? France should take greater care of its colonial cousins? Does the film have an overt or covert message?

11 Historical context of the film. Kassovitz has said that the idea came to him when a young Zairian, Makome M'Bowole was shot in He was killed at point blank range while in police custody and handcuffed to a radiator. The officer was reported to have been angered by Makomé's words, and had been threatening him when the gun went off accidentally. The film is dedicated to those who disappeared while it was in the making ("Ce film est dédié à ceux disparus pendant sa fabrication..."). Kassovitz wanted the film to be ‘wake up call’ to France about the problems of the banlieues slums. He also wanted to express the feelings of ‘marginalisation’ many immigrant groups felt as victims of social deprivation in a country that had ignored them for a long time. In addition France was in the middle of period when the extreme ‘far right’ party Front National (France’s equivalent of the BNP) where gaining support. This is shown in the scene involving the skinhead.


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