The Parisian popular as reactionary modernisation

O'Shaughnessy, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1167-3214, 2001. The Parisian popular as reactionary modernisation. Studies in French Cinema, 1 (2), pp. 80-88. ISSN 1471-5880

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Noting the centrality of the Parisian popular in French cinema of the 1930s, this paper looks behind its apparent nostalgia to the disavowed work of modernization that it carried out. Drawing on recent work on the transnational, it shows how representations of popular rootedness and of the cosmopolitan modern were linked responses to the new. Helping to embed cultural consumption in collective memory and identity, cinematic populism engaged with and simultaneously rejected the experiences of displacement and mixity. In some ways it can be considered to have carried out a process of democratization, shifting the common people to centre stage and inviting them to look upon their own image. Broadly speaking, however, its disavowed modernization was deeply regressive. The reflexivity it granted was counterweighted by its idealization of rooted community and folkloric cultural forms in a way that could only view the cosmopolitan new as threat and loss and which immobilised and ethnicized the popular even as it partially undid its exclusion.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Studies in French Cinema
Creators: O'Shaughnessy, M.
Publisher: Intellect
Date: 2001
Volume: 1
Number: 2
ISSN: 1471-5880
Rights: © Intellect Ltd 2001
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:50
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:41

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