Con-fusing bodies: navigating beyond the new French extremity with Jean-Luc Nancy

Parsons, M.J.A., 2021. Con-fusing bodies: navigating beyond the new French extremity with Jean-Luc Nancy. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The New French Extremity (NFE) continues to be regarded as a key moment in contemporary French cinema, yet very little comment has been made about the apparent disappearance of the trend, nor has there been any exploration of the thematic confluences that can be remarked in the later work of the directors associated with the trend. To fill this gap, this study investigates the theoretical impasse which can be argued to have brought about the disappearance of the NFE, the point at which the graphic exploration of the body ceases to bring new insight and instead falls away into meaninglessness. At the same time, it describes a hitherto unexplored trajectory which connects the extreme films with the post-extreme cinema which has followed. This is achieved by placing NFE and post-NFE films by the same director/s into dialogue, in effect considering the NFE film and its successor as one continuous philosophical investigation. Through a reading which places the films in dialogue with the work of Jean-Luc Nancy, a dialogue instigated by Nancy himself in his response to Claire Denis’s NFE film Trouble Every Day, it is possible to locate the moment of breakdown which the NFE films are inexorably drawn to. We can then suggest how subsequent films have moved beyond this breakdown through a less confrontational engagement with physicality which seeks not to separate and dislocate bodies but rather to draw them together into temporary moments of stability, a con-fusion which offers new perspectives on both the NFE as an ongoing field for study and on Nancy's ontology.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Parsons, M.J.A.
Date: April 2021
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Jan 2022 14:28
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 14:28

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