Journal of Romance Studies

Going global: The ‘stars’ of French theory and French cinema

Journal of Romance Studies (2012), 12, (2), 59–74.

Abstract

‘French theory’, it has often been noted, did not exist as a cohesive body of thought until its crystallization in the Anglophone academy. It is the contention of this article that the stars of French cinema, and in particular prolific actor Isabelle Huppert, function in an analogous way to ‘French theory’ on a global platform. This star analogy enables a re-thinking of the politics of ‘Frenchness’ in a global setting for both French theory and French stardom. For the former, the analogy brings to light a popular form of philosophical exchange, and this counters charges of French theory’s elitism. For the latter, the analogy imbues the French cinema star with a new transformative resonance based simultaneously on the politicized tenets and the popular appeal of French theory.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Alliez, Éric (2010) ‘What is – or what is not – contemporary French philosophy today?’, Radical Philosophy 161 (May/June), 9–17. What is – or what is not – contemporary French philosophy today? Radical Philosophy 161 9 17 Google Scholar

Allwood, Gill (1998) French Feminisms: Gender and Violence in Contemporary Theory (London: UCL Press). French Feminisms: Gender and Violence in Contemporary Theory Google Scholar

Austin, Guy (2003) Stars in Modern French Film (London: Arnold). Stars in Modern French Film Google Scholar

Barber, Lynden (2010) ‘Super Huppert’, www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/super-huppert/story-e6frg8n6-1225946562464 (accessed 10 May 2011). Google Scholar

Bordwell, David and Noël Carroll (1996), Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press). Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies Google Scholar

Burchill, Louise (2006) ‘Re-Situating the Feminine in Contemporary French Philosophy’, in Beliefs Bodies and Being: Feminist Reflections on Embodiment. ed. D. Orr et al. (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers), 81–102. Re-Situating the Feminine in Contemporary French Philosophy Beliefs Bodies and Being: Feminist Reflections on Embodiment 81 102 Google Scholar

Butler, Judith (1999 [1990]) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity Google Scholar

Clarke, Donald (2010) ‘The bearable scariness of Binoche’, www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2010/0904/1224278171887.html (accessed 4 May 2011). Google Scholar

Cusset, François (2005 [2003]) French Theory: Foucault, Derrida & Cie et les mutations de la vie intellectuelle aux États-Unis (Paris: Éditions La Découverte). French Theory: Foucault, Derrida & Cie et les mutations de la vie intellectuelle aux États-Unis Google Scholar

Delphy, Christine (1995) ‘The Invention of French Feminism’, Yale French Studies 87, 190–221. The Invention of French Feminism Yale French Studies 87 190 221 Google Scholar

Descombes, Vincent (1980 [1979]) Modern French Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Modern French Philosophy Google Scholar

Downing, Lisa and Sue Harris (2007) ‘Introduction’, in From Perversion to Purity: The Stardom of Catherine Deneuve, ed. Lisa Downing and Sue Harris (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 1–12. Introduction From Perversion to Purity: The Stardom of Catherine Deneuve 1 12 Google Scholar

Dyer, Richard (1998 [1979]) Stars (London: BFI publishing). Stars Google Scholar

Dyer, Richard (2004 [1986]) Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society (London: Routledge). Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society Google Scholar

Gallois, William (2004) ‘Against Capitalism? French Theory and the Economy after 1945’, in After the Deluge: New Perspectives on the Intellectual and Cultural History of Postwar France, ed. Julian Bourg (Oxford: Lexington books), 49–72. Against Capitalism? French Theory and the Economy after 1945 After the Deluge: New Perspectives on the Intellectual and Cultural History of Postwar France 49 72 Google Scholar

Huffer, Lynne (1995) ‘Editor’s Preface’, Yale French Studies 87, 1–3. Editor’s Preface Yale French Studies 87 1 3 Google Scholar

Huffer, Lynne (2010) Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory (New York: Columbia University Press). Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory Google Scholar

Huppert, Isabelle, Jean Baudrillard and Thierry Jousse (1994) ‘Mots: Jean Baudrillard’, Cahiers du cinéma 477, 113–120. Mots: Jean Baudrillard Cahiers du cinéma 477 113 120 Google Scholar

Italie, Hillel (1991) ‘The Unflappable Isabelle Huppert’, Boca Raton News, 27 December 1991, 21. The Unflappable Isabelle Huppert Boca Raton News 21 Google Scholar

Johnson, Christopher (2007) ‘The Intellectual as celebrity: Claude Lévi-Strauss’, in Stardom in Postwar France, ed. John Gaffney and Diane Holmes (New York; Oxford: Berghahn), 152–174. The Intellectual as celebrity: Claude Lévi-Strauss Stardom in Postwar France 152 174 Google Scholar

Kauchka, Boris (2009) ‘Brooklyn Hearts Huppert: Europe’s Grande Dame of Cinema Finds her American Niche’ http://nymag.com/arts/theater/features/60239/ (accessed 13 April 2011). Google Scholar

Loselle, Andrea (2001) ‘How French is it?’, in French Theory in America, ed. Sylvère Lotringer and Sande Cohen (New York: Routledge), 217–236. How French is it? French Theory in America 217 236 Google Scholar

Lotringer, Sylvère and Sande Cohen (2001) ‘Introduction: A Few theses on French Theory in America’, in French theory in America, ed. Sylvère Lotringer and Sande Cohen (New York: Routledge), 1–9. Introduction: A Few theses on French Theory in America French theory in America 1 9 Google Scholar

Marthy, Jean-Philippe (1995) ‘The Resistance to French Theory in the United States: A cross-cultural inquiry’, French Historical Studies 19 (2), 331–347. The Resistance to French Theory in the United States: A cross-cultural inquiry French Historical Studies 19 331 347 Google Scholar

McKibbin, Tony (2005) ‘The Chaos of the Organs: Isabelle Huppert’s reverse Pygmalionism’, Studies in French Cinema 5 (1), 17–26. The Chaos of the Organs: Isabelle Huppert’s reverse Pygmalionism Studies in French Cinema 5 17 26 Google Scholar

Milesi, Laurent (2004) ‘French Thinking/Thinking French – In Translation’, in Discipline and Practice: The (Ir)resistibility of Theory, ed. Stefan Herbrechter and Ivan Callus (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press), 107–124. French Thinking/Thinking French – In Translation Discipline and Practice: The (Ir)resistibility of Theory 107 124 Google Scholar

Moi, Toril (1985) Sexual Politics/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (London; New York: Routledge). Sexual Politics/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory Google Scholar

Mulvey, Laura (2009 [1975]) ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, in Visual and Other Pleasures (London: Palgrave Macmillan), 165–300. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema Visual and Other Pleasures 165 300 Google Scholar

Paglia, Camille (1991) ‘Ninnies, Pedants, Tyrants and Other Academics’, New York Times, 5 May 1991. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CEEDA1E30F936A35756C0A967958260 (accessed 4 April 2011). Google Scholar

Pérez, Roland (2005) ‘Love and Hatred of “French Theory” in America’, Borderlands e-journal 4 (1). Love and Hatred of “French Theory” in America Borderlands e-journal 4 Google Scholar

Schwartz, Vanessa R. (2007) It’s so French! Hollywood, Paris and the Making of Cosmopolitan Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). It’s so French! Hollywood, Paris and the Making of Cosmopolitan Culture Google Scholar

Shoard, Catherine (2009) ‘Review of “Home”’, www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/aug/07/home-film-review (accessed 13 April 2011). Google Scholar

Vincendeau, Ginette (2000) Stars and Stardom in French Cinema (London: Continuum). Stars and Stardom in French Cinema Google Scholar

Vincendeau, Ginette (2006) ‘Isabelle Huppert: The Big Chill’, Sight & Sound (December) www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/feature/49340 (accessed 13 April 2011). Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Cox, Lara