Quebec Studies

Entre Le Coq Et L'Aigle: La Réception Des Films De Gilles Carle En France Et Aux États-Unis

Quebec Studies (1993), 17, (1), 97–106.


The study of the reception of films is becoming central in contemporary film theory, with critical reception occupying a special place. Critics are mediators, but participate in the interpretative strategies through which films make meaning. How does appreciaiton vary in different contexts? The present paper examines the status of a Québec filmmaker, Gilles Carle, in French and American film reviews. All his films were seen in France, but not in the USA. Seldom will critics in both countries formulate similar appreciations. France has a special relationship with Québec, combining the distance and the mirror, alterity and similarity. This attitude is of no importance in the USA where critics seldom know about the original context of the film and hence treat Carle like any other foreign filmmaker. The French tend to emphasize authorship, since this approach is seminal in their filmic culture, while Americans try to understand Carl's work through their own expectations, where film genre plays a major role. The comparison of these critical receptions illuminates the way various spectators produce meaning in a work not from their own culture.

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Author details

Véronneau, Pierre