Existentialism and Contemporary Cinema: A Sartrean Perspective

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Jean-Pierre Boulé, Enda McCaffrey
Berghahn Books, Oct 1, 2011 - Performing Arts - 224 pages

At the heart of this volume is the assertion that Sartrean existentialism, most prominent in the 1940s, particularly in France, is still relevant as a way of interpreting the world today. Film, by reflecting philosophical concerns in the actions and choices of characters, continues and extends a tradition in which art exemplifies the understanding of existentialist philosophy. In a scholarly yet accessible style, the contributors exploit the rich interplay between Sartre’s philosophy, plays and novels, and a number of contemporary films including No Country for Old Men, Lost in Translation and The Truman Show, with film-makers including the Dardenne brothers, Michael Haneke, and Mike Leigh. This volume will be of interest to students who are coming to Sartre’s work for the first time and to those who would like to read films within an existentialist perspective.


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The Call to Freedom
Peter Weirs The TrumanShow and Sartrean Freedom
Michael Haneke and the Consequences of Radical Freedom
Naked Bad Faith and Masculinity
Pursuits of Transcendence in The Man Who Wasnt There
Lornas Silence Sartre and the Dardenne Brothers
Films of Situation
If I Should Wake Before I Die Existentialism as a Political Call to Arms in The Crying Game
Crimes of Passion Freedom and a Clash of Sartrean Moralities in the Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men
An Act of Confidence in the Freedom of Men JeanPaul Sartre and Ousmane Sembene
Cédric Klapischs The Spanish Apartment and Russian Dolls in Nauseas Mirror
Baz Luhrmanns William Shakespeares Romeo + Juliet The Nauseous Art of Adaptation
Notes on Contributors

Being Lost in Translation

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About the author (2011)

Jean-Pierre Boulé is Professor of Contemporary French Studies at Nottingham Trent University and the author of a number of books, notably on Sartre, including Sartre médiatique (1992) and Sartre, Self-Formation and Masculinities (2005). He is the co-founder of the U.K. Sartre Society and executive editor of Sartre Studies International. He is coediting with Benedict O’Donohoe, Jean-Paul Sartre: Mind and Body, Word and Deed (2011) and preparing with Ursula Tidd a companion volume, Existentialism and Contemporary Cinema. A Beauvoirian Perspective (2013).

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