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French & Francophone Film: A Research Guide

Movements and Genres

Les Diaboliques poster

Michael Biddle, artitst. Les diaboliques by Clousot. The Film Society. [between 1960 and 1970]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This Library of Congress research guide is intended to aid film lovers and film researchers in learning more about French-language cinema and the resources available in our catalog.

Francophone film can be multiply categorized: chronologically, by movement, or by genre. This guide divides film all three ways: by chronology, that is, early silent film to contemporary global cinema; by film movement--i.e., Surrealist, New Wave, etc.; and by a genre's stylistic similarities such as Beur cinema or documentary.

The groupings used here, such as Beur cinema and African film for example, are not intended to marginalize or confine directors, themes, or filmic techniques as "separate-from" or "less-than" any other cinematic traditions, specifically that of France.

Instead, the categories are intended to facilitate research and to point out techniques, contexts, works, and directors that have uniquely advanced the art of cinema.

These categories are intended to be very loose since films are somewhat of a conversation: among films, directors, writers, actors, set designers, cinematographers, etc.

Moreover, certain movements and genres merit special attention in order to situate them in a specific context--be that war, technological advancements, national independence, or remarkable economic conditions, etc. These are found in the subpages entitled Early and Silent Film, Realism and the War Years, New Wave, and so on.

This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive list of Library resources on Francophone film; rather, it is intended as a jumping-off point for both novices and advanced researchers, and is a small sample of the materials available for patrons.