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Cesar Cesar

Stephen Heath considers Marcel Pagnol's film in the context of the Marseilles trilogy, cinema and theatricality, and its defining locality.

Stephen Heath considers Marcel Pagnol's film in the context of the Marseilles trilogy, cinema and theatricality, and its defining locality.

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The writer and director Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974) is today perhaps best known outside France as a result of the international acclaim in the 1980s of the film adaptations by Claude Berri of his novels Jean de Florette and Manon des sources.

César (1936), written directly for the screen, brought to a close the hugely popular 'Marseille trilogy'. Although its first two films – Marius (Alexander Korda, 1931) and Fanny (Marc Allgret, 1932) – were not directed by Pagnol, he took a substantial part in their making and the trilogy overall was very much his work. Moreover, in the years from Marius to César, Pagnol turned from theatre to cinema, establishing himself not just as a director but also as a producer and distributor, with his own studios.

After mapping Pagnol's career and situating his turn to cinema in the context of the coming of 'talking pictures', Stephen Heath discusses César and the comedy and drama of its working out of the trilogy's action. In so doing, he is led to consider questions of speech and accent, cinema and theatricality, stereotypes and the film's cultural effects. Above all, he looks at César's relation to the contemporary artistic and cultural-historical reality of Marseille, the defining locality of the trilogy and in many ways its main character.

The writer and director Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974) is today perhaps best known outside France as a result of the international acclaim in the 1980s of the film adaptations by Claude Berri of his novels Jean de Florette and Manon des sources.

César (1936), written directly for the screen, brought to a close the hugely popular 'Marseille trilogy'. Although its first two films – Marius (Alexander Korda, 1931) and Fanny (Marc Allgret, 1932) – were not directed by Pagnol, he took a substantial part in their making and the trilogy overall was very much his work. Moreover, in the years from Marius to César, Pagnol turned from theatre to cinema, establishing himself not just as a director but also as a producer and distributor, with his own studios.

After mapping Pagnol's career and situating his turn to cinema in the context of the coming of 'talking pictures', Stephen Heath discusses César and the comedy and drama of its working out of the trilogy's action. In so doing, he is led to consider questions of speech and accent, cinema and theatricality, stereotypes and the film's cultural effects. Above all, he looks at César's relation to the contemporary artistic and cultural-historical reality of Marseille, the defining locality of the trilogy and in many ways its main character.

Additional Info

Additional Info

SKU 9780851708331
Author(s) Stephen Heath
Subtitle Stephen Heath considers Marcel Pagnol's film in the context of the Marseilles trilogy, cinema and theatricality, and its defining locality.
Publisher(s) Palgrave Macmillan , BFI Publishing
Format Paperback
Original publication date 30/12/2002
Number of pages 88

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