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Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Joseph Mai

Publication Year: 2010

For well over a decade, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have produced highly original and ethically charged films that immerse their audience in an intense, embodied viewing experience. Their work has consistently won international recognition, including the rare feat of two Palmes d'or at Cannes._x000B__x000B_In this first book-length study, Joseph Mai examines the career of the influential Belgian brothers, providing sophisticated close analyses of their directorial style and exploring the many philosophical issues dealt with in their films (especially the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas). In films such as La promesse, Rosetta, The Son, and The Child, the brothers have recast their filmmaking through what Mai calls a "sensuous realism?--realism capable of touching their viewers with the social problems and moral dilemmas of contemporary society. This volume also features an interview in which the Dardennes discuss their approach to film production and directing._x000B_

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: Contemporary Film Directors

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xvii

La promesse follows the struggles of Assita, an undocumented Burkinabe immigrant in Belgium. In several scenes she carries a boxy shopping bag with thick vertical stripes of red, white, and blue. It is made of cheap, fibrous nylon, can be bought at discount stores, and is meant...

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Encounters Through a Frame

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pp. 1-124

When La promesse was revealed at the Cannes festival in 1996, it was hailed as a startlingly original breakthrough film. Audiences particularly noted its stark but hopeful depiction of Seraing, the disaffected suburb of Liège, where the Dardenne brothers filmed. It is, however, still...

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Interview with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

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pp. 125-140

I leave the reader with a slightly abridged interview (translation mine) conducted in June 1999 by Bernard Benoliel and Serge Toubiana for Les cahiers du cinéma, after the release of Rosetta. In it, the brothers give a detailed description of how they work with actors and crew. They...


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pp. 141-146


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pp. 147-152


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pp. 153-156

E-ISBN-13: 9780252091773
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252035289

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Contemporary Film Directors