From golden age to silver screen: French Music-Hall Cinema from 1930-1950

by Bias, Rebecca H

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation examines French music-hall cinema from 1930-1950. The term “music-hall cinema” applies to films that contain any or all of the following: music-hall performers, venues, mise en scène, revues, and music-hall songs or repertoire. The cinema industry in France owes a great debt to the music-hall industry, as the first short films near the turn of the century were actually shown as music-hall acts in popular halls. Nonetheless, the ultimate demise of the music hall was in part due to the growing popularity of cinema. Through close readings of individual films, the dynamics of music-hall films will be related to the relevant historical and cultural notions of the period. The music-hall motif will be examined on its own terms, but also in relation to the context or genre that underlies each particular film. The music-hall motif in films relies overwhelmingly on female performers and relevant feminist film theory of the 1970s will help support the analysis of female performance, exhibition, and relevant questions of spectatorship. Music-hall cinema is an important motif in French film, and the female performer serves as the prominent foundation in these films. The advent of sound in cinema in France in 1929 opened new doors with regard to representation of voice, song, music, and spectacle. The music hall was enormously popular in France, but as its glory days diminished in the thirties and forties, music-hall content in French cinema generated nostalgia for by-gone days, and continued a national tradition.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:french music hall cinema realist singer france mistinguett josephine baker henri georges clouzot marcel carne jean renoir florelle edith piaf


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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