JCM312/French Cinema Between the Wars I: Popular Front (Discussion)

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Le Million

  • In the following four instances, sound and image are not in sync. How does sound comment on or shape the image in these scenes? Is it diegetic or non-diegetic? (Online at http://tvcrit.org/EO/DV/Million.php Vimeo password: tcf123abc! )
    1. Groups 2 & 5: :00:37:55 Michel in a taxi.
    2. Group 3: :01:12:00 The backstage struggle for the jacket.
    3. Group 4: :00:56:09 Michel and Béatrice, trapped on stage.
    4. Group 1: :00:04:16 Interrupted embrace.

The Crime of M. Lange

  1. Group 4: In 1936, right after the Popular Front scored a victory in the election, there were nationwide strikes. What impact did these strikes have on the film industry? Specifically, what was the "Contrat Collectif"?
  2. Group 1: Among the significant events of 1936 was the founding of Ciné-Liberté. What were the objectives of this association and what was Renoir's relationship to it?
    • Describe the film, La vie est à nous, and its relationship to the Popular Front
  3. Groups 2 & 5: Strebel writes that the working man (often played by Jean Gabin), aka the "proletarian hero," was often a part of films of this era. How does she characterize him (e.g., in The Crime of M. Lange)?
  4. Group 3: According to Strebel, "The parallels between the growth of the cinematographic movement [that is, 1930s French "social cinema"] and its corresponding socio-political movement, the Popular Front, are extremely close." How so?

The Crime of M. Lange cast

Actor ... character

  • René Lefèvre ... Amédée Lange
  • Florelle ... Valentine
  • Jules Berry ... Batala
  • Marcel Lévesque ... The Concierge
  • Odette Talazac ... The Concierge
  • Henri Guisol ... Meunier (the son)
  • Maurice Baquet ... Charles, The Concierges' Son
  • Jacques B. Brunius ... Mr. Baigneur
  • Sylvain Itkine ... Batala's cousin

External links


  • Strebel, Elizabeth Grottle. "French Social Cinema and the Popular Front." Journal of Contemporary History 12, no. 3 (July 1977), 499-519.