Few films in the twenty-first century have represented coming-of-age with the beauty and brutality of Bande de Filles (or Girlhood). This book provides an in-depth examination of Céline Sciamma’s film, focusing on its portrayal of female adolescence in contemporary Paris.
Motivated by the absence of black female characters in French cinema, Sciamma represents the lives of figures that have passed largely unnoticed on the big screen. While observing the girls’ tough circumstances, Sciamma’s film emphasises the joy and camaraderie found in female friendships. This book places Girlhood in its cinematic as well as its sociocultural context. Pop music, urban violence, and female friendships are all considered here in a book that draws out the complexity of Sciamma’s deceptively simple portrayal of coming-of-age.
Thoughtful, concise, and deeply contemporary, this book is perfect for students, scholars, and general readers interested in youth cultures, European cinema, gender, and sexuality.
Table of Contents
1. Contextualising Bande de Filles/Girlhood 2. Céline Sciamma’s coming-of-age texts 3. Feminising the banlieue in Bande de Filles/Girlhood 4. Solidarity and violence in Bande de Filles/Girlhood 5. Music and the transnational in Bande de Filles/Girlhood 6. Gender fluidity and queer girlhood in Bande de Filles/Girlhood
Frances Smith is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Sussex (UK). Her research concerns teen cinema, nostalgia, and female authorship. She is the author of Rethinking the Hollywood Teen Movie and series co-editor of Refocus: The American Directors Series.
"Not only is Smith’s book a stimulating investigation of Sciamma’s oeuvre, but it should also more widely serve as an effective model for film analysis, as it provides useful tools to put the context of production in a two-way dialogue with the movie’s characters and narratives. Moreover, by showing how relevant this film genre is to delving into the politics of representation in the media industry, the book succeeds in giving new meaning and significance to still maturing academic fields such as youth film studies and girl studies."
- Hélène B. Ducros, EuropeNow Journal