1st Edition

The Body in Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave Films

By Francesca Minnie Hardy Copyright 2024
    92 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This original study examines the representation of the body in French New Wave films through discussion of a series of films by Jean-Luc Godard, perhaps the central figure of the French New Wave.

    Through analysis of À bout de souffle, Une femme est une femme, Le Mépris and Alphaville, alongside discussion of some of Godard’s lesser-known French New Wave films, the book explores the interrelation between bodies, books and bathrooms that they facilitate. In so doing, it aims to destabilise the French New Wave’s myth of male exceptionalism and denaturalise the gender dynamic most commonly viewed at its heart, revealing that the women who make up a fundamental part of its fabric are not textually trapped by Godard’s authorial presence. Instead, their corporeality disrupts any purported authorial and national ownership of their bodies.

    Given the enduring popularity and visibility of the French New Wave, and of Jean-Luc Godard, in universities and journals, The Body in Jean-Luc Godard’s New Wave Films will appeal to scholars in the disciplines of French and film studies, as well as to undergraduate and postgraduate students of these disciplines.

    1. Introduction  2. The art cinema body in theory  3. Lingering in the men’s room  4. Of aliens and alter egos  5. Of bathroom sinks and the streets below  6. Of wigs and fig leaves  7. Of totalitarianism and toilet doors  8. Conclusion


    Francesca Minnie Hardy is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television at Nottingham Trent University. Her research explores the body’s relationship to cinema, both on- and off-screen. Her first monograph, titled Vital Resonances: Encountering film with Varda, Haneke and Nancy, was published in 2021 by Edinburgh University Press.