The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers

Responsible Realism

Philip Mosley

Wallflower Press

The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers

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Pub Date: March 2013

ISBN: 9780231163293

256 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00£20.00

Pub Date: March 2013

ISBN: 9780231163286

256 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $80.00£62.00

Pub Date: March 2013

ISBN: 9780231850216

256 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $19.99£14.99

The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers

Responsible Realism

Philip Mosley

Wallflower Press

The brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have established an international reputation for their emotionally powerful realist cinema. Inspired by their home turf of Liège-Seraing, a former industrial hub of French-speaking southern Belgium, they have crafted a series of fiction films that blends acute observation of life on the social margins with moral fables for the postmodern age. This volume analyses the brothers' career from their leftist video documentaries of the 1970s and 1980s through their debut as directors of fiction films in the late 1980s and early 1990s to their six major achievements from The Promise (1996) to The Kid with a Bike (2011), an oeuvre that includes two Golden Palms at the Cannes film festival, for Rosetta (1999) and The Child (2005). It argues that the ethical dimension of the Dardennes' work complements rather than precludes their sustained expression of a fundamental political sensibility.
A brilliant account of the Dardenne brothers' cinema... their politically engaged social realism and concern with the pauperized victims of global capital are beautifully complemented by the precise lucidity of the author's prose, the nuance of his textual analysis, and his provocative but non-dogmatic social theory. David James, University of Southern California
An excellent introduction to the Dardenne brothers' films but also a lucid exposition of the historical and intellectual frameworks in which their social realism can be evaluated. This volume also explains how their filmmaking can be understood in terms of major contemporary philosophical currents. Felix Thompson, University of Derby, UK
A comprehensive overview. Melina Gils, Film Quarterly
Acknowledgements
1. Responsible Realists
2. Cinematic Reference Points
3. The Video Documentaries, 1974–83: In the Beginning Was the Resistance; The Nightingale's Song; When Léon M.'s Boat First Sailed down the River Meuse; For the War to End, the Walls Had to Crumble; R… No Longer Answers; Lessons from a University on the Fly; Look at Jonathan; Jean Louvet, His Work
4. Foraying into Fiction, 1986–92: Falsch; They're Running … Everyone's Running; You're on My Mind
5. Breakthrough: The Promise, 1996
6. First Palme d'Or: Rosetta, 1999
7. Pushing the Envelope: The Son, 2002
8. Second Palme d'Or: The Child, 2005
9. A Minor Shift: The Silence of Lorna, 2008
Afterword: The Kid with a Bike, 2011
Filmography
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Philip Mosley is professor of English and comparative literature at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of many works, including Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and Cultural Identity (2001) and a translation from French of The Book of the Snow by François Jacqmin, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize.