Happy Days Tidbit #13 ~ Yves Boisset

by Laurent Graff

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Happy Days Tidbit #13 ~ Yves Boisset

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:30 am

Pg. 51 Still hanging out in the ballroom…a brief mention.

French director, Yves Boisset, is a former film critic who established himself in the 1970s with a series of fast-paced, often politically oriented thrillers, notably "L'attentat" (1972). He began his career as an assistant director. After working with such directors as Hossein, Cioampi and Clement, he began directing short films until the late 1960s when he made his feature film debut. Boisset frequently contributes to the scripts he shoots and is known for his fast-paced action-adventures and his social and political thrillers in the film noir style.

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Crime cinema was (and still is) very popular in France where the diverse avenues of the genre were developed, from crass commercial to elitist productions, not forgetting masterpieces. France is one of the few countries, outside the USA, where Noir films could blossom and produce first class works for a long period of time. Especially from the fifties until approximately the end of the seventies, this cinema gave noticeable films to the Noir domain, icluding real milestones..

FILM NOIR

The term "film noir" was created by French critics after the end of World War II when they discovered a large group of American films made in the 1940s that could not be seen in France during the German occupation. Among them were The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Laura, Murder My Sweet and The Woman in the Window.

They were dubbed "film noir" by analogy with "roman noir" , the label used to describe the American "hard-boiled" detective fiction by the writers like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler or James M. Cain that provided source material for these films and that was published in the "Série Noire", launched in 1945 by the Gallimard publishing house.
Initially the series was dominated by translations of American and British authors and even the early French contributors opted for English-sounding pseudonyms. But to present "noir" as a purely American cultural phenomenon merely assimilated by the French is to ignore the cinematic and cultural trends that already existed in France in the 1930s and the early 1940s.

After the political turmoil of 1968, the genre became more politicized. The novels and films of the period adopted an increasingly militant attitude denouncing social injustice, racism, police brutality, and political corruption, and became known as "neo-polars." Writers like Jean-Patrick Manchette, Francis Ryck, Jean Vautrin, Raf Vallet, film directors Yves Boisset, Costa-Gavras, Pierre Granier-Deferre, Philippe Labro and the others liberally blended the polar with the psychological drama, spy intrigue, social and political commentary. Very often in those films, the honest cop failed (Pierre Granier-Deferre's Adieu poulet / The French Detective (1975), Yves Boisset's Le Juge Fayard dit le Sheriff (1977)). The heroes who succeeded were often positioned outside the police force such as Jean-Paul Belmondo’s modern bounty hunter in L’alpagueur / The Hunter Will Get You (1976) or Alain Delon’s lone vigilante in Mort d’un pourri / To Kill a Rat (1977). The politicizing of the polar did not prevent the filmmakers from producing more commercial fare, modeled on American thrillers, which served merely as the star vehicles for Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Lino Ventura.

POLICIER AND POLAR

The term "polar" was coined in France around 1970. It is a contraction of "policier", a genre in film and literature, where the narrative centers on a criminal case or the world of crime. Despite what its name suggests, the genre does not necessarily imply the presence of the police or a detective puzzle as its central elements. It had long ago progressed from the preoccupation with identification of the perpetrator to the more important emphasis on the criminal and the depiction of social malaise in France.

"Like any film, the film policier reflects the society of its time. But by revealing what happens behind the facade, by evoking taboos, by chronicling changes of the law, in the nature of crime and its repression, it no doubt reflects that society more faithfully than any other genre," wrote François Guérif in his seminal study of the French polar. At present, the label “policier” is used to cover a wide variety of films: mysteries, dealing exclusively with an investigation of a crime by some kind of detective figure; gangster films, centering on professional criminals; suspense films, emphasizing the anxieties of a potential victim; and the film noir, depicting a sordid urban world of crime and corruption, populated by tough private detectives, treacherous women and anguished men. Some French sources argue that the term "polar" should be only applied to the latter category, films and novels in the "noir" or “hard-boiled” tradition. Other sources call them “polar noir”.

Director - filmography
Attentat, L' 1972
Dupont Lajoie 1975
Folle à tuer 1975
Juge Fayard dit Le Shériff, Le 1977
Un taxi mauve 1977
Femme flic, La 1980
Allons z'enfants 1981
Espion, lève-toi 1982
Prix du danger, Le 1983
Canicule 1984
Bleu comme l'enfer 1986
Radio Corbeau 1989
Affaire Dreyfus, L' (TV) 1995
Pantalon, Le (TV) 1997
Jean Moulin (TV) 2002

Writer - filmography
Dupont Lajoie 1975
Folle à tuer 1975
Juge Fayard dit Le Shériff, Le 1977
Un taxi mauve 1977
Femme flic, La 1980
Espion, lève-toi 1982
Prix du danger, Le 1983
Canicule 1984
Bleu comme l'enfer 1986
Radio Corbeau 1989
Pantalon, Le (TV) 1997
Adieu, L' ((TV) 2003

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Colosso di Rodi, Il 1961
Aîné des Ferchaux, L' 1963
Arme à gauche, L' 1965
Paris brûle-t-il? 1966
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Parlez » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:25 pm

Tres bien!! Another interesting report. That was one of my favorite episodes in the
book - the wild ride and the arrest,
with the young detective getting so befuddled by it all! It's fun
to know what his frame of reference was, though he clearly was
out of his league with the miscreants from Happy Days!
Thanks!!
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
savvy avi by mamabear

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:17 pm

Merci, Parlez! I am glad you enjoyed the tidbit. That episode was a fun part of the story. I think the residents of Happy Days had the young detective a bit... :perplexed:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:23 pm

I find the connection to film noir interesting. :-O
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:50 pm

I'm impressed, nothing escapes your notice. Rereading this book will be a must before the discussion begins. You certainly make things interesting. Thank you for pointing out these references and for researching them. I have a feeling this could be a thought provoking discussion.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:24 am

Linda Lee, I'm glad you will be joining us. I'm finding that for a short book it's a longer read the second time around!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:50 am

I thought that might be the case, after reading the tidbits. The second time through will take a lot longer, guess it's a good thing it's only 99 pages.

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Unread postby Lady Jill » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:37 am

Wow! Great tidbit. What it has told me is that I read the book too fast - or maybe I just couldn't retain what I read. NOW its time to re read, and the slower version too. Trickey.
Thanks,
Lady Jill

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Unread postby suec » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:38 am

Liz wrote:I find the connection to film noir interesting. :-O


So do I, Liz.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."


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