The second edition of this innovative textbook brings together leading scholars to provide detailed analyses of twenty-two key films within the canon of French cinema, from the 1920s to the 1990s. Films discussed include:
* masterpieces such as Renoir's La Bete Humaine and Carne's Les Enfants du Paradis
* popular classics such as Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot and Ma Nuit chez Maud
* landmarks of the New Wave such as Les 400 Coups and A bout de souffle
* important films of the 1990s such as Nikita and La Haine
The films are considered in relation to such issues as the history of French cinema, the social and cultural contexts of their production and reception, the relationship with Hollywood cinema, gender politics, authorship and genre. Each article is accompanied with a guide to further reading and a filmography of the director, and the new edition also includes a fully revised introduction and a bibliography on French cinema.