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The Social Architecture of French Cinema, 1929–1939$
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Margaret C. Flinn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380338

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380338.001.0001

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Traversing Built History in Architectural Documentaries

Traversing Built History in Architectural Documentaries

(p.84) Chapter Four Traversing Built History in Architectural Documentaries
The Social Architecture of French Cinema, 1929–1939

Margaret C. Flinn

Liverpool University Press

This chapter argues that the sense of historical rupture and corresponding interest in sites of memory as a means of reconfiguring our relationship to history diagnosed by Pierre Nora in the 1980s (in Realms of Memory) is analogous to the filming of sites within architectural documentaries of the 1930s. Architectural modernists August Perret and Le Corbusier appear in various architectural documentaries (including Jean Epstein’s Popular Front-era militant film Les Bâtisseurs). These films deploy the commemorative function of monumental sites in the service of contemporary ideology and the architecture of the urban everyday is raised to the status of monument or site of memory.

Keywords:   Modernist architecture, Le Corbusier, Popular Front, militant cinema, realms of memory, Pierre Nora

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