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ReFocus: The Films of Francis Veber

Keith Corson

Hardback (Forthcoming)

Analyses how the French director Francis Veber uses comedy to make serious social commentaries

Few directors have played such a prominent role as Francis Veber in shaping the cinematic identity of France over the past forty years, yet in many ways his chosen genre of comedy has relegated his work to the margins of Film Studies. Using an auterist lens to challenge the notions of taste, genre and aesthetics that are commonly used to form the cinematic canon, this book explores the twelve films Veber directed between 1976 and 2008. These include Le Jouet (1976), Les fugitifs (1986) and L’emmerdeur (2008).

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Chapter 1: Francis Veber and the Canon

Chapter 2: Toy Story: Le Jouet (1976)

Chapter 3: Mexican Holiday: La chèvre (1981)

Chapter 4: The Road to Fatherhood: Les compères (1983)

Chapter 5: The Great Escape: Les fugitifs (1986)

Chapter 6: Francis Goes to Hollywood: Three Fugitives (1989)

Chapter 7: A Parisian in America: Out on a Limb (1992)

Chapter 8: Rainforest Redemption: Le Jaguar (1996)

Chapter 9: The Art of Canned Theatre: Le dîner de cons (1998)

Chapter 10: Closet Conservatives: Le placard (2001)

Chapter 11: Repetition and Revision: Tais-toi! (2003)

Chapter 12: Modern Times: La doublure (2006)

Chapter 13: The Last Picture Show: L’emmerdeur (2008)



About the Author

Keith Corson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Theatre and Creative Writing at the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of Trying to Get Over: African American Directors After Blaxploitation, 1977-1986 and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters relating to film, identity and media industries.


This timely volume is an original contribution for Film Studies.  It explores an overlooked aspect of French cinema that ironically has been one of the financial backbones of an entire cinematographic industry for decades as well as an sustained ongoing influence on other national cinemas, such as Hollywood. The textured case studies of Veber’s cinema consider his unique legacy in a refreshing light by offering contemporary perspectives on one of France’s premier comedy filmmakers.

- Professor Rémi Fournier Lanzoni, Wake Forest University

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