All quiet on the filmic front? Codeswitching and the representation of multilingual Europe in La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937) and Joyeux Noël (Christian Carion, 2005)
Abstract:Codeswitching, defined linguistically as 'the use of more than one language in the course of a single communicative episode', is usually studied in the context of real situations. This article contends that any study of codeswitching in film must take into account not merely realism but the context in which the film is made. Multilingual films use codeswitching as a dynamic strategy both to advance the plot and to negotiate a position in relation to their audience and production context. The article will offer a detailed comparative analysis of two polyglot French films closely comparable in terms of narrative context and explicit agenda – Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion (1937) and Christian Carion's Joyeux Noël (2005) – in order to suggest changing patterns of filmic perception and reception of the linguistic language of Europe.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2010
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- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
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