Thousand Screenplays. The french imagination in a time of crisis

Thousand Screenplays. The french imagination in a time of crisis

Sabine Chalvon-Demersay
Chicago,  Chicago University Press, 1999,  199 p.

In 1991, French public television held an amateur screenwriting contest. When Sabine Chalvon-Demersay, a french sociologist, examined the roughly 1.000 entries, she had hoped to analyze their differences. What she found, however, surprised her. Even though the entrants covered nearly every social demographic, their screenplays presented similar characters in similar situation confronting similar problems.

Although the contestants wrote about life in France, their concerns and struggles have a distinctly universal ring. A lucid, witty writer, Chalvon-Demersay offers a clear, if still developing, photograph of the contemporary imagination.

“In this intriguing study, Sabine Chalvon-Demersay analyzes French screenplays written by a variety of people — grandmothers, surgeons, immigrants, Parisians, people from the provinces, writers, amateurs — and finds that they all write of a dark and pessimistic world in which nothing works right, nothing can be achieved, friendship and love are impossible, and the self is fragmented and tormented.The problems of the characters are, she argues, depicted as problems of the crisis of the whole society. She lays this out in great detail, with many fascinating quotes from the screenplays. Written with wit and keen sociological insight, A Thousand Screenplays presents a surprising diagnosis of contemporary society.”

Howard S. Becker, University of Washington


“This beautifully written book is an excellent example of intelligent and creative sociology. Drawing on Geertz, Sabine Chalvon-Demersay dissects these screenplays as templates of the cultural landscape of French society, focusing on problems faced by protagonists and the temporal and spatial dimensions in which they are located. A Thousand Screenplays provides a vivid illustration of how texts can shed light on the ways in which individuals conceptualize the changing social world that surrounds them.”

Michèle Lamont, Princeton University


flux rss  Actualités

Monothéisme et politeia

Colloque - Vendredi 16 mars 2018 - 09:30Monothéisme et politeiaLe Dieu-Un, l’ordre politique, la vie collective 16-17 mars 2018Organisation : Fethi Benslama – Julia Christ – Anoush GanjipourInstitut Humanités, Sciences et Sociétés [Université Paris Diderot] - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d’étu (...)(...)

Lire la suite

Penser le soin à travers ses tensions

Colloque - Vendredi 09 mars 2018 - 09:00Le soin est aujourd’hui un thème fédérateur de divers enjeux (médical, environnemental, parental, amical, politique, climatique) qui ont pour point commun de chercher à prendre en charge la fragilité de la vie. Ainsi que l’ont montré les éthiques du care, (...)(...)

Lire la suite

Call for abstract : Financialization and development policies : Critical perspectives on new financial circuits for international development projects

Appel recherche - Mardi 06 mars 2018 - 17:00Call for abstract for an academic conference on financialization and international development in Hamburg, Germany.Financialization and development policies : Critical perspectives on new financial circuits for international development projects.A conf (...)(...)

Lire la suite

Plus d'actualités

Centre d'étude des mouvements sociaux – Institut Marcel Mauss


54 Boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris
Tel.: +33 (0)1 49 54 25 95
        +33 (0)1 49 54 25 82
Fax: +33 (0)1 49 54 26 70