Volume 8, Issue 5, Summer 2018

A Word from the Editor

In this last issue of the academic year, three films depict three moments in French and World history. In the Buzz Jonathan Beecher explains why Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx is relevant to today’s public. The film is set in the mid-1840s when Marx and Engels began to collaborate on a revolutionary project and met in various places of exile (Paris, Brussels, and London), culminating in the publication of The Communist Manifesto in 1848. Despite obstacles to transplanting intellectual struggles to film, Beecher deems that Peck has done a highly convincing job.

In Maybe Missed, Hunter Capps examines Robin Campillo’s outstanding recreation of the Paris ACT UP movement in his film 120 battements par minute/BPM [Beats Per Minute]. Set in 1992, the movie addresses the French government’s and pharmaceutical companies’ lack of urgency in handling the AIDS crisis. It is told through stories of those severely affected by the virus and their caretakers, but more importantly through the collective discussions and actions of a small movement determined to make a difference.

Howard Brown enthuses about the new version of Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927) produced by the British Film Institute. The five and a half hours of film (on 4 DVDs) include new footage painstakingly assembled by Kevin Brownlow and are enriched by a new score from Carl Davis. We get more about the common soldier, more about family life, and the spectacular juxtapositions and battle scenes are even more impressive.

Have a good summer!

Liana Vardi

University at Buffalo, SUNY

 

Table of Contents

The Buzz

Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx, by Jonathan Beecher

Maybe Missed

A Small Movement With a Big Agenda: Robin Campillo’s BPM, by V. Hunter Capps

Classics in the Classroom

A Napoleon for the Digital Age, by Howard G. Brown

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