Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Film Studies


Dr. Janina Falkowska


This thesis represents an attempt to more clearly delineate current conceptions of a recent collection of transgressive films from France, here entitled the New French Extremity. Using the first three feature films from directors Bruno Dumont and Gaspar Noé as my central case studies, this research attempts to bring forth analyses of the Extremity’s transgressive nature as both mirroring the nation’s own transgressive cultural shifts, and as constituting the films’ central theme. One of the purposes of the thesis is also to decide on its status as a ‘movement’. This is completed by comparing its formation and development to past French movements and cycles, examining the Extremity in the greater context of the country’s socio-politics, as its previous movements were. Overall, the thesis seeks to explore present theories of affect, spectatorship, and transgressive cinema through a close examination of the New French Extremity’s formations, current developments, and future potentialities.