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Pierre Batcheff, the Surrealist Star

Powrie, PP and Rebillard, E (2008) Pierre Batcheff, the Surrealist Star Studies in French Cinema, 8 (2). 159 - 177. ISSN 1471-5880

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Pierre Batcheff was one of the foremost jeunes premiers of 1920s cinema. Unlike his fellow stars, he despised the commercial films he made, and engaged with the surrealists and their sympathizers, leading to his role as the Man in Un chien andalou in 1929. In this article, we argue that Batcheff's performance style, which more often than not involved distancing himself from the action and from his female screen partners, and his star persona as the exotic other, contributed to make him what might seem like a contradiction in terms: a surrealist star. We show how the ideological preoccupations of the surrealists at the end of the 1920s, whether in relation to literature (Breton), painting (Dalí), or cinema (Artaud), intersected with those of Batcheff, making him an exemplary uncanny object, as defined by Hal Foster's work on surrealism.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > School of Arts > Dance, Film and Theatre
Authors :
Date : 2008
Identification Number : 10.1386/sfc.8.2.159_1
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published as Powrie PP, Rebillard E (2008). Pierre Batcheff, the Surrealist Star. Studies in French Cinema 8(2):159-177. Copyright 2008 Intellect. Available on line at:,id=5639/
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 02 May 2012 09:34
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 19:09

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