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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


6. HUMANITIES, Specific languages, Arts, Studies on Film


Although generally relegated by present-day historians to the footnotes of film history, Belgian director Jacques Feyder (1885–1948) strove to elevate the artistic standards of French film production throughout the 1920s and 1930s. His departure for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios on the cusp of the transition to sound in France was viewed as a crisis, and his return was hailed as an event. Drawing on contemporary periodicals, this article answers two fundamental questions: Why did France's leading am bassador leave his adoptive homeland? And what factors motivated his return to France despite the country's notoriously anarchic mode of production? Core concerns include Feyder's experience of censorship in France during the 1920s, the impact of the French economy on filmmaking conditions, including sound technology, and Feyder's desire to direct 1940, an ultimately aborted French project, while under contract to MGM.