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‘France’: An Aware Reflection of the Artificial Media

Léa Seydoux hits stunning emotions in Dumont's uneven critique of image.

By MovieBabblePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Kino Lorber

The media is composed of a large segment of our contemporary society, being the main channel of collective mass communication. The media consists of broadcasting, publishing, and the internet, which includes, but is not limited to, print media (newspapers), cinema, broadcasting (television and radio), the news (journalists and news outlets), digital media (social media), photography, and advertising. But what is the role of the media?

The media exists to inform, persuade, entertain, and transmit culture. Much like how traditional mass communication functioned to provide surveillance, correlation, cultural transmission, and entertainment, contemporary media operates with relevant functions, similarly being the foundational base of our interconnectivity in our current societal landscape.

In France, Léa Seydoux plays the titular celebrity journalist, France de Meurs, an animated and zealous reporter who juggles a busy and famed career in the spotlight, with the private intimacies of her own complicated personal life outside the limelight as a prominent and famous reporter, journalist, and celebrity. France’s life is engulfed by her career, she is constantly occupied by her field of work in having her own journalistic television show.

An inherent cause of her complicated and muddled personal life, it is obvious that the frenzy and the weight of her fame bear heavily on her personal relationships. Scenes of her spending time with her distant husband and child always seem to feel like a distraction, because they are weighted with France’s obsession with her job, which takes time away from her personal relationships, even when she is off the job with her family or her friends.

The weight of her role as a journalist also casts a specious light on her life, as her joyful, upbeat figure in the public as a celebrity journalist is continuously contrasted to her unhappy, desolate persona in private within the company of her family or just herself, emitting a dubious façade over her life, that plays into the core themes of artificiality, disguising and packaging that Dumont explores with the contemporary media and its altered reality. Her silhouette in the media world as a celebrity reporter casts its own shadows in engulfing her private life, with the status of her job always defining who she is — even among private company and those closest to her — and where her priorities lie, in her constant prioritizing of her famed job.

In portraying her personal life and relationships as persistently being overshadowed by her fame, a parallel is formed between France’s private life and her show. Segments shown of her show include coverage of reporting on wars in the Middle East, but even these journalistic reports are translated and packaged into entertainment through heavy edits and stylization, capturing harrowing events such as war and recycling it through a privileged and synthetic filter that converts journalistic coverage of these events into pure entertainment for the French public to consume like content.

Her journalism show is clearly and continuously exhibited to be more of entertainment than journalism in how heavily altered and artificially manufactured it is, coincidentally, similar to her personal life and relationships, which through Dumont’s lens of being eclipsed by the demands of France’s stardom career, is constantly portrayed as feeling artificial in how distant France is from her husband and child, as they are similarly distant to her. France is initially captured in a shallow way to convey that the titular journalist is alienated in a modified artificial media world of her own, stuck in a simulated, prideful rapture of her own career and heavily transformed channel of communication with her show.



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