Opening Bazin: Postwar Film Theory and Its Afterlife
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With the full range of his voluminous writings finally viewable, André Bazin seems more deserving than ever to be considered the most influential of all writers on film. His brief career, 1943-58, helped bring about the leap from classical cinema to the modern art of Renoir, Welles, and neorealism. Founder of Cahiers du Cinéma, he encouraged the future New Wave directors to confront his telltale question, What is Cinema? This collection considers another vital question, Who is Bazin? In it, thirty three renowned film scholars--including de Baecque, Elsaesser, Gunning, and MacCabe--tackle Bazin's meaning for the 2st century. They have found in his writings unmistakable traces of Flaubert, Bergson, Breton, and Benjamin and they have pursued this vein to the gold mine of Deleuze and Derrida. They have probed and assessed his ideas on film history, style, and technique, measuring him against today's media regime, while measuring that regime against him. They have located the precious ore of his thought couched within striations of French postwar politics and culture, and they have revealed the unexpected effects of that thought on filmmakers and film culture on four continents. Open Bazin; you will find a treasure.
French and English anthologies brings us 204 pieces. The persistent student can locate some of these at the bookstore and all of them through diligent use of interlibrary loan. What would it be like to open up the lesser known of these articles to their history or to new interpretations? And what about the uncollected Bazin, the rests of the 2,600 pieces in the bibliography on Yale’s and Amien’s Web sites? What would it be like to open le tout Bazin, 90 percent of which has remained invisible and
découpage et son évolution,” L’Age Nouveau, 93 ( July 1955), 58–59. Bazin, “An Aesthetic of Reality: Cinematic Realism and the Italian School of the Liberation,” in What Is Cinema? vol. 2, trans. Hugh Gray (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), 30. Bazin commented on Rossellini’s Europe 51 in similar geological terms: “But Europe 51 has in a way passed beyond the social plane to flow into the zone of spiritual destiny.” “Si Zampano a une âme . . .,” in Guido Cincotti La Strada: Un Film
4, 277 (footnote 27): “Radio and film are changing not only the function of the professional actor but, equally, the function of those who, like the leaders, present themselves before these media. . . . This results in a new form of selection—selection before an apparatus—from which the star and the dictator emerge as victors.” 18. Patrice Rollet contends that Benjamin was “less concerned with the [destiny of the] traditional aura . . . than with this aura of substitution which denies the
Deleuze draws our attention to various passages in “The Evolution of the Language of Cinema,” those passages come from “Pour en finir avec la profondeur de champ” which have been examined in Cinema 1. This “reprise” involves a pure movement of emancipation, as with the commentary on the long shot in Le Crime de Monsieur Lange. The very nature of depth of field understood as “depth of image,” referring both to Bergson and Merleau-Ponty,38 is to show time in itself. From this stems the first direct
besoins de la cause, de ses rapports naturels avec des réalités contiguës.” In Bazin, Orson Welles , 60, “les réalités contiguës” replaces “des réalités contiguës.” In relation to such a cutting of reality, the metaphor of the boned chicken could bring to mind David Lynch’s Chicken Kit. 34. Bazin, Orson Welles , 86. Original: “l’impression d’une réalité continue et homogène.” We refer to the edited text in French because the English translation does not take into account the notion of