American Cinema from Early Chaplin to the Late 1950s
Author: R. J. Cardullo
"André Bazin (1918–58) is credited with almost single-handedly establishing the study of film as an accepted intellectual pursuit, as well as with being the spiritual father of the French New Wave. Among those who came under his tutelage were four who would go on to become the most renowned directors of the postwar French cinema: François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, and Claude Chabrol. Bazin can also be considered the principal instigator of the equally influential auteur theory: the idea that, since film is an art form, the director of a movie must be perceived as the chief creator of its unique cinematic style.André Bazin, the Critic as Thinker: American Cinema from Early Chaplin to the Late 1950s contains, for the first time in English in one volume, much if not all of Bazin’s writings on American cinema: on directors such as Orson Welles, Charles Chaplin, Preston Sturges, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, John Huston, Nicholas Ray, Erich von Stroheim, and Elia Kazan; and on films such as High Noon, Citizen Kane, Rear Window, Limelight, Scarface, Niagara, The Red Badge of Courage, Greed, and Sullivan’s Travels.André Bazin, the Critic as Thinker: American Cinema from Early Chaplin to the Late 1950s also features a sizable scholarly apparatus, including a contextual introduction to Bazin’s life and work, a complete bibliography of Bazin’s writings on American cinema, and credits of the films discussed. This volume thus represents a major contribution to the still growing academic discipline of cinema studies, as well as a testament to the continuing influence of one of the world’s pre-eminent critical thinkers."
André Bazin is renowned for almost single-handedly establishing the study of film as an accepted intellectual pursuit, as well as for being the spiritual father of the French New Wave. In 1951 he cofounded and became editor-in-chief of Cahiers du cinéma, the most influential critical periodical in the history of cinema. Four of the film critics whom he mentored at the magazine later became the most acclaimed directors of the postwar French cinema—François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, and Claude Chabrol. Bazin is also considered the principal instigator of the influential auteur theory—the idea that, since film is an art form, the director of a movie must be perceived as the chief creator of its unique cinematic style. Bazin wrote some 2,600 articles and reviews, only about 150 of which are accessible in anthologies or edited collections. Bazin on Global Cinema, 1948–1958 offers English-language readers much of his writing on Asian cinema; previously untranslated essays on James Dean, the star system, political engagement and the cinema, and film criticism itself; and several reviews of film books, as well as reviews of notable American, British, and European movies, such as Johnny Guitar, High Noon, Umberto D., Hamlet, Kanal, and Le jour se lève (Daybreak). The book also features a contextual introduction to Bazin's life and work, the first comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Bazin, credits of all the films he discusses in this book, and an extensive index.
Rewriting Wrongs: French Crime Fiction and the Palimpsest furthers scholarly research into French crime fiction and, within that broad context, examines the nature, functions and specificity of the palimpsest. Originally a palaeographic phenomenon, the palimpsest has evolved into a figurative notion used to define any cultural artefact which has been reused but still bears traces of its earlier form. In her 2007 study The Palimpsest, Sarah Dillon refers to “the persistent fascination with palimpsests in the popular imagination, embodying as they do the mystery of the secret, the miracle of resurrection and the thrill of detective discovery”. In the context of crime fiction, the palimpsest is a particularly fertile metaphor. Because the practice of rewriting is so central to popular fiction as a whole, crime fiction is replete with hypertextual transformations. The palimpsest also has tremendous extra-diegetic resonance, in that crime fiction frequently involves the rewriting of criminal or historical events and scandals. This collection of essays therefore exemplifies and interrogates the various manifestations and implications of the palimpsest in French crime fiction.
"Francois Truffaut didn't have time to tell his life story . . . but 12 years after his death, his wish to do so has been granted with the publication of this remarkable book".--"Le Figaro". 29 photos.