Essay Writer

[Cinema History] [ed. BAZIN, André, LO DUCA, Joseph-Marie and DO

Cahiers Du Cinema

Paris: Les Editions De L'Etoile, 1951

Five issues. Uniform yellow photo-illustrated wrappers, lettered in black. Between 50 and 60 pp., profusely illustrated with b&w photographs throughout, advertisements at rear. A little light wear to corners and spines, spine glue detaching from contents in Nos. 4 and 5. L'Age Du Cinéma insert present in No. 4. A very nice set.


Since its inception more than sixty years ago, Cahiers Du Cinéma has been responsible for fundamental change in both the practice and the perception of cinema. Founded by film theorist and critic André Bazin in 1951, the magazine proudly laid out its manifesto from the outset, hailing cinema as an art form every bit as important as literature, music or painting, and according its practitioners the title of artist, not artiste. For sixty years it has championed the serious over the merely entertaining, the heroic failure over the safe success and, most importantly, a distinctive European voice over transatlantic homogeneity. The magazine's flavour is captured by its list of the 100 best films of all time, published in 2008. Citizen Kane and Night of the Hunter top a roll call otherwise dominated by European and World cinema, with an occasional nod to the likes of Howard Hawks and John Ford. It's quirkiness is characteristic of the magazine: there are the names you would expect to find (Bergman, Fellini, Dreyer) but the chosen films are surprising (Fanny and Alexander, Amarcord, and Gertrud are their respective entries).

Cahiers Du Cinema was at its most influential in the late 1950s, when the magazine became the official headquarters of the young directors of the French New Wave: Truffaut, Chabrol, Godard, Rohmer and Rivette. Socially, politically and intellectually engaged, these directors were the engine room of La Nouvelle Vague , a movement which set the future course not just of European cinema, but also that of the American indie movement of the 1970s, whose leading lights were weaned on the films promoted and popularised by Cahiers. Political infighting led to dark days for the magazine in the early 1970s -- movies and Maoism don't mix -- and the magazine has always had a tendency to disappear up its own cul from time to time. But its faults notwithstanding, Cahiers remains the most influential and respected film magazine ever published.

A lovely run of the first five issues of this magisterial publication -- the New Yorker of cinema.

Keywords: Andre BAZIN Joseph-Marie LO DUCA Jacques DONIOL-VALCROZE"


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