Synopses & Reviews
Cahiers du cinma, the French film journal founded in 1951, had a cataclysmic influence on film-making and writing. The story of its genesis and subsequent life-cycle resonates with critics, practitioners and the film-going public, but a substantial history of the journal, a succinct account from start to finish, has not existed in any language up until now.
Cahiers can claim to having established film as the 'seventh art", equal to literature, painting or music, while previously it had been regarded merely as mass entertainment, or a vehicle for literary adaptations. The critics first involved with the journal'"Jean-Luc Godard, Franois Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol'"used the pen as their weapon in a battle that should be understood as the last great modernist project.
The history of Cahiersbrings into focus new questions concerning the relation between film and criticism, not only outlining Bickerton"s response but also including short portraits on contemporary filmmakers to match. A Short History of Cahiers du Cinmawill be a testimony to this critical outlook, and a rallying call for such an approach today.
"It was 'the last modernist project', Emilie Bickerton says in this deft account of the real life and virtual death of Cahiers du cinema. The cinema itself lived and died in its pages, and it would be hard to imagine a better brief guide to the magazine's positions and polemics than this intelligent and sharply focused book." Michael Wood
"Has many of the ingredients of a good thriller ... Emilie Bickerton's alert prose manages to convey the drama and passionate confrontation of ideas, and she shows a keen eye for revealing detail." London Review of Books
"Valuable and highly informative." Philip French
"The French New Wave directors all came from Cahiers du Cinéma, a magazine that turned film criticism upside down in the 1950s. The salvos of its sagacity are finely charted by Bickerton, who also laments the recent slide into dumbed-down mediocrity." The Observer
"What I love is Bickerton's certainty and courage ... Bickerton does a well-told, thoroughly researched job." Nigel Andrews Financial Times - Books of the Year
"Compelling ... a reminder that contemporary film criticism could do with being more unapologetically clever--more ingenious, more argumentative, more French." Nick James Sight & Sound
Cahiers du Cinéma
was the single most influential project in the history of film. Founded in 1951, it was responsible for establishing film as the ‘seventh art,’ equal to literature, painting or music, and it revolutionized film-making and writing. Its contributors would put their words into action: the likes of Godard, Truffaut, Rivette, Rohmer were to become some of the greatest directors of the age, their films part of the internationally celebrated nouvelle vague
In this authoritative new history, Emilie Bickerton explores the evolution and impact of Cahiers du Cinéma, from its early years, to its late-sixties radicalization, its internationalization, and its response to the television age of the seventies and eighties. Showing how the story of Cahiers continues to resonate with critics, practitioners and the film-going public, A Short History of Cahiers du Cinéma is a testimony to the extraordinary legacy and archive these ‘collected pages of a notebook’ have provided for the world of cinema.
An unique account of cinema's most influential journal.
About the Author
Emilie Bickerton is Assistant Editor for New Left Review. She writes on film, literature and anthropology for a variety of UK and US publications. She lives in London.