French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology, by Richard Abel

By Richard Abel

Those volumes learn an important yet formerly ignored second in French cultural heritage: the emergence of French movie conception and feedback earlier than the essays of André Bazin. Richard Abel has devised an organizational scheme of six approximately symmetrical classes that serve to "bite into" the discursive circulate of early French writing at the cinema. all the sessions is mentioned in a separate and wide ancient advent, with convincing explications of many of the innovations present on the time. In each one example, Abel is going directly to offer a complementary anthology of chosen texts in translation. Amounting to a conveyable archive, those anthologies make on hand a wealthy number of approximately 100 and fifty very important texts, such a lot of them by no means ahead of released in English.

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Extra resources for French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology, 1907-1939. Volume 1: 1907-1929 (French Film Theory & Criticism)

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22 The early observations of Gourmont, Anatole France, and Jules Claretie, for instance, are all strongly marked by this fascination, but even a celebrated conservative academician and literary critic such as Rene Doumic, who otherwise scorned the cinema, later fell under its power. '"4 Through the cinema's reproduction of reality, the significance of representation or description as a means to knowledge and identification-see especially Colette's review of The Scott Expedition (1914)--begins to emerge in new ways, ways that would later become crucial for Louis Delluc, Jean Epstein, and, eventually, Andre Bazin.

Whereas the legal differences between the two seem to have been resolved rather quickly, the aesthetic differences took a good deal of time to work out. Early on, Melies had located a significant difference between the cinema and the theater in the person of the filmmaker-"he must be the author {scriptwriter}, director, designer, and often an actor if he wants to obtain a unified whole"-but his essentially auteurist position seems to have fallen into disrepute along with his career. Instead, the most influential articulation of this difference came in Brisson's review of the first Film d'Art production, L'Assassinat du Due de Guise (1908).

Yhcam, "LaCinematographie," Cine-journal, 19I (20 April 1912), 36-37. I7. See, also, "Les Merveilles du cinematographe: Les diverses utilisations du cinema," Cinema-Revue, 3 (March 19I3), 72-75, and Dr. Toulouse, "Psychologie du cinema," Cinema-Revue, 3 (March 1913). 81-83-the latter reprinted from Le Figaro. Dr. Edouard Toulouse was director of a laboratory of experimental psychology in Paris and founder of the French state organization on mental hygiene. A similar spectrum of discourse modes most likely can be found in other countries as well during this period.

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