Bazin at Work: Major Essays and Reviews From the Forties and Fifties

Bazin at Work: Major Essays and Reviews From the Forties and Fifties

by Andre Bazin
     
 

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Bazin's impact on film art, as theorist and critic, is considered to be greater than that of any single director, actor, or producer. He 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. Bazin at Work is the first English

Overview

Bazin's impact on film art, as theorist and critic, is considered to be greater than that of any single director, actor, or producer. He 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. Bazin at Work is the first English collection of disparate Bazin writings since the appearance of the second volume of What Is Cinema? in 1971. It includes work from Cahiers le cinema (which he founded and which is the most influential single critical periodical in the history of the cinema) and Esprit. He addresses filmmakers including Rossellini, Eisenstein, Pagnol, and Capra and well-known films including La Strada, Citizen Kane, Scarface, and The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite his tragically premature death from leukemia, Bazin (1918-1958) was one of the most fabulously intelligent film critics who ever penned a review. The author of major books already translated into English on Orson Wells, Jean Renoir and Chaplin, Bazin also wrote a definitive four-volume anthology in French, What Is Cinema? that was shaved down to two books in English translation 25 years ago. The outtakes make up part of the present book, and they are as fascinating as the rest of Bazin's work. Bazin offers close readings of directorial choices, on a shot-by-shot basis, writing like a great director who was fed up and decided to do criticism instead of films. Bazin somewhat ironically calls the director William Wyler, who made the luscious Bette Davis vehicle The Letter, a Jansenist, and proves equally astute on political matters: "Stalin came to convince himself of his own genius," he says, "by means of viewing Stalinist films." In a particularly brilliant insight, he compares Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1956 film about Picasso's creativity, The Mystery of Picasso, to the philosophy of Henri Bergson, both being obsessed with time and duration. A turgid but mercifully brief preface by translator Cardullo does not mar what is certainly one of the most brilliant and valuable books on film published this year, of interest to anyone passionate about the cinema. Whether the subject is the Cinemascope or Fellini, Marcel Pagnol or Ren Clment, Bazin is entirely admirable, and these texts are his immortality. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415900188
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
01/17/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

Meet the Author

Bert Cardullo is the film critic of The Hudson Review and Associate Professor of Drama at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has edited What Is Dramturgy? and Before His Eyes: Essays in Honor of Stanley Kauffmann.

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