Antoine de Baecque proposes a new historiography of cinema, exploring film as a visual archive of the twentieth century, as well as history's imprint on the cinematic image. Whether portraying events that occurred in the past or stories unfolding before their eyes, certain twentieth-century filmmakers used a particular mise-en-scène to give form to history, becoming in the process historians themselves. Historical events, in turn, irrupted into cinema. This double movement, which de Baecque terms the "cinematographic form of history," disrupts the very material of film, much like historical events disturb the narrative of human progress.
De Baecque defines, locates, and interprets cinematographic forms in seven distinct bodies of cinema: 1950s modern cinema and its conjuring of the morbid trauma of war; French New Wave and its style, which became the negative imprint of the malaise felt by young contemporaries of the Algerian War; post-Communist Russian films, or the "de-modern" works of catastroika; contemporary Hollywood films that attach themselves to the master fiction of 9/11; the characteristic mise en forme of filmmaker Sacha Guitry, who, in Si Versailles m'était conté (1954), filmed French history from inside its chateau; the work of Jean-Luc Godard, who evoked history through his own museum memory of the twentieth century; and the achievements of Peter Watkins, the British filmmaker who reported on history like a war correspondent. De Baecque's introduction clearly lays out his theoretical framework, a profoundly brilliant conceptualization of the many ways cinema and history relate.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Series:||European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism|
|Product dimensions:||7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Antoine de Baecque is a literary historian and film critic. His books in English include Truffaut: A Biography, The Body Politics: Corporeal Metaphor in Revolutionary France, 1770-1800, Glory and Terror, and A History of Democracy in Europe. He has served as editor in chief of culture at the newspaper Liberation and as publisher of the publishing house, Les Editions Complexes.
Ninon Vinsonneau teaches American civilization and culture at École Centrale Paris.
Jonathan Magidoff is professor of English at Sciences Po, Paris.
Table of Contents
An eclectic portrait of cinema highlighting its intrinsic relationship with history.
What People are Saying About This
Antoine de Baecque is one of the most interesting and original historians writing today, as fluent in historical method as he is in semiotics and film history. This book is breathtaking in its scope, remarkable in its command of multiple cinematic traditions, and complex and thought-provoking in its arguments. The book ranges widely, treating everything from Chaplin films to middle-brow historical epics, from the politics of the French New Wave to the newest wave of Russian films made after the fall of Communism. The field of cinema and history is just opening up. No book has taken on as many different aspects of the relationship with such aplomb, verve, and insight. A landmark in the field.
Camera Historica marks a new stage in thinking about the relationship between cinema (as art) and history (as both real and narrative). Going beyond the classic 'histories of cinema,' this book reveals what cinema makes of history, its way of making history visible, and of allowing us to judge it.