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

By Richard Abel

Those volumes study an important yet formerly missed second in French cultural heritage: the emergence of French movie idea and feedback sooner than the essays of Andr Bazin. Richard Abel has devised an organizational scheme of six approximately symmetrical classes that serve to "bite into" the discursive circulation of early French writing at the cinema. all the sessions is mentioned in a separate and vast ancient creation, with convincing explications of a few of the recommendations 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 transportable archive, those anthologies make to be had a wealthy collection of approximately 100 and fifty vital texts, such a lot of them by no means earlier than released in English.

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Extra info for French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology, 1907-1939. Volume 2: 1929-1939 (French Film Theory & Criticism)

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One, of course, was the Great pe~n. 37 Another even more significant historical force involved the seductive advances of fascism in Italy and, more tellingly, in Germany, as well as the opposite attraction of the alternative economic and political model of the Soviet Union. These lures led many intellectuals in France, according to Daniel-Rops, writing in La Grande Revue at the time, "to gravitate either toward the Communists or toward Action frarn;aise. "38 Or even further to the right of Action frarn;;aise--to the highly II PART ONE 1929-1934 disciplined Croix de feu (commanded by Colonel de la Rocque)3 9 or the circle of writers putting outje suis partout-for, as "a new form of revolt competitive with Marxism," Alice Kaplan writes, fascism constituted a kind of "radical chic" of the early 1930s.

111 But he quickly stepped back from this briefly sketched position (which seemed to subsume class interests within national ones) to advocate a less radical form of "populist film" that would merely document the ambiance of certain working-class quarters in Paris. 112 Here the manifestoes of Leon Lemonnier and Henri Poulaille, the leading proponents of a French populist and proletarian literature, as well as a series of inquiries that culminated in an important debate on proletarian literature sponsored by Henri Barbusse's Monde (December 1931), provided a crucial context and set of examples.

2 He was so vague about models, however, that his solution seemed extremely personal, based on his own unique position within the French film industry. 55 Another answer came from Henri Clerc, in a series of articles in Paris-Soir (August 1933), where he proposed the establishment of a state bank exclusively to underwrite the French film industry. 56 But the growing instability of the French state seemed to preclude such a solution, in almost everyone's eyes-see, for example, Moussinacno matter their ideological stance.

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