Cahiers du cinéma
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "It has been said that Cahiers du cinéma is the most influential French film magazine. While I do not wish to contradict this, Jahsonic readers may find the equally French film magazine Midi Minuit Fantastique more entertaining." --Sholem Stein
Cahiers du cinéma is an influential French film magazine founded in 1951 by André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. It developed from the earlier magazine Revue du Cinéma and involved members of two Paris film clubs — Objectif 49 (Robert Bresson, Jean Cocteau and Alexandre Astruc, among others) and Ciné-Club du Quartier Latin. Initially edited by Éric Rohmer (aka, Maurice Scherer), it included amongst its writers Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and François Truffaut.
Cahiers re-invented the basic tenets of film criticism and theory. A 1954 article by Truffaut attacked La qualité française (the "Tradition of Quality") and formed the manifesto for the auteur theory — resulting in the reevaluation of Hollywood films and directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Robert Aldrich, Nicholas Ray, Fritz Lang, and Anthony Mann. Cahiers authors also championed the work of directors Jean Renoir, Roberto Rossellini, Kenji Mizoguchi, Max Ophüls, and Jean Cocteau and often centered their evaluations on a film's mise en scène. The magazine was also essential to the creation of the Nouvelle Vague, or New Wave, of French cinema, which centered on films directed by Cahiers authors such as Godard and Truffaut.
The replacement as editor of Rohmer by Jacques Rivette in 1963 signalled a shift to political and social concerns as well as responding more to non-Hollywood films. The style moved through literary modernism in the early 1960s to radicalism and dialectical materialism by 1970. Moreover, during the mid-70s the magazine was run by a Maoist collective. A return to more commercial perspectives in the late 1970s was marked by a review of Jaws and a turnover of editors (Serge Daney, Serge Toubiana, Thierry Jousse, Antoine de Baecque, and Charles Tesson). It led to the rehabilitation of some of the old Cahiers favourites, as well as some new names like Manoel de Oliveira, Raoul Ruiz, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Youssef Chahine, and Maurice Pialat. Recent writers have included Serge Daney, Serge Toubiana, Thierry Jousse, Antoine de Baecque, Vincent Ostria, Charles Tesson and Franck Nouchi, Andre Téchiné, Léos Carax, Olivier Assayas, Danièle Dubroux, and Serge Le Péron.
In 1998, the Editions de l'Etoile (the company publishing Cahiers) was acquired by the press group Le Monde.