Cahiers du Cinéma


“The first issue of Cahiers du Cinéma was dated April 1951 and featured on its cover a black-and-white still of Gloria Swanson, bathed in the beam of an unseen movie projector, from Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard. The choice seems ironic now, given that neither Wilder nor the silent cinema as embodied by Swanson remained a Cahiers favorite for very long. Though Wilder was much admired by the magazine’s founders—Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Lo Duca, and André Bazin—his work was typed as too literary by the generation of ‘Jeunes Turcs’ who quickly took over the magazine. Under the leadership of one Maurice Schérer, who became better known under his pseudonym, Eric Rohmer, the group included François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, and Jean-Luc Godard—the core of the movement that, when these young writers re-invented themselves as filmmakers, became known as the Nouvelle Vague. No doubt, it was the instant notoriety and almost universal acclaim that greeted the New Wave filmmakers as each, in turn, made their debut features in the late Fifties that cemented the magazine’s reputation. Cahiers became known as an almost mythical breeding ground for new talent, a reputation that extended far beyond the directors of the New Wave to include such contemporary talents as André Téchiné, Leos Carax, and Olivier Assayas, all of whom first ventured into print as Cahiers critics. But the magazine’s lasting impact is due less to the talent it bred than the ideas it hatched and successfully implanted in film culture. Though there were many other French publications of importance at the time, including most conspicuously Positif and Presence du cinéma, it was the polemic launched and sustained by Cahiers that was responsible for installing many of the basic concepts of postwar film criticism. The revolution came in stages, all of which are documented with detail and passion in Antoine de Baecque’s two-volume Les Cahiers du Cinéma: Histoire d’une revue, published for the magazine’s 40th anniversary in 1991. …”
Cahiers Back in the Day
Guardian: A Short History of Cahiers du cinéma
LA Review – Binge and Purge: The Rise of Extreme Film Criticism
W – Cahiers du Cinéma, W – Cahiers du cinéma‘s Annual Top 10 Lists
amazon: Cahiers du Cinéma: The 1950s: Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave, Cahiers du Cinéma: The 1960s (1960–1968): New Wave, New Cinema, Reevaluating Hollywood, Cahiers du Cinéma, 1969-1972: The Politics of Representation

Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard at the Cahiers offices in 1959

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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