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Bazin, André (1918–58)

COLIN MACCABE


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


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André Bazin has some claim to be one of the most influential Western intellectuals of the twentieth century. The magazine that he founded, Cahiers du cinema , not only gave birth to the Nouvelle Vague – the single most important movement of post-war cinema – but also provided a vocabulary for talking about the cinema that continues to be used from Hollywood studios to experimental art schools. However, Bazin died at the early age of 40 in 1958 just before the 1960s explosion of Parisian theory, and for a generation his work, while always acknowledged as foundational for film studies, has often been treated as theoretically naive. However, in the past decade there has been a renewed surge of interest in Bazin and it is likely that in the twenty-first century his importance will continue to grow as the sophistication of his work, balancing technological, industrial, and formal analyses of film within the widest cultural and historical perspectives, becomes more and more evident. Bazin was a product of the French Third Republic for whom education was a state ideology, and after a youth spent in the French provinces Bazin came to Paris in 1938 as a student at the prestigious École Normale Superieure at St Cloud to train as a teacher. There is no doubt that Bazin always thought of himself first and foremost as a teacher, but his educational efforts took place completely outside the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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