The Red Years of Cahiers du cinema (1968-1973)

The Red Years of Cahiers du cinema (1968-1973)

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The uprising which shook France in May 1968 also had a revolutionary effect on the country's most prominent film journal. Under editors Jean-Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni, Cahiers du cinema embarked on a militant turn that would govern the journal's work over the next five years. Inspired by Marxist and psychoanalytic theory, the "red years" of Cahiers du cinema produced a theoretical outpouring that was seminal for the formation of film studies and is still of vital relevance for the contemporary audiovisual landscape.

The Red Years of Cahiers du Cinema (1968-1973) gives an overview of this period in the journal's history and its aftermath, combining biographical accounts of the critics who wrote for Cahiers in the post 1968 period with theoretical explorations of their key texts.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 880 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 50.8mm | 1,496.85g
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • English
  • 9463721010
  • 9789463721011
  • 1,819,688

Table of contents

Volume I: Ideology and Politics
A Note on Translations

Part I Theories of Ideology
1. "Cinema/Ideologie/Critique": An Epistemological Break?
2. Jean-Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni: Crossed Lives
3. Decalages: "Young Mr. Lincoln de John Ford"
4. "La Vicariance du Pouvoir" and the Battle of Othon
5. "Technique et Ideologie" by Jean-Louis Comolli
6. Afterlives of the Apparatus

Part II Engagements with Politics
7. The Radicalization of Cahiers: 1963-1969
8. Cahiers du cinema and the Rapprochement with the PCF: 1969-1971
9. Cahiers du cinema's Turn to Maoism: 1971-1973
10. Cahiers du cinema and Jean-Luc Godard
11. Cahiers du cinema in the "Post-gauchiste" Era: 1973-1981
12. Bernard Eisenschitz: Cinema, Communism and History
13. Jean-Louis Comolli: A Theoretical Practice of Political Cinema

Volume II: Aesthetics and Ontology

Part III Questions of Aesthetics
14. Encounters with Structuralism
15. Beyond Structuralism: Film Form and Ecriture
16. Re-reading Classical Cinema
17. The Defense and Critique of Cinematic Modernism
18. Encountering the World Through Cinema
19. The Film Aesthetics of Jacques Aumont
20. Two Cine-fils: Pascal Kane and Serge Daney

Part IV Encounters with Ontology
21. The Bazinian Legacy
22. Jean-Pierre Oudart and Suture
23. Realism and Psychoanalysis in Pierre Baudry
24. Partial Vision: The Theory and Filmmaking of Pascal Bonitzer
25. The Brain is the Screen: Cahiers du cinema and Gilles Deleuze
26. Film Ontology in the Age of "New" Media

Index of Names Cited
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Review quote

"Daniel Fairfax's book is an impressive work that casts new light on the history of Cahiers du cinema. Thanks to exhaustive archival research, Fairfax re-establishes the coherent yet complex trajectory of the journal. It is an exemplary study: the outcome of true dedication, astute critical sensibility and a great passion for film."
- Francesco Casetti, Yale University

"During its 'red years,' the core contributors to Cahiers du cinema rethought cinema in ways that have had lasting influence for contemporary film studies. This is an extraordinarily comprehensive work that not only yields a tremendous amount of information and theoretical nuance, but also offers new ways of understanding Cahiers in its Marxist phase."
- Philip Rosen, Brown University

Listen to author Daniel Fairfax in conversation with Annie Berke, the Film Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, on the New Books in Film podcast:
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About Daniel Fairfax

Daniel Fairfax is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the Goethe-Universitat Frankfurt and an editor of the online film journal Senses of Cinema.
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