International Symposium
Politics of Form,
Forms of Politics

Session 4: Language and Ontology Pierre Eugène, Dudley Andrew

Friday 5:00pm-7:00pm

Pierre Eugène (Université de Paris-Nanterre),
“Serge Daney from 1968 to 1972 : In and Out of the Cahiers du cinéma

May 68, which Daney spent in Paris, caused him a great shock, leading him to reconsider the ways of experiencing and thinking about cinema. Between 1968 et 1972, Serge Daney travelled widely, leaving France to visit India, Maghreb and Africa, long-distance trips which allowed him to escape from the social life of his fellow cinephiles and take some distance from the political debates of the era. During this period, his relationship to the Cahiers du cinéma (in which he is still not completely integrated) is rather complex. This can be appreciated in several articles written in this period, especially in two articles on Pasolini’s films Teorema (1968) and Porcile (1969), where Daney is in complete opposition to the others members of the Cahiers. This paper, focusing on Daney’s articles and private writings, intends to show the singularity and the liberty of the film theory invented by the Cahiers team burying themselves in structuralism and Marxism at this period (without eliding its excesses), and at the same time points out the disjunction felt by Daney in private toward this tabula rasa erasing his past cinephilia.

Pierre Eugène has a Phd in Cinema Studies from the University of Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens), where he completed a dissertation on the work and life of Serge Daney between 1962-1983. His research focuses mainly on French criticism and film aesthetics. He co-edited Jean-Claude Biette – appunti & contrappunti (De L’incidence, 2018) and assisted with the recent publication of André Bazin's complete writings (Écrits complets, Macula, 2018). He publishes regularly in Trafic and is preparing a book on the film Femmes femmes (Paul Vecchiali, 1974). He is currently programmer of the film section at the Festival of Art History (Fontainebleau), and also teaches cinema studies at the University of Paris-Nanterre.

Dudley Andrew (Yale University),
“The Persistence of Rohmer at Cahiers du cinema, 1968-1972” 

Under the editorship of Jean-Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni, Cahiers du cinéma notoriously renounced its roots toward the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s. Such a radical reorientation, in both senses of the word, jolted the journal and film studies,  as new ideas and concepts were pressed into service. But what was the cost? Let’s consider what was lost in severing relations with contemporaneous modernist cinema – particularly the work of former Cahiers stalwarts such as Eric Rohmer and Francois Truffaut.

Dudley Andrew is professor of Film and Comparative Literature at Yale. Biographer of André Bazin, he extends Bazin’s thought in What Cinema Is! (2011) and in the edited volume, Opening Bazin (2012). Working in aesthetics and cultural history, he has written books on French cinema and is preparing Encountering World Cinema, featuring European, African, and especially East Asian cinema. Andrew is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.