My Gleanings

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sacha Guitry and Marcel Pagnol honors Cahiers du Cinema 12/65

Cahiers du Cinema in its December 1965 issue paid tribute to Sacha Guitry and Marcel Pagnol. What follows is a translation of the introduction to that celebration.

Sacha Guitry and Marcel Pagnol, filmmakers in spite of themselves?

To pay homage to Sacha Guitry and Marcel Pagnol, as two genuine filmmakers, and nothing less, does not go without paradox and challenge. The paradox applies obviously since both men are men of the theater before, pre-eminently, before being filmmakers. And more so, since they consider cinema as an intermediary, an intermediary at the service of the global art of drama. Thus, they are filmmakers a little bit in spite of themselves. What is admirable is that while taking cinema as nothing more than a medium, at a time when everyone had eyes only for the image and looked for the specificity of cinema only in the plastic, they served it as much through their films which begin precisely where theater ends. The exemplary is that passing beyond rules, conventions and techniques, they have invented a new language (and there lies the challenge) where the New Wave, as much as they do in the Americans, Renoir and Cocteau, should find its reason to be. (page 22-23 my translation)

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