My Gleanings

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cahiers du Cinema on "young" cinema -- December 1958

The December 1958 issue of Cahiers du Cinema was partly dedicated to "young" cinema. When that issue hit the news-stands, François Truffaut was finishing up the filming of The Four Hundred Blows as was Alain Resnais with Hiroshima, mon amour; Claude Chabrol's Le Beau Serge was about to be released. That issue, if you have not checked out the table of contents page included material from these listed films as well as an introduction which I have provided a translation for:

Alexander Astruc -- Une Vie
Louis Malle and Louise Vilmorin -- Les Amants
Chris Marker -- Lettre de Sibérie
Jean Rouch -- Treichville
Claude Chabrol and Paul Gégauff -- Les Cousins
Jacques Rivette and Jean Gruault -- Paris nous appartient
Pierre Kast -- Le Bel âge
Norbert Carbonnaux -- Je vous salue Freddy
François Truffaut and Marcel Moussy -- Les Quatre cents coups

In cinema in France, the fashion is youth. What yesterday was a hindrance is today a favorable circumstance. A redressment is becoming apparent which we have always called our vow; but it is not enough to be twenty-five years old to have talent, and youthfulness is not necessarily a question of age. These filmmakers which we have grouped under the same heading have an average age which turns around the number thirty, but this unifies them less than a certain fashion of making films which distances them from the traditional fashion of doing it. This new manner itself cloaks a great diversity of styles, forms and subjects. You will realize this in reading the texts which follow. Our proposition, here and now, is not to critique. It is rather to give the "it" of this new cinema by publishing a few selections from screenplays, some dialogue exchanges, some adaptation. We have not been able to be exhaustive: Alain Resnais wanted nothing revealed for the time being of Hiroshima, mon amour; Vadim hasn't yet finished the adaptation of his Liasons dangerouses; from the first feature of François Reichenbach and the second of Claude Bernard-Aubert we can only show images of the work; concerning La Tête contre les murs, which Georges Franju has just finished, we can only publish a forward. Let us also indicate that we have deliberately separated out the short films, an unfailing source of promise and talent: we will return there in speaking of the Festival of Tours.
(page 34)