My Gleanings

Thursday, September 20, 2007

François Vinneuil at Cahiers

François Vinneuil was the pseudonym which the novelist Lucien Rebatet used to write film criticism. Vinneuil was one of the most important film critics of the 1930s. After the Liberation in 1945, he was sentenced to death as a collaborationist. That sentence was quickly commuted to life and he was released from prison after serving eight years. Much is sometimes made of his relationship with Cahiers du Cinema in the 1950s. That relationship, though, when examined includes a great irony. From the inception of the conseil des dix feature in late 1955 until the middle of 1957, Cahiers would often place notes between the conseil des dix tableau informing readers that critics and other people associated with film beyond than that months "ten" counseled certain films. There are four occasions when Vinneuil's name appears below the conseil tableau.

In April 56, a note informed readers that Roberto Rossellini's L'Amore had "conquered the hearts"of 15 critics including Vinneuil.

In June 56, Vinneuil was one among 10 who "counsel" seeing The Man with the Golden Arm.

In Dec 56 17 critics including François Vinneuil (the imprisoned ex-collaborationist) "recommend you not miss" Robert Bresson's A Man Escaped the story of a real-life Resistance fighter who broke out of Montluc prison while he was under sentence of death.

And finally (and a little ironically also), in Jun 57, Vinneuil is one of 5 "ardent defenders" of The Wrong Man.