My Gleanings

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

In 1963, Cahiers du Cinema co-founder and former co-editor Jacques Doniol-Valcroze played the starring role in novelist and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet's L'Immortelle. What follows is the beginning of the review of that film in the May 1963 issue of Cahiers in which J D-V who now only on rare occasion wrote for Cahiers explains how it happens that he is reviewing a film which he starred in.

That I am writing here about L'Immortelle is not beyond a certain indecorum. I realize that perfectly. So, I owe the reader an explanation. It is simple. No member of the staff at Cahiers, presently, agreed to take pen in hand other than to summarize the general opinion at Cahiers as Rohmer had gently forewarned me. "They seem to have mixed in some reels of Benazeraf's during the editing." The old rule at Cahiers that it is the one who likes the film who speaks of it, in preference to the one who did not like it should be sufficient reason since I am the only one for.
Cahiers du Cinema, May 1963, page 54 (my translation)

In May 1963's conseil des dix, among Cahiers regulars, the film was bulleted by Jacques Rivette and Jean Douchet while Doniol-Valcroze gave the film 3 stars. The non-Cahiers critics who participated on that panel ran the gamut in their assessments of the film: Claude Mauriac gave the film 4 stars, Jean-Louis Bory gave it 3 stars, Georges Sadoul 2 stars, Henri Agel and Bernard Dort both gave it 1 star while Michel Aubriant and Pierre Marcabru each bulleted the film.

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