André Bazin's New Media
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André Bazin’s writings on cinema are among the most influential reflections on the medium ever written. Even so, his critical interests ranged widely and encompassed the “new media” of the 1950s, including television, 3D film, Cinerama, and CinemaScope. Fifty-seven of his reviews and essays addressing these new technologies—their artistic potential, social influence, and relationship to existing art forms—have been translated here for the first time in English with notes and an introduction by leading Bazin authority Dudley Andrew. These essays show Bazin’s astute approach to a range of visual media and the relevance of his critical thought to our own era of new media. An exciting companion to the essential What Is Cinema? volumes, André Bazin’s New Media is excellent for classroom use and vital for anyone interested in the history of media.
originality to the traditional arts or even to a major “modern” art like the cinema. Radiophonic “speciﬁcity” does not seem sufficient to be the foundation of a true art, as it only plays around the margins. It is at most a supplemental factor in the aesthetic perimeter of the traditional arts that are transmittable by sound. In other words, the importance of radio seems situated more on the level of the psychology or sociology of art than on that of formal aesthetics. It is true, nonetheless,
but nonetheless gracious, Catherine charms primarily by the intelligence that her beauty conveys. She has a bit of the “blue stocking” about her, which makes her perfect for presenting “intellectual” shows, such as those about bridge or chess. She is, if you will, a strong-headed woman, and if not the ideal spouse for the average French tele-viewer, for other reasons she is at least someone you could invite over to the house. The feelings that she inspires must include admiration from women and
particular, the reasons for the warning. So it would be up to the heads of families to decide what measures ought to be taken. And let’s also mention that there is no surer means of discrediting a form of censorship than by applying it without good reason and indiscriminately. NOTES From “Censeurs, sachez censurer,” Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 411 (1 December 1957). The French title puns on a French tongue twister, “Un chasseur sachant chasser est un bon chasseur.” 1. This 1954 ﬁlm by Claude
appearing in the nineteenth century. Aimed at mass culture, their paramount value must be measured far more by their social function than by their aesthetic achievement. Cinema, clearly the most potent art of the twentieth century, has an amazing capacity to capture, express, or process contemporary 6 / Introduction experience, even if, on the formal level, it could hardly be expected to reach the depth and signiﬁcance of its noble predecessors. No one should denigrate cinema if in its ﬁrst
television, this program, with only the slightest modiﬁcations, would constitute an excellent cinematic spectacle, and one can only eagerly hope that it will soon ﬁnd a cinematic audience, once the original documents are reproduced. This wish does not contradict the beginning of my article, Television and Cinema / 173 for no doubt the success of the enterprise would require the opportunity and conditions afforded by television. With its clear success, the program now represents a