Bazin on Global Cinema : 1948-1958
André Bazin is renowned for almost single-handedly establishing the study of film as an accepted intellectual pursuit, as well as for being the spiritual father of the French New Wave. In 1951 he cofounded and became editor-in-chief of Cahiers du cinéma, the most influential critical periodical in the history of cinema. Four of the film critics whom he mentored at the magazine later became the most acclaimed directors of the postwar French cinema—François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, and Claude Chabrol. Bazin is also considered the principal instigator of the influential auteur theory—the idea that, since film is an art form, the director of a movie must be perceived as the chief creator of its unique cinematic style.
Bazin wrote some 2,600 articles and reviews, only about 150 of which are accessible in anthologies or edited collections. Bazin on Global Cinema, 1948–1958 offers English-language readers much of his writing on Asian cinema; previously untranslated essays on James Dean, the star system, political engagement and the cinema, and film criticism itself; and several reviews of film books, as well as reviews of notable American, British, and European movies, such as Johnny Guitar, High Noon, Umberto D., Hamlet, Kanal, and Le jour se lève (Daybreak). The book also features a contextual introduction to Bazin's life and work, the first comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Bazin, credits of all the films he discusses in this book, and an extensive index.