Post-War French Film Culture and the Evolution of the Auteur Theory

André Bazin (1918-1958)

Film critic, editor of Cahiers du Cinéma, co-founded with Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Lo Duca in 1951 (first issue, 1952).

Andre Bazin Bazin, putting on his coat
Sources:Dan North, Spectacular Attractions (left); La Bibliothèque du film, "À propos d' 'Ouvrir Bazin'" (right).

First issue of Cahiers (March 1952), featuring Sunset Boulevard.

Cahiers du Cinema coverCahiers du cinema, February 1955.Cahiers du Cinema coversCahiers du Cinema cover, issue #91
Cahiers issue #91 (January 1959) featured a tribute to Bazin, who had died two months earlier.
Source (issue #91): La Bibliothèque du film, "À propos d' 'Ouvrir Bazin'".

"Martin Scorsese", on The Simpsons, comments on Bazin and auteurism (and mispronounces his name)

The Simpsons on Bazin
Source: "Angry Dad: The Movie," The Simpsons (Season 22 : Ep. 14).

Qu'est-ce que le cinéma? (What is Cinema?)

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"Ontologie de l'image photographique" is the first article in volume 1 (Éditions du cerf, 1958).

Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard in Cahiers du cinéma offices, 1959.

Cahiers du Cinéma, François Truffaut, and la politique des auteurs

"Une Certaine Tendance du Cinéma Français"

"Une Certaine Tendance du Cinéma Français," in its original; a French transcription from Les pages de Nezumi (local copy); "A Certain Tendancy in the French Cinema," in English translation.

Source of Cahiers cover: Revista Interludio.

"Ali Baba et la 'Politique des auteurs'"

A review of Jacques Becker's film, Ali Baba et les 40 voleurs (Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, 1954).

Continued: page 46, page 47.

Henri Langlois (1914-1977)

Established Cinémathèque Française in 1936.

LangloisLanglois, with film
Source: Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinémathèque.

His firing from the Cinémathèque Française in 1968 provoked riots.

Langlois Langlois

Langlois (center), with Darryl Zanuck,
Otto Preminger, Gloria Swanson

Langlois with Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper and Langlois (July 13 1976)

Alexandre Astruc (1923-)

Alexandre Astruc /

Alexandre Astruc
Source: A Certain Cinema

"The Birth of a New Avant-Garde: La caméra-stylo" (L'Ecran Français, 1948)

1954 Louis Delluc Award Dinner

Delluc Award Dinner 1954

Seated: Jean Renoir, Henri-Georges Clouzot (winner for Les Diaboliques) and André Malraux. Standing: Jacques Tati, Jacques Becker, Robert Bresson, G. Masso, Alexandre Astruc and Noël-Noël. Source: A Certain Cinema.

Andrew Sarris


Andrew Sarris
Source: Senses of Cinema

"Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962," Film Culture 27, no. 27 (Winter 1962/63), 1-8.

Film Culture Film Culture table of contents
Source: Robert Polito, "Farber on Film: Introduction, Part 2 (Farber and Negative Space)"

The American Cinema cover

Auteurism's defining moment

Pauline Kael's response

Pauline Kael
Source: Alex Belth, "Million Dollar Movie," Bronx Banter.

"Circles and Squares," on JSTOR or local copy (password protected).

Peter Wollen


Peter Wollen
Source: "U of M Students Respond to Riddles of the Sphinx"

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  1. John Lynch, "André Bazin: An Unofficial Tribute to The World-Renowned Film Critic and Film Theorist,"
  2. "Langlois Monumental," .

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Original material copyright © 1994-2023 Jeremy G. Butler.
Last revised: 11 February 2020 20:45:59