Download What Is Cinema? Vol. 1 PDF

TitleWhat Is Cinema? Vol. 1
PublisherUniversity of California Press
ISBN 139780520242272
CategoryArts - Film
Author
Languagefrench
File Size20.2 MB
Total Pages206
Table of Contents
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Document Text Contents
Page 103

What Is Cinema?
think of a burlesque like Onesime et Ie beau voyage-where an

obstinate determination to proceed in spite of the most ludicrous

obstacles , with a not too clearly explained sort of honeymoon trip
which ceases to make any sense after certain early mishaps , borders
on a kind of metaphysical insanity, a delirium of the will, a cancer­
ous regeneration of action from out of itself against all reason.

Has one even the right here to use the terminology of the psy­

chologist and speak of will? The majority of these burlesques are an
endlessly protracted expression of something that cries from within

the character. They are a kind of phenomenology of obstinacy. The
domestic Boireau will continue to do the housework till the house
collapses in ruins . Onesime, the migratory spouse, will continue on
hi s honeymoon trip to the point of embarking ,for the horizon in his
wicker trunk. The action here no longer calls for · plot, episodes,
repercussions , misunderstandings, or sudden reversals . It unfolds
implacably to the point at which it destroys itself. It proceeds un­
swervingly towards a kind of rudimentary catharsis of catastrophe
like a small child recklessly inflating a rubber balloon to the point
where it explodes in his face-to our relief and possibly to his .

For the rest, when one examines the history of the characters ,
situations, and routines of classical farce it is impossible to avoid
the conclusion that slapstick cinema gave it a sudden and dazzling
rebirth . The "flesh and blood farce," on its way out since the seven­

teenth century, survived, highly specialized and transformed , only
in the circus and in certain kinds of music hall. That is to say

precisely in these places where the Hollywood producers of slap­

stick films went for their actors . The routines of this genre com­

bined with the resources of the cinema added widely to their tech­

nical repertory. It made possible a Max Linder, a Buster Keaton, a

Laurel and Hardy, a Chaplin . Between 1 9 03 and 1 920 it reached a
peak unique in its history. I am referring to the tradition of farce as
it has been perpetuated since the days of Plautus and Terence and
even including the Commedia dell'A rte with its special themes and
techniques . Let me take just one example. The "vat routine" turns

8 0

Page 205

What Is Cinema?
Niepce, Nicephore , 1 1 , 12, 17, 1 8
Nosferatu, 27, 1 09, 1 3 9
Notorious, 92

Occupe-toi d'A melie, 84, 93
Oedipus, 5 8
Of Mice and Men, 8 1
Olivier, Laurence, 54, 87, 8 8, 95, 9 8 ,

1 1 0 n . , I l l , 1 1 2, 1 1 6, 123
One A .M., 147
Onesime, 79 if.
Ortega y Gasset, Jose, 1 65

Pagnol, Marcel, 76, 7 8 , 89 n., 99, 103,
1 1 4, 1 1 6 if., 124

Paisa, 37, 64
Palissy, Berard, 22
Parents terribles, Les, 69 f., 76, 84,

85, 90 if., 1 03, 1 1 2, 1 1 3 , 1 1 6, 1 20
Partie de campagne, Une, 66, 1 4 1
Pascal, Blaise, 1 9 n.
Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, La, 28, 1 03,

1 06, 1 09, 133, 1 39
Pawnshop, The, 1 46
Philipe, Gerard, 1 1 8 n.
Picasso, Pablo, 13, 1 64
Pilgrim, The, 55, 1 44 f.
Plateau, J. A. F., 1 8
Plautus, 80
Poe, Edgar Allan, 67, 1 32
Poirier, Leon, 1 54
Ponting, H. G., 154 if.
Potemkin, 70, 72
Potoniee, P., 20
Power and the Glory, The, 64
Premieres desillusions, Les, 66 If.
Proust, Marcel, 65
Pudovkin, V. I., 73

Quai des Brumes, Le, 32
Quai des Ortevres, Le, 25
Queneau, Raymond, 6 1

Racine, Jean, 7, 72, 82, 106, 1 1 5, 1 22,
1 3 0

Radiguet, Raymond, 67
Raimu, 86
Rank, J. Arthur, 4 1
Raphae1, 60

1 82

Recherche du temps perdu, A la, 65
Regie du jeu, La, 34, 3 8 , 7 1 , 1 06
Rembrandt, 56
Rendez-vous de juillet, 155
Renoir, Auguste, 1 1 9
Renoir, Jean, 6, 23 , 29, 30, 34, 38, 66,

67, 83, 128, 1 3 9, 1 4 1
Resnais, Alain, 142, 1 64 if.
Reynaud, Emile, 1 8, 20
Rimbaud, 141
Rin-Tin-Tin, 44, 48
Rink, The, 1 53
River, The, 14 1
Rohmer, Eric, 4
Rope, 5 1 , 84
Rosenkrantz, 99 If., 1 1 2
Rossellini, Roberto, 3 7
Roue, La, 25
Rogers, Ginger, 28
Rousseau, I .-J . , 42
Rubens, 1 69
Ruttmann, Walther, 1 55

Sadoul, Georges, 17 .
Sang d'un poete, Le, 46, 1 0 1 n.
Saroyan, William, 64
Sartre, I.-P., 92, 1 02
Scarface, 28, 70, 72
Scott of the A ntarctic, 1 57 If.
Segur, Comtesse de, 42
Sennett, Mack, 72
Shadow of a Doubt, 92
Shakespeare, 57, 75, 88, 106, 1 1 5, 1 1 9
Shoulder A rrns, 149
Silence de la mer, 138
Stagecoach, 28, 29, 70, 72, 1 03
Stendhal, 65
Storck, Henri, 1 67
Stroheim, See Von Stroheim
Sunnyside, 146
Sunrise, 27, 72
Symphonie pastorale, La, 53, 66 If.,

141

Tabu, 27, 1 55
Tales of Perrault, 42
Tarzan, 1 55
Tellenay, Louis, 4
Terence, 80

Page 206

TheveDot, Jean, 1 54
Thomas Garner, 64
TiDtoretto, 12 D.
Topaze, 1 1 6 ft.
Touchard, P. A., 2, 1 0 1 n.
Toulouse-Lautrec, Henry de, 1 1 9
Tourane, Jean, 43 f.
Trader Horn, 155
Trois Mousquetaires, Les, 53
Truffaut, Fran�is, 4

Valentino, Rudolph, 74
Valery, Paul, 1 27, 169
Vampires, Les, 59
Van Gogh, 71, 1 42, 1 66 fl.
Vermeer, 46
Verne, Jules, 42
Very, Pierre, 54
Victor, P.-E., 1 57 fl.
Vigo, Jean, 67
Vilar, Jean, 103, 1 1 8n
Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, August, comte

00, 20

Viollet-Ie-Duc, Eugene, 143
ViscoDti, LuchiDo, 37
Voltaire, 72, 122
Von Frisch, 43

Index

Von Stroheim, Erich, 23, 26, 27, 38,
39, 73, 1 3 8 fl.

Voyageur sans boggages, Le, 76, 82,
107

Weine, R., 109 .
Welles, Orson, 23, 33 f., SO, 89 D., 95; --

101 , I l l , 1 23
Where No Vultures Fly, 49 D.
While Shadows in the South Seas, 1 55
With Scott to the South Pole, 154, 1 5 7
Wood, Sam, 64
Wright, Teresa, 92
Wyler, William, 29, 33 ff., 69, 77, 84

Zavattini, Cesare, 37
Zecca, Ferdinand, 34, 57
Zukor, Adolph, 78

1 83

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