Friday, March 21, 2008

The organ and the vacuum cleaner (now online)

I've finally found some time to go to the British Library to get hold of this article. Thank you to Steve Erickson for publishing it online.

The article starts as a review of Bresson's 1976 Le diable probablement (The Devil Probably) before moving to unchartered waters.

The translation is not ideal but this is another long piece by Serge Daney from his first book LA RAMPE. And it's a good example of Daney playing with categories (see Adrian Martin's recent comment on how "Serge Daney invented three distinctions a day and would incessantly play with different distinctions"). I also like how the text shows Daney's acute attention to sound.

The Organ and the Vacuum Cleaner

Literary Debates: Texts and Contexts (Postwar French Thought, Volume II), edited by Denis Hollier and Jeffrey Mehlman, translated by Arthur Goldhammer, New Press, 2001, pp. 474-486.
The original text is "L'orgue et l'aspirateur (Bresson, le diable, la voix off et quelques autres)", pages 19-27, Cahiers du cinéma, issue 279-280, August-September 1977. Reprinted ,” in La Rampe: Cahiers critique 1970-82 (Paris : Cahiers du Cinema/Gallimard, 1983), pp. 138-48.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The dog and the rope

This intriging text by Serge Daney on the evolution of the image has been published by Andy Rector on his Kinoslang blog. It's a good example of how Daney used pictures as part of his criticism, a practice he developed to its full extent at Libération when he played a lot with the "mise en page" of his articles.

The dog and the rope
Serge Daney, Cahiers du cinéma, hors-série spécial photos de films, 1978

It feels good to see people like Andy taking the initiative to discover some great yet little-known texts (even in France) by Daney and to publish them. It shows that there's is still much Daney to discover and debate.