Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Nanni Moretti piece?

I've received a note from Steve Erickson mentioning a piece from an art anthology about Nanni Moretti and images of motion in his films. Does anyone have a precise reference for this text or, even better, electronic copies?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Quotes and bits

Some will say that this attempt to find Daney in English is getting desperate but here's a collection of bits and pieces:

This Chicago reader article by Jonathan Rosenbaum on Jacques Tati's Jour de fête contains a short translation of Daney on Tati from La rampe.

This book on Contemporary Australian Television contains a translation of an extract of Daney's “Le sport et la télévision”, Cahiers du cinema, #292, pp. 38-43. You can read it using Google book search. It's on page 64.

Movies and Methods: Vol. II, edited by Bill Nichols, University of California Press, 1985 has a different translation of an extract of the Salador text. You can read it with Google book search, page 46.

Television Drama: Realism, Modernism, and British Culture, by John Caughie, Oxford University Press, 2000, has a translation of an extract of "La remise en scène" published in Cahiers du cinéma, #268, July 1976. Use Google Book search. It's on page 112.

Jonathan Rosenbaum's review of La maison cinéma et le monde in the New Left Review has translations of an extract of a 1982 Libération piece, ‘Like Old Couples, Movies and TV have Wound up Looking Alike’ and of an extract of ‘Obligatory Montage: The War, the Gulf, and the Small Screen’, Daney's piece on the TV coverage of the Gulf War pusblished in Libération in 1991.


An interview of Daney by Bill Krohn is available on Steve Erickson's site:

"Les Cahiers du cinéma 1968-1977: Interview with Serge Daney", The Thousand Eyes, no. 2, 1977, p. 31.

And here are a few interviews conducted by Daney:

Taking Chances - Interview with Lea McCarey by Serge Daney and Jean-Louis Noames (Louis Skorecki)

Daney interview “Godard Makes [Hi]stories” in Raymond Bellour and Mary Lea Bandy eds., Jean-Luc Godard son+image 1974-1991, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1992.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Daney's texts in English editions of Cahiers du cinéma

Several English language editions of Cahiers du cinéma contain translation of Daney.

Daney starts writing in Cahiers in 1964 and regularly does so until 1981 when he leaves Cahiers for the newly created daily newspaper Libération. He is the acting editor of Cahiers from 1974 to 1979.

Volumes III and IV of the Cahiers du cinema books contain texts by Daney. The volumes I and II don't.

Cahiers du Cinema - Volume III: 1969-1972: The Politics of Representation, edited by Nick Browne, Harvard University Press, 1989

  • "La vie est à nous, a militant film", co-written with Pascal Bonitzer, Jean-Louis Comolli, Jean Narboni and Jean-Pierre Oudart, pp. 68-88, originally published in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 218, March 1970.
  • "Work, Reading, Pleasure", pp. 115-136. I think this is just another name for the "On Salador" text which is on Steve Erickson's site. It was the title of a section of Cahiers du cinéma #222 which had two texts: Salador by Daney and another one by Oudart.
  • "The name of the Author (on the 'place' in Death in Venice)", co-written with Jean-Pierre Oudart, pp. 306-324, originally published as "Le nom-de-l'auteur" in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 234, February 1972.
Cahiers du Cinema - Volume IV: 1973-1978: History, Ideology, Cultural Struggle, edited by: David Wilson, Routledge, March 2000

  • "The critical function", pp. 56-71, probably the translation of two articles untitled "La fonction critique" published in the numbers 248, 249, 250 and 253 in of Cahiers du cinéma in 1973 and 1974. You can read it entirely using Amazon Inside this book search function. Type "Function" as keyword and turn the pages from 56 to 71.
  • "Theorize/Terrorize (Godardian Pedagogy)", pp. 116-123, originally published as "Le thérrorisé (pédagogie godardienne)" in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 262, 1976.
  • "The Aquarium (Milestone)" a review of Robert Kramer's movie, pp. 152-156, translated by David Wilson, originally published as "L'Aquarium" in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 264, 1976.
  • "One more bear (Dersu Uzala)": a review of Kurosawa's movie, pp. 289-295, originally published as "Un ours en plus" in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 174, 1977.

CAHIERS DU CINEMA IN ENGLISH - an attempt to bring a translated version of Cahiers - also has texts by Daney. The ones I know of are:

  • Chimes At Midnight (Orson Welles) - Translated by Bridget Lyons. Originally published as “Wells au pouvoir” in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 181, August 1966, page 26-28.
  • The Great Race (Blake Edwards), published in English in CAHIERS DU CINEMA IN ENGLISH #3, Trans. Jane Pease, Rose Kaplin, Nell Cox, 1966, pp. 26-27. Originally published as “Les corps étrangers” in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 175, February 1966, pages 62-63.
  • The Family Jewels (Jerry Lewis), published in CAHIERS DU CINEMA IN ENGLISH #4. riginally published as “Un rien sur fond de musique douce” in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 175, February 1966, pages 36-37

Monday, December 12, 2005

Gilles Deleuze - Letter to Serge Daney: Optimism, Pessimism, and Travel

Updated post as I just found out that you can read the full text by using Amazon "Inside This Book" search function. Just search for the key word Daney and turn the pages (from 68 to 79).

This is an essential text by Gilles Deleuze on Serge Daney:

"Letter to Serge Daney: Optimism, Pessimism, and Travel", Negotiations 1972-1990, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, translated by Martin Joughin, pp.68-79.

Original text is Deleuze's preface to "Optimisme, pessimisme et voyage: Lettre à Serge Daney" for Serge Daney, Ciné journal 1981-1986, Cahiers du cinéma, 1986.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Itinéraire d'un ciné-fils with English subtitles

Paul Grant reports that a copy of Pierre-André Boutang & Dominique Rabourdin's 1992 documentary/interview with Daney is available with English subtitles. This was screened in 2003 by the Harvard Film Archive as part of a Daney festival.

Original is available in DVD in French from Montparnasse editions.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Documenta texts

Several translations seem to appear in Documenta catalogs:

- "Baby seeking bathwater" in Documenta Documents 1, Kassel, 1996, pp. 22-31. Original text is "Bébé cherche eau du bain" published in Libération in 1991.

- Documenta Documents 2 claims to contain "Diverse articles by the French film theoretician and social critic Serge Daney deal with the image in advertising, with the moving image in film as well as with paradigmatic films by Godard and Rossellini." I don't have the detail of these. One of the articles could be "From movies to moving".

- Documenta X contains the translation of "Before and after the image" that is available on Steve Erickson's website.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Steve Erickson's website

Steve Erickson, a New York film critic, lists on his website many English translations of Daney's writings. This was (and still is) the original effort to make Daney available on the Internet. All credit to him for starting this effort and triggering many subsequent similar efforts (such as this blog).

Below is a list of the articles that can be found on Steve's website (and not available elsewhere) with the equivalent French reference:

  • "On Salador"- Originally published as “Sur Salador” in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 222, July 1970, page 39, unknown translator
  • "Godardian Pedagogy" - Translated by Bill Krohn and Charles Cameron Ball, originally published as "Le thérrorisé (pédagogie godardienne)" in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 262, January 1976, pages 32-42.
  • "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" - Translated by Steve Erickson, originally published "L'invraisemblable vérité" in Libération on July 18, 1981
  • "Stalker" - Translated by Frank Matcha with Steve Erickson, originally published in Libération on November 20th, 1981
  • "Coup De Torchon" - Translated by Steve Erickson, with assistance from Philippe St-Germain, originally published in Libération on November 6, 1981
  • "The Thread (An Obituary Of Jean Eustache)" - Originally published "Le fil (mort de Jean Eustache)" in Libération on November 16, 1981, translated by Steve Erickson
  • "Too Early/Too Late"- Translated by Jonathan Rosenbaum, published in English in a catalogue for a Straub/Huillet retrospective at the Public Theater in New York, originally published as "Trop tôt / trop tard" in Libération on February 20-21, 1982
  • "From The Large To The Small Screen" - Originally published as "Du grand au petit écran" in Libération on November 16, 1987
  • "Television And Its Shadow" - Originally published as "La télévision et son ombre" in Libération on November 13, 1987
  • "Back To The Future" - Originally published as "Retour vers le futur" in Libération on December 24, 1987
  • "Waiting For The Snow" - Originally published as "En attendant la neige" in Libération on December 24, 1987
  • "The Godard Paradox" - taken from the book Forever Godard, Black Dog Publishing, 2003, originally written in 1986
  • "CEDDO" - a review of Ousmane Sembene's movie originally published in Cahiers du cinéma, issue 304, October 1979, page 51-53 and republished in La rampe.

Cinema in transit - aborted translation project

[UPDATED 6/5/2020]

Steve Erickson - the pioneer when it comes to making translations of Serge Daney available online - had found the existence of an unpublished project to translate Daney in English:

"Thanks to the graciousness of editor Paul Willemen, I've finally managed to get a copy of the manuscript for Daney's CINEMA IN TRANSIT, an unpublished English-language anthology acquired by the British Film Institute in 1994."

The scope of the project is a great selection of texts from Devant la recrudescence des vols de sacs à mains and Ciné Journal (articles written for Libération between 1981 and 1991) but the quality of the translation is not always great and, in my experience, almost always requires corrections or re-work. I have used it to help with some translations but would advise against publishing it as it is.

Max, mon amour (Max my love) - review

I'm not sure about the chances to get hold of this but the website of the Museum Informatics Project mentions that Daney's review of Nagisa Oshima's Max mon amour is in the press kit published by Greenwich Film Production S.A.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Philippe Garrel’s L’Enfant secret (1982)

Rouge (excellent film magazine by the way) has this translation of Daney's review of Garrel's L'enfant secret.

Philippe Garrel’s L’Enfant secret (1982), Rouge, issue 1, 2003, translated by Fergus Daly and Adrian Martin

The tracking shot in Kapo

Senses of cinema has a translation of one of Daney's last texts: The Tracking Shot in Kapo

The tracking shot in Kapo, Senses of Cinema, Jan-Feb 2004, Issue 30.

Originally published as "Le travelling de Kapo" in Trafic, issue 4, P.O.L. Editions, 1992. It was also published in Perséverance: Entretien avec Serge Toubiana, P.O.L. Editions, 1994.

The translation is by the author of this blog.


This blog attempts to keep track of all the english translations of texts by French film critic Serge Daney.

If a link is not provided, then the article is not available directly online and I do not have a copy.

Please use the Comments for questions.

Good reading,
Laurent Kretzschmar