Sunday, December 17, 2006

Paul Grant on Postcards From the Cinema

It seems that Berg have released Postcards from the Cinema, the English translation of Daney's posthumous book Persévérance. I've ordered my copy from Amazon UK yesterday!

To mark the occasion, I've asked Paul Grant, the translator, a few questions on how he became involved with the publication of the first Daney book in English.

Merry Xmas and Happy new year every one!

To which extent is Daney known in the English-speaking world? He is obviously read by some professional movie critics but who else knows him?
My sense is that there is a growing number of anglophone cinephiles both inside and outside the academic world who are at the very least anxious to know more about Daney and his work. It seems that his name has a continually developing aura that points to some sort of cultural status.

Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote that the main reason for the lack of translations of Daney was that he “is too academic for mainstream publishing and too literary for academic publishing”. Why do you think Daney is not more widely translated and published in English?
Oddly enough this is what the majority of my intro to the book is about. One of the possibilties, and I really need to stress that this pure speculation, is that the lack of systematization makes it difficult to generate a minor industry around him. Deleuze produces, for better or for worse, an immense amount of secondary work, and guarantees a modicum of revenue, he is in himself a minor academic industry. Daney, perhaps as Rosenbaum suggests, is too popular while being not popular enough. But for me the issue isn’t just about translation. If we look to France for examples, we find that even the most likelely candidates to speak about Daney productively are at some loss to do so. The seconday literature that has appeared in French is not necessarily genrative and usually takes the form of hommage and personal anecdote. There is however as of a few months ago a secondary work on Daney but it is unbelievably critical, and says preciely that we should abandon Daney.
Not to ramble too much but it does seem worth remarking that most of the Cahiers (excluding Bazin, Rohmer, Godard, etc) and Trafic critics remain relatively unknown. Comolli’s essay is of course published in pieces in a number of anthologies, Bellour has been translated and also shows up in anthologies. But what about Douchet, Bergala, Schefer, Phillipon, Brenez, Narboni, etc.? We see pieces, just as we see pieces of Daney, like you have been showing on your blog. I think the crisis is really more one of criticism in general, and there I’ll stop because that is simply too huge to address right now.

How did you discover Serge Daney?
His name was referenced by everyone I loved to read and watch, and I think it was the interview in Histoire(s) du cinéma, along with Ethan Spigland’s astonishment at his not being translated that sent me looking to find out more.

How did you come about translating this book and finding a publisher?
The translation end up a result of both working with you on the Tracking Shot, and having a Fulbright in Paris to do research on Daney. I was using sections of Perseverance for the research and suddenly had enough sections translated that I figured I would complete it. I do have to say that I’m not a professional translator and Bill Krohn’s caveat that only someone who translated Proust could translate Daney has loomed over me ever since Berg Publishers accepted to take on this project. Ultimately, the book was meant as a kind of gift for my cinephile friends who couldn’t read Daney in French, and so far everyone has been really pleased.
I approached Berg because they had just done the Godard-Ishaghpour book and were slated to publish the Rancière, so they seemed the logical choice to me. Tristan Palmer was very enthusiastic about the project and I enjoyed working with them.

How did you find the experience of translating Daney? What difficulties did you face? What advice would you give to future translators or translation attempts?

The translation was a pleasure. In the end though there were a few difficulties, things I couldn’t unwrap or get others to figure out either. It’s very obvious what sections these are in the book. But the biggest difficulty arose after the fact, right at the time that POL and Berg were working out the contracts. Berg suddenly sent me an email saying that there was a problem with the American rights, and I suddenly had this very teleological sense that Daney was destined not to be published in English. The issue was someone else had apparently submitted a manuscript of Perseverance to be published at the same time. The great irony was that they were both my manuscript, but Semiotext(e), and here it was as much my fault as theirs, was submitting it to be published. I had sent it to Sylvere early on and he seemed enthusiastic but never really got in touch with me. Apparently he had been going ahead with trying to publish it.
I’m not sure what to suggest for translation attempts, perhaps just get it published, and if it is bad, honestly, it can be retranslated, but I don’t think poor translation is a real hindrance at this point, the work just needs to be put out there.

his is the first Daney book translated in English. How do you think it will shape the recognition of Daney in the English-speaking world?
Its too difficult to say, I hope that the translation does it justice, and at the same time I think other work needs to come out because Perseverance is an interview, just like Itineraire d’un cine-fils, and the thing that must be born in mind is that when some one reflects on their own work that reflection is different than the work. In that sense Perseverance is really an introduction, and to fully evaluate the future of Daney more of the written work needs to be translated and published.

Do you have plans to translate other texts from Daney? What do you think needs to be done to advance the recognition of Daney’s writings?
There was talk with both Berg and Semiotext(e) about working on something in the future, some more Daney, but I imagine that they want to see how this first book sells. Right now I am working on a Jean Paulhan translation, as well as my own work on the cinéma militant of groups like cinéthique, cinelutte, etc. I would like to have the opportunity to work on L’exercice as well as Schefer’s L’homme ordinaire…

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Daney book release date!

Berg Publishers UK confirmed today on the phone that Postcards from the cinema (Paul Grant's translation of Persévérance) will be released around January the 15th in the UK.

They also told me that they will release the hardback and the paperback formats at the same time which is odd considering the price difference (£45 and £15 respectively).

I'll publish a short interview with Paul on translating Daney at the same time.

Otherwise, if you know an online magazine willing to publish the translation of Daney's review of David Lynch's Elephant Man, it's seating ready on my hard drive. I just need to find a magazine able to do a final review and publish it.

Have a good Xmas.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

French cinema

Daney settles scores with French cinema. Take your side: Qualité française or nouvelle vague?

It’s a part of France that I don’t accept. Artistically you can call it academic. It’s the least inventive part of cinema. You may say it’s excessive but I think you understand what I am saying. There are things that I found at my birth which I have never tolerated. I think that the French cinema of the Qualité Française is contemporary of a period that lasted from 1940 until late in the 50s, which is a period of suffocation: the collaboration. I am not saying that all the directors I don’t like were collaborators. It’s just very annoying that, as Autant-Lara was complaining, the heyday of French cinema is 1940-1945. It’s true that for Autant-Lara, it was a good thing. He made many movies and some were very good. And it’s true that this is the time when huge resources were given to Marcel Carné to make a very large and ambitious movie: Les enfants du Paradis. All these movies have one thing in common: they were shot in studios. France is occupied and, for me, the studios represent occupation in the field of cinema. (…) So it’s not at all “Hooray to the sublime resistance!” and “Down with the horrible cowards!” It’s just that the cinema of the France of Vichy looks like the France of Vichy and that France has had more glorious times in its history. It seems so obvious that I feel a bit ashamed to have to say this. (…) It’s a cinema of great craftsmen and with some beautiful things. But I have no taste for such cinema. I have no taste for the French cinema of the 1940s.

I am like Godard. I copy him and I say the same thing. In Les dames du Bois de Boulogne when Elina Labourdette is about to die and Paul Bernard tells her “stay!”, she replies “I stay, I fight”. Godard - who always interprets everything his own way - says this is the only word of resistance we have heard in all of the French cinema during the war. The way Elina Labourdette says “I fight”. She says it with a blank voice (we don't speak about Bressonian neutral voices yet) and it overwhelms me. And I feel that Bresson is inventing a new cinema. Bresson is not a leftist or a resistant and this has nothing to do with ideology. Bresson is inventing Les dames du Bois de Boulogne, which is one of the most extraordinary French movies ever made and which is something that for me renders all Antant-Lara’s work ridiculous. Because it is not of the same nature. There is something different. You can hear a certain sound in the voice.

For me it wasn’t this movie - because I saw Les dames du Bois de Boulogne much later when I was already an official movie critic - but it was Pickpocket, when I was fifteen. Pickpocket was made in 1958, released in 1959 (not that long after the 40s) and it changed me forever. This is very clear. You won’t find people who say they hesitate between Marriage de chiffon and Pickpocket. They are two different kinds. I am not saying this to make me believe that I would have been more virtuous or resistant. I honestly don’t know. But I am surprised that the French cinema continues to put out flags on a minor, rather decorative, and spineless moment of its history.

There were some very talented moviemakers like Autant-Lara, Clouzot or Clément. And in my opinion, something a bit sad happened to them. But they had the stupidity not to see what was happening. When the Nouvelle Vague arrived, they thought it was a revolt of turbulent children like in Zéro de conduite. They forgot that they had squatted French cinema with over-unionisation and a very ideological corporatism. They had prevented French cinema from renewing itself. So, for ten years, there were directors, like Franju, Melville, Leenhart, Rouch, Astruc, who were trying to shake things and who never had access to normal distribution networks. And all of these had somewhat aborted careers. It is only when the small group of Les Cahiers had a bit more energy that the times began to push for a change.

I never became reconciled with these moviemakers of the Qualité Française because when the situation escaped their control they were unable to adapt, to start over, to use smaller budgets… Some of them were still very creative. Clément for instance made Plein Soleil. It’s an old movie but it is a wonderful movie. It’s a movie that still has something today because of Alain Delon. Clément saw Alain Delon. Just as Vadim saw Bardot.

What’s happening in the years 1955 to 1960? Some moviemakers, not necessarily good ones, saw that something was happening in front of their eyes. For example Roger Vadim, a very bad director, sees Brigitte Bardot. And Brigitte Bardot is the most important thing that happens to French cinema in 1955. Many missed her, and that includes me. I was 10 years old but I could have been smarter. I found her stupid. Vadim sees Bardot and he films her, badly, and it is wonderful. He falls in love with her of course but he has the intelligence not to make an artist’s movie but a low-key movie - Et Dieu créa la femme - that is nothing in itself but where there is something formidable. The movie features respected actors as well as a rising star, Jean-Louis Trintignant, and Vadim records the amazement of these actors to play with this girl who breaks all the rules of acting and visibly invents a dialogue of her own. A profoundly stupid dialogue which is unforgettable. “What a nitwit this rabbit!” nobody from the Qualité Française could write something like that. And at the time Bardot is right because France is going to look like her.

Three years later, Marcel Carné, who is not that old and is extremely respected, announces that he is going to make a movie about youth. It was Les Tricheurs, a long forgotten movie. It was a gigantic event. Everybody was talking about it. It was released in 1958, made in 1957, two years before the Nouvelle Vague. And people were saying: “it’s horrible, Carné reveals a cynical world. Young people are no longer humans. They are monsters. They sleep together. Are they really our children?” And Carné was replying: “you don’t understand. They need love. We must talk to them.” There was this horrible debate in the very backward France of the 50s. A debate that sounds ridiculous today because the movie is absolutely insignificant. The movie is of no interest whatsoever except that it was talked about a lot at the time. And when I say “Carné didn’t see anything”, I am not saying his conception of the youth was a bit dated – after all, old people are not always wrong. But Carné had organised auditions. He auditioned Paul Belmondo, hesitated and didn’t select him. One year later Godard or Truffaut - I don’t know which one - saw Belmondo, and here you go. It’s like Bardot.

Transcript of the filmed interview Daney gave to Regis Debray in 1992 for French TV magazine Océaniques. my translation, 2005.
Full video is available in DVD as Itinéraire d’un ciné-fils, Montparnasse Editions, 2005

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The politics of catastrophe movies 2

More from Daney's Cahiers articles on sci fi, horror and catastrophe movies.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
(Don Siegel)

(...) What is more surprising is that science fiction movies are precisely the ones where the feeling of strangeness is the least disturbing, where the idea of the Other would be familiar or ordinary. And these are often reactionary movies where man, far from going beyond himself - where he is so little -, ends up accepting, bitterly and convincingly, this human condition that some (totalitarian regimes let's say) want to deny him.

Cahiers du cinéma, issue 197, January 1968, my translation.

Night of the Living Dead

We haven't taken notice enough, in American cinema, of a tenacious and underground taste for the apocalypse. As if too much good conscience could only be carried through by bringing up the most definitive horrors - horrors which do not come without a certain pleasure, as clearly seen with DeMille (or with King in In Old Chicago or with Van Dyke in San Francisco), the filmmaker of the catastrophe and the accident, themes which gravity can impress and which productivity is not to be neglected since that on top of the photogenic destruction came the secondary benefits of revaluing the characters (at least those who survived) who, when reduced the state of rags, were more sublime and more human than ever. Great natural accidents but also ordeals largely-deserved by a futile humanity; it was so in DeMille’s movies and later in Hitchcock’s, or in these low budget Sci-Fi movies that were made suddenly possible towards 1950 by the idea of an atomic end, the abrupt mutations of a rebelling nature become absurd and monstrous, the ever so possible eradication of man, etc. (Five, Them!, Body Snatchers). And yet, there like elsewhere, the apocalypse disappointed, because men, stupid enough to deserve it, were also wise enough to stop it, opposing a united front from where – all differences having been erased – a feeling properly overwhelming of the human was coming to the light of day. Of the human as such, i.e. non-monstrous.

Cahiers du cinéma, issue 219, April 1970, my translation

Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now

(…) Ok, Apocalypse Now is an exceptional film. But it is also an average post-Viet Nam American movie. Recently American cinema keeps going around the theme of the presence of the Other in ourselves. Other as in “Alien”, the title of the biggest success of the summer in the US. "Ourselves", of course and one more time, is the American considering himself as a general equivalent of the human species. Except that to “be” an American is never that obvious or that simple (I pass on the melting-pot and other myths) and it seems that one is always ready to do anything to be more American (see Kazan). Ideologically, the idea of all these films (Alien, The Exorcist, The Deer Hunter, even Close Encounter of the Third Kind) is to make the Americans even more Americans by making them exorcise an Other (evil usually) which haunts or inhabits them. The novelty of these movies, their strength too, is that they have decided to stop being stingy on the (technological) means to show us the other, the alien, in ourselves. Until now it was often B movies which used to tackle this theme (in the 50s and through anti-communism) but with no resources, forced to resort to weak effects and script subtleties (the Tournerian off-camera) which could amaze only very naive or very sophisticated spectators (cinephiles). The decision to show what cannot be shown is recent. And there are different versions. With Cimino, it is the Asian who is responsible for having woken up the beast the sleeps inside us: we therefore kill him and shame him for having woken up the beast – a known melody. With Ridley Scott (Alien) it is the protean monster literally emerging from the human body and occupying the spacecraft like a cancer with terrifying unpredictable metastases.

Cahiers du cinéma, issue 304, October 1979, my translation

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The politics of catastrophe movies 1

Being busy with my new baby boy, I’ve found a new advantage to Daney's articles: I can read exactly two of them while putting my baby to sleep. Since I do this every three hours at night, I've been reading quite a bit of Daney lately, especially his early writings.

And since I’ve noticed a pattern in Daney’s remarks towards catastrophe or horror movies, here is a selection of quickly translated quotes from his 70s articles in Cahiers du cinéma. Interesting if not always original; rather typical of how Daney stayed loyal to pure cinephilia during the left-wing tendencies of the time.

Grey Matter – Jaws by S. Spielberg

(…) This “Booh! Scare me!” is therefore heavily related to a “How to reassure them?” and to a “What is the price to pay?” A misplaced desire (the young people smoking by the beach that the fiction will promptly get rid off) will be replaced by a more social desire, the desire to end the horror, the desire to return to normality. This is the function of catastrophe-movies. It is not the only one though, for what is given to desire is the norm. And in this way, this cinema, at its limit, is fascist.

What can scare more than three hundred thousands spectators in one week? And what can reassure them? The mise en scène of violence which, as Alain Bergala rightly points out “guarantees the precise conditions of the spectator’s pleasure and his subsequent adhesion to any form of counter-violence.”

This is the same old shout of “I only want to see one head in the rank!” Nothing must stain: one body (military or social), full, sleek, homogenous. A body that can be compared to a circle closing on itself – except in one place where there is a gap. This place is where the shark comes forward: the shark is what Lacan calls the obturator, the a object. Who is the shark? Nothing more than the actualisation – from a hallucination – that there is something rotten inside which attracts the fish.

(…) A normative imaginary, which must be staged, simply. It means shooting (events, extras) from two – and only two – points of views: the hunter’s and the hunted’s. There is no other point of view (spatial, moral, political), no other place for the camera, and therefore for the spectator, than this double position. We talk lightly of “identification” in cinema if we haven’t seen that in these types of movies, it is identification to the hunted/hunter couple, with speculative oscillation, bypassing of knowledge and point of view, loss of any reference, getting under the other’s grey skin, and in a word: everything that leads to a total irresponsibility. Flapping between these two points of views, the camera is with the swimming child for whom the shark is only a dark rectangle, and it is with the shark is in the next frame, for whom the child’s leg is only what stands out from the surface of the water.

in La Rampe, 1983, my translation

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Various Daney news

While we're all waiting for the publication of Paul Grant's translation of Persévérance (Postcards from the cinema, to be released in December), there are a few other events worth noting eventhough they are all in French.

Daney on video
The French video website Vodeo sells the two best filmed interviews of Daney: the 3 hours documentary Itinéraire d'un ciné fils on DVD (which was already available from Amazon) and Pascal Kané's Le cinéphile et le village which can be downloaded online for a fee.

Daney radio programme
The French National Audio-Visual Insitute (whose mission is to preserve and make available the audiovisual archives in France) has made available a number of recordings of Daney's Sunday evening radio program. You can access them via their Video On Demand website by typing "Microfilms" in the search tool.

From September 1985 to July 1990, Daney hosted a weekly radio broadcast called Microfilms on French public radio station France Culture. These are discussions between Daney and others involved with cinema (actors, filmmakers, technicians, critics).

Here's a first list of the programs available online at the moment. They can be purchased individually for 5 euros.
- Philippe Garrel
- Jori Ivens
- Robert Kramer
- Maurice Piallat
- Barbet Schroeder
- Jean Rouch
- Raoul Ruiz
- Jacques Rivette
- Jacques Demy
- Claude Chabrol
- Manuel De Oliveira
- Marin Karmitz
- Raymond Depardon
- Francois Dupeyron
- Jean-Luc Godard
- Raoul Sangla (TV film director)
- Jacques Doillon
- Wim Wenders
- Jean-Marie Straub
- André Techiné
- Etienne Chatillez
- Michel Piccoli
- Georges Franju
- Eric Rohmer
- Jean-Christophe Averty (a French video artist pioneeer)
- About John Cassavettes
- Jean-Claude Brisseau
- Michel Chion
- Cinema through the eyes of a blind person
- Elisabeth Roudinesco (a French Psychanalist) on Batman
- Philippe Queau
- Gérard Frot - Coutaz (filmmaker) and Micheline Presle (actress)

The increasing amount of video and audio material available about Daney is a challenge to our translation efforts. Video interviews can be subtitled (and english subtitled versions of Jacques Rivette Le Veilleur and Itinéraire d'un ciné-fils exists already) but I don't see how the radio programmes could become available in English without some massive transcription effort.

Let's hope that the popularity of Daney in film and audio format combined with the release of Postcards help make an even stronger case the case for the translations of all the other essential written material.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Reversibility of the camera

Found in a recent browse of Google book search, this short but interesting quote of Daney's comments on the ethics of documentaries in his review of Antonioni's 1974 documentary of China Chung Kouo:

The reversibility of camera in Television Drama: Realism, Modernism, and British Culture, John Caughie, Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 112

I copy the quote below:

"In the scene in The Passenger in which the old African chieftain grabs the camera and films Jack Nicholson, one can see quite clearly what is at issue: the sudden possibility of a reversibility, of the camera passing without a word from hand to hand to the great confusion of the scene and the actors. This, in China, was simply impossible.

(...) those for whom there exists no reversibility, no chance of becoming themselves "filmeurs", no possibility of participating in the image which is made of them, no hold on the image. Mad people, children, primitives, the excluded, filmed without hope (for them) of a reply, filmed 'for their own good' or for the sake of science or scandal: exoticism, philanthropy, horror."

In the article, Daney actually identifies three types of situation when someone is filmed. I translate the full extract below:

"1. The filming happens within the framework of the industry of cinema. It is then symbolically covered by the type of contract (wage, one-off fee, benefits participation, unpaid) agreed between the production and the actors. In the name of this contract, the filmmaker will be able to demand a certain acting or performance.
2. The filming happens within the loose framework of a documentary, of a socio or ethno-logical essay, or of an investigation. Most often, actors do not have the capacity, total or relative, of controlling, technically or intellectually, the operations to which they lend their bodies and voices. We then enter the domain of morals and risk: to film those for whom there exists no reversibility, no chance of becoming themselves "filmeurs", no possibility of participating in the image which is made of them, no hold on the image. Mad people, children, primitives, the excluded, filmed without hope (for them) of a reply, filmed 'for their own good' or for the sake of science or scandal: exoticism, philanthropy, horror.
3. There is a third type of situation (the one that interests us here): when the filming is done by a filmmaker or a crew who have decided to put their camera and their know-how at the service of. Of a people, of a cause, of a fight. In these conditions, the non-reversibility has other causes (under-development, lack of equipment, need for foreign help) , but generates new kinds of problems."

The original article is "La remise en scène (Ivens, Antonioni, la Chine)" in Cahiers du cinéma, number 268, July 1976, reprinted in La rampe - Cahiers critique 1970-1982, Ed. Cahiers du cinéma-Gallimard, 1983.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stavros Tornes - Karkalou

Many thanks to Andy Rector for pointing this translation of a short (and truncated) abstract of Daney's comments on Greek filmaker Stavros Tornes. A small but good example of Daney's interest in world cinema and his love for travels.

Thessaloniki 1984 - Greek cinema is awaiting its law
Originally published in Libération, October 16th, 1984 and republished in La maison cinéma et la monde, vol. 2 "Les années Libé 1981-1985", pp. 747-750.

Daney introduces his report on the Thessaloniki film festival this way:

"Last straight line. Waiting for the new cinema bill (very much inspired from the French example) to be voted, the whole world of Greek cinema got together for the 25th Salonica film festival - very excited. On the cinema side, nothing to report, execept the excellent Karkalou by Stavros Tornes."

Friday, June 16, 2006

Daney on the World Cup

I cannot resist publishing (without authorisation - I hope to be forgiven) this short text by Daney on the 1982 'Mundial':

Mundial 1982 – Slow motion

In front of the small image, the TV spectator has a handicap. Or a privilege (depending on his degree of perversity). At certain moments in the game, he subconsciously asks himself a question which until now, only concerned cartoon lovers: is the 'injured' player going to get back up again? Regularly, a body, doubled up with pain, is left on the field. Everything is possible. Real pain (and we expect the game to be stopped, we look for the medics, we are upset with the camera for moving casually to other things). Exaggerated pain (the player gets back up again, drags himself for one meter, limps for two and sprints for three). Put on pain (as soon as he is off screen, certain of having failed to move the referee to pity, he gets up and runs like a gazelle). It is a game between the players and the referee of course. And it is too bad that the camera doesn’t know how to film it well. Nevertheless: for a few seconds, there is what makes cinema happy, its powerful force: indecisive shots, enigmatic pictures, bodies under threat.

This text from Libération, 19 and 20 June 1982, features in Serge Daney, La maison cinéma et le monde (P.O.L., 2002), translation by Laurent Kretzschmar.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Daney's quote on Alain Tanner

I just spotted this quote by Daney on Alain Tanner's No Man's Land:

“I looked at the landscapes of No Man’s Land and was not disorientated. I felt at home. I had seen it all before in an earlier life punctuated by the nine other films of Alain Tanner (…) I even knew what it consisted of: frontier posts with a French and a Swiss side, slowmoving bicycles and tidy little cafés, ruminating cows and drawling accents, roads into the mountains and paths leading nowhere; I knew the characters, too, having seen them come and go: they were flawed and bad in ’68, then armchair idealists, then, in ’85, embittered, dissatisfied hippies, that’s all.” Then, having expressed his deep sense of familiarity with the world of the film, the critic voices a doubt: “It struck me that all the things that – thanks to Tanner and other Swiss filmmakers (Reusser, Soutter, Murer) – I had come to see as familiar, all this mildly clean, mildly sinister, mildly beautiful Swiss cinema, with its cows and its traffickers, its calculated slowness and vague storytelling, might be on the way out.”

Reference: Serge Daney, Libération, 30 August 1985, quoted in Ciné-journal, volume 2, Petite bibliothèque des Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, 1998.

Friday, April 28, 2006

From Movies To Moving

The blog o signo do dragão has the translation of this seminal text by Serge Daney. A must-read.

From movies to moving
Serge Daney, translated by Brian Holmes and published in documentadocuments2, 1996 - first published in French in La Recherche photographique, no 7, 1989.

Another (excellent) translation of this text is available from the July-August 2002 edition of Film Comment. The title is "From projector to parade" and the translator is Chris Darke.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Postcards from the cinema

An entry has appeared on the UK website of Amazon and on the website of Berg Publishers confirming the upcoming publication of a translation of Persévérance . The translation is by Paul Grant and the release date is set for December 2006.

Postcards From The Cinema, Serge Daney, trans. Paul Grant, Berg Publishers, 2006, 160 p.

This book will contain a revised translation of Daney's last text - The tracking shot in Kapo - and a long interview conducted over three days between Serge Daney and Serge Toubiana in 1991.

It was first published by POL Editions in 1994.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Montage Obligatory

Rouge has just published a translation of Daney's 1991 piece on the television coverage of the Gulf War which made him give up writing about television. It's one if his last articles for Libération before he left the newspaper to found Trafic.

Montage Ogligatory, Rouge, #8, 2006

Original article is "Montage Obligé - La guerre, le Golfe et le petit écran" published in Libération in April 1991 and reprinted in Serge Daney’s Devant la recrudescence des vols de sacs à main, cinéma, television, information, Aléas 1991, reprinted 1997.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Upcoming new translation of Persévérance

Paul Grant has kindly been in touch and has confirmed that he is finishing the translation of Persévérance. It includes a revised translation of the Kapo article and the full translation of the dialogue between Daney and Toubiana which make up this book.

No date for publication yet but I will announce it as soon as it is available.

Jonathan Rosenbaum has already mentioned these "plans to publish an English-language Perseverance" in a paper for the New Left Review, July-August 2005.

The screen of fantasy (Bazin and animals)

"The Screen of Fantasy (Bazin and Animals)" (now available on Steve Erickson's website) is translated by Mark Cohen in Ivone Margulies ed., Rites of Realism: Essays on Corporeal Cinema, Durham: Duke University Press, 2002

Original text is "L'écran du fantasme", page 30, Cahiers du cinéma, issue 236-237, March-April 1972.

You can also read the English translation if you play with Google Book Search.

From projector to parade

Chris Darke has translated this excellent text and has also written a good general introduction to Daney.

From projector to parade, Film Comment, July-August 2002

Originally published as "Du défilement au défilé" in La recherche photographique in 1989.

I've asked Film Comment to make this translation available for free as part of their "online exclusives" but they told me they don't have the rights to do so and I had to request this from Cahiers/Le Monde. Strange and too bad. I have yet to approach Le Monde group to ask them about the policies about Daney translations.