Friday, February 10, 2012

Trafic at the Jeu de Paume

The Centre Pompidou just hosted a series of events to mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of Trafic, the review that Serge Daney founded the year before he died. They have just put online the video of Daney's last public speech, in May 1992, at a conference about Trafic.

Here's a translation of Daney's first sentences. The full French text is also available in the special Cahiers du cinéma book about Daney. Warning: French wordplay galore!

Trafic, a new review about cinema. Let's leave aside for a moment the word "cinema" and let's take the word "review". The desire to review was very strong in all of us. I've always had it since my life partly coincided with the life of a review which is called Cahiers du cinéma. At one point, I've had the feeling that one mustn't let go of this: the idea of review, in the sense that Godard says that in "review" there is "re-view" [to see / to watch again] - in the same way that in Renoir there is renaître [rebirth], that type of wordplays. It's a good thing to watch films again, a review is meant to watch again, perhaps to better see what wasn't seen the first time round. In a general atmosphere of slightly desperate, mediocre and wild mediatisation, the idea to create a review appeared to me, not as an original programme, but rather as if I had opened the dictionary and looked up the word "review" to check what it was about. (...)

Monday, February 06, 2012

The militant ethnography of Thomas Harlan

I just spotted this new translation at Diagonal thoughts, Stoffel Debuysere's blog. Pleasant surprise.

The militant ethnography of Thomas Harlan
Serge Daney, Cahiers du cinéma, issue 301, June 1979. Translation by Stoffel Debuysere and Charles Fairbanks.