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Title: Andre Bazin: Text, context and reception
Author: Hodgkinson, Simon
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
Andre Bazin worked as a film critic in France from the time he left university in 1941 up to his early death in 1958. He was born in Angers in 1918 and moved to the ancient French Atlantic port of la Rochelle in 1923. After rejecting a career in teaching, Bazin started writing as a film critic during the War for L 'Ecran Parisienne, and in 1951 co-founded Cahiers du Cinema. Bazin engaged in debate with the leading French intellectuals although his profession lacked the status of a Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Mauss, or Bataille. Bazin also mixed with, and was accepted as an equal by the most prominent figures in the arts, including Renoir, Cocteau, Chaplin and Richter. Bazin's legacy has nonetheless been contentious: while some consider him to be the 'Godfather' of modern film studies and stylistics, others regard Bazin as a naive idealist who believed in the potential of perfect realism in cinematic production, while overlooking its hidden but politically obvious construction. What follows is neither a direct response to this argument nor an attempt to resolve it. This thesis aims to show that Bazin did not merely engage in a debate about realism and its imperfection, but, far more importantly, was caught up in the debate by his position as a journalist writing for his market and his editors. By analysing a broad group of essays, some of which have not been translated, there is an opportunity to see if there is any underlying connections between what looks a disparate and broad body of work, for a variety of editors. He published almost 2600 articles in this period, and some of great length. The idea that they should remain consistent is in many ways unlikely. But if there is something we can draw out of the texts, we shall at least have a method for doing so. The following, then, consists firstly of a detailed textual analysis of Bazin's writings, and secondly of a review of the field of study which immediately preceded the more recent studies of the writings of Andre Bazin. It is to give to the texts a 'being,' which can then precede the various 'essences' of his critics and interpreters. Because the definitive biographical work on Bazin has already been published, and because there is little that can be added to the biographical information on Bazin. Furthermore, all details of Bazin's private life have been withheld under the instructions of Bazin's late wife Jannine.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.522403  DOI: Not available
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