- Title: Bazin at Work: Major Essays and Reviews From the Forties and Fifties
- Author: Bert Cardullo, Andre Bazin
- Released: 1997-03-20
- Pages: 256
- ISBN: 0415900174
- ISBN13: 978-0415900171
- ASIN: 0415900174
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite his tragically premature death from leukemia, Bazin (1918-1958) was one of the most fabulously intelligent film critics who ever penned a review. The author of major books already translated into English on Orson Wells, Jean Renoir and Chaplin, Bazin also wrote a definitive four-volume anthology in French, What Is Cinema? that was shaved down to two books in English translation 25 years ago. The outtakes make up part of the present book, and they are as fascinating as the rest of Bazin's work. Bazin offers close readings of directorial choices, on a shot-by-shot basis, writing like a great director who was fed up and decided to do criticism instead of films. Bazin somewhat ironically calls the director William Wyler, who made the luscious Bette Davis vehicle The Letter, a Jansenist, and proves equally astute on political matters: "Stalin came to convince himself of his own genius," he says, "by means of viewing Stalinist films." In a particularly brilliant insight, he compares Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1956 film about Picasso's creativity, The Mystery of Picasso, to the philosophy of Henri Bergson, both being obsessed with time and duration. A turgid but mercifully brief preface by translator Cardullo does not mar what is certainly one of the most brilliant and valuable books on film published this year, of interest to anyone passionate about the cinema. Whether the subject is the Cinemascope or Fellini, Marcel Pagnol or Rene Clement, Bazin is entirely admirable, and these texts are his immortality.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"...are fresh, stimulating, and even provocative (or combative) when read in relationship to the present matrix fo film theory and criticism... Thus, Bazin at Work is essential for all collections." -- Choice - April 1998 Vol. 35 No. 8
"Bazin writes a clear, unadorned prose and has such a wide-ranging, passionate knowledge of American films that anyone can read him with pleasure and understanding." -- What's Up - June 1998