Vanity Fea

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Dear all:
I'm sorry for cross-posting but the release of Jean-Luc Godard's Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television in English has just been announced and I thought it might interest you to read about it and a handsome pre-order offer that is available for some time until publication: ~ It’s here! Or almost. Jean-Luc Godard’s monumental book, five years in the making, will be released in September. Until then, we’re inviting you to read a free chapter on the caboose web site and to take advantage of a pre-order discount offer – a cloth-bound library edition for the price of a paperback, which moreover won’t be printed for months after the hardcover. Details on the caboose site. While you’re on the site, please take a moment to look around. First stop: Planetary Projection, our free, collaborative on-line project documenting worldwide film projection – before it’s too late – through stories written by some of the remarkable ‘characters’ in the booth. Everyone is crazy about this project, and you will be too. Please spread the word, especially to anyone you know who has ever projected film and might like to contribute. You’ll find other free stuff on the site, including my essay – in English, French and Spanish – on film projection in early cinema, and the legendary but little-seen catalogue of the 1949 Festival du Film Maudit. And my entire book on South American cinema . . . One thing we can’t give away, for copyright reasons, is anything from my acclaimed new translation of selections from André Bazin’s What is Cinema? To make up for that, we’ve posted my (in)famous 20-page footnote on Bazin’s use of the termdécoupage, which simply turns film studies orthodoxy on its head. A must read. Speaking of découpage, you’ll find on the site a description of caboose’s next book, which I have the honour and privilege of co-authoring with two of Europe’s (the world’s!) finest film scholars, Jacques Aumont and Frank Kessler. As the first title in the caboose series Kino-Agora, edited by Chris Keathley, Montage, Découpage, Mise en Scène: Essays on Film Form will use the short essay form to explore historical and theoretical issues around these three concepts and practices in film studies and filmmaking. You’ll want to read this little book on a train journey, while it transports you to a world of film writing which – like peaceful train journeys! – seems lost today. This volume will quickly become mandatory reading for every student of film aesthetics. My own contribution will examine découpage, film studies’ lost term and missing link, through Bazin and others, including Buñuel and Balázs, probing the term’s elusive meaning and sketching a role for it in film studies today. Because David Bordwell uncharacteristically declined to respond to my criticism of his work in the découpage footnote or, more importantly, to engage in the friendly debate I proposed when he kindly purchased a copy of the Bazin (legally, in Hong Kong), I’ll have to whack him all over again in this new volume. If he blundered, he owes it to his readers to set the record straight. If he thinks he’s right about the larger issues my note raises, I’m sure his views in light of it would be of interest to many people. While he’s at it, he might wish to make amends for ungraciously snubbing Planetary Projection’s projectionist contributors and volunteer co-ordinator by declining to mention the project in his recent multi-part blog series on film projection. I hope you enjoy the Godard, a five-year labour of love that will surely go down as one of the fundamental film texts of the twentieth century.
Kind regards,
Timothy Barnard

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