This lecture took place on 21 October 2014 at the University of Reading, UK.
Abstract: Bazin’s philosophy of cinema can be linked on one side to his association with actual philosophy (the existentialism rife in the Paris of 1946) and, on the other, to the films he was watching assiduously in these years, neorealism and Welles above all. Occasionally the films and the philosophy line up in a way that lets us peer into his own way of peering. Dark Passage (1946) is such a film, even if he wrote about it rather briefly. And what about the persistence of his film theory beyond the life cycle of existentialism? Can recent films shed light, so to speak, into Bazin’s philosophical passage? Or has cinema and philosophy evolved too much? We will look at one such recent film and pose these questions.
Dudley Andrew is the R. Selden Rose Professor of Film and Comparative Literature at Yale. Biographer of André Bazin, he extends Bazin’s thought in What Cinema Is! (2011) and in the edited volume, Opening Bazin (2012). He has just translated and introduced a new collection called André Bazin’s New Media. Working in aesthetics, hermeneutics and cultural history, he published Film in the Aura of Art in 1984, then turned to French film with Mists of Regret (1995) and Popular Front Paris (with Steven Ungar, 2005). He co-edited The Companion to Francois Truffaut (2013). For these publications, he was named Officier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.