Camera Historica: The Century in Cinema by Antoine de Baecque

Camera Historica: The Century in Cinema

byAntoine de BaecqueTranslated byJonathan Magidoff, Ninon Vinsonneau

Paperback | March 6, 2012

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 250 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 3-5 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Antoine de Baecque proposes a new historiography of cinema, exploring film as a visual archive of the twentieth century, as well as history''s imprint on the cinematic image. Whether portraying events that occurred in the past or stories unfolding before their eyes, certain twentieth-century filmmakers used a particular mise-en-scène to give form to history, becoming in the process historians themselves. Historical events, in turn, irrupted into cinema. This double movement, which de Baecque terms the "cinematographic form of history," disrupts the very material of film, much like historical events disturb the narrative of human progress.

De Baecque defines, locates, and interprets cinematographic forms in seven distinct bodies of cinema: 1950s modern cinema and its conjuring of the morbid trauma of war; French New Wave and its style, which became the negative imprint of the malaise felt by young contemporaries of the Algerian War; post-Communist Russian films, or the "de-modern" works of catastroika; contemporary Hollywood films that attach themselves to the master fiction of 9/11; the characteristic mise en forme of filmmaker Sacha Guitry, who, in Si Versailles m''était conté (1954), filmed French history from inside its chateau; the work of Jean-Luc Godard, who evoked history through his own museum memory of the twentieth century; and the achievements of Peter Watkins, the British filmmaker who reported on history like a war correspondent. De Baecque''s introduction clearly lays out his theoretical framework, a profoundly brilliant conceptualization of the many ways cinema and history relate.

Antoine de Baecque is a historian and film critic and professor of cinema studies at the University of Paris X Nanterre. His books in English include Truffaut: A Biography; The Body Politic: Corporeal Metaphor in Revolutionary France, 1770-1800; Glory and Terror; and A History of Democracy in Europe. He has served as culture editor for...
Title:Camera Historica: The Century in CinemaFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:424 pages, 9 X 7 X 0 inShipping dimensions:424 pages, 9 X 7 X 0 inPublished:March 6, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231156510

ISBN - 13:9780231156516

Appropriate for ages: All ages

Look for similar items by category:

Table of Contents

Prelude: The Tree of HistoryIntroduction: The Cinematographic Forms of History1. Foreclosed Forms: How Images of Mass Death Reemerged in Modern Cinema2. From Versailles to the Silver Screen: Sacha Guitry, Historian of France3. "Me? Uh, Nothing!" The French New Wave, Politics, and History4. Peter Watkins, Live from History: The Films, Style, and Method of Cinema''s Special Correspondent5. The Theory of Sparks: A History in Images, According to Jean-Luc Godard6. Demodern Aesthetics: Filming the End of Communism7. America Unraveled: Master Fictions in Contemporary Hollywood CinemaConclusion: All Histories Are PossibleNotesIllustration CreditsIndex

Editorial Reviews

Camera Historica is a refreshing and stimulating read, ultimately offering a vital contribution to the ongoing need for serious discussions of the intersections between film and history.