PRINT Summer 1968


What is Cinema?

André Bazin, What is Cinema?, ed. Hugh Gray, (Berkeley: University of California Press) 1967.

There things are . . . Why manipulate them?

—Roberto Rossellini

Cinema is a manipulation of reality through image and sound.

—Alain Resnais

OF ALL THE BOOKS on film which have been issued these past two years, in desperate anarchy from the major publishing houses, the selection of essays assembled by Mr. Hugh Gray from the critical writings of André Bazin is, as might have been expected, incomparably the best. It is, in fact, the only book with any claim at all to intellectual distinction, as it alone reflects, however incompletely, a writer’s acquaintance and involvement with the central esthetic issues and intellectual forces of his time.

To say this is merely to define once more, of course, the situation of film criticism as it is practiced in this country. One was, nevertheless, hardly prepared

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