Eric Rohmer's Film Theory (1948-1953)
Eric Rohmer's Film Theory (1948-1953)
From 'école Scherer' to 'politique des auteurs'
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Film Studies
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0. Introduction 1. A Novelistic Art of Space 1.1. Sartre's ontology 1.2. A novelistic ontology? 1.3. Cinema: novelistic consciousness qua actual nothingness 1.4. An art of space 1.5. An art of appearance for appearance's sake 1.6. Space vs. language 1.7. An art more novelistic than the novel itself 2. Alexandre Astruc: An Early but Decisive Influence 2.1. Kant's transcendental aesthetics - and Heidegger's reinterpretation 2.2. 'Dialectique et cinema' 2.3. With and beyond Sartre's Heideggerian perspective 2.4. The 'Caméra-Stylo' 3. Under and On the Volcano: Rohmer's Conversion 3.1. The Other 3.2. The triumph of exteriority over interiority 3.3. Pulling phenomenology back to its Kantian roots 3.4. Ethics 3.5. God? 3.6. Echoes of the conversion 4. The Art of Nature 4.1. To show and not to tell 4.2. Natural beauty 4.3. Immediate mediation 4.4. Movement and narrative 4.5. Mechanism as the background for freedom 5. Ethics at the Heart of Aesthetics 5.1. On abjection: The Wages of Fear 5.2. Films with a soul 5.3. Tragedy 5.4. Solitude morale 5.5. The vertiginous moment: the reversal between inside and outside 6. After Modernity: Rohmer's Classicism and Universalism 6.1. Beyond modern art 6.2. Classic = Modern 6.3. An anti-evolutionist approach 6.4. Universalism 6.5. Authorship and mise en scene 7. Conclusion

Reviews and Features

"Marco Grosoli's Eric Rohmer's Film Theory (1948-1953) comes at a key point in Rohmer studies ... There has never been a better time to fully emerge oneself into the oeuvre (both his filmography and writings) of Eric Rohmer ... [This book] certainly fills a void in Rohmerian scholarship."
- Zachary Ingle, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 40, No. 4 (2020)

"This is a much-needed contribution to the area of auteur theory, given the many questions raised by (and contradictions inherent in) even the most straightforward attempts to describe the stakes of what was eventually deemed the politique des auteurs."
- Leah Vonderheide, H-France, Vol. 19 (2019)

"It is the scope and depth of this new book that proves [Grosoli] to be one of the deepest thinkers of his generation of film scholars ... [AUP] has done something bold and commendable in giving us this sustained and serious study of film aesthetics."
- Dudley Andrew, Critical Inquiry (2019)

Marco Grosoli

Eric Rohmer's Film Theory (1948-1953)

From 'école Scherer' to 'politique des auteurs'

In the 1950s, a group of critics writing for Cahiers du Cinéma launched one of the most successful and influential trends in the history of film criticism: auteur theory. Though these days it is frequently usually viewed as limited and a bit old-fashioned, a closer inspection of the hundreds of little-read articles by these critics reveals that the movement rested upon a much more layered and intriguing aesthetics of cinema. This book is a first step toward a serious reassessment of the mostly unspoken theoretical and aesthetic premises underlying auteur theory, built around a reconstruction of Eric Rohmer's early but decisive leadership of the group, whereby he laid down the foundations for the eventual emergence of their full-fledged auteurism.

Marco Grosoli

Marco Grosoli is an Assistant Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Kent. He authored the first Italian-language monograph on Béla Tarr, co-edited one book on motion capture technologies and one on Guy Debord's cinema.