Ivone Margulies, author of Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman's Hyperrealist Everyday (1996), has a new book out. In Person: Reenactment in Postwar and Contemporary Cinema focuses on what is at stake when an actual person replays her own past on camera. Close readings of select, historicized examples (Welles, Zavattini, Rouch, Panh, Lanzmann, ...) define an alternate, confessional-performative vein to understand the self-reflexive nature of postwar cinemas. You can order the book and consult its table of contents on the site of the publisher, Oxford University Press. Margulies shares her attention for a certain film with a new book by Camille Bui, film scholar and critic for Cahiers du Cinéma, that even carries it in its title. Cinépratiques de la ville – Documentaires et urbanité après Chronique d'un été explores how the film by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin finds new resonances in a sample of contemporary documentaries and how their urban or documentary mise en scène shapes and is shaped by the experience of interaction and walking, by being both spectator and actor. She looks at the work of Johan van der Keuken in Amsterdam, among others. You can access the table of contents on the site of the publisher, Presses de L'Université de Provence.Éditions de l'Oeil published the first volume of the complete writings of filmmaker and theoretician Jean Epstein. The collection will eventually consist of ten parts, of which Volume 3 (1928-1938) and Volume 5 (1945-1951) have already been published by Independencia in 2014. The 1974 two-volume edition published by Seghers, Écrits sur le cinéma, 1921-1953, has been long out of print and was uncomplete and censored. This project is edited by Nicole Brenez, Cyril Neyrat and Joël Daire. The foreword of each volume is written by a filmmaker, in this case the late Lebanese director Jocelyne Saab (1948-2019). Volume 1 (1917-1923) includes Epstein's first text, “La Poésie d'aujourd'hui”. You can order the book and see what other writings are included on the site of the publisher. On Sabzian, you can read Epstein's text “Bonjour Cinéma” in French and Dutch.
Last month, a massive collection of the writings of another filmmaker and theoretician, Dziga Vertov, was released. Le Ciné-oeil de la révolution: Écrits sur le cinéma is a 776-page volume containing Vertov's writings, including a huge amount of unpublished texts, new translations, as well as manuscripts, poems, a critical glossary and a cahier iconographique with numerous visual documents. This publication aims to let the reader rediscover Vertov's thinking and put it back in circulation in its full complexity. You can read the introduction and the table of contents or order the book at the site of the publisher, Les Presses du Réel.Earlier this month, two recent books dedicated to yet another film theoretician, Siegfried Kracauer, were presented together in Paris. In Fissures – Théorie critique du film et de l’histoire du cinéma d’après Siegfried Kracauer, Edouard Arnoldy departs from his Theorie des Films (1964) and Geschichte - Vor den letzten Dingen (1971) to investigate the links that Kracauer established between history and cinema, between the photographic media and other artistic practices. He finds that, until today, Kracauer's writings invite the reader to think about methods to analyze a film and the problems of writing history (of cinema). You can find more information and buy the book on the site of Éditions Mimésis.
Nia Perivolaropoulou's L'Atelier cinématographique de Siegfried Kracauer publishes the little-known and unfinished scripts that Kracauer conceived in the 1930s. Seperate essays engage with each of these fictional film projects, among which one on the life of Jacques Offenbach, while a number of recurrent themes are being traced. The author shows how the theoretician tried to join reflection and practice. You can find more information and buy the book on the site of De L’Incidence Éditeur.
You can find an overview of all the ‘New Book Releases’ Notes here.