The Cinema House and the World
The Cahiers du Cinema Years, 1962–1981
616 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: September 6, 2022
One of the greatest film critics of his generation on topics ranging from the auteur approach of the French New Wave to a more structural examination of film.
One of the greatest film critics of his generation, Serge Daney wrote for Cahiers du Cinéma before becoming a journalist for the daily newspaper Libération. The writings collected in this volume reflect Daney's evolving interests, from the auteur approach of the French New Wave to a more structural examination of film, psychoanalysis, and popular culture.
Openly gay throughout his lifetime, Daney rarely wrote explicitly about homosexuality but his writings reflect a queer sensibility that would influence future generations. In regular intellectual exchanges with Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Roland Barthes, Daney wrote about cinema autobiographically, while lyrically analyzing the transition from modern cinema to postmodern media. A noted polymath, Daney also published books about tennis and Haiti's notorious Duvalier regime. His criticism is open and challenging, polyvocal and compulsively readable.
Serge Daney was the end of criticism as I understood it.
Serge Daney was the key French film critic of his era. His untimely death in 1992 at 48, from AIDS, robbed international cinema of its most important critical voice. Despite his achievements as a writer and editor, little of Daney's work has been published in English. The Cinema House and the World: The Cahiers du Cinéma Years, 1962–1981 covers Daney's years as a contributor and editor at the magazine that launched the French New Wave. It is about time English-language readers had access to the full range of Daney's thought and his unparalleled work on cinema. His prose, with its keen insights into individual films and the cinema as concept and practice, is original and transformative, a must-read for serious cinephiles and anyone else who believes in the ongoing tale of cinema.
A. S. Hamrah
Perched well above cinema studies, Serge Daney wrote and spoke of films in thrilling sentences, unrivalled in insight, moral fervor and sheer genius. Easily the best critic of his day.
Dudley Andrew, Yale University
Serge Daney knew something about cinema that no one else knew.