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LBC/ББК 85.317 + 85.38
BORIS VIKTOROVICH REIFMAN
Russian State University for the Humanities,
POSTMODERNISM AS PRESENTIMENT IN THE THEORY OF “AUTHORIAL CINEMA” AND THE FILMS OF THE FRENCH “NEW WAVE”
Annotation. The article examines the conception of “authorial cinema” and the aesthetics of the French “new wave” of cinema notionally connected with it, as some of the first prologues and theoretical foundations of cinematographic postmodernism. In the opinion of the author of the article, an essential moment of the conception of authorial cinema created in the mid-1950s on the pages of the journal “Cahier de cinema” is the negation of the elitist modernist context of understanding of producers’ activities in cinema as the work of the Artist with a capital letter. Almost simultaneously with an attack on the opposition between elite and mass culture undertaken by the founders of the Birmingham center for cultural studies and the Anglo-American “new left,” and over a decade before various variants of post-structuralism brought out their versions of the “death of the author,” Francois Truffaut, who was the first to have made use of the term “authorial cinema,” and other young cinema critics, who published their articles in the journal “Cahier du cinema,” got into an argument with this journal’s founder and editor-in-chief André Bazin, who defended the modernist, personalist-existentialist point of view about the cinema producer’s artistic activity. One of the most significant content-based aspects of this argument, known as the “argument about the ‘authors’ politics,’” was the paradoxical coexistence within the position of Bazin’s opponents: on the one hand, of the attitude toward the author in cinema not as the creator of a work of art, but as a subject of an integral artistic biography in which success and failure possess equal value; on the other hand, of the view as the most crucial value of the authorial film of the combination in it of what may be called the verbal-semantic secondary quality (genre or quotation quality), and that which is perceived as meaningless visual characteristics, affecting not the viewer’s reason, but rather, his “body.”
Keywords: authorial cinema, “death of the author,” the French “new wave,” modernism, postmodernism, personalism, existentialism, presence, absence, institution, canon.