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Talks & Ideas

Cinema is dead! Long live cinema!

Thursday 30 November 2017 18:30-20:00

Inaugural conference by Antoine de Baecque in discussion with Ramona Fotiade in the new premises of the Institut français d’Ecosse.

‘THE END OF CINEMA’ was what Jean-Luc Godard’s famous slogan anticipated, heralding the last moments of his latest successful film from the 1960s, Week-End (1968), a form of cinema devoured by its author as much as by his own self-destructive bulimia. This ‘END’, this death of an art form which is also the end of a world and a break in history, was an integral part of the birth of cinematography, ‘an invention without a future’ according to Louis Lumière. Since then, some doomsayers – albeit geniuses – have often predicted its disappearance. For some time, technological – video, digital, computer, and 3-D – revolutions have anticipated the end of a world. However, crises have constantly generated such formal changes. One could say that cinema is only alive when considering its own impending death, that it is never more alive than when it contemplates its own death with the fever of a dying man. Its concept and basis have been enriched by this death, generating vital historical, aesthetic and theoretical effects.

Antoine de Baecque is Professor of History and Art Theory at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, France and author of several important studies on the inter-related topics of cinephilia, Cahiers du Cinema, the French New Wave, and History in Film, along with biofilmographies of filmmakers such as Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer. The founder of the film journal Vertigo, he was also Editor-in-Chief of Cahiers du Cinema from 1996 to 1998.

Ramona Fotiade is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Glasgow, and leader of an RSE-funded research network devoted to the study of Franco-Scottish cultural exchanges. She has written on film-philosophy and visual culture. Her recent publications include an essay on Bazin, Surrealism and Godard published in The Major Realist Film Theorists critical anthology (EUP, 2016), and a monograph on Jean-Luc Godard’s cult feature, A bout de souffle (I. B. Tauris, 2013). Her book, Pictures of the Mind: Surrealist Photography and Film, is forthcoming with Peter Lang.

Talk in French, powerpoint in English
Admission free
Please book in advance: 0131 225 53 66 or info ifecosse.org.uk

Institut Français Écosse 2022