The Catholic Critic: André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945–1958

André Bazin (1918-58) is credited with almost single-handedly establishing the study of film as an accepted intellectual pursuit. Bazin can also be considered the principal instigator of the equally influential auteur theory: the idea that, since film is an art form, the director of a movie must be perceived as the chief creator of its unique cinematic style. He is also credited with being the spiritual father of the French New Wave. Among those who came under his tutelage were four who would go on to become the most renowned directors of the postwar French cinema: François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, and Claude Chabrol.

Volume 1 of The Catholic Critic: André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945-1958contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s penetrating writing on American cinema: on directors such as Billy Wilder, Frank Capra, Edward Dmytryk, Nicholas Ray, John Huston, and George Stevens; and on films such as The Great Dictator, On the Waterfront, Blackboard Jungle, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and Touch of Evil.

Volume 2 of The Catholic Critic: André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945-1958 contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s penetrating writing on American cinema: on such subjects as Hollywood, the western, Technicolor, the crime film, and “foreign figures” (North American movies that, in some cases [Queen Christina], are set in foreign countries, and in other cases take place in no apparent or identifiable country at all [Rythmetic]).

Both volumes of André Bazin on Hollywood Movies, 1945-1958 also features a sizable scholarly apparatus, including a complete bibliography of Bazin’s articles on American cinema, credits of the films discussed as well as filmographies of their directors, and an extensive index. This collection is aimed, as Bazin himself would want, not only at scholars, teachers, and critics of film, but also at educated or cultivated moviegoers and students of the cinema at all levels.

This collection thus represents a major contribution to the still growing academic discipline of cinema studies, as well as a testament to the continuing influence of one of the world’s pre-eminent critical thinkers.

The author of many essays and articles over the years, R. J. Cardullo has had his work appear in such journals as the Yale Review, Cineaste, Film Quarterly, and Cinema Journal.  For twenty years, from 1987 to 2007, he was the regular film critic for the Hudson Review in New York.  Cardullo is the author or editor of a number of books, including In Search of Cinema: Writings on International Film Art, Playing to the Camera: Film Actors Discuss Their Craft, and Stage and Screen: Adaptation Theory from 1916 to 2000.

R. J. Cardullo’s own film criticism has been translated into the following languages: Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish, Korean, and Romanian. He took his master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University and received his B.A. from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Cardullo has taught for five decades at the University of Michigan, Colgate, and New York University, as well as abroad. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Kurdistan in Erbil, Iraq.

Both volumes are available to order on the Curato. Bookstore.

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