The Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949–1958

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 Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949-1958 contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s writing on Euro-Asian cinema: on directors such as Kenji Mizoguchi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Charles Crichton, Michael Cacoyannis, Marcel Carné, and Robert Siodmak; and on films such as Voyage to Italy, A Man Escaped, Gate of Hell, Variety Lights, The Red Balloon, and The Princess Sen.

Volume 2 of The Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949-1958 contains, for the first time in English, much of Bazin’s writing on international film festivals, such as those at Cannes, Venice, Locarno, and São Paulo—precisely those venues that would feature a mixture of European and Japanese cinema.

Both volumes of The Film Critic as Philosopher: André Bazin on Euro-Japanese Cinema, 1949-1958 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 from the Curato. Bookstore.

How the Railways Came to India

Anuradha Kumar

The story of the railways in India began a decade before April 16th, 1853, the day the first train set off from Bombay to Thane. Two men, Rowland Macdonald Stephenson and John Chapman, made impassioned arguments for the railways. They spoke for Britain’s merchants and industrialists, and convincing others—the public, financiers, and the British administrators in London and India—was not so easy.

This book details the drama and the adventure, the twists and turns, the many actors involved in these early years of the railways in India. As the first trains set off across India, the debates continued: how would the railways be controlled and financed, who would build them, and how would the railway management and workers relate to each other. Then there were the other changes, subtle yet noticeable: related to caste, aspects of equality, and the landscape – as forests were decimated, bridges and railway towns came into being. These essays take you on an exciting journey, from the days of the first trains, to how the railway network soon spread web-like across an entire sub-continent.

Anuradha Kumar once worked as a management consultant and then as an editor in the Economic and Political Weekly. She has degrees in history, in management from the XLRI School of Business, and more recently, a Masters in Fine Arts in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes regularly for, Economic and Political Weekly, and other places. Her book, ‘A Changing World: Eyewitness Accounts of the Early Days of the Indian Railways’  is forthcoming from Curato.

Pre-order on the Curato. Bookstore here.