Cinéma direct in the Age of Structuralism: Comolli, Labarthe, Eustache, Godard

Join Nikolaj Lübecker and Sam di Iorio to discuss 'cinéma direct'
  • Date 9 November 2023 - 4.30 p.m.
  • Location Mark Bedingham Room, Study Centre, St John's College

Towards the end of the 1950s, when Edgar Morin began using the phrase cinéma-vérité to describe a particular current of realist film practice, he associated it with a morally-anchored discourse of sincerity that opened not onto naïve truth claims, but onto a broad, Marxist-inflected humanism. A decade later, the intellectual tides had shifted. By the late sixties, not only had Morin’s vérité label been replaced by another term, cinéma direct, but structuralist thought had made the question of realism and the notion of the human profoundly suspect.

Sam di Iorio's talk focuses on three films which return to le direct in the summer of 1968, amidst the political fallout from the May unrest: Jean-Louis Comolli and André S. Labarthe’s Les deux marseillaises, Jean Eustache’s La rosière de Pessac, and Jean-Luc Godard’s Un film comme les autres. In discussing their approach to representation, he will explore how a form initially associated with emotional connection and psychological depth was changed by Althusser and Brecht, asking what happens to cinéma vérité once the subject is taken away.

Sam Di Iorio is Associate Professor of French at Hunter College and Deputy Executive Officer of the Ph.D. Program in French at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research concerns cinema, literature, cultural history and philosophy in Twentieth Century France.

There is no sign-up for this event, and friends and colleagues who would like to join are very welcome.