The Art of Cinema, by Jean Cocteau
224-page paperback book
Published in: 2000 (first published in English in 1994, originally published in France as Du Cinématographe in 1988; translated from French by Robin Buss, compiled and edited by André Bernard and Claude Gauteur)
Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd.
Printed and bound in Great Britain
ABOUT THE BOOK
A brilliant mind and visionary artist, Jean Cocteau thought the heart presided over the intellect. And so it should, shouldn’t it? He often referred to his work – an unequalled variety of artistic expressions (from filmmaking, theater and ballet design, to sculpting, painting and literature) – as poetry, “but not that which relates to verse, but rather a lyrical sensibility rooted in intellectual integrity and hard work”. That kind of poetry, I understand. His films had an ethereal beauty and elegance and he wanted them to appeal through images rather than words. He was not inspired by facile anti-Americanism and his writings show his eclectic taste in movies. He disliked the word cinema, preferring to use the already obsolete term cinématographe, which Robin Buss translated ‘cinematography’ in the present book – “Cinematography is an art. It will liberate itself from industrial slavery.”
The Art of Cinema defines some of the most fundamental concepts of cinema and is one of the most eye-opening, bold, witty and discerning writings about the world of film.
“I attach no greater importance to the text – which I always try to reduce to a minimum – than to the visual style. This is the real style of the film, since it is primarily a matter of writing for the eyes.” Jean Cocteau
The selection of books in our shop is carefully curated to include some of the best and most poignant, as well as some of the most beautifully written publications in the film world, be it director or actor autobiographies, film retrospectives and essays. These will be limited collections, which means that it is possible that when they are gone, they are gone for good.