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Amazing what some people can do in a half-dozen paragraphs. In May of this year, Jean Douchet, one of the original critics for Cahiers du cinéma, wrote a short text entitled "Notre Combat." The resourceful Craig Keller has translated it into English and posted it over at his blog on the occassion of Stéphane Delorme's appointment as the new editor-in-chief of Cahiers.

"Let's quit it with the psychodramas and come to an agreement about what, in 2009, a cinema revue should be," Douchet begins. He calls for a more partisan critcism, one less interested in appearing respectable than in defending its positions, whatever they might be. In a little over 500 strong words, he even finds time to attack those who booed Philippe Garrel's The Frontier of Dawn at Cannes last year. This is both a call to arms and an example: cinephilia that isn't afraid to be polemical, youthful and "unfair."

The original French text is at Independencia.


Great citing. David Denby of the New Yorker comes to mind when Douchet calls for reviews that are less verbose and more about defending a stance.
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A very necessary but definitely dangerous call to action; it almost is a call for critics to be presumptuous assholes!
Down with “the malevolent neutralism that would tolerate a mediocre cinema, a prudential criticism and a stupefied public.” (Opening manifesto of the CAHIERS, 1951)

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