"There Is Not One Realism, But Several Realisms" : A Review of Opening Bazin

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-78
Journal / PublicationOctober
Issue number148
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


There was a period when André Bazin was considered by some to be a simplistic, naive thinker whose writings were only of historic interest. In 1974, Screen regular Colin MacCabe, in a widely influential article, characterized Bazin as "a theoretically naive empiricist, a kind of idiot of the family." How times have changed. In a new essay, MacCabe writes that Bazin realized that cinema creates a "complicated series of relationships between camera and setting" and concludes that Bazin was really a modernist, and so on the right side of history after all. Bazin, a modernist? I am not so sure. However, the sea change evidenced by MacCabe is symptomatic of the state of cinema studies as a whole: Bazin is back! This must be deeply gratifying to Bazin scholar and editor of Opening Bazin: Postwar Theory and Its Afterlife Dudley Andrew, who has been Bazin's leading advocate on the American side of the Atlantic for more than three decades. © 2014 October Magazine, Ltd. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.