The ABCs of Cinema (France, 1917–1921)
Abstract

Swiss-born modernist poet Blaise Cendrars was fascinated by the cinema throughout his artistic life in Paris. Cendrars worked with Abel Gance on J’accuse! (France, 1919), which led to his writing the manifesto on the cinema contained herein. Cendrars’s ideas then went on to influence Gance in the making of La roue (France, 1922). Cendrars’s vision of the cinema foregrounds fragmentation, which leads to a heightened sense of the real on the part of what he saw as the cinema’s global audience. For Cendrars film is the culmination of a series of revolutions stretching from ancient times to the present.