The Birth of a New Avant Garde: La caméra-stylo (France, 1948)
Abstract

In this manifesto, filmmaker and critic Alexandre Astruc first articulates his conception of la caméra-stylo, arguing the cinema can accomplish all that writing can but has been limited by its connection to narrative and to superfi cial fairground spectacle. Once the cinema transcends these self-imposed limitations, it will manifest its ability to address the most philosophical and abstract concerns of the era. This kind of cinema, prophesied by Astruc, reaches it apotheosis with Guy Debord’s final feature, In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (France, 1978), where Debord states in voiceover: “It is society and not technology that has made the cinema what it is. The cinema could have been historical examination, theory, essay, memories. It could have been the film I am making at this moment.”


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