Antoine de Baecque is Professor of History and Cinema Studies (Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense) and film critic (Libération, Rue89). He is the author of several books, including Cahiers du cinema, histoire d’une revue (1991), François Truffault, biographie (1996), La nouvelle vague, portrait d’une jeunesse (1998) and L’histoire-caméra (2008) recently published in English by Columbia U.P. Camera Historica: The Century in Cinema (2012).
Abstract: Whether portraying events that occurred in the past or stories unfolding before their eyes, certain twentieth-century filmmakers used a particular mise-en-scène to give form to history, becoming in the process historians themselves. Historical events, in turn, irrupted into cinema. This double movement, which de Baecque terms the “cinematographic form of history,” disrupts the very material of film, much like historical events disturb the narrative of human progress. De Baecque defines, locates, and interprets cinematographic forms in seven distinct bodies of cinema: 1950s modern cinema; French New Wave; post-Communist Russian films; Sacha Guitry’s Si Versailles m'était conté (1954); Jean-Luc Godard; Peter Watkins.