Other Currencies

Avant-Garde Cinema – Surrealism

Spectateur: magazine mensuel de la vie et des spectacles. Nouvelle Série. [Spectator: a monthly magazine of life and shows. New Series], nos. 1–3 (all published issues of the "Nouvelle Série").

Paris: La Librairie Corti, February–March 1933. Quartos (27.2 × 18.6 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 31, [1]; 33–77, [2]; and 73–111, [2] pp. With numerous reproductions of film stills and photographs. Wrappers somewhat dust-soiled and with small marginal tears; else good.

Rare cultural magazine with a focus on cinema, which, as the introduction to the first issue states, deals with the "benefits of the spectacle as entertainment and the spectacle as escape", and at the same time attempts to remain "in constant contact with living reality". The influence of surrealism is clear, for example, when the same text states "Man [...] is a contradictory, obstinate and pitiable being whose 500 grams of gray matter are more dangerous than tons of explosives." In this sense, the magazine deals not only with cinema, literature, theater, and music, but also with the "crimes, suicides, and accidents of the month." The articles on aesthetic issues and the reviews were written by various editors of "La revue du cinéma", including Jean-George Auriol and André R. Maugé. Other contributors were Louis Chavance and Jean Pidault, for example. (Cf. cineressources.net, 25.10.2022.)

A few months before Walter Benjamin emigrated to Paris and wrote his essay "Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit" (The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction), the three issues opened an extensive panorama of the culture of visual and tonal distraction in Western Europe before the World War II. It reports, for example, on the dark side of the film industry, the filmmaker René Clair, the productions of Gaston Baty, on LeRoy's "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang", on a visit to the wax museum "Tussaud", on cabaret and chansons in the nightclubs, on nude photography and on crimes in boxing, but also on the increasing terror of the National Socialists in Germany, and on Italian fascism.

As of October 2022, OCLC does not show any holdings in North America.

Book ID: 52430

Price: $2,500.00