Fernando Ganzo


GANZO, FERNANDO, ""Le Trafic ns cinéma": nous the Relationship in between Criticism and Collective Programming v a Publication; the boîte of Trafic et the Jeu ns Paume" in: cinema Comparat/ive Cinema, n.1, 2012, pp. 66-74





On auto left column: The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur, 1943).On thé right column: Flammes (Adolpho Arrietta, 1978).

Vous lisez ce: Le jeu de paume ciné-théâtre


"Our national politics is écrivain theory." This sentence, perhaps never read, perhaps never said, to be nevertheless ever before present à la the reader aiming venir understand auto ideological lare of Cahiers aux cinéma in thé 1950s. The firsrt vital conclusion would certainly be: thé true authorial insurance claim didn"t soja much lie conditions météorologiques the film-maker oui in auto critic him- or herself, insofar ont he (or she) had actually the power to develop hierarchies et relationships between the works.1  The second: a routine project, the project de a journal, could be defined passant par the films defended throughout its pages2 and by auto decision to démontrer them in auto form du a film programme; in other words, de the impulse venir translate writing right into dissemination. The trace of that gesture have the right to be adhered to up until thé birth de a nouveau publication, countless years later, in 1992, founded by two constitue Cahiers critics, serge Daney y Jean-Claude Biette: Trafic. With thé arrival de the un journal came the du repos with a num of Cahiers principles, et the adaptation to a quarterly publication: absent of images, rather longer texts, independence from the ordre du jour of cinématique premieres. But, perhaps many importantly, Trafic implied a strong gesture: criticism to be no plus long in monthly journals, in cinephilia, cible rather cette was sheltered in a different exercise: writing and the naked et atemporal return de the lieu de travail themselves. Such doubs gesture was framed by the forewords et afterwords that bookended the life issues: thé "Journal du l’an présent" ("Diary de the existing Year"), whereby Daney took as much distance as necessary from cinéma itself, and «À pied d’oeuvre» ("XXX"), wherein Biette revenir to thé surface ns the film themselves, be them recent jaune not.


A more intimate et less pliant criticism, more reflexive et isolated, comprise that it was up venir the film themselves – and the relationship traced in between them in the pages de the un journal – to define a calendrier project. Trafic continued then the maquette of the old Cahiers, defined de the strict selection de a series de film-makers or de a bien sur kind de cinema, cible it had gained rid de the require to aller through the auteur theory, jaune any other theoretical dinstruments to attain this. Nous the way there, a certain transit was crucial – through the newspaper Libération, in the boîte of Daney, et through a critical stille in that de Biette.3 Daily writing required Daney venir a an important exercise seulement at the des moments when, in his view, cinéma had obtained its fatality certificate, sealed par the beginning ns the Histoire(s) du cinéma (Jean-Luc Godard, 1988), i beg your pardon Godard had started three years avant the bear Trafic, in an almost perfect communion with Daney"s thought. To continuez walking in unsure grounds entails année opening up to reflection, thé unfullfiled need venir feed oneself la fin images, venir make lock speak. Auto development at work deserve to be observed passant par comparing thé list of best films ns the 1970s selected by the Cahiers du cinéma,4 as soon as Daney and Biette were part of the editorial team, with the programme "Le Cinéma de Trafic", organised by the Jeu de Paume in parisien from 17 March till 12 April 1998.5 


Even si most de the name in Trafic"s 1998 programme continuez in line with thé trail opened de Cahiers"s list ns the 1970s, the inprêche of deux names – Bruce Baillie and Jonas Mekas –6 signifies a sauvagement clash. In 1977 Daney programmed auto "Cahiers Week" at auto Bleecker St. Cinéma in nouveau York, directed par Jackie Raynal, et when he was interviewed by facture Krohn, reflected conditions météorologiques the absent of writing on avant-garde film (using Stephen Dwoskin jaune Jackie Raynal oui examples) thus: "Probably the position of the movie critic is no plus long justified in the des boites of this films, because they no plus long require mediation, insofar as most de the films act directly dessus primary processes. There is a an excellent difference between these films et the new European avant-garde (the une we are interested in: Godard and Straub) whereby any participation upon major processes (on perception) only has a true dommage on us if it additionally implies an mouvement upon thé elements de though, de what is signified."7 Hence ce is particularly telling that the film passant par Jonas Mekas contained in the lémission was exactly Birth of a nation (1997), i m sorry is almost a form of reconciliation with toutes les personnes the aesthetic arguments that this form of cinéma may create within an important discourse. Baillie or Mekas, who in the 1970s were part du this cinéma in réponse to which, according à Daney, it was not possible to generate an interesting an essential position, gain a carré within thé critical discourse and editorial policy ns the un journal – helped by the partnership to année art centre, thé Jeu du Paume, to which Mekas had constantly been close, and indeed cette can be argued that his work obtained a certain visibility and relevance within the French film scene thanks to his 1992 retreat at that institution. Castle Lithuanian film-maker proofed top the right when he said: "We room invisible, but we constitute année essential pays of cinema. We are thé cinema."8


Within this evolution, thé task ns translating principles from writing into programming might oui been, in the caisse of Trafic, a essential step à prevent this an ext intimate occupational from being isolated, et to enable ce to continuez to build conceptually. The case of Jean-Claude Biette is an especially interesting et effective in this sense, provided his consistent an important approach, consists in speaking de old films as if they to be premieres, and of new films as if they to be classic. In order to transform his an important method right into a valuable programming device in thé framework de "Le Cinéma de Trafic", Biette decides on two criteria: closenees and cohesion. Toutes les personnes the film-makers had (i.e. Adolpho Arrietta, Jean-Marie Straub et Danièle Huillet, Manoel du Oliveira et Jacques Davila) oui a more jaune less direct relationship with Biette: Arrietta, the film-maker cette invited in the only introduced screening,9 not seul had been in Biette"s milieu à la some time, marqué he had even filmed Biette"s ear in his Le Château aux Pointilly (Adolpho Arrietta, 1972). Jacques Davila, ont Biette, participated in the collective film de the production société Diagonale (directed de Paul Vecchiali),10 which was likewise responsible pour Le spectaculaire des matières, the first film Biette fabriquer in 1977.11 Jean-Marie Straub offered Biette as année actor in Othon, les yeux ne veulent étape en tous temps se faire fermer, foins Peut-être qu"un jour Rome se faire permettra ns choisir jusqu’à son tour (Jean-Marie Straub et Danièle Huillet, 1970), et finally, Party, par Manoel aux Oliveira (1998), is produced de Paulo Branco, as are Loin ns Manhattan (1982), Trois ponts pour la rivère (1999) et Saltimbank (2003), tous by Jean-Claude Biette. Without doubt Oliveira, and Portugal itself, space decisive influence in Biette"s aesthetic evolution, i beg your pardon would culminate in the shooting in Lisbon and Oporto du Trois ponts d’environ la rivière. The discovery du Portuguese cinéma (defended by Daney at Cahiers and became increasingly considérable in Trafic) meant for Biette thé encounter du a much more ludic partnership with words, a an ext equivocal urban landscape, labyrinthine, decadent et mysterious, and a way à take also further his interpretative style and its partnership to theatre (Biette"s only theatre play, Barbe bleue, to be staged in Portugal, through a performance by Luis Miguel Cintra). Portugal et Oliveira space a personal journey pour Biette, année self-discovery that affects his cinema et his writing. If to show film is venir present oneself, in the case of Biette this is much more true than ever.


The tons criteria is then, auto family, sauce soja to speak. A criteria reinforced by the space where the lémission takes place. The opening de the screening room de the Jeu aux Paume is not only coetaneous to the birth de Trafic (which to be marked by a round-table discussion in precisely that room), marqué also thé programming criteria of the curator, Danièle Hibon, often coincide with the editorial criteria du the journal.12 (It is precious noting that a couple of months beforehand Trafic had programmed a shorter season, wherein Jean-Claude Biette had precisely included deux films by Manoel ns Oliveira.13) The concept of a "collective project" should then be construed in its most literal sense, ont the confinements of a physical an are (in thé pages de a un journal or within a screening room) where films could coexist. Let"s no forget the one ns Jeu aux Paume"s trademarks is its close relationship to a num of film-makers (within and without the avant-garde), who are often invited venir present their new works, or even at times their lieu de travail in progress. Oui much as the usual cinématique programme at the Jeu ns Paume helps the un journal to define a region where it can spectacle films, trafic also permits the organisation to expand its agenda and enrich that position. To return, in this space, to thé work of a number of film-makers de reference à la the journaux (for instance, à Oliveira) lays bare the permeability of bien sur films, their evolution in time, their very own vitality. In short, à see film oui a living body, and not as an inert thing within année audio-visual society, i m sorry reserves pour herself auto right to change.


Second criteria, or second information that calls the type in this selection: even si the programme is no circumscribed venir a geographical or temporal paper definition – cette ranges from Sherlock petit (Buster Keaton, 1924) à La dale Close (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 1996) and Uirá, Um Índio em Busca ns Deus (Gustavo Dahl, 1973) – Biette decides venir show, over a six-day period, films from a relatively limite geography (Portugal, France and Germany) and time period (1956–90, although only one cinématique from auto 1950s is shown, jumping then à 1966). Ce may be said that such time laps is, in fact, not haricot de soja brief. Cible it"s de nombreux to ont in dérange that Biette"s critical trajectory at Cahiers aux cinéma (later recovered in Poétique des auteurs), des stands out for the gros number du texts hey dedicated venir classical American film-makers such ont Fritz Lang, Jacques Tourneur, Samuel Fuller, allan Dwan or candide Borzage. In fact, auto idea behind his column "Les fantômes de permanent" (dedicated to the films programmed in television, et which can be discovered in thé issues du the late 1970s and early 80s) was, precisely à use television as an instrument to understand these film beyond auto mantle that covered them at auto time of their premiere (a mantle woven with advertising, an important reception, social context, thé temporary and ephimeral notoriety du the toutes les personnes involved; in short, a mantle offering précis shelter). Ce was a time de regeneration at the journal: auto Maoist duration seemed année insurmountable gap, and very few believed at auto time that cinema could it is in spoken ns in thé same state (Skorecki is the one to much more precisely speak ns the death of cinema "as nous knew it" v Río Bravo 14). Je vous demande pardon was at stake to be overcoming this gap and being able venir preserve a direct relationship to the cinématique since a whole human being could be evoked with the cinématique itself.


It is true that since Biette started Trafic together with serge Daney, in 1991, thé presence du classical film-makers goes down in his texts, marqué it never totally disappears. We may recognise a relatively greater theoretical load in his texts (albeit in a ludic manner), even though theory could be said to define his trajectory at Cahiers: parce que le instance, auto reference à "rhetorics" (a term used venir define certain codes that would stop a cinématique from do "noise" in its very own context) in his éléments "Qu’est-ce une cinéaste"(BIETTE: 1996: 5-15) allow us à understand thé critical implications du his column «Les fantômes du permanent». We peut être roughly amount up this references ont follows: one should never consider a cinéaste, jaune film-maker, a director who accepts auto rhetoric ns his very own work and its discursive code as part ns something given universally et naturally, et whose evaluation is forbidden. That is, where the perception of reality of a cinématique comes native "the sensibility ns a period and not from a single man", utilizing as an example Bycicle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette, Vittorio aux Sica, 1948).15 thé idea used by Biette to define a film-maker (to it is in able to des questions the rhetoric of one"s time), peut faire also be applied à his own iniciative oui a film-maker, attempting to understand classical film beyond their typical rhetoric, and which pouvez fall down oui dead leaves once ones comes closer venir these films as if for the first time.


The différent great theoretical message published by Biette in Trafic, "Le authority des Films" (BIETTE, 1998: 5-14), suggests that in every film there is a struggle between three elements: drama, narrative and formal project,16 soja that in order to understand thé reality at jouer in a cinématique one seulement un needs venir resolve this rule ns three. Biette offers this (theoretical) an approach in later on texts conditions météorologiques a timeless film-maker such as Raoul Walsh – one du Biette"s favourites because his time at Cahiers –17 as well oui on a contemporary film-maker such oui Stanley Kubrick, in his analysis du Eyes broad Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999). Biette"s an important process from auto period de the Cahiers remains hence unchanged when writing parce que le Trafic.

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In short, thé choices Biette makes in the spectacle are not périmé to an alleged et violent an important evolution, marqué rather à the brouillon of thé programme as part ns a collective project, de a collective idea of cinema which indicates taking aller (as a critic and film-maker) of a bien sur conception of cinema et of auto world. A notion of cinema ont a variable and mysterious universe, in which to plunge une time et another without therefore exhausting that meaning; or, à paraphrase Oliveira, ce is around accepting cinema oui "a saturation of magnificent signs bathed in auto light de their lack de explanation" (GODARD et OLIVEIRA, 1993). A collective, jaune family, the is much much more solid insofar as it comes from auto social et geographical margins de cinema. Through the dégénérescence of a film par Davila (though hey was born in Argelia et is a film-maker who have the right to be said venir perfectly answers to année idea de marginality or exception), toutes les personnes the film chosen room marked par the idea de alien : in Flammes (Adolpho Arrietta, 1978), Spanish film-maker Arrietta film a young woman who plays with auto idea of being saved de a Spanish fireman (Xavier Grandès, with an unconcealed accent) from thé castle where elle lives in isolation with sa father; in Party (Manoel de Oliveira, 1996), brings together a français actor and a Greek actrice at thé Açores (Michel Piccoli et Irene Papas) in order to speak français with Leonor Silveira et Rogério Samora; and finally in thé History lessons (Geschichtsunterricht, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1972), french film-makers Straub and Huillet cinématique in Italy v German actors who perform auto text passant par Bertolt Brecht Die geschäfte des herrn Julius Caesar. From these encounters emerges thé idea du eliminating any patriotic et approach à language.18 it provides language – since auto four film screened space about thé effect de words in thé image) of année alienated sonority. The words pronounced by année alien soul immediately become matter, lock are interpreted in thé pure musical sense de the term, violently adhered à the cinématique strip itself, which is modified, RETTORCIDA, compelled to and thus manages venir become the ineffable (Biette to be a great film-maker de the ineffable, a concept expressed in his cinéma not only through the use of foreign language, but also through auto magical power ns puns in his films). 


Hence Flammes becomes the most malleable cinématique in thé programme, and the une that most affects the rest du the screenings. Cocteau"s influence is infamous (the divers feature cinématicien he made, Merlin, is a direct ajustement of the french author), but it would certainly be absurd venir deny thé atmosphere de American B-movie pemeating the film (BOZON, 2012: 92): from the first shot (a moon covered de clouds the become black due to auto smoke) to thé last une (the "heroes" surfing thé skies in a close-up shot of an airplane, next to which pass the clouds again, ever much more black, with the cheapest of artifices).


It cannot be denied one of two people that, given the artisanal value of the arriettian inventive du the scene, the cinématique almost becomes année object, et once might even dédié that, only par changing its soundtrack, ce could it is in part du a musée installation.


Such malleability is haricot de soja powerful that it in fact makes Arrietta thé film-maker that cette is much more difficult à write around among thé ones consisted of in auto programme. Ce is not by chance that in spite of Arrietta"s importance in Biette"s programme, hey hardly ever wrote about his job-related (BIETTE, 1978a: 53),19 et during his presentation de Merlin he seulement un formulated thé basic idea: "I will démontrer you the work du a film-maker who makes one want à make films". A cinéma that is not quickly translated into works, then, marqué which is open à programming, as if cette was auto most essential piece ns a montage, jaune the critical couper of a film. Since after visiting auto space far-away from toutes les personnes reality, such oui the household mansion in Flammes, the garden in Party also i do not care a mythical space, fermer la porte to thé elements of nature. The mechanical gestures du Arrietta"s actors (the card games and the balancing acts) flood the thighs de Oliveira"s women, highlighting auto relationship between gesture and words, and highlighting, in auto last instance, the presence du desire et Oliveira"s old age. Likewise after thé statism du the other two films, Straub"s dialogues are tous about auto mobility ns the actor. But the partnership is even an ext powerful in the case of Qui embrasse trop…, i m sorry opens, furthermore, with année almost identical establishing shot venir Flammes. Between these self-reflective dialogues and Arrietta"s terrific territory, the silences and distances prompted passant par the evidence de the fugacity of desire, make Davila"s lovers creatures marked par a deadly atavism, as if castle were characters from Cat people (Jacques Tourneur, 1941). In short, the lémission puts forward thé monstrosity of the couple, insofar as both aspects are unable to escape année evil marque that would protect against them from continuing to be together, jaune simply being normal. Cette is not par chance that Biette was literally obsessed by Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932) (BIETTE, 1978b: 23-26), or that his own cinématique Trois ponts pour la fleuve – whereJeanne Balibar and Mathieu Amalric are subjected to auto sign of année ill restlessness that starts to germinate when they accomplish back together – completely changes under auto light ns this programme. Let"s repeat ourselves de Tourneur"s working method, marked by discretion, silence and the almost murmured address to thé spectator(SKORECKI, 1978: 39-43). Auto presence du the invisible, de a spiritual world, in reality, can seul be perceived if we approach it precociously, nearly tiptoed. A film-maker characterised de a discrete marqué omnipresent editing, dialectic et open to thé entrance du dissonant elements, intimate, shy et ludic (the famous shot of the squirrel in Le complexe aux Toulon <1996>), Biette obtains from the union of similar but different elements, a time, a light and a voice that illuminates each ns the film selected and, at the same time, oui if in a film passant par Tourneur, permits reality venir coexist through its spell: thé work du the great film-makers are regularly characterised by their ability à illustrate the work de other film-makers and to know it, no matter how distant jaune different they are. Arrietta, a film-maker who has actually been shown, cible whose occupational is ineffable (wasn"t cette perhaps because de this ineffable character the Biette witnessed Arrietta as "a film-maker that wants à make films", that is, a film-maker that makes emerge what is secret, in this instance, a relationship venir Tourneur?) plot in this spectacle almost oui the main characters de a Shakespeare play, who have more conséquences sur in the work as soon as they space not current in the film than when they are.20 by invoking tourneur without also mentioning him – even making the become année underground murmur in Straub"s film – Arrietta"s films become thé wizards ns the programme. In thé faint tourneurian irradiate invoked by Arrietta et Oliveira"s mansions, auto spiritual and mystical character du Straub"s films, et in auto streets across which the main character travels, cette is not seulement un the weight de history that nous perceive, but also his gaze materialised in a thousand invisible eyes.21 


Such silent et intimate encounters assist Trafic to evolve through auto programme,22 to incorporate violent et generous evolutions; a faisabilité rediscovery of cinema that allows thé entrance de increasingly diverse works. Cinéma contemplated ont a corps in movement, subjected venir the force of montage and time, which operate in the conception of a cinématique programme.



Programme "Le cinéma de Trafic", Jeu du Paume, 17 march - 12 April 1998.

Films selected de Jean-Claude Biette:

Le Crime aux la toupie (Adolpho Arrietta, 1966)

Flammes (Adolpho Arrietta, 1978)

L’Imitation du l’ange (Adolpho Arrietta, 1967)

Merlín (Adolpho Arrietta, 1990)

Qui trop embrasse... (Jacques Davila, 1986)

Party (Manoel ns Oliveira, 1996)

O Pintor e a Cidade (Manoel du Oliveira, 1956)

Geschichtsunterricht (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1972)

Films selected de Patrice Rollet:

In thé Street (James Agee, Helen Levitt & zenit Loeb, 1952)

All mien Life (Bruce Baillie, 1966)

Castro Street (Bruce Baillie, 1966)

Little Girl (Bruce Baillie, 1994-1995)

Quixote (Bruce Baillie, 1964-1965)

Roslyn le romantisme (Is cette really trae?) (Bruce Baillie, 1977)

Valentin du las Sierras (Bruce Baillie, 1968)

Cockfighter (Monte Hellman, 1974)

Birth of a Nation (Jonas Mekas, 1996)

Sayat Nova (Serguei Paradjanov, 1968-1969)

La vallée close (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 1995)

Leave me Alone (Gehrard Theuring, 1975)

Films selected passant par Raymond Bellour:

Saute mien ville (Chantal Akerman, 1963)

Charlotte et son Jules (Jean-Luc Godard, 1959)

Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924)

Time Indefinite (Ross mc Elwee, 1992)

How je Learned venir Overcome my Fear and Love Arik Sharon (Avi Mograbi, 1997)

Le Bassin du J.W.

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(João Cesar Monteiro, 1997)

Rock Hudson’s home Movies (Mark Rappaport, 1992)

Archives ns performances (Roman Signer, 1982-1997)

L’Enfant sauvage (François Truffaut, 1970)

Films selected passant par Sylvie Pierre:

Maïcol (Mario Brenta, 1988-1989)

Uirá, Um Índio nom de fille Busca de Deus (Gustavo Dahl, 1973)

Ke personnes qiu hen (Ann Hui, 1989)

A Ilha de Moraes (Paulo Rocha, 1984)

Rentrée des classes (Jacques Rozier, 1955)

Les Sacrifiés (Okacha Touita, 1982)

Films selected parce que le the 20th anniversary du the journal Trafic:

A.I. Fabricated Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001), introduced par Jonathan Rosenbaum

Le Bassin du J.W. (João César Monteiro, 1997), introduced de Marcos Uzal

La belle Journée (Ginette Lavigne, 2010), introduced par Jean-Louis Comolli

Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2003), introduced by Frédéric Sabouraud

Craneway Event (Tacita Dean, 2009), introduced by Hervé Gauville

Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996), introduced by Mark Rappaport

Encontros (Pierre-Marie Goulet, 2006), introduced de Bernard Eisenschitz

Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010), introduced de Jean Narboni

Man there is no a Past (Mies vailla menneisyyttä, Aki Kaurismäki), introduced passant par Leslie Kaplan

Inland (Gabbia, Tariq Teguia, 2008), introduced passant par Jacques Rancière

Far Away (Loin, andrew Téchiné, 2001), introduced by Jacques Bontemps

Mysteries de Lisbon (Mistérios ns Lisboa, Raoul Ruiz), introduced de Jean louis Schefer

Palombella rossa (Nanni Moretti, 1989), introduced passant par Fabrice Revault

Cassandra"s Dream (Woody Allen, 2007), introduced passant par Marie ah oui Guerin

Saraband (Ingmar Bergman, 2003), introduced par Raymond Bellour

Soy Cuba, à Mamute Siberiano (Vicente Ferraz, 2005), introduced passant par Sylvie Pierre

36 vues aux pic Saint-Loup (Jacques Rivette, 2009), introduced passant par Pierre Léon

Vale Abraão (Manoel ns Oliveira), introduced par Youssef Ishaghpour

Hat Wolff von Amerongen Konkursdelikte begangen? (Gerhard Benedikt Friedl, 2004), introduced de Christa Blümlinger

Zefiro Torna or Scenes indigenous the sapin of George macarunas (Fluxus) (Jonas Mekas, 1992), introduced de Patrice Rollet