Artsept: cahiers trimestriels de documentation cinématographique [complete set]
Directed by Raymond Bellour
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Lyon: Éditions Ufoleis Rhone, 1963. Oblong 8vo (18x20cm) each, printed card wrappers. 168pp/170pp/136pp. Text in French. Showing some light rubbing and occasional mild toning to board edges, else fine.
Artsept was a little-known periodical published in 1963 by the writer and film critic Raymond Bellour. Due to financial problems only three issues were published. With an editorial board consisting in particular of Raymond Bellour, Jean Cayrol, Armand Gatti, Jean-Louis Leutrat, Jean Michaud and Bernard Pingaud, Artsept’s mission was to manifest film as the seventh art, embracing all other arts in their discourse. Each issue was dedicated to a specific topic, the first one to „real cinema“, the second to “cinema and truth”, and the last one to “love”.
On the cover of the first issue of Artsept appear the names of Cayrol, Colpi, Durand, Gatti, Marker, Resnais, and Varda. This reads like the “Who‘s Who” of the Left Bank Group and already indicates a different approach to film than André Bazin’s famous Cahiers du Cinéma. Each issue contains a comprehensive filmography and bibliography of the filmmakers who appear as authors or subjects in Arstept.
The remarkable texts from contributors like François Truffaut, Roland Barthes, Pierre Kast, Jean-Luc Godard, Marguerite Duras, Marc Kravetz, Jeanne Moreau, and Roger Tailleur, made Artsept to an important and influential publication despite its short lifespan.
Chris Marker had been a permanent guest in Artsept. In addition to his own text on Le joli Mai, it is Roger Tailleur who engages extensively in every issue with Markers work. His most famous text on Chris Marker, entitled Markeriana, can be found in the first issue, where he explores Marker and his work in depth. In issue 2 and 3, Tailleur approaches the film Le joli Mai in his piece Parisiennes, and La Jétee in Entre quatre opéras.
These three issue of Artsept are a real treasure of French cinema and critical writing.