Positif N°400: Le cinéma vu par les cinéastes [Juin 1994]

Directed by Hubert Niogret, Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens


Paris: Positif, Revue mensuelle de cinéma 1994. 4to (27x19cm), illustrated card wrappers. 158pp. Text in French. Minimal edgewear and rubbing to covers, else fine.


Bernard Chardère founded the French cinema magazine Positif in 1952, just a few months after their biggest rival – Cahiers du Cinéma. The two magazines were rivals for most of their lives, while Positif considered itself as the non-communist left, Cahiers du Cinéma was initially apolitical and, unlike Positif, admired directors who were not committed to the left.

For the 400 issue of the magazine, Positif asked befriended filmmakers to write a text about a performer, a film, or a director, who is important to them, some have played the game, others have hijacked or bypassed it. This special issue assembles 66 contributions of international legends:

Agnès Varda writes about Luis Buñuel; Joel and Ethan Coen remember actor Harry Bugin; Alain Resnais is drafting a table of contents for a fictional next issue of Positif; Catherine Breillat writes on Elia Kazan’s film Baby Doll; Eric Rohmer writes about the movie that made him laugh the most – The General by Buster Keaton; and Chris Marker provides an extensive text on Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a film that fundamentally inspired Marker for La Jetée and Sans Soleil.

Aside from the embarrassingly low percentage of women represented in this issue (three in total), it still features incredible essays from great filmmakers about their love of cinema.