‘Open the locksmiths’
On the collaboration between surrealism and Positif
in Surrealism and film after 1945
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In 1951, Ado Kyrou and Robert Benayoun founded the surrealist cinema journal L’Âge du cinéma. It folded after five issues, but soon afterwards Kyrou joined the editorial board of the review Positif, which thereafter became the film journal of choice for the surrealists. Benayoun became a regular contributor, while one of the Positif team, Raymond Borde, joined the surrealists, and other surrealists made occasional contributions to the journal throughout the 1950s. During the 1960s and 70s, the surrealists established a significant presence in Positif as successively Benayoun, Gérard Legrand, Petr Král, and Paolo de Paranagua were admitted to the editorial board. Positif was known for its opposition to Cahiers de Cinéma and the ideology of the New Wave, and the surrealists played a prominent part in the polemics of the time. This chapter looks at the surrealist contribution to film criticism generally and considers the nature of their collaboration with Positif in particular. A fresh perspective is offered on our understanding of film criticism in France during this crucial period of its history, which will raise questions about the habitual way in which the significance of the New Wave of that time tends to be discussed today.

Surrealism and film after 1945

Absolutely modern mysteries

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