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Jean Mitry

Related: film criticism - film theory

On artistic level the French film theorist Jean Mitry considers The Silence (1963) the perfect example of anticinema, a literary film, embodying everything which should be avoided. "Then we have one of the sisters masturbating while down in the street a tank which has been rolling through the town completely on its own comes to halt, coincidentally right underneath of the windows of her bedroom. No need to mention the sexual symbolism of the tank's gun pointed in the direction of the bedroom, by why on earth should that particular tank be rolling through the streets on its own, except to create its petty effect and to symbolize symbolically a symbolic menace? Etc." (from The Aesthetics and Psychology of the Cinema, 1997) --http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/bergman.htm [Oct 2004]


Jean Mitry (1907-1988) is a film theorist, critic and filmmaker, co-founder of France's first film society and later of the Cinémathèque Française. The first lecturer of film aesthetics in France, Mitry was one of intellectuals first responsible for, in the words of Dudley Andrews, "taking film studies out of the era of the film club and into that of the university". His definitive works are largely considered to be The Aesthetics and Psychology of the Cinema and Semiotics and the Analysis of Film.

This article previously falsely credited Histoires du Cinema to Mitry instead of Jean-Luc Godard. The author was most likely thinking of Henri Langlois who was set to deliver a series of lectures or speeches entitled Histoires du Cinema before his death at which point Godard took up the task eventually transforming the lectures into Histoire(s) du Cinema, an eight hour video. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Mitry [Jul 2006]

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