M.: Cédric Putaggio. Voci narranti: Françoise Lebrun, Jean-Patrice Courtois. Prod.: Acqua alta DCP. D.: 75’. Col.
No one ever seriously imagined that André Bazin was a filmmaker, no one ever pushed this idea to its limits, the idea that the famous André Bazin, film critic, one of the founders of the “Cahiers du cinéma”, a hothouse whence so many young critics would emerge as filmmakers, might have, he too, become a director. The fact is that, in 1958, André Bazin did decide to make a short documentary film about small Romanesque churches in the Saintonge, the Cognac-growing region northwest of Bordeaux. But then on November 11th of that year, he died of leukaemia, leaving his project unfinished.
“This is the most magnificent of films, but it does not exist! The images shown are relics of a work that might have been and which one scarcely dares conceive”, so wrote André Bazin about Kon Tiki in 1952. Using the relics of Bazin’s own film – meaning an initial screenplay published in 1959, some three hundred location stills and previously unknown notebooks found in the archive – Marianne Dautrey and Hervé Joubert-Laurencin (who is due to publish Bazin’s Complete Works with Editions Macula, Paris, in November 2018) resurrect a life dedicated to cinema through the prism of this unfinished project: a life entirely committed to popular education through film. A life in journalism. A political life in truth.
Montaggio Bazin is designed to offer a foretaste of a film to come which will be called Bazin Roman. In other words, this is a work in progress, another film that does not in fact yet exist, but which its makers are delighted to be able to screen during Il Cinema Ritrovato, in honour of the centenary of André Bazin’s birth.
Marianne Dautrey and Hervé Joubert-Laurencin