Cahiers du Cinéma staff leaves, the future of publication is unknown

The French cinema magazine now belongs to a consortium of shareholders who, according to outgoing collaborators, “create a conflict of interest for a critical publication”.

The Cahiers du Cinéma, the influential French cinematographic review founded in 1951, is undergoing dramatic changes that cast doubt on its future. As reported Thursday by France Media Agency, The entire Cahiers editorial committee, made up of 15 staff members, resigned massively following a recent sale that put the publication in the hands of shareholders who, according to a press release, “create a conflict between ‘interests in a critical publication “.

In their statement, the staff members also alleged that the members of the shareholder consortium wanted to soften the Cahiers’ opinions by making them more accessible. “Whatever the articles published, there would be a suspicion of interference … The Notebooks have always been engaged, taking clear positions.” In its monthly issues published by Phaidon Press, Cahiers is known for its often academic and critical pieces, and its idiosyncrasies, annoying and sometimes arcane 10 best lists.

French newspaper The world revealed further details on the mass exodus of Cahiers employees, telling of a new property run by bankers, businessmen and eight film producers. “In the 1950s, the magazine was founded to wage war on French cinema,” explains Jean-Philippe Tessé, deputy chief editor and journalist at Cahiers for 17 years. “The new owners want to make it a” chic “and” cordial “review, it’s absolute nonsense.” According to Le Monde, the new shareholders say they have not asked staff members to change their editorial vision. “The editorial staff must write what they want on the cinema. It is out of the question to orient your choices ”, explains Eric Lenoir, new general manager of the company and also general manager of an urban furniture company called Seri, in the Le Monde report.

Les Cahiers du Cinéma was founded in 1951 by the theorist André Bazin, the director / author Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and the author Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. In its halcyon days, the Notebooks used film giants such as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol, who shared their time between breaking the limits of cinema at that time and writing about this same process. Éric Rohmer was an editor after 1957 and until 1963, when his fellow filmmaker Jacques Rivette took over. Recent authors include André Téchiné, Léos Carax and Olivier Assayas. The main competition for the publication remains the monthly Positif, edited by seasoned critic Michel Ciment, who has worked there for decades.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for cinema in France and in the wake of a new massive resignation – the Cesar Awards ” entire board of directors, who called for a complete overhaul of the organization amid reactions from 2020 candidates led by Roman Polanski.

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