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February 22, 2008


Jahsonic uses the death of Alain Robbe-Grillet as an occasion to remind us that -- his script for Last Year at Marienbad notwithstanding -- the novelist was not a New Wave cinephile.

Indeed, rather pointedly not one, to judge by the quoted excerpt from an interview:

"What are commonly called true cinephiles are mental retards (d├ębile mentale) who love 'the movies,' people who run to any theatre to submit to viewing any film. They consume with the same pleasure whatever genre of film. That is what is known as cinephilia. It's an illness, though a less common one than it used to be [during the heydays of the Nouvelle Vague]," he concedes.

Posted by smclemee at February 22, 2008 10:26 AM


Interesting and it makes sense. From the novels I've read Robbe-Grillet seems steadfastly anti-cinematic -- the opposite of someone like Graham Greene who wrote movies in prose, Robbe-Grillet's emphasized those aspects of experience that couldn't be captured by moving pictures.

Posted by: Jeet Heer at February 22, 2008 12:30 PM

I'm relieved. I can forget my life-long shame at not "liking movies." There are some films I love, but I do not suffer from cinephilia, apparently.

Posted by: joseph duemer at February 23, 2008 8:32 AM

Conversely, I'll take 70 percent of Truffaut's oeuvre, and 50 percent of Godard's oeuvre, over 95 percent of Robbe-Grillet's oeuvre any night (or matinee) of the week.

Posted by: Steven Augustine at February 29, 2008 4:58 PM