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A message in a bottle: Serge Daney's itinraire d'un cin-fils

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With the publication of Trafic's fiftieth issue in 2004 and the release in 2005 of Itinraire d'un cin-fils on DVD, Serge Daney remains an important influence for Francophone film critics. The comparative absence of attention to his work in Anglophone circles is remarkable and a disservice to our understanding of both cinema and its criticism. His uvre is a difficult one to access; it is excessively personal, elusive and yet also performative; he speaks of the phantoms haunting his engagement with film, and conjures up his own for readers of his work today. What his relationship to the medium also reflects is the experiences of a single generation, their romance with and rebellions against cinema. From the cinephilia of the Cahiers jaunes in the fifties, to regarding cinema as another ideological state apparatus in the seventies, and the television-decade of the eighties, Daney, through his writing, encapsulated these crucial moments and shifts. What one should take from his journey and the implications of his last project, Trafic, for the current state of criticism are considered in this overview of his itinraire.

Keywords: Daney; cinephilia; film criticism; history/History

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/sfci.6.1.5_2

Affiliations: University of Cambridge.

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Studies in French Cinema is the only journal published in English devoted exclusively to French cinema, providing scholars, teachers and students from around the world with a consistent quality of academic investigation across the full breadth of the subject. Contributors scrutinise the cultural context of various works and the diverse stylistic approaches that infuse the visual fabric of this genre.
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