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Roland Barthes' Cinema$
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Philip Watts, Dudley Andrew, Yves Citton, Vincent Debaene, and Sam Di Iorio

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190277543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190277543.001.0001

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A Degraded Spectacle

A Degraded Spectacle

(p.9) Chapter 1 A Degraded Spectacle
Roland Barthes' Cinema

Philip Watts

Dudley Andrew

Yves Citton

Vincent Debaene

Sam Di Iorio

Oxford University Press

Alongside the celebrated essays on wrestling and steak-frites, the Tour de France, and laundry detergent—“l’euphorie d’Omo”—that make up Roland Barthes’ Mythologies, we find a surprising number of essays devoted to movies, television advertisement, actors, and film technology. Barthes writes about Joseph Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar, Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, Chaplin’s Modern Times, Fred Zinnemann’s From Here to Eternity, the Italian anthropological documentary Continente perduto, Greta Garbo in Queen Christina, Sacha Guitry’s costume farce Si Versailles m’était conté, Visconti’s La Terra Trema, the Biblical epic The Robe, a French espionage film set during World War I (Deuxième Bureau contre Kommandantur), a biopic of l’abbé Pierre, Jacques Becker’s Touchez pas au grisbi, Claude Chabrol’s Le Beau Serge, the advent of CinemaScope, the airy gestures of film noir gangsters, studio portraits of actors, Audrey Hepburn’s modernism, Marlon Brando’s wedding, and Michèle Morgan’s divorce.

Keywords:   Roland Barthes, film, CinemaScope, Mythologies, Julius Caesar, On the Waterfront

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