Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 01
Andre Bazin November 11, 1958
Andre Bazin dies

On November 11, 1958, French film critic André Bazin passed away on the outskirts of Paris, finally losing his battle with leukemia, a disease he had been first diagnosed with in 1954. In the words of his biographer, Dudley Andrew, “André Bazin's impact on film art, as theorist and critic, is widely considered to be greater than that of any single director, actor, or producer in the history of cinema. He is credited with almost single-handedly establishing the study of film as an accepted intellectual pursuit.” Bazin is best known as the editor of Cahiers du Cinéma, the seminal film magazine he co-founded in 1951 with Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. In this capacity, he not only wrote passionately about film, championing “objective reality” in cinema and advocating film as an act of personal expression, but also fostered the careers of Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette and Claude Chabrol, precocious critics who would soon make films themselves and become the vanguard of the French New Wave. Bazin, in fact, died on the very first day of shooting of Truffaut’s debut The 400 Blows, the film considered to be the opening salvo of the Nouvelle Vague. Bazin had been a mentor to Truffaut for the past decade, and it was to Bazin that Truffaut would dedicate The 400 Blows. (Truffaut called Bazin “a sort of saint in a velvet cap living in complete purity in a world that became pure from contact with him.”) In 1967, What is Cinema?, a collection of some of the more than 2000 essays on cinema Bazin had written over his short life, was first published, a defining volume of film criticism that put into perspective Bazin’s contribution to the form. In the introduction to the book, Jean Renoir wrote of Bazin that “he it was who gave the patent of royalty to the cinema just as the poets of the past had crowned their kings.”


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Thea Von Harbou July 1, 1954
Thea Von Harbou dies

In 1954, after attending a special screening at the recently founded Berlin Film Festival of her 1921 collaboration with Fritz Lang, The Weary Death, screenwriter Thea Von Harbou slipped and fell.

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July 1, 1925
Farley Granger born

Farley Granger grew up to play sensitive, sometimes nervous characters whose sense of uncertainty seemed to reflect the actor’s own ambivalence.  Granger was born into the American dream at a time of national prosperity: his father owned a successful car dealership in San Jose, and his mother was a doting homemaker.

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30 June 1989
RKO hijacks Ambersons

When your first film is Citizen Kane, now widely acknowledged as the greatest film of all time, then by definition it's all downhill from there.

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1 July 1954
After M, Nothing

In 1954, Thea von Harbou, a woman who for over a decade was one of Germany's most important artists, died quietly and nearly unknown in Berlin.

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