When it was first published in the original French in 1980, The Ordinary Man of Cinema signaled a shift from the French film criticism of the 1960's to a new breed of film philosophy that disregarded the semiotics and post-structuralism of the preceding decades. Schefer describes the schizophrenic subjectivity the cinema offers us: the film as a work projected without memory, viewed by (and thereby lived by) a subject scarred and shaped by memory. The Ordinary Man of Cinema delineates the phenomenology of movie-going and the fleeting, impalpable zone in which an individual’s personal memory confronts the cinema’s ideological images to create a new way of thinking.
While this book of theory has long been standard reading for French film scholars, it has been something of a missing link to the field, and more broadly, French theory, in America. It is one of the building blocks and one of the more widely known and read translations of Gilles Deleuze, who cited this book as an influence on his own cinema books, and Jacques Rancière.
Softcover, 224 pages, 6 inches x 9 inches, English, Semiotext(e), September 2016.