Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The October, 2014, issue of Cahiers du Cinéma featured Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan.

I first started reading Cahiers du Cinéma – the venerable French film magazine started in 1951 by André Bazin and the future new wave directors – with its Top 10 films of the 2000s issue. There was David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive on the cover as their No. 1 film, and the list included such art-film stalwarts as Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Abbas Kiarostami alongside more commercial directors such as Steven Spielberg and Canada’s own David Cronenberg. (In their more recent Top 10 films of the 2010s list, the publication narrowed back toward art films with Holy Motors, Le Livre d’Image, Toni Erdmann and L’Étrange Affaire Angélica in the mix.) There is something about that earlier-aughts gesture that is at the heart of Cahiers. Its critics have an ability to distinguish the best of both the art house and the commercial cinema.

The five to seven lengthy reviews that populated each new issue of the monthly publication were coveted achievements for filmmakers whose work got released in Paris, where in an average month there could be more than 60 new releases. With exhaustive dossiers on the history of cinema, 10-page interviews with leading directors and serious journalism, each issue of Cahiers became demanding, essential work.

As Serge Daney, one of the magazine’s most influential previous editors-in-chief, once wrote, “To be able to love, you must be able to hate.” The publication’s writers take this to heart, their praises as exhilarating for intense admiration as their critiques are frightening for their violence. That is to say, the Cahiers staff was not always the best at getting along with others. So it was not too surprising when, this past week, the magazine’s entire team of writers quit in opposition to the new state of Cahiers ownership, solidified in January – 20 investors, many of whom are prominent film producers. The potential for conflicts of interest and the ensuing resignation of the editorial team have caused an uproar in the international film community.

Story continues below advertisement

During the 1950s and 1960s, Cahiers was a hub of up-and-coming filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and François Truffaut.


Cahiers’ new proprietors, which include Grégoire Chertok, Eric Lenoir, Xavier Niel and Pascal Caucheteux – with Julie Lethiphu (from the Société des réalisateurs de films) as its new director – have put forward that they want Cahiers to now more resemble a luxury good. That it be fashionable, convivial and better support French cinema. It is a renouncement of what Cahiers stands for, and in his last issue, editor-in-chief Stéphane Delorme addresses this change as the symbolic end of the magazine. It is quite the jarring opposition from when he first started as the editor-in-chief in 2009 (after initially starting there as a critic in 1998). In his first editorial, he was quite excited and optimistic about the prospect of running Cahiers: “As long as cinema exists there would be neighbouring criticism to accompany it because films spark conversations.” And that a film magazine, “should evoke a desire to see films and to prolong them.”

The Delorme period had a great run, and each reader could probably list a greatest hits of their favourite issues. There was the history of poetic cinema, the one on emerging French directors, a special 700th issue on emotions, the history of female filmmakers, a special Agnès Varda issue, a theoretical dossier on what is the importance of film, three covers on Twin Peaks: The Return, a special Charlie Hebdo tribute and one on the death of Jacques Rivette. For regular readers, it was the quality and surprise of each new issue that kept them coming back.

But the 70-year history of Cahiers is dialectical. Every 10 years or so, the magazine drastically changes, usually in response to what has preceded it. This can be due to a new proprietor or a change of editor-in-chief. Delorme had become the 14th editor-in-chief when Cahiers was sold from Le Monde to Richard Schlagman at Phaidon in 2009. Its previous director was known for being too complacent with the French film industry and regularly highlighting middle-brow national productions.

An interview with Martin Scorcese featured in the magazine's Feburary issue.

It is still too early to tell what the future of Cahiers will resemble. As of yet, there is no news about who will replace the Delorme team, and a new group of writers will probably be parachuted in to start over in its ashes. But let their bold resignation be a reminder of their virulence and fierce rejection of the status quo and encroaching neoliberal policies that are further alienating people.

When I interviewed Delorme for my dissertation on Cahiers history, he told me that his goal as editor-in-chief was to make the world a better place. Films and criticism are political. This period of Cahiers argued for a more emancipatory relationship with the world through them.

Plan your screen time with the weekly What to Watch newsletter, with film, TV and streaming reviews and more. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies