Publisher buys French film bible

Cahiers du Cinema sold to art book publisher Phaidon

PARIS -- The bible of France's arthouse film world, Cahiers du Cinema, which launched "New Wave" directors such as Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, has been bought by Phaidon Press, the art book publisher.

The film monthly, founded in 1951 by the critic and theorist Andre Bazin, was famous for promoting the "auteur" theory of filmmaking, which argued that a film should be the product of a director's personal vision.

The title became synonymous with the "New Wave" cinema of Truffaut, Godard and others, who cut their teeth in its pages championing gritty American "film noir" dramas, then critically neglected, against the conventional French cinema of the time.

Phaidon spokeswoman Liz Thompson said an English version of the magazine was planned in the coming year.

Cahiers du Cinema's owner, the publishing group behind the prestigious newspaper Le Monde, said last year it intended to sell the title, which has monthly sales of 20,000 in France.

Richard Schlagman, publisher of Phaidon, said in a statement he was determined to ensure that Cahiers du Cinema played a central role in filmmaking.

"I am positive that Cahiers can once again become relevant to our times and speak to a new generation of cinephiles," he said in a statement.

Phaidon said the Societe Civile des Amis des Cahiers du Cinema, an association of friends of the magazine supported the transaction and would continue to hold a small stake.