The following text has been automatically reproduced by an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) algorithm. It may not have been checked over by human eyes. For matters of precision please consult the original pdf.

People exposed, people as extras

People exposed, people as extras

Georges Didi-Huberman

The title of the first film shown in history is La Sortie des usines Lumière – in English, ‘Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory’. On 22 March 1895, in the rue de Rennes in Paris, in front of about two hundred spectators, Auguste and Louis Lumière showed for the very first time on a screen the lower classes in full movement. Their own workers had been carefully framed in front of the main gates of the Montplaisir factory, leaving their workshops during a break around midday. Thus, it was while making their exit from the factory that the people made their entrance – and thereby benefited from a new form of exposure – on the stage of the cinematographic era. This is all very simple, as we can see – but quite paradoxical too.

This origin was an origin, as such, only by appearing by surprise. The Lumière brothers probably had no intention of placing their ‘lower class’ employees in the foreground. They were, above all, proud to present to Paris an original process of colour photography called ‘autochrome’. However, it is the Kinetoscope projector, appearing at the very end of a showing, that, to their own surprise, most surprised the spectators and filled them with wonder:

With the help of a Kinetoscope that he invented himself, M. Louis Lumière has shown on a screen a most interesting scene: the personnel from the workshops leaving the factory at lunchtime. This animated scene, which shows al these people in full movement, rushing out onto the street, has produced the most striking effect. [1]

One saw, in a few seconds, about a hundred people appearing, as though this ‘people of images’ (the workers in Lyon) were suddenly invading the good society of the engineers and of the promoters of the industry (the spectators in Paris) who had come to the showing.

Furthermore, this was an origin only by appearing in the difference created between the subjects represented and the mode of their exposure: they are workers shown in the act of leaving their work. There is no violent protest in this exiting: these workers are simply taking advantage of the lunch break for some fresh air, while their boss is, for his part, taking advantage of the good sunlight necessary for the technical creation of his film. But this is where the difference lies, and on several different levels: they turn from being workers – that is, makers of photographic materials – to being suddenly actors in this first film. One of them, coming out on his bicycle, is called Francis Doublier: some time later he will stand behind the camera enjoying a new social status, that of cinematographic operator. [2]

A third paradox appears when we discover that this was an origin only by displaying itself completely in the facts of repetition and rehearsal – two notions contained in a single word in French, répétition. The celluloid film of March 1895 was preceded in the summer of 1894 by its ‘final rehearsal’ on paper – which of course could not be projected on screen; and it was followed by other répétitions or versions of the same scene until the end of the century. [3] We should add that, as the film measures only seventeen metres – for a total of about eight hundred photograms or vues (views) as they used to be called – the film lasted only one minute, ‘and so a repetition of this projection was asked for by the whole wonderstruck audience.’ [4] Finally, this origin, quite strangely, contains nothing with a ‘point’ of departure: it appears rather like an imprecise territory, a field of possibilities both open and relative, not to the intrinsic value of the new technical medium, but to the multiple use-values with which it would gradually become invested. It suffices, first of all, to flick through the catalogue of the ‘vues Lumière’ to understand the considerable meaning that the cinematograph has for a history of the exposure of the people: it is the social body in its entirety, under every latitude, that at the end of the nineteenth century becomes the principal object of this new atlas of the world in movement: bull races and baby competitions; political demonstrations and religious processions; bustling activity of the city, fruit and vegetable markets; dockers at work, fishermen, farmers; children at play; launching of ships; sports teams and circus performers; washerwomen and Ashanti dancers, wealthy bourgeois men and women in London and wretched coolies in Saigon, and so on. [5] The question remains to know, finally, by what means and with a view to what these ‘views’ were exposed. We know that the figuration of the people was a crucial question for the ‘primitive’ and ‘modern’ cinema, beyond – or starting with – ‘Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory’. [6] This goes from Griffith to Eisenstein, from Abel Gance to King Vidor. One must mention also Fritz Lang, who worried about the manipulation of crowds in Metropolis before Leni Riefenstahl glorified them a few years plus one dictator later, in The Triumph of the Wil .7 In this context we can understand the political urgency – and the conceptual difficulty – of an analysis of these ‘media’ phenomena in the age of conquering totalitarianisms, in the work of thinkers such as Siegfried Kracauer,

Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin or Theodor Adorno. [8]

It is thus not enough that people be exposed in general: one must go further and ask whether in each case the form of such an exposure – framing, montage, editing, rhythm, narration, and so on – encloses them (that is, alienates them and, finally, exposes them to disappearance) or whether it frees them (by exposing them to appear before us, giving them a power of appearance or apparition).

The imaginary people

‘Cinema’, wrote Edgar Morin, ‘allows us to see the process of penetration of man into the world and the inseparable process of penetration of the world into man’ at a precise point, on a dialectical pivotal plane which serves as a conversion operator. This plane is nothing other than the image itself, the image in so far as ‘it is not only the turntable between the real and the imaginary, but also the radical and simultaneous constituent act of the real and of the imaginary’. [9] If the man of the cinema is indeed that imaginary man that Edgar Morin suggested, our diagnosis must certainly not be limited to finding there the man of flight and illusion, the man of the unreal and of ignorance or misrecognition, the apolitical man and the man of indifference to the world. When the group of Lumière workers exited their workshops and went bustling out into the daylight, bigger than life-size on the screen, in front of a group of wonderstruck bourgeois spectators on the rue de Rennes, it was in some way perhaps already a political meeting, a meeting created by the image and not cut off from the real, since it linked – for the long duration of the social development of the cinema – the workers with the managers or the customers from the same nascent industry.

In what remains perhaps his most fascinating work,

Jean Louis Schefer sketched a poetics and almost a metapsychology of this ‘imaginary man’ by calling him ordinary man, the ‘man without qualities’ of the cinema. And where our solitude in front of the image becomes – through fear, according to Schefer – consistency or strength of a social body with which our own solitude would become permeable or soaked, what is . . projected and animated is not ourselves and yet we recognize ourselves in it (as though a strange desire for the extension of the human … could be at work here). … It is not possible that my experience of the cinema is total y solitary: this, more than the il usion of movement and of mobility of things that it gives us, is cinema’s own particular il usion; … it seems, because of this beguiling solitude, that a part of ourselves is permeable to effects of sense without ever being able to be born into meaning by our language. … Cinema works on every social being as on a solitary being. [10]

It is probable that the man of the cinema is an ‘ordinary’ subject – rather than a ‘connoisseur’ as in archaeology or the plastic arts – inasmuch as he contemplates the movement of human appearances from his own position as an anonymous individual plunged, with his fellow human beings, into the half-light of a screening room.

It is thus, also, in so far as this ‘strange desire for extension of the human body’ works in the dark room like the grains of dust in the beam of light from the projector, between immobile bodies in shadow (the spectators) and moving bodies in the light (the actors). What, then, is the collective being that results from this meeting, the social being of cinema? It is impossible, no doubt, to deduce the Lumière Brothers, Work ers Leaving the Lumière Factory, 1895idea either merely from the cast alone or from the audience alone (this audience that we generally fail to think about, as well as the community and solitude). It is rather the meeting – and not just the ‘representation’, on the one hand, or the ‘reception’, on the other – that would make it possible to construct this idea.

This meeting has to do, in each case, with a certain historic state of the relations between poetics and politics. Jacques Rancière traced back to Flaubert the typically modern idea by which ‘in the subject-matter of art … there are no beautiful or ugly subjects any more: Yvetot is on the same level as Constantinople, and a farmer’s daughter is on the same level as a society woman.’ [11] But one could just as easily go further back and find this economy of figuration in Caravaggio’s ‘Madonna with the Serpent’, in Callot’s or in Rembrandt’s beggars, or, later, in Goya’s ‘Disasters’. On the basis of this long history in which this ‘theatre of the people’ is unfurled, Jacques Rancière has examined the ‘dominant ideas of a time and of an intelligentsia which think [today] that, with regard to the people, enough and even too much has been given’, saying this in order to highlight the symptomatic value of recent films such as Bruno Dumont’s Rosetta or the Dardenne brothers’ L’Humanité. [12]

This diagnosis by Rancière can be divided into two symmetrical meanings. On the one hand, it seems, the people are exposed to the risk of being hypostasized – and above all reduced – in both a larger and more consensual entity, which is the idea of nation. [13] This is what gives rise to massive identifications, to military choreographies and to patriotic stories, from Busby Berkeley to the sympathetic and triumphant heroes of Independence Day. This is what gives the illusion of uniting a ‘cast’ on show and the ‘audience’ that judges them. [14] This is what makes it possible, with the help of digital technology, to create armies, whole societies, on the basis of a simple algorithm of cloning, as in The Matrix or in The Lord of the Rings. In front of such things, the archaic packs of living-dead in the series of films directed by George A.

Romero appear like a political alternative to the distressing populism of the living-all-too-living who go about, in a completely interchangeable and alienated manner, in our sitcoms.

On the other hand, the people expose themselves to the risk of being hypostasized in the compressed entity of what is called pic people, that is, the ‘people of images’ – picture now, rather than image – according to the definition given by the very chic Variety magazine which specializes in entertainment industry news, celebrity photos and the box office, as its ads show:

this magazine gives the term pic people to ‘all those who participate in the existence of a film’, from the humble technicians to the famous actors, and from the producers to the cinema managers. [15] Philippe-Alain Michaud cites this definition with regard to a progression where the notion of ‘people’ unfortunately gives way, eventually, to the people of the celebrity world and the happy few which the world of showbusiness and the contemporary art world go wild about: the ‘beggar’ of Accattone becomes ‘idol’; and martyrdom – even the ancient stylite, all under the American term ‘fashion victim’ – is seen as a category of ‘fashion’, in other words as the creation of a stylist. [16]

The concept of pic people seems to be characterized by a typically capitalist competition of identificatory props: it is always one star against the other, better than the other; it is the perpetual wonder in front of a body hypostasized in a trademark image – which is neither the image in the anthropological sense, nor a mark in the sense of ‘imprint’ – of a rather unclear desire.

The film buff’s passion, with the reserved attitude that often characterizes it, enjoys concentrating on ‘the best looks, the best actor’; even its reflection regarding a ‘politics of actors’ renews, by capillary action, the notion of author and thus the authority of the proper name as the symbolic power of Mount Parnassus where the love stories of the gods Gary Cooper, John Wayne or James Stuart are hatched…17 Har un Farocki, Factory Exitings, 1995One of the great political powers of the cinema of re-edited/revisited (remontées) archives, such as we see in the work of Artavazd Pelechian, Basilio Martín Patino, Jean-Luc Godard or Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, consists in going back through history – and thereby performing a work of montage and re-editing – in search of lost faces, that is to say faces which have perhaps lost their names today, and which show themselves in their absence of power and their muteness, but which have lost none of their force when we look at them moving in the flickering light of time-damaged films. It is a way of finding once more an essential quality of the ‘primitive’ cinema which André S. Labarthe contemplated in the unique face of Falconetti filmed by Dreyer, as well as in the innumerable, nameless faces filmed by Eisenstein; those ‘documentary heroes’ as he calls them. [18] It is their traces, to a greater or lesser degree, that Harun Farocki sought in an extraordinary collection of factory exitings (sorties d’usines) where the opening gesture of the Lumière factory workers is diffracted so as to gesture to us, to make a sign to us, with the most contemporary political urgency. [19]


It seems that the cinema only shows or exposes the people according to the ambiguous status of ‘extras’ – figurants in French. The verb figurer in French means variously ‘to appear, to represent, or to be an extra’ and is related to the notion of the ‘figure’. Figurant: it is a banal word, a word for the ‘man without qualities’ of a setting, of an industry, of a spectacular management of ‘human resources’; but, also, it is an unfathomable word, a word from the labyrinths that every figure conceals. The figurants – the extras – constitute, above all, in the economy of cinematography, an accessory of humanity which serves as a framework for the role of the central heroes, the real actors in the story, the protagonists, as they are called. For the story which is told they are like the base, the underlying canvas made up of faces, bodies and gestures. They form the paradox, therefore, of being something that is not merely part of the set but that is human as well.

In English, as in Spanish, one calls them ‘extras’; in Italian they are comparsi, and in German they are Statisten – words which indicate the point to which they are not necessary to the story or to the dynamics of the film. They are the dark mass in front of which the ‘stars’ of the film shine (those considered worthy of being seen, compared as they are to the bright splendours of the night sky, those isolated points in the sky which still carry the names of ancient gods). The figurants or ‘extras’ are the night of the cinema when cinema strives to be an art that makes stars shine. To a certain extent, they are to the world of shows what the miserable wretches – the misérables – were to the industrial world of Victor Hugo’s time.

The figurants or ‘extras’ would therefore represent something like an accursed share of the high art – and of the huge industry – of cinema. They are situated at the very bottom of the artistic and social ladder where actors who ‘play themselves’, and where ‘secondary characters’ and other supporting actors, gain the upper hand. [20] Even journals like Cahiers du cinéma only stop briefly to examine ‘secondary roles’, giving the ‘extras’ practically no chance of existence at all, poetically and politically speaking: they then disappear underneath the last level which is the ‘third man’ (troisième homme) or the ‘minor figure’. [21] In her work on L’Acteur de cinéma, Jacqueline Nacache speaks quite justly of the extra as the ‘piece-of-furniture-man, the anonymous passerby, the silhouette swallowed up by shadow, the lower-class people of films.’ [22] The extras are the actors of nothing. They are the non-actors par excellence, postulated by their semiological and institutional definition: ‘All [of the human figures in a film] are not necessarily ‘actorly [actoriel es] figures.’ In the first place is the cohort of extras. As individuals, they have no acting (actantiel e) value: they are ‘non-actors’ since they do not constitute an acting force in the story. However, as a collective, they can indeed play such a role (like the troops who land on the coast of Normandy in The Longest Day). [23]

The institutional definition would be as follows:

The extra is there only for the costume he or she wears, or the spot of moving colour that he or she gives to the décor. … The set ing parks him, as a consenting slave of the cinema, submit ing him to shouted orders and to military discipline. Should he step out of line, he wil put the set in danger (Jerry Lewis in a gag in The Errand Boy). … Each extra is taken on and paid by the production on the basis of his or her ‘non-actor’ status. [24]

In a professional manual from a film corporation, we can find the following: ‘the choice of extras is up to the assistants’, who determine the ‘number of extras for the décor’, combining the director’s artistic demands with the economic demands of the producer. [25]

The figurants, the ‘extras’, exist in the plural. If we want to speak of a figurant in the singular, we will say in French un simple figurant, meaning ‘a simple or mere extra’. Simple, mere: because he or she is missing that individuation which makes up the passionate complexity of the character, of the actor, or of the subject of the action. The extras ‘figure’, and therefore do not act. When they move, they are rather part of a mass effect which drags them into a vast movement, a general design of which each extra is merely a segment, a piece in a mosaic, sometimes just a single point. The word figurants in the plural appears in French around 1740: it was used to refer to a group of dancers who, at the beginning of the ballet, drew different figures with their collective arrangement. Around 1800, the word is used to speak of the characters in plays that only have a ‘secondary role’ – that is to say, who are there, on stage, but who have absolutely nothing to say. More often than not they exist only by their number, their mass, and their mute lack of differentiation. Around 1907 the word begins to be used in a more general sense to evoke a group of people whose role – in a society or in an historic situation – is neither effective nor meaningful, illustrated in the two expressions ‘hidden role’ and ‘purely decorative role’. Être figurant, to be an extra: to be there but only so as not to appear in the spotlight. To melt into the mass and to serve no other purpose than to be at the base of the story, the drama and the action.

In spite of their name, the figurants tend to disappear, to not figure, so to speak, since instead they melt into the base, always behind the acting figures. The noise they make is only a murmur. Their appellation is collective. If by chance the names of the extras appear in the credits at the end, their letters are so small and pass by so quickly in front of our eyes that they disappear very quickly to leave only a simple column, an unreadable list where each is supposed to ‘figure’, indistinctly. The extras are those who have not succeeded in ‘making a name’ for themselves, and this is why they are so badly paid. They wait for hours on the film set to do what is asked of them, which in general is very little. The make-up artists of course give them hardly any time at all. Their costumes are often chosen to form, all in all, only a great monochrome, as uniform as possible. The prototype of the extra is no doubt the anonymous foot soldier who, among the hundreds or thousands of his fellows, is just there to figure the battle scene – from which the hero will emerge triumphant or will become the wounded hero – and has nothing to do but walk, pointing a bayonet, and pretend to fall down dead at the given moment.

Extras are thus like the innumerable unknown soldiers of commercial cinema. They die forgotten, like dogs. It is no coincidence that the French word figurants refers, in slang, to anonymous cadavers exposed in the morgue waiting to be recognized and named – something which rarely happens in such cases. In his Dictionnaire français-argot published in 1901, Aristide Bruant cited this lament:

Your man has not returned home for three days … Go to the Musée des Refroidis [in other words, ‘the Stiffs Museum’, slang for the morgue]… He is perhaps one the figurants.

If a friend tells you in French that he or she has fait de la figuration in a film – that is, appeared as an extra – and invites you to go to see it, there is a strong possibility that you will hardly see his or her presence on-screen at all. For such is the paradox of the figurants or the extras: they have a face, a body, gestures that belong to them, but the setting that calls on them wants them to be faceless, bodiless, and without any personal gestures.

We often have the impression that the extras take their revenge on the lack of differentiation that is imposed upon them with indifference – a discreet but sometimes easily perceptible indifference – which they turn against the story for which they form the decoration. You can see them bored to death, expecting nothing more from cinema, while every actor has the right to expect cinema to allow him at least to appear. Is it for this that the extras always act so badly, as though begrudgingly? Or else is it because the director simply does not know how to look at them, since he has eyes only for the ‘true’ actors? It becomes painful when the extras are supposed to play a group of people subjected to the same tragic fate as the protagonists, for example in Hollywood representations like Holocaust or Schindler’s List. It is unbearable in these cases to see that the characters of a film are not equal confronted by the same fate that touches them.

Against this, Claude Lanzmann gave much time to giving faces, words and gestures back to those that the Nazis called Figuren in the camps. But is it not an impossible task, or an infinite task, to account for each person’s difference, each person’s singularity, each person’s irreducibility?

We can understand in this context that the extras oblige the film-maker to ask a crucial question, a question that is inextricably linked to aesthetics, ethics and politics. How should one film the figurants, the extras?

How should one make them appear as actors in a story; how can one refuse to settle for making them indistinct but living shadows? This is the question of the relation established in a film between the little story and the big story, between the local story and the history in which it takes place. Eisenstein attempted to invert the established relation in Hollywood cinema between the peripeteia and the historic reality: in Hollywood, he said, what you place at the fore is the inevitable trio made up of the husband, the wife and the lover, before choosing – as one chooses one’s wallpaper for the house – to place behind them the ‘local colour’ of the decor and of the extras, be it Imperial Rome, an African safari or Chicago in the 1930s. [26] Against this, it was a matter of giving back to the figurants (who are to cinema what the people are to history) their faces, their gestures, their words and their capacity to act; to film them less as a mass than as a community – that principal actor, active rather than passive – of real history.

In The Battleship Potemkin, for example, Eisenstein devoted a lot of time to the faces and to the bodies of the extras to capture the way in which the death of Vakoulintchouk arouses a sovereign transformation of personal pain (religious gestures and lamentation) into collective fury (political gestures of imprecation and of calling for vengeance, all filmed close up), and very soon into a revolutionary decision. For October, the film crew tirelessly sought extras in the streets, the bistros, the night shelters. Among the eleven thousand people approached, many had been protagonists of the true story itself, the shooting on the Nevsky Prospekt or the taking of the Winter Palace, and it was decided, for the filming, that they should be given real rifles. [27]

Eisenstein films them in a wide-angle shot and a high-angle shot, but he places himself also – in the astonishing rhythm of his mixed montage – practically on the ground to film, for example, the face of a soldier fallen into a puddle.

Finally, in Strike, Eisenstein exposes as crudely as possible the body of the people grappling with the exploitation that alienates them: bodies tied up, bodies crushed by work and social suffering. For the last sequences of the film, he had the problem of representing the ‘bloody horror’ of a mass shooting.

The slightest sign of artifice would, in his eyes, have ruined the intensity, and therefore the necessity, of such a scene. In order to get around the aporia of staging extras who fall with more or less conviction under the blank cartridges of the soldiers, he chose to place his extras in the concrete situation of running desperately in a ravine, so that the physical urgency was a reality for each person. The result is a hallucinating, but somewhat documentary, vision of bodies genuinely precipitated by their own running. Then we see them strewn on the ground, without their having to ‘play’ any particular role there, while Eisenstein invents the wonderful counterpoint offered by the documentary al egory of the bullock with its throat cut in the abattoir, filmed close up:

In order to make sure that the extras in the trades council do not look like they are acting … and above al in order to eliminate the effect of artifice that the screen cannot suffer and that is inevitable even with the most bril iant ‘death scene’, I have used the fol owing procedure … intended to provoke the maximum effect of bloody horror: the associative alternating between the shooting and the abat oirs. The first, shown in group shots and medium shots, the fal of the 1500 workers into the ravine, the fleeing of the crowd, the shots fired, etc. … At the same time, al the close ups serve to show the true horror of the abat oirs where the cat le have their throats cut and are skinned. [28] With his formal choices, Eisenstein wanted to give power back to the masses: to reassert their role as principal actors in the story, but also the specificity of their gestures, of their voice (their clamour, their words). And this is why the extras represented, in his eyes, a fundamental aesthetic issue. The question is still asked today: how should one justly film those who have no name, those who first of all have no voice other than their cry of suffering or revolt? How should one approach non-actors, how should one look them in the eye, listen to their words, and respect their gestures? There is an attempt of this kind in the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini (where we see, in each shot, his tenderness, his respect and even his admiration for every one of the extras), of Jean Rouch, of Alexander Sokurov (where we want to speak to every face that appears in Russian Ark), of Atom Egoyan or of Harun Farocki, to name but a few.

By deciding to commemorate the centenary of ‘Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory’ with a film dedicated to its extras, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, with Salam Cinema, came up with a complex set based on a casting call following which five thousand people presented themselves to the director. A film without actors ‘about those who would like to work in cinema’.

A film about the desire for cinema and about those who, animated by such a desire, see themselves confronted Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Salam Cinema, 1995.with the very heart of the ethical questions that life asks us: to appear, to figure, or disappear, to remain silent or speak, to remain submissive to an order or to rebel, to be judged or to become a judge, to weigh fiction and lies, art and life, composed emotion and real affect, laughter and tears, intimate secrets and shared history.

In the cruel but Socratic process which he employs,

Makhmalbaf ends up giving the extras, to whom the film is dedicated, their due: ‘You have all played a role.

There was room for everyone. Cinema is everyone’s business. If cinema speaks about life, then there is enough room.’ [29] By this we must understand that a film might only be politically just when it gives a place and a face to the nameless, to those who have no part in the habitual social representation. So, it is a question of making of the image a common place where the commonplace of images of the people used to reign. [30]

Translated by shane lillisnotes

1. ^ Bul etin du Photo-Club de Paris 3, 1895, cited by B.

Chardère, Le Roman des Lumière. Le cinéma sur le vif, Paris, Gal imard, 1995, p. 301.

2. ^ Ibid., p. 293.

3. ^ Ibid., pp. 293–301. G. Sadoul, Histoire générale du cinéma, I. L’invention du cinéma, 1832–1897, Denoël, Paris, 1948; rev. edn, 1973, pp. 284–6. N. Burch, La Lucarne de l’infini. Naissance du langage cinématographique, Nathan, Paris, 1990, pp. 22–8.

4. ^ Bul etin du Photo-Club de Paris, p. 301.

5. ^ See J. Rit aud-Hutinet, Auguste et Louis Lumière: les mil e premiers films, ed. Philippe Sers, Paris, 1990. P. Dujardin, ‘Domitor ou l’invention du quidam’, L’Aventure du cinématographe. Actes du congrès mondial Lumière, Aléas, Lyon, 1999, p. 277: ‘The time of the cinematograph is indeed the time in which the people appear, whether they are apprehended under the category of the first-comer from the city and the working-class, or whether they are apprehended under the political category of the anonymous individual, that is to say, of that nobody-in-particular who is given the dignity of being a subject by right.’

6. ^ See J.-L. Leutrat, ‘Modernité. Modernité?’, Lumière, le cinéma, Institut Lumière, Lyon, 1992, pp. 64–70.

7. ^ See P. Sorlin, ‘Foule actrice ou foule-objet? Les leçons du premier cinéma’, L’Image. Études, documents, débats 1, 1995, pp. 63–74.

8. ^ See M. Girard, ‘Kracauer, Adorno, Benjamin: le cinéma, écueil ou étincel e révolutionnaire de la masse?’, Lignes 11, 2003, pp. 208–25.

9. ^ E. Morin, Le Cinéma ou l’homme imaginaire. Essai d’anthropologie sociologique, Minuit, Paris, 1956, pp. ix, 208.

10. ^ J.L. Schefer, L’Homme ordinaire du cinéma, Cahiers du cinéma/Gal imard, Paris, 1980, pp. 11–12, 102.

11. ^ J. Rancière, ‘Le bruit du peuple, l’image de l’art (à propos de Roset a et de L’Humanité)’, in A. de Baecque and G. Lucantonio, eds, Théories du cinéma, Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, 2001, p. 214.

12. ^ Ibid., pp. 213–19. Cf. J. Rancière, ‘Le théâtre du peuple:

une histoire interminable’, in Les Scènes du peuple (Les Révoltes logique, 1975–1985), Horlieu Éditions, Lyon, 2003, pp. 167–201.

13. ^ Cf. J.-M. Frodon, La Projection nationale. Cinéma et nation, Odile Jacob, Paris, 1998.

14. ^ See L. Gervereau, ‘Échantillons ou masses symboliques?

Le rôle des foules et du public à la télévision’, L’Image. Études, documents, débats 1, 1995, pp. 97–123.

15. ^ P.-A. Michaud, Le Peuple des images. Essai d’anthropologie figurative, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 2002, p. 23.

16. ^ Ibid., pp. 25–40, 195–248.

17. ^ See L. Moul et, Politique des acteurs: Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Cary Grant, James Stuart, Éditions de l’Étoile/Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, 1993; R. Bel our, ‘Le plus beau visage, le plus grand acteur: Lilian Gish, Cary Grant’, Trafic 65, 2008, pp. 82–5.

18. ^ A.S. Labarthe, ‘Bel e à faire peur’, Lignes 23–24, 2007, p. 394.

19. ^ H. Farocki, Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik, video, 1995.

Cf. H. Farocki, Reconnaître et poursuivre, ed. C. Blümlinger, Théâtre Typographique, Dijon-Quetigny, 2002, pp. 65–72, 118–19.

20. ^ See J. Nacache, L’Acteur de cinéma, Nathan, Paris, 2003, pp. 92–9.

21. ^ Cf. T. Jousse, ‘Seconds rôles: l’album de famil e’, Cahiers du cinéma 407–8, 1988, pp. 60–61; N. Rivière, ‘Le troisième homme et le second couteau dans le cinéma américain des années quatre-vingt-dix’, in G.-D. Farcy and R. Prédal, eds, Brûler les planches, crever l’écran. La présence de l’acteur, L’Entretemps Éditions, SaintJean-de-Védas, 2001, pp. 339–47.

22. ^ Nacache, L’Acteur de cinéma, p. 98.

23. ^ A. Gardies, Le Récit filmique, Hachet e, Paris, 1993, p. 60.

24. ^ Nacache, L’Acteur de cinéma, p. 99.

25. ^ V. Othnin-Girard, L’Assistant réalisateur, FEMIS, Paris, 1988, pp. 77–8.

26. ^ S.M. Eisenstein, ‘Les principes du nouveau cinéma russe’, La Revue du cinéma. Critique, recherches, documents, vol. II, no. 9, 1930, p. 20.

27. ^ S.M. Eisenstein, ‘Une armée de cent mille hommes devant les caméras’, trans. A. Vitez, Octobre, Le Seuil/Avant-Scène, Paris, 1971, pp. 149–52.

28. ^ S.M. Eisenstein, ‘Le montage des at ractions au cinéma’, trans. A. Robel, Œuvres, I. Au-delà des étoiles, UGE/Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, 1974, pp. 132–3. On the closeness of this montage to the work of Georges Batail e and Eli Lotar on the human figure in the journal Documents, see G. Didi-Huberman, La Ressemblance informe, ou le gai savoir visuel selon Georges Batail e, Macula, Paris, 1995, pp. 280–97.

29. ^ Cf. M. Haghighat and F. Sabouraud, Histoire du cinéma iranien, 1900–1999, Éditions BPI/Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1999, pp. 161–2. See also A. Bergala, Abbas Kiarostami, Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, 2004, p. 67, who rightly notes how ‘Voyage to Italy (also known as The Lonely Woman) [by Roberto Rossel ini] and The Wind Wil Carry Us [by Abbas Kiarostami] end with the same motion: leaving the anonymous people to invade the screen of fiction.’

30. ^ This text is a fragment from a work in progress entitled Peuples exposés (People Exposed). The first version of the third paragraph was published under the title ‘Figurants’ in the Dictionnaire mondial des images, ed. L.

Gervereau, Nouveau Monde Éditions, Paris, 2006, pp. 398–400.

Download the PDFBuy the latest issue