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Jean-Louis Comolli (born 30 July 1941) is a French writer, editor, and film director. He was editor in chief of Cahiers du cinéma from 1966 to 1978,[1] during which period he wrote the influential essays "Machines of the Visible" (1971) and "Technique and Ideology: Camera, Perspective, Depth of Field" (1971-2), both of which have been translated in English anthologies of film and media studies. This work was important in the discussion on apparatus theory, an attempt to rethink cinema as a site for the production and maintenance of dominant state ideology in the wake of May 1968.

Jean-Louis Comolli
Born(1941-07-30)30 July 1941
Occupationfilm critic, director, screenwriter

After his tenure at Cahiers, Comolli continued his work as a director and has since published numerous works on film theory, documentary, and jazz. He currently teaches film theory at the Universities of Paris VIII, Barcelona, Strasburg and Genève.[1]

In the spring of 2008, Comolli was invited to the Visions du réel documentary film festival in Nyon, Switzerland, where he developed his theory of documentary cinema.[2]

Select FilmographyEdit

Select bibliographyEdit

  • "Machines of the Visible." in Electronic Culture: Technology and Visual Representation, ed. Timothy Druckrey. Aperture Press (1996 [1971]).
  • "Technique and Ideology: Camera, Perspective, Depth of Field.” in Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader, ed. Philip Rosen. Columbia University Press (1986 [1972]).

External linksEdit

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Preceded by
Jean Narboni
Editor of Cahiers du cinéma
With: Jean Narboni
Succeeded by
Jean Narboni


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Cahier du Monde Sunday 4/Monday 5 May 2008, n° 19680