A Film was once called a “biograph”; now we generally say “cinematograph.”

Borges and the Cinema
Borges very much enjoyed the cinema, and was even something of a film critic, writing occasional reviews and articles during the early part of his career. Although most of these reviews are fairly short, there’s an almost charming crankiness to them, and his remarks on Hollywood, international cinema, and the pitfalls of filmmaking are surprisingly still quite relevant. Even some of his comments about hopelessly antiquated films are interesting to read – Borges was, if anything, a master at using specific topics to make general insights.
The best source to learn more about Borges and film is Borges In/And/on Film, by Edgardo Cozarinsky. Published in 1988 by Lumen Books, this small work – which is now out of print – contains all Borges’ published reviews and film commentary, plus Cozarinsky’s own remarks on cinematic adaptations of works by Borges. Also useful, and more easily attainable, is Selected Nonfictions, which contains Borges’ essay on biographs vs. cinematographs, an essay on dubbing, and reviews of Citizen Kane, King Kong, City Lights and numerous lesser-known films long obscured by history.
If you have any additional references you would like to see here, please let us know


–Allen B. Ruch
25 March 2004

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