This paper presents the first English-language translation of “Les feuilles bougent” (“The Leaves Are Stirring”), writer-director Nicole Vedrès's most important essay on film aesthetics. Published in August 1948 in the illustrious revue, Les Temps Modernes, Vedrès's essay reflects on her then-recent experience of directing the celebrated archival documentary, Paris 1900 (1947). Using her experience of searching for and reediting footage of turn-of-the-century Paris as a springboard, Vedrès tackles a set of aesthetic problems that were being posed with renewed vigor among French film writers in the period after the war. These include questions of cinema's relationship to the real, the ability of images to capture historical change, and the relationship between cinematic montage and the act of writing.

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