The nature of cinephilia is constantly in flux, and at times keeping up with what’s happening or important can be a challenge. So, with the face-saving proviso that if I did this tomorrow it might be very different, here goes.
STREAMING and all the new delivery systems.
Another problem with all this on-line material is simply knowing what’s out there and where it is. One effect of the internet technologies has been the explosion of opinions too often from people who haven’t got much worth saying.
But there are always the exceptions. Probably top of my list would be Observations on Film Art, the blog site for David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson . It’s a reliable site for insightful pieces
into both new films and classics, a stepping stone to material you didn’t know
about, or to a better understanding of something you did know already.
|Kristin Thompson & David Bordwell|
And let’s not forget Film Alert 101, and say thanks to Geoff Gardner for this. It’s evolved into a wonderful and rich source for a range of comments from a range of people with interesting comments on film, and a place with important information on happenings in the wider film scene.
KING OF JAZZ.
|Cover of the James Layton & David Pierce book|
Which provides a segue into acknowledging another important aspect of current cinephilia – the restoration. Perhaps it’s not fair that we cinephiliacs love a medium that has turned out to be so fragile. So let’s honour those scholars and lab. workers who are putting in so much work into discovering, rescuing and restoring our cinema heritage so we can continue to love it. And this lets me honour Bologna’s Cinema Ritrovato where so many new restorations are launched into a new life. This year, this ranged from mere fragments from the very first years of Cinema, silent masterpieces such as Fritz Lang’s Der müde tod (1921), French ‘forties works like Quai des Orfèvres (1947) and Adieu Bonaparte (1985) from Egypt’s Youssef Chahine. A sign of the ephemeral nature of film – even Scorsese’s somewhat recent (1993) The Age of Innocence has been restored.
Michaël Dudok de Wit) was promising, using animation to explore a story with significant ideas to be explored, but ultimately it was let down by a rather lifeless animation style, especially for the major characters. But then came My Life as a Courgette and Kubo and the Two Strings. Courgette ( Claude Barras), showed animation could explore childhood angst and resilience with warmth and intelligence and humour. Céline Sciamma, one of the scriptwriters and the director of some other telling French films (e.g. Girlhood), was surely an important contributor. And Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight) has been one of my most delightful joys in a cinema this year, and I shared my excitement at the time, thanks to Geoff’s blog (see comments above!) and you can click through again here.
Peter Hourigan is a Melbourne based writer and teacher.