Monday 18 December 2017

Defending Cinephilia (7) - Cinephile and scholar Bruce Hodsdon ponders the past and present

As a 'willing victim' of Cinephilia 1, I feel I will be in a better position “to defend”- if it needs defending - wherever we are now (Cinephilia 2 or 3?) - by first returning to origins to better understand the continuities, discontinuities and disjunctions in the following decades. We can now take advantage of so much that is accessible and has passed under the bridge since the time movie archives started to unreel in depth on the small screen, Film Culture 28 (1963), the follow-up American Cinema Directors and Directions (1968) and what I think was the first book length auteur study - it certainly had that impact- in English, Hitchcock's Films (1965) by Robin Wood.

I can remember fairly clearly most if not every film I saw and where I saw it in the sixties into the seventies and right back to the first film I saw on the big screen, c1944. Now I can often only recall a new film I have seen a matter of weeks earlier by checking out a list of viewed titles that I keep. Is  it, as is likely,  just the vagaries of memory and age? Or does it also have something to do with the quantity of what now overloads the brain, often more or less involuntarily, on various screens? Is that what we need to defend ourselves against?

Robin Wood

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