Cinephilia and Comics

B-Movie Filmish Image. © Edward Ross, 2011By Edward Ross

Cinema is a medium tied to temporality.  We experience a film one frame at a time, and barring a projector meltdown or remote control mishap, we watch it from start to finish in the order designed by the film’s creators.  Comics, on the other hand, are a profoundly spacial medium.  Time is read between the lines and between the panels, but it is the space of the page that we primarily consume.  Over a two-page spread, all moments are one, and page-time is traveled as the eye darts back and forth across the page. Continue reading

Reclaim The Screens!

Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) 2004, Thailand/France/Germany/Italy, 118 mins

Postcard from Sydney, by Mathieu Ravier

Hi everyone,

How rewarding to read your words, such interesting ideas bouncing back and forth across time zones (and hemispheres!).

I’m thrilled about how information technology is changing the way films are made, seen, disseminated and talked about. It’s opened up new opportunities for many who were previously excluded from this creative universe. It’s turned cinephilia from a secret club for the privileged to a “Broad church” in which anyone can worship.

I don’t think access, even defined as overexposure, poses a threat to thoughtful criticism. Those sensitive to its charms had to seek it out in the past, they will seek it out in the future. The same can be said of contemplative cinema. Isn’t part of our role to aggregate, demystify, point the way? If anything, I think the abundance of un-sponsored, unedited, multifaceted voices helps bridge the gap between an audience too often treated like a market, and a cinema too often marginalized by its inability to compete for attention in a media-saturated landscape. For all the trash that washes up on its beaches, the internet is still a place where one can access treasures of cinema, gems of criticism. It’s an ocean of information, not a tidal wave. Continue reading

It’s about time

OUT 1 (Jacques Rivette) 1971, France, 729 min

Postcard from Berlin, by Andrew Grant

Neil, Frances, Mike, Mathieu –

Greetings from Berlin.

A thought occurred to me while reading your letters – have I actually ever referred to myself in conversation as a cinephile? Though I’ve been called one on numerous occasions, and certainly align myself with the more-or-less agreed upon definition of the word in that I’m interested in (to quote Girish Shambu from his inaugural post on the site) “the discourse surrounding films”, it’s little more than a label used to distinguish ourselves from those who simply love and see films as often as we do. I mention that not to knock the word, or anyone who proudly considers him/herself one, but I think there’s no question that the democratizing nature of the Internet is, in some ways, responsible for resurrecting the label, and giving it a new significance. Continue reading