Sunday, September 23, 2018

Cynthia Lucia and Rahul Hamid: Cineaste on Film Criticism, Programming, and Preservation in the New Millennium (a book)

Cynthia Lucia and Rahul Hamid: Cineaste on Film Criticism, Programming, and Preservation in the New Millennium. Austin: University of Texas Press, November 2017. 392 p. ISBN: 978-1-4773-1341-1

A stunning survey on film culture during its biggest period of turbulence. I have been reading this book over a period of several months, as slowly as that since all the contributions are highly charged with important observations. Because I don't want to favour any contributor I simply copy the list of contents below with its roll of honour of critics, programmers and preservation experts.

In Finland the number of professional cultural journalists has dropped by 90% in ten years, and a similar thing has happened everywhere. There is more writing on the cinema than ever, but that is amateur criticism, not professional, paid activity with which anyone could earn a living.

The concerns of programmers and preservationists are closely linked. The digital revolution is wonderful for distribution, but there is no solution as yet for digital preservation, because no digital file is durable. Film prints stayed around for decades, but access to DCPs is usually counted in months.

This book I would recommend to every film critic and programmer. The problems of film preservation in the digital age have been discussed many times elsewhere, but the relevant dossier in this book is marvellously compact and many-sided, and likely to be rewarding even for preservation experts.

A rewarding companion film: Gerald Peary: For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2008).

Part I. Film Criticism in the New Millennium

        1. Film Criticism in America Today: A Critical Symposium (2000). By David Ansen, Jay Carr, Godfrey Cheshire, Mike Clark, Manohla Dargis, David Denby, Morris Dickstein, Roger Ebert, David Edelstein, Graham Fuller, J. Hoberman, Stanley Kauffmann, Stuart Klawans, Todd McCarthy, Peter Rainer, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Lisa Schwarzbaum, John Simon, David Sterritt, Peter Travers, Kenneth Turan, Armond White

        2. International Film Criticism Today: A Critical Symposium (2005). By Argentina: Quintín (Eduardo Antin); Australia: Adrian Martin; Austria: Christoph Huber; Brazil: Pedro Butcher; China: Li Hongyu; France: Michel Ciment; France: Jean-Michel Frodon; Germany: Olaf Möller; Greece: Angelike Contis; Hong Kong: Li Cheuk-to; India: Meenakshi Shedde; Italy: Tullio Kezich; Italy: Roberto Silvestri; Japan: Tadao Sato; Mexico: Leonardo García Tsao; Philippines: Noel Vera; Russia: Lev Karakhan; South Africa: Leon van Nierop; Thailand: Kong Rithdee; Tunisia: Tahar Chikhaoui; United Kingdom: Jonathan Romney; Uruguay: Jorge Jellinek

        3. Film Criticism in the Age of the Internet: A Critical Symposium (2008). By Zach Campbell, Robert Cashill, Mike D’Angelo, Steve Erickson, Andrew Grant, J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, Glenn Kenny, Robert Koehler, Kevin B. Lee, Karina Longworth, Adrian Martin, Adam Nayman, Theodoros Panayides, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Dan Sallitt, Richard Schickel, Campaspe, Girish Shambu, Michael Sicinski, Amy Taubin, Andrew Tracy, Stephanie Zacharek

        4. Film Criticism: The Next Generation: A Critical Symposium (2013). By Ben Kenigsberg, Gabe Klinger, Michael Koresky, Kiva Reardon, Andrew Tracy

        5. “I Still Love Going to Movies”: An Interview with Pauline Kael (2000). By Leonard Quart

        6. Cult Films, Commentary Tracks, and Censorious Critics: An Interview with John Bloom (2003). By Gary Crowdus

Part II. The Art of Repertory Film Exhibition and Digital-Age Challenges

        7. Repertory Film Programming: A Critical Symposium (2010). By John Ewing, John Gianvito, Bruce Goldstein, Haden Guest, Jim Healy, Kent Jones, Laurence Kardish, Marie Losier, Richard Peña, James Quandt, David Schwartz, Adam Sekuler, Dylan Skolnick, Tom Vick

        8. Utopian Festivals and Cinephilic Dreams: An Interview with Peter von Bagh (2012). By Richard Porton

        9. The (Cinematic) Gospel According to Mark: An Interview with Mark Cousins (2013). By Declan McGrath

Part III. Film Preservation in the Digital Age

        10. Film Preservation in the Digital Age: A Critical Symposium (2011). By Schawn Belston, Margaret Bodde, Paolo Cherchi Usai, Grover Crisp, Dennis Doros and Amy Heller, Jan-Christopher Horak, Annette Melville, Michael Pogorzelski, Katie Trainor, Daniel Wagner

        11. MOD Man: An Interview with George Feltenstein (2011). By Robert Cashill. [MOD = manufacturing-on-demand].

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