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Film Studies
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Film Studies
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Picking Up Where We Left Off
Núria Triana Toribio

Film Studies
Mattias Frey

This article addresses the current state of film studies as a discipline, profession and institution, arguing that the hunt for cultural authority has been the defining feature, motivating force and tragic flaw of film studies. The current self-reflexive soul- searching reveals that the field – no longer a radical upstart – still lacks the gravitas of more established subjects. Departments have responded to identity crises and changing enrolment patterns by mummifying, killing off or burying foundational emphases. The nostalgia for film studies origins and the jeremiads about an unmanageable, unruly and recalcitrant discipline yield rose-tinted fantasies about community and mutual intelligibility that must be ultimately resisted.

Film Studies
Material and Theoretical Constrictions
Susan Martin-Márquez

In recent decades, scholars in a variety of humanities fields have thoroughly interrogated the ways in which established critical practices and theoretical frameworks have reproduced paradigms of coloniality. Yet cinema studies lags in this initiative. This article examines how presentist tendencies in particular have contributed to the ongoing Eurocentrism of academic work on film, by focusing on the acute challenges of film preservation and access, and the persistent sway of French theory.

Film Studies
Marijke de Valck

This article describes the rise of MA programmes in audio-visual archiving, preservation and presentation. It distinguishes between two key developments that are transforming the contemporary graduation education in AV heritage: digital developments that significantly impact the professional field, and new governance structures that comprise a (forced) move away from film studies as disciplinary home. It is the latter, this article argues, that poses the real threat for the future of professional education in preservation and presentation of moving images.

Film Studies
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Film and Digital Media
Vinicius Navarro

This article looks at contemporary film scholarship in order to address one of the disciplines pressing questions: the place of cinema in a context of rapid technological change. Rather than simply focus on technology, however, the article calls for a broad set of criteria to define what counts as cinema today. In particular, it revisits the concept of expanded cinema and treats filmmaking as an event that combines the contexts of production and reception. Finally, the article insists on the relevance of film studies as a field that will continue to lead the debate on moving image media.

Film Studies
Will Straw

This article examines fictional film narratives from the perspectives of a chrono-urbanism, concerned with the ways in which cinema maps the unfolding of time in cities. It examines how films treat the urban night – as territory, as one side of a boundary, as a substance which falls upon the city. These treatments are explored by examining a limited corpus of single-night narratives, films whose narratives unfold over a single night. Drawing on a variety of recent texts that trace the history of the night in cities, this article distinguishes between different narrative patterns within which the urban night unfolds and becomes meaningful.

Film Studies
Haidee Wasson

Film studies is currently undergoing a needed and healthy expansion of methodologies and critical approaches, including media, cultural and technology studies. This is crucial not just for examining cinemas present but also its past. Using format theory, this article opens up our understanding of what cinema has been, rather than what it should have been. It does this by documenting the minor technological footprint of movie theatres when compared to the expansive one consisting of 8mm and 16mm small-gauge projectors. In the United States by 1980, these portable devices,outnumbered commercial theatres by an estimated factor of 1000:1.

Film Studies
Censorship, Representation, Adaptation and the Persisting Myth of Pre-Code Hollywood
Steve Neale

This article deals with the issues of censorship, adaptation and representation at stake in the 1931 and 1940 versions of Waterloo Bridge, both of which were based on a 1929 stage play. In doing so it examines the representation of female prostitution and the extent to which the trope of the fallen woman is evoked. Contesting the notion of Pre-Code films, it also examines the impact of the 1930 Production Code, the modifications to its implementation in 1934, the ways in which censorable words and actions were handled in the 1931 and 1940 versions, and the extent to which class became a major factor.

Film Studies