In the early years of the cinema and into the 1910s and 1920s, it was less the film
than cinema-going itself that attracted urban publics. In this era, people were
enthusiastic about technology and the achievements of modernity; while at the same
time they felt anxious about the rapid and radical changes in their social and
economic life. In Germany, this contradictory experience was especially harsh and
perceptible in the urban metropolis of Berlin. The article demonstrates how within
city life, Berlin cinemas – offering the excitement of innovation as well as optimal
distraction and entertainment – provided an urban space where, by cinema-going,
appeal and uncertainty could be positively reconciled.
Baldwin, Racial Melancholy, and the Black Middle Ground
This article uses Baldwin’s 1949 essay “Everybody’s Protest Novel” to consider that literary mode’s corollary in the 1990s New Black Cinema. It argues that recent African American movies posit an alternative to the politics and aesthetics of films by a director such as Spike Lee, one that evinces a set of qualities Baldwin calls for in his essay about Black literature. Among these are what recent scholars such as Ann Anlin Cheng have called racial melancholy or what Kevin Quashie describes as Black “quiet,” as well as variations on Yogita Goyal’s diaspora romance. Films such as Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) and Joe Talbot and Jimmy Fails’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) offer a cinematic version of racial narrative at odds with the protest tradition I associate with earlier Black directors, a newly resonant cinema that we might see as both a direct and an indirect legacy of Baldwin’s views on African American culture and politics.
This article sets out to reinvigorate national cinema studies in an Irish context
through a quantitative analysis of films financed by the Irish Film Board between
1993 and 2013. In constructing and coding a database of titles produced with the aid
of state finance during this period, the authors argue for a methodology that
broadens the inductive approaches of textual analysis that have dominated discussions
of Irish cinema to date. By establishing recurring genres, narrative patterns, themes
and character types present in IFB-funded films during this period, this article
demonstrates how the professional objectives of IFB personnel have shaped
institutional funding outcomes.
An Introductory Text and Translation (Halit Refiğ, 1971)
Murat Akser and Didem Durak-Akser
Halit Refiğ had impact on debates around Turkish national cinema both as a thinker
and as a practitioner. Instrumental in establishing the Turkish Film Institute under
MSU along with his director colleagues like Metin Erksan and Lutfi Akad, Refiğ
lectured for many years at the first cinema training department. This translation is
from his 1971 collection of articles titled Ulusal Sinema Kavgasi (Fight For National
Cinema). Here Refiğ elaborates on the concept of national cinema from cultural
perspectives framing Turkey as a continuation of Ottoman Empire and its culture
distinct and different from western ideas of capitalism, bourgeoisie art and Marxism.
For Refiğ, Turkish cinema should be reflected as an extension of traditional Turkish
arts. Refiğ explores the potential to form a national cinema through dialogue,and
dialectic within Turkish traditional arts and against western cinematic traditions of
Arguing that limit transgression is a key feature for understanding the cinematic
performance of, and the controversy around, sexuality in the public sphere, this
contribution focuses on various aspects of limit transgression in relation to
sex cinemas. Following a new cinema history approach and concentrating on the
case of an emerging sex cinema in postwar Belgium (Cinema
Leopold in Ghent, 1945–54), this article looks at various
dimensions of limit transgression in terms of concrete physical and spatial
relations; programming strategies; audience experiences; and a range of
disciplining societal practices and institutional discourses.
Towards a Theory for African Cinema is an English translation of a talk given in
French by the Tunisian filmmaker and critic Férid Boughedir (1944–) at a conference
on international cinema, which took place in Montreal in 1974. In his presentation
Boughedir discusses the vocation of the African filmmaker, who must avoid succumbing
to the escapism and entertainment values of Western cinema and instead strive to
reflect the contradictions and tensions of the colonised African identity, while
promoting a revitalisation of African culture. Drawing on the example of the 1968
film Mandabi (The Money Order) by the Senegalese director Sembène Ousmane, Boughedir
conceptualises a form of cinema which resists the influences of both Hollywood and
auteur film and awakens viewers, instead of putting them to sleep. Boughedir‘s source
text is preceded by a translator‘s introduction, which situates his talk within
contemporary film studies.
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.
James Baldwin was a vocal critic of Hollywood, but he was also a cinephile, and his critique of film was not so much of the medium itself, but of the uses to which it was put. Baldwin saw in film the chance to transform both politics and art—if only film could be transformed itself. This essay blends readings of archival materials, literature, film, and print culture to examine three distinct modes in Baldwin’s ongoing quest to revolutionize film. First, I argue, literature served as a key site to practice being a filmmaker, as Baldwin adapted cinematic grammars in his fiction and frequently penned scenes of filmgoing in which he could, in effect, direct his own movies. Secondly, I show that starting in the 1960s, Baldwin took a more direct route to making movies, as he composed screenplays, formed several production companies, and attempted to work in both Hollywood and the independent film scene in Europe. Finally, I explore how Baldwin sought to change cinema as a performer himself, in particular during his collaboration on Dick Fontaine and Pat Hartley’s documentary I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1982). This little-known film follows Baldwin as he revisits key sites from the civil rights movement and reconnects with activist friends as he endeavors to construct a revisionist history of race in America and to develop a media practice capable of honoring Black communities.
Agustín Tosco Propaganda was published in the Argentine film journal El Amante Cine.
It was written by Israel Adrián Caetano before his film Pizza, Beer and Cigarettes
(Caetano and Stagnaro, 1998) triggered the concept of New Argentine Cinema. In this
provocative text, Caetano criticised the way Argentine cinema had usually been made
and, in a form of manifesto, he presented the principles that his own films – and
those of many other young directors – have followed since then. Although New
Argentine Cinema has been thoroughly studied in the English-speaking academia, only a
few authors have made reference to this seminal text. Being aware of the principles
set in this manifesto more than twenty years ago will help researchers and students
understand some important features that tend to be overlooked when exploring not only
Argentinean cinema, but also many other cinemas of the region.