Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Afterthoughts at best

Mapping of a Medium in Decline

Types of Cinephilia

5 Radical Cinephilia

Elitist-activist. Mostly mode-of-production-centered, increasingly suspicious about formalism. Film considered as vessel for and actor in radical politics. Canons of both political issues and films considered as relevant more expansive yet also more specialized than in the case of Social Justice Cinephilia. Political canon mostly boils down to center vs periphery issues and identity politics. "Our cinema vs. their cinema" still main motivational factor, though "their cinema" is more often ignored rather than truly engaged with. Conformity with established rhetorics of radicalism and academic buzzwords de facto acts as gatekeeper, so movements outside of its scope like Nollywood are afterthoughts at best.

Most critical of institutions yet most dependend on them. Institutionalized mostly in academics but making inroads into cinematheques, archives etc. Probably this type's biggest blind spot / paradoxy: depends on self-description as periphery / fringe / subject to suppression, yet in reality already a dominant mode at least in academia. Very good at institutional and discoursive power play.

Almost exclusively academics, almost exclusively hard-left.

Heir of 1970s hard-left cinephilia, Screen theory school etc. A more interesting wing of non-academic radicals centered around worship of euvre's like Straub's did exist and still does in diminished form.


Writing at its best centering on historiography in fields Film History Nerd Cinephilia would not touch, including works branching out into other arts, at its worst trenched in jargon and citations of ever-same intellectual heroes, approaching automated writing. Some intellectual curiosity present, yet always channeled in similar ways.

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