Cinephilia

Cinephilia (/ˌsɪnɪˈfɪliə/; also cinemaphilia or filmophilia) is the term used to refer to a passionate interest in films, film theory, and film criticism. The term is a portmanteau of the words cinema and philia, one of the four ancient Greek words for love.[1] A person with a passionate interest in cinema is called a cinephile (/ˈsɪnɪfl/), cinemaphile, filmophile, or, informally, a film buff (also movie buff).

In English, "cinephile" is sometimes used interchangeably with the word cineaste (/ˈsɪniæst, ˈsɪnæst/), though in the original French the term cinéaste ([sineast]) refers to a cinephile who is also a filmmaker.

DefinitionEdit

In a review of a book on the history of cinephilia, Mas Generis writes: "Cinephilia, is the condition of a sexual attraction to movies."[2] Generis also introduces a quote from film scholar Annette Michelson that states that there is, "No one such thing as cinephilia, but rather forms and periods of cinephilia."[2] As described by Antoine de Baecque and Thierry Frémaux, "The definitive essence of cinephilia is a culture of the discarded that prefers to find intellectual coherence where none is evident and to eulogize the non-standard and the minor."[3]

Film historian Thomas Elsaesser wrote that it "reverberates with nostalgia and dedication... more than a passion of going to the movies and only a little less than an entire attitude towards life".[4]

HistoryEdit

Pre-war cinephiliaEdit

Since the beginning of the silent era, there have been film clubs and publications in which people who felt passionately about cinema could discuss their interests and see rare and older works. At the beginning of the sound era, there were more and more people interested in seeing older films, which led to the establishment of organizations such as the Cinémathèque Française, the first major archive devoted to film preservation.

Post-war French cinephiliaEdit

Perhaps the most notable cinephilic community of the 20th century was the one that developed in Paris in the decades following World War II. An influx of foreign films that had been withheld during the Occupation, as well as the screening programs of local film clubs and the Cinémathèque Française, generated interest in world cinema amongst the city's intellectual youth culture. In general, the cinephiles of the period set a template for future like-minded groups by having keen enthusiasm for both older and contemporary films.[5]

Influential film clubs of the period included Objectif 49, whose members included Robert Bresson and Jean Cocteau, and the Ciné-Club du Quartier Latin (Cinema Club of the Latin Quarter). Revue du Cinéma, a magazine published by members of the two clubs, later evolved into the influential film magazine Cahiers du cinéma.

Many of the people who attended the screenings became film critics and later filmmakers, founding the film movement known as the French New Wave. André Bazin, François Truffaut, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, Alexandre Astruc, Jacques Rivette, Luc Moullet and others were regulars, and several, most notably Truffaut, maintained their ties to the community after they had achieved fame.

The community fostered an interest in directors and films that had been neglected, forgotten or simply unknown in the West, and led to the development of the auteur theory. The directors the French cinephiles of the period had strong interests in included F. W. Murnau, Robert Flaherty, Sergei Eisenstein, Jean Renoir, Jean Vigo, Orson Welles, Anthony Mann, Louis Feuillade, D. W. Griffith, the Lumière brothers, Alfred Hitchcock and Georges Méliès, whose films would be screened from nitrate prints on special occasions.[5]

Filmgoing in the 1960s and 1970sEdit

 
The Italian director Federico Fellini, a fashionable figure in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, owed part of his popularity to the support of film critics and the distribution of foreign films in order to accommodate the increasingly sophisticated public.

With the popular success of the French New Wave, film-going became fashionable in Europe and America.[1] Revival screenings and independently run cinemas specializing in foreign films became increasingly common. In the United States, New York City was often seen as the center of cinephile culture,[1] due to the wide variety of films available to see at any given time. This culture was also helped by the popularity in America of figures such like Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris and Susan Sontag.[3] Certain writers and critics, including Sontag, would later come to view this as the "Golden Age" of film-going in the US.[1][3] Directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini enjoyed a great deal of popularity in the US and influenced the young generation of film enthusiasts who would become the New Hollywood, including Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen. Due to growing public interest in films from other countries, specialty distributors such as Janus Films and New Yorker Films began importing and subtitling foreign movies.

The era also saw the growth of college film societies in the US. Though some, like Doc Films at the University of Chicago, had existed since the 1930s, the 1960s saw directors of all generations regularly make appearances at college campuses, whether to revisit their old films or to discuss new ones.

At the same time, the Parisian cinephilic culture became increasingly politicized. Critics, and by extension the cinephiles who followed their work, began to emphasize political aspects of films and directors. Though many of the major figures of the post-war community has been originally aligned with the political right—including most of the Cahiers du cinéma group—by the late 1960s Cahiers and the young cinephile public in general had aligned with various forms of the Left, with some figures, such as Jean-Luc Godard, aligning with Maoism. In this very politicized climate, cinema was often seen as directly connected to Marxism. Many members of this new generation of cinephiles would become critics[6] and directors, including Serge Daney, Philippe Garrel, and André Téchiné.

Though most of the world's major film festivals had existed for decades by this point—including the Berlin International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival—the period saw the establishment of festivals in nearly every major city. The New York Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival were all started during this time. The Toronto International Film Festival, often seen as second only to the Cannes Film Festival in terms of importance, was founded towards the end of this period, in 1976.

Home video and the late 20th centuryEdit

 
Wong Kar-wai (pictured) is a renowned arthouse film director from Hong Kong known for works such as Chungking Express (1994) and In the Mood for Love (2000).

As VHS tapes[7] and later DVDs became more common, cinephilia became less associated with filmgoing in theatres (much to the dismay of some cinephiles like Sontag).[8][1]

While Japanese films have enjoyed worldwide distribution in the mid 20th century, the late 20th century saw an increase in interest amongst cinephiles in cinema from other Asian countries, especially China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and, later, Thailand.

Contemporary cinephiliaEdit

 
Though his films have met with mixed commercial and critical success, American director Michael Mann (pictured above at Cinémathèque Française in 2009) is often considered to be a major figure of vulgar auteurism by contemporary cinephiles.[9][10]

Since the beginning of the 21st century, blogging has become a large part of cinephile culture. In the English-speaking world, established critics and theorists like Dave Kehr, David Bordwell, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Glenn Kenny, Wheeler Winston Dixon and Adrian Martin, as well as non-professional cinephiles like Girish Shambu and Acquarello, play key roles in building interest in films or theories amongst cinephiles by writing and communicating through blogs.[11] Forums and podcasts have become popular ways to stir discussion, allowing cinephiles from different countries and cultures to discuss ideas about film. The social networking and video streaming service MUBI caters specifically to cinephiles, allowing its members access to films that sometimes haven't been distributed theatrically or on video in their home countries. Home video distribution labels and distributors such as The Criterion Collection, Masters of Cinema, Facets, and Kino cater to cinephiles, often including large amounts of supplemental and critical material with their releases.

As was the case with the French cinephilia of the post-war era, the international cinephilic community that has developed on the Internet often emphasizes films and figures that do not have strong critical or popular recognition, including many directors who work within genre film, in what is sometimes dubbed vulgar auteurism. These include Justin Lin,[12] Abel Ferrara,[13] Michael Mann,[14] Roland Emmerich,[15][16][17] The Farrelly Brothers,[18] Michael Bay,[19] John Carpenter,[14] Kathryn Bigelow,[14] James Gray,[13] David Fincher,[13] M. Night Shyamalan[13] and Tony Scott.[20][21]

Cinephilia and filmmakingEdit

 
American director and cinephile Quentin Tarantino often makes references in his work to movies and directors he admires.

Throughout the history of cinema, there have been numerous directors who developed their understanding of cinema through filmgoing and participation in cinephile communities and organizations instead of within the formal settings of either a film school or a film studio. Directors who began as cinephiles include Sofia Coppola,[22] Guillermo del Toro,[23] Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut, Satyajit Ray, Quentin Tarantino,[24] Jacques Rivette, Ed Wood, André Téchiné, Pedro Costa, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, Jim Jarmusch,[25] Alexander Payne,[26] Paul Thomas Anderson, Wim Wenders, Wes Anderson, Éric Rohmer, Martin Scorsese,[27] Aki Kaurismäki, the Wachowski sisters[28], the Safdie and Coen brothers,[29] Nicolas Winding Refn,[30] Noah Baumbach,[31] Edgar Wright[32] and Ari Aster.[33]

The directors of the French New Wave, who learned about filmmaking by attending screenings at film clubs and discussing movies amongst themselves, are often seen as models for cinephiles. Their intellectual omnivorousness, which equated an interest in cinema with strong understandings of literature, art and sometimes philosophy, has continued to have influence on cinephiles.[34]

On the other hand, many directors emphasize their lack of cinephilia or interest in movies as in the cases of Abbas Kiarostami and Peter Greenaway, while acclaimed by cinephiles,[35][36] often emphasized their disinterests in cinema when interviewed.[37][38]

Other notable cinephilesEdit

CinephobiaEdit

There has also been different forms of cinephobia (fear or hatred of cinema)[44] from the fear of "losing" celluloid film in the digital age through anxieties about moral values on the big screen to the point of censorship.[45][46]

TelephiliaEdit

Telephilia is the term used to refer to a passionate interest in television.[47]

DefinitionEdit

It was coined by The New York Times critic Frank Rich, in a pejorative way, as "the pathological longing of Americans, no matter how talentless, to be on television".[48]

OriginsEdit

For years, television was frowned upon as inferior to film until the advent of quality television in the 1980s and 1990s. [49][50][51][52][53]

Telephilia from 2000s onwardsEdit

Anti-heroic series like The Sopranos and The Wire were cited as improving television content thus earning critical praise.[54] [55]

It also rivals cinephilia for relevance as production values are higher than ever before on shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Homeland.[56] Despite this development, there are still intellectuals [57] who consider telephilia as inferior to cinephilia particularly in cases of obsessions for modern television programs belonging to genres such as melodrama and soap opera.[58] This is also explained by the view that highlighted the unattainable nature of the cinema, which makes it more desirable and extraordinary since it features a regime of presence-yet-absence filmic image, allowing a form of cinematic stardom capable of triggering a series of psychic mechanisms.[59] This is contrasted with television, which is perceived to be more present and immediate—with its stars "famous only in so far as he or she makes frequent television appearances."[59] Some observers, however, note that there is now a destabilization of traditional notions of what constitutes cinephilic tendency due to the availability of film on home media technology.[60]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e de Valck, Marijke; Hagener, Malte, eds. (2005). Cinephilia: Movies, Love and Memory. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 90-5356-768-2.
  2. ^ a b Generis, Mas (11 December 2006). "Cinephilia now: review of Cinephilia: movies, love and memory". Screening the Past. La Trobe University (20). Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Keathley, Christian. Cinephilia and history, or, The wind in the trees. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2005.
  4. ^ "Is Fandom the New Cinephilia?"
  5. ^ a b Le fantôme d'Henri Langlois. Dir. Jacques Richard. DVD. Kino Video, 2004.
  6. ^ Cinephobia-Manohla Dargis of The LA Weekly
  7. ^ 10 Best Documentaries About Movies Every Cinephile Should See - Taste of Cinema
  8. ^ Beyond the subtitle: remapping European art cinema: Betz, Mark - Internet Archive (pg.1)
  9. ^ The Auteurs' Notebook: Anticipating "Public Enemies"
  10. ^ Glenn Kenny: The Mann Act
  11. ^ Film Comment: Film Criticism in Crisis Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Fast & Furious & Elegant: Justin Lin and the Vulgar Auteurs|Village Voice
  13. ^ a b c d Vulgar Auteurism: A Guide Or: The "Mann-Scott-Baysians"-MUBI
  14. ^ a b c Vulgar Auteurism-Film Theory
  15. ^ The Golden Age of TV: Rise of the Television Auteur|Facets Features
  16. ^ Army of Milla: Resident Evil and Modern Auteurism-End of Cinema
  17. ^ Secret Defense: Roland Emmerich’s “Anonymous” on Notebook|MUBI
  18. ^ Brody, Richard. "A Few Thoughts on Vulgar Auteurism". The New Yorker.
  19. ^ The artistic genius of Michael Bay – Macleans.ca
  20. ^ Expressive Esoterica in the 21st Century—Or: What Is Vulgar Auteurism?|Peter Labuza
  21. ^ What the Insular Debate on ‘Vulgar Auteurism’ Says About Contemporary Movie Criticism and…|Film School Rejects
  22. ^ Sofia Coppola Looks Back on Growing Up Cinephile|The Current|The Criterion Collection
  23. ^ Guillermo del Toro on Watership Down|The Current|The Criterion Collection
  24. ^ Quentin Taratino's Favorite Movies: 30 Films to See|IndieWire
  25. ^ Stranger Than Paradise: Enter Jarmusch|The Current|The Criterion Collection
  26. ^ The Bard of Omaha - The New York Times
  27. ^ Martin Scorsese Favorite Films: 85 Classics He Would Teach In School|IndieWire
  28. ^ The Matrix - The New Yorker
  29. ^ From Kubrick to Polanski: A list of the Coen Brothers' 30 favorite films|Far Out Magazine
  30. ^ DGA Quarterly Magazine|Summer 2012|Independent Voice - Nicolas Winding Refn
  31. ^ Noah Baumbach Reveals the Key Movies That Made Him Want to Be a Filmmaker|IndieWire
  32. ^ Edgar Wright On How Cinemas Can Win The Netflix Battle - Deadline
  33. ^ Ari Aster Breaks Down 10 Movies that Inspired Midsommer|IndieWire
  34. ^ The Movies Aren't Dying (They're Not Even Sick)-Richard Brody of The New Yorker
  35. ^ Beyond the subtitle: remapping European art cinema: Betz, Mark - Internet Archive (pg.3)
  36. ^ Provocative aesthetics: British director and artist Peter Greenaway turns 75|Film|DW|05.04.2017
  37. ^ 10 Famous Arthouse Movies That Are Too Self-Indulgent — Taste of Cinema
  38. ^ Peter Greenaway: I've seven productive years left to finish 30 projects|South China Morning Post
  39. ^ James Baldwin and the Movies|The Current|The Criterion Collection
  40. ^ Did You See This?|The Current|The Criterion Collection
  41. ^ Frank Ocean's 100 Favorite Films: 'Blue Velvet', 'Solaris' and More|IndieWire
  42. ^ J.D. Salinger, Movie Lover|The Current|The Criterion Collection
  43. ^ Patton Oswalt on His New Memoir, 'Silver Screen Fiend', and His Dream Dinner Guests|Hollywood Reporter
  44. ^ Cinephilia - Cinema and Media Studies c- Oxford Bibliographies
  45. ^ Cinephobia: To Wonder, To Worry-lolajournal.com
  46. ^ Cinephilia / Cinephobia: New Mediations of Desire and Disgust-University of Pittsburgh
  47. ^ Night Surfing: On Telephilia·Senses of Cinema
  48. ^ "The Namibian". www.namibian.com.na.
  49. ^ "Cultivating TV aesthetics".
  50. ^ Making A Case For The ’90s, Television’s ‘Other’ Golden Age-UPROXX
  51. ^ Why the Golden Age of TV Was Really Born in the 1980s-Vulture
  52. ^ Casetti, Francesco; Fanchi, Mariagrazia (17 August 2017). "Cinephilia/Telephilia". Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media. 45 (2): 38–41. doi:10.2307/41552408. JSTOR 41552408.
  53. ^ Cinephilia/Telephilia By Casetti, Francesco; Fanchi, Mariagrazia-Framework, Vol. 45, Issue 2, Fall 2004-Online Research Library
  54. ^ The television anti-hero
  55. ^ "Post-network audiences and cable crime drama (PDF Download Available)". ResearchGate.
  56. ^ Front, Celluloid Liberation. "Telephilia: Has Television Become a More Relevant American Medium Than Art Film?". IndieWire.
  57. ^ Roll Over Adorno: Critical Theory, Popular Culture, Audiovisual Media-Robert Miklitsch-Google Books
  58. ^ Miklitsch, Robert (2006). Roll Over Adorno: Critical Theory, Popular Culture, Audiovisual Media. New York: State University of New York Press. p. 135. ISBN 0791467333.
  59. ^ a b Redmond, Sean (2013). The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780231163323.
  60. ^ Wroot, Jonathan; Willis, Andy (2017). Cult Media: Re-packaged, Re-released and Restored. Cham, Switzerland: Pagrave Macmillan. p. 40. ISBN 9783319636788.