Oct 11, 2008

Cinephiles

Amazing article on cinema and those addicted to it by David Bordwell - his book was our bible when we began studying cinema... I am probably halfway towards becoming a cinephile, with regards to the discussions... The article was recommended by a good friend.
Do read it...

The Europeans have long been fascinated by the subject of cinephilia. The French supplied not only the word but the most outstanding instances, from the founding of Cahiers du cinéma to the passions of the Nouvelle Vague. (1) In the last decade particularly, French critics have often returned to the subject–worrying, for instance, that home video might have changed or even decimated cinephilia–and this has led critics from other countries to join in.

I was reminded of how strongly the idea persists when, at Il Cinema Ritrovato this year, I was invited to sit in on one of several lunches at which critics and historians talked about the subject. The discussion consisted mostly of recollections of the guests’ first encounters with cinema, of the films that affected them most powerfully, of the film-related activities they engaged in during their salad days. Some of us hadn’t done this exercise in autobiography before, but others had had practice. Jonathan Rosenbaum and Eric de Kuyper had both written a fair amount about the sources of their affinity for film. (Sometimes I feel I remember Jonathan’s life better than my own.)

What is cinephilia? Literally, the love of film. But everybody likes, even loves film, no? The term “cinephilia” connotes an overwhelming passion for film, even an obsession about it. And not just particular films. I meet civilians all the time who are devoted to their favorites—The Godfather, The Princess Bride, The Matrix. But they’re not cinephiles. So is it just a matter of quantity? Is it just that the cinephile enjoys a great many movies? Partly, but there’s still more to it.

The cinephile displays symptoms of cinemania, as chronicled in the film of the same name. If you haven’t seen it, Cinemania tracks five people who organize their lives around watching movies. As I watched it, some of my reactions ran to “Wow, that is really hard-core,” but every now and then I thought: “Well, that’s not so weird. I do that.” So I see the similarities...

(contd. here) http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=2662

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