The new issue of Cineaste features a large symposium called "Film Criticism in the Age of the Internet." Along with about 20 other writers, I was asked to contribute a piece to it. Participants included: Zach Campbell, Robert Cashill, Mike D'Angelo, Steve Erickson, Andrew Grant, J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, Glenn Kenny, Robert Koehler, Kevin Lee, Karina Longworth, Adrian Martin, Adam Nayman, Theo Panayides, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Dan Sallitt, Richard Schickel, Campaspe (Self-Styled Siren), Michael Sicinski, Amy Taubin, Andrew Tracy, and Stephanie Zacharek.
We were responding to questions posed by the editors about the Internet: its contributions to film culture; comparisons with print media criticism; strengths and weaknesses of blogs; professional vs. amateur cinephiles; the participatory potential of the Net, etc. A wide variety of perspectives emerges in the pieces; they make for a fun read.
The Cineaste issue kicks off with two great Chris Marker pieces: one by Adrian Martin and the other by Marker himself. The issue is in the newsstands but I'm not sure how much of it will be available to read online at the magazine's site. [UPDATE: I have just received word from the editors that the symposium will indeed appear online soon. I will post a link to it when it does.][UPDATE 2: It's online now.]
In a couple of days, I'll head out to Toronto for the film festival. I've picked up tickets for about 30 films including those by: Claire Denis, Nathaniel Dorsky, Jean-Marie Straub, Lisandro Alonso, Jia Zhang-ke, Arnaud Desplechin, James Benning, the Dardennes, Agnes Varda, Mamoru Oshii, Werner Schroeter, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Albert Serra, Jerzy Skolimowski, Kelly Reichardt, Rithy Panh, and others.
I'll be filing a piece at Artforum at festival's end, and may not get a chance to work up a post here for a couple of weeks. As always, you're most welcome to chat and post links in the comments. I'll pop up here occasionally too.
-- Have you been following David Cairns' marvelous blog, Shadowplay? The posts and discussions are a lot of fun, and what's more, he currently has a Julien Duvivier giveaway.
-- Adrian's new column at Filmkrant is on "unknown cinephiles." It opens:
"Modern historians have turned an old surrealist saying - 'Even the empty perches of history are eloquent' - into an impassioned ethical creed. History is increasingly full of empty perches: lost cities, shredded documents, ordinary lives with no testament left behind. Filmmakers including Chris Marker, Harun Farocki and Edgardo Cozarinsky have devoted themselves to the eloquence of everything that is missing in time and place - absences that, in their muteness and invisibility, somehow express so much. The internet can turn us all into historians of the forgotten, the lost, the ephemeral. A cinephile sometimes stumbles upon a lonely monument, somewhere on-line, to someone whose life intersected, for a long or short time, with a passion for film. These are people whose names are scarcely recorded in the official annals of cinema culture; usually, it is a friend, student or partner who has taken the trouble to post a tiny reminder of their fleeting existence."
-- David Bordwell's new post is on films from the year 1913. It begins with this Martin Scorsese quote: "Each film is interlocked with so many other films. You can’t get away. Whatever you do now that you think is new was already done in 1913."
-- Chris Cagle announces his pick for September at Film of the Month Club: Claire Denis' The Intruder.
-- At Films in Review, a wonderful piece by Jean Renoir from Cahiers du Cinema, March 1952.
-- via David Hudson: At Artforum, Richard Deming on P. Adams Sitney's Eyes Upside Down.
-- At Frieze: Babette Mangolte on two films that "literally changed my life."
-- Recent blog discovery: Catherine Grant's film studies blog, Directing Cinema.