February 27, 2008

a quotation.

The lent gods don't just hate me, they are disappointed in me.  I like to think that they are meeting, to create evil plans against me, whilst spinning round and round on the world's largest carousel in a roadside tourist attraction in Nowhere, USA.

Here's a quote that is making me think:

I hope to convincingly argue that there is a place in film studies for defining and defending important films.  What I mean by important films probably does imply something like a canon of great films, of films that are important because they are great films.  As such, important films are ones that require defense on the grounds of taste: a great film is important because it is a great film, not because it is popular, not because it presented the first application of a new technology, and not because it responded to a particular historical moment - though, of course, a great films might include any or all of these elements as a measure of its greatness.

   Richard Rushton, 'The New Film Studies and the Decline of Critique', Cineaction 72 (2007), p. 4.

I feel that this idea unwittingly plugs into the emerging discourses of cinephilia (e.g. Christian Keathley, Thomas Elsaesser, Rosenbaum/Martin) that I have been exploring recently.  The question, I suppose, is: are ideas about the 'great-ness' of the film really the stuff of an academic discipline?  Can you imagine accepting undergraduate essays entitled 'Why is Cloverfield a great film'?  Or would that take film studies to a place that is unsuitable for a university?

I've arrived at this juncture whilst contemplating why my project about the digitalisation of cinema should focus on Richard Linklater.  This is a question that I haven't quite resolved in my mind yet.

Here's some other stuff:

   * Steve Richards, 'Don't let a row over the Speaker obscure the value of what takes place in the Commons'
   * My Life is Choked with Comics, 'Hideshi Hino: Panorama of Hell'

And I'm currently amused by the Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel video exchange, and the Seth Rogen parody that has followed.

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