Summer Issues

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset (2004)

Catherine Grant’s Film Studies for Free is an essential follow on Twitter, and over the past couple of days, she has been flagging new issues of cinema and media journals. The theme of the new Alphaville is “Mining Memories: New Explorations in Cinema, Memory and the Past,” and editor Gwenda Young finds that the work of the late Bertrand Tavernier serves as a way in. The edition includes articles on Davy Chou’s Golden Slumbers (2012), Alexander Kluge and Peter Schamoni’s short film Brutality in Stone (1961), location footage shot in Poland that didn’t make the final cut of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (1985), and more. Young suggests that “mining the archives—of memory; of official versions and curations of heritage—and bringing to the surface the memories and histories of those on the margins, are acts of restoration and of creation. Such acts inspired Tavernier in his seven decades as filmmaker, writer, intellectual, preservationist, and cinephile.”

In a similar thematic vein, the new summer issue of the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies offers a dossier that, as its editor, Diana W. Anselmo, explains, “conceives of ‘the archive’ as an unstable, promiscuous, and plural construction that benefits from being expanded along the intersectional lines of gender, race, class, ethnicity, nationality, and sexuality. Concerned with diversifying the ways we think and write about media histories, the five scholars showcased here introduce overlooked archives, artifacts, and users to help us grapple with questions of media access, knowledge, and marginality, the stories we tell and those that slip away.”

The first section of the new issue of the multilingual journal La Furia Umana is dedicated to postcolonial cinema, and the second section addresses metafiction and reflexivity. It’s in the slimmer third section on Alfred Hitchcock that we find Murray Pomerance’s terrific essay on two cinematic quotations in Torn Curtain (1966), “a film full of precipitous turns, masquerades, and confusions of intent.”

Pomerance maps out one scene that directly references Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948) and another that echoes a scene in Vincente Minnelli’s The Band Wagon (1953). He then raises several questions, asking, for example, “does the filmmaker honestly expect that his audience will grasp the quotation for what it is, given that the film medium, unlike printed text, has no equivalent of the quotation mark? Are we to know the history of cinema, then, before coming to Torn Curtain, and even if we do know something of what has gone before onscreen are we meant, absorbed in Hitchcock’s action, to draw ourselves out into the vestibule of memory and start making connections?” Pomerance argues that the films Hitchcock “saw and loved, especially the moments in them that particularly touched him, he cherished, and with a living passion.” There would have been “no other way” for him to make these scenes because he was “playing out his intent, morsel by morsel, view by view, using all of the resources in the gallery of his past.”

Along with reviews of new books on Terrence Malick, Jean Renoir, and Gilles Deleuze and six essays—including Jade de Cock de Rameyen’s reading of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) in light of Jacques Rancière’s critique of Deleuze—the new Film-Philosophy has Zachary Xavier revisiting Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), and Before Midnight (2013) with Søren Kierkegaard as a guide. “As the relationship of the leading couple evolves over time,” writes Xavier, “the trilogy charts the differing existential states of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy), as well as the ensuing complications that arise from their inevitable clash.”

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