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Film Programming

Film Programming: Curating for Cinemas, Festivals, Archives

Series: Short Cuts
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    Film Programming
    Book Description:

    This study explores artistic choices in cinema exhibition, focusing on film theaters, film festivals, and film archives and situating film-curating issues within an international context. Artistic and commercial film availability has increased overwhelmingly as a result of the digitization of the infrastructure of distribution and exhibition. The film trade's conventional structures are transforming and, in the digital age, supply and demand can meet without the intervention of traditional gatekeepers--everybody can be a film curator, in a passive or active way. This volume addresses three kinds of readers: those who want to become film curators, those who want to research the film-curating phenomenon, and those critical cinema visitors who seek to investigate the story behind the selection process of available films and the way to present them.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-85082-7
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Peter Bosma
    (pp. 1-4)

    This book offers an exploration of essential issues concerning the phenomenon of selecting films and presenting them on a big screen, to a paying audience, whether at a film theatre, film festival or film archive. This overview is aimed at several kinds of readers: those who want to become film curators themselves; those who are researching the phenomenon of film curating; and those who are critical cinema visitors who want to investigate the story behind the process of selection of the film supply for their local film theatre, film festival or film archive. In addition, I hope that film professionals...

    (pp. 5-19)

    In our lifetime we all collect special experiences of screenings in cinemas and we cherish the memories of them. There is a whole industry at work to make this possible. This book focuses on the end of the decision chain. The purpose of this book is to analyse the activity of selecting films and scheduling them purposefully for screening to an audience, whether at a film theatre, film festival or film archive. This activity could be described as ‘curating film’ or ‘film programming’. What do these terms mean, precisely? This calls for clarification. The next step is to investigate the...

    (pp. 20-32)

    Film curators should be cinephiles themselves, and their cinema programmes should preferably contain films by directors who are cinephiles, while the audience should also ideally contain a significant percentage of cinephiles. But what is the exact meaning of cinephilia, and how can this be taken as a connecting theme for curating a film programme?

    The literal translation of ‘cinephilia’ is ‘loving cinema’. This phenomenon is extremely ambiguous; it could be approached from various different perspectives and angles. Basically, a cinephile sees a lot of films. The key question is, what underlying motivation for this peculiar behaviour can be distinguished? In...

    (pp. 33-50)

    A film curator is part of a network of intermediaries. This chapter selects three front lines in this constellation. Film distribution companies are the main suppliers for a curator, therefore it is necessary to know how film distribution functions. The main obstruction for a free choice of films is formed by constraints of screening rights, therefore the issue of copyright needs to be evaluated. Each film programme and each film release flourishes with a reasoned response from film critics, therefore this domain also deserves further exploration.

    This section describes international developments in the traffic of cinema, on the level of...

    (pp. 51-67)

    This chapter contains an initial draft for identifying possible curating strategies, sketched with a film theatre in mind, but also applicable for film festivals and film archives. The central issues are the identification of the various options for constructing a film programme and an exploration of the role of the cinema audience.

    The task of distribution companies is partly curating the film programmes for a whole territory. If your film programme exists only of a set of newly released films, in first run or second run, then you are not a film curator or programmer but a scheduler of screenings....

    (pp. 68-81)

    Film festivals are popular. This is evident from the fact that they attract large audiences everywhere and there is an extensive choice of international festivals for each day of the year. This ever-increasing popularity raises a lot of fundamental questions, such as what is happening exactly,howhas this happened, and will it last? Answering and specifying these general questions initiates an interesting discussion, fuelled by fond memories of times gone by, and thoughts on the hypothetical ideal film festival, as well as expectations about the future of film festivals. This chapter offers a brief overview of a few specific...

    (pp. 82-93)

    A film curator can choose to screen newly-made films or earlier works from the film repertoire; in both cases the films in mind are usually still in circulation through the channels of film distribution. A third option is to focus on screening film heritage. But what corpus of film heritage can a cinema curator choose to screen? This depends on what is generally accepted as belonging to film heritage and it is also limited to what parts of film heritage are still available. Film archives play a decisive role in both cases. The label of ‘cultural heritage’ includes the subset...

    (pp. 94-113)

    Curating programmes of silent films implies a special task and challenge. The body of work concerned exists of films made in the period between 1895 and roughly 1927, so this raises the question of what kind of relation these very old films could hold for an audience in the twenty-first century (see also Withall 2014). It is certainly necessary to bridge the gap of underevaluation caused by prejudices. Granted, there is a sliding scale of quality to acknowledge. Some films need to be seen in their historical context in order to be able to enjoy them; indeed, they require an...

    (pp. 114-121)

    In this short section I take up the challenge to formulate a convincing justification of the importance and urgency of film art, shown in cinemas on the big screen. Cinema has a long history of emancipation and justification, but it is necessary to formulate this justification time and again, because cinema is positioning itself in a rapidly changing context. There are new possibilities in the choice of production tools which inspire filmmakers in different ways. There are also new developments in the infrastructure of distribution and exhibition. These different institutional circumstances will have consequences for the experience of film art....

    (pp. 122-135)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 136-142)