Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library

Cinephilia: Movies, Love and Memory

Marijke de Valck
Malte Hagener
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 238
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    This collection of essays explores new periods, practices and definitions of what it means to love the cinema. The essays demonstrate that beyond individualist immersion in film, typical of the cinephilia as it was popular from the 1950s to the 1970s, a new type of cinephilia has emerged since the 1980s, practiced by a new generation of equally devoted, but quite differently networked cinephilies. They obsess over the nuances of a Douglas Sirk or Ingmar Bergman film; they revel in books such as François Truffaut's Hitchcock; they happily subscribe to the Sundance Channel-they are the rare breed known as cinephiles. Though much has been made of the classic era of cinephilia from the 1950s to the 1970s, Cinephilia documents the latest generation of cinephiles and their use of new technologies. With the advent of home theaters, digital recordings devices, and online film communities, cinephiles today pursue their dedication to film outside of institutional settings. A radical new history of film culture, Cinephilia breaks new ground for students and scholars alike. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0544-9
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 7-8)
    Marijke de Valck and Malte Hagener
  4. Introduction

    • Down with Cinephilia? Long Live Cinephilia? And Other Videosyncratic Pleasures
      (pp. 11-24)
      Marijke de Valck and Malte Hagener

      From a historical perspective, the term cinephilia is Janus-faced. On the one hand, it alludes to the universal phenomenon that the film experience evokes particular sensations of intense pleasure resulting in a strongly felt connection with the cinema, often described as a relation of love. Cinephiles worldwide continue to be captured and enraptured by the magic of moving images. They cherish personal moments of discovery and joy, develop affectionate rituals, and celebrate their love in specialized communities. On the other hand, the term covers practices and discourses in which the term cinephilia is appropriated for dogmatic agendas. The most successful...

  5. I. The Ramifications of Cinephilia:: Theory and History

    • Cinephilia or the Uses of Disenchantment
      (pp. 27-44)
      Thomas Elsaesser

      It is hard to ignore that the word ʺcinephileʺ is a French coinage. Used as a noun in English, it designates someone who as easily emanates cachet as pretension, of the sort often associated with style items or fashion habits imported from France. As an adjective, however, ʺcinéphileʺ describes a state of mind and an emotion that, one the whole, has been seductive to a happy few while proving beneficial to film culture in general. The term ʺcinephilia,ʺ finally, reverberates with nostalgia and dedication, with longings and discrimination, and it evokes, at least to my generation, more than a passion...

    • Dreams of Lost Time A Study of Cinephilia and Time Realism in Bertolucci’s The Dreamers
      (pp. 45-54)
      Sutanya Singkhra

      What do people do for love? Just about anything. And we all know how easy it is to fall in love. It is probably because of the mysterious nature of an act of love that makes it somehow irresistible. This is why using a phrase as clichéd as ʺfalling in love with loveʺ is not so inappropriate when we talk about ʺcinephiliaʺ as a love for cinema. But truly, for us cinephiles, love for the cinema is not just an act of watching movies, but rather oflivingthem, re-enacting particular scenes or lines that have changed forever our view...

    • Mass Memories of Movies Cinephilia as Norm and Narrative in Blockbuster Culture
      (pp. 55-64)
      Drehli Robnik

      If we equate cinephilia with liking certain movies, the term loses its meaning; but it also does so if we disconnect it entirely from the common habit of liking movies. In its relation to the value-generating cultural economy which circulates everyday affection by and for the cinema on a mass scale, cinephilia involves extraordinary cases of ordinary practices: a love for extraordinary films; an intense love for ordinary ones, capable of charging them with extraordinary qualities; love for a medium as a whole, which, totalized into a lovable whole, turns from a medium into an art or a memory.


    • Love in the Time of Transcultural Fusion Cinephilia, Homage and Kill Bill
      (pp. 65-80)
      Jenna Ng

      There is an inherent difficulty in defining love. Douglas Hofstadterʹs ironic definition¹ lies more in demonstrating the impracticalities of general recursion than in a genuine attempt for perspicuity. Love simply seems too mystical a force to be registered compactly by facile explanation; it is lamely compared – love ʺlike a red, red rose,ʺ² or love that ʺresembles the eternal rocks beneathʺ³ – or else shrugged off as inexplicable phenomena: ʺlove without reason… No wisdom, no judgement / No caution, no blame…ʺ⁴ It is presumably too complicated an emotion to analyse, too multifaceted for deconstruction, too profound for definitive scrutiny.


  6. II. Technologies of Cinephilia:: Production and Consumption

    • Remastering Hong Kong Cinema
      (pp. 83-96)
      Charles Leary

      In descriptions of Hong Kong cinema, and Hong Kong itself, one invariably encounters two keywords: ʺglobalizationʺ and ʺspeed,ʺ with speed being a factor of globalization, in the rapid production, circulation, and consumption of cultural commodities. The conspicuousness of these terms in studies of the region is partly due of course to the shifting dominion over Hong Kong during its modern history – once a British colony, once Japanese-occupied territory, and now a ʺSpecial Administrative Regionʺ for Chinaʹs ʺone country, two systemsʺ project – as well as its status as one of the most active financial centers in the world. As...

    • Drowning in Popcorn at the International Film Festival Rotterdam? The Festival as a Multiplex of Cinephilia
      (pp. 97-110)
      Marijke de Valck

      On the night of Wednesday, 28 June 1972, seventeen spectators attended the opening screening of the new film festival ʺFilm International Rotterdam.ʺ The sight of an all but empty cinema theatre prompted the Councillor of Arts to return without performing the official opening ceremony for the film week that had been described as ʺsuper-experimental.ʺ² This label was the consequence of the outspoken – and controversial – taste preferences of the founder of the festival, Huub Bals, who was also the co-founder of the Féderation Internationale des Festivals Indépendents that included the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Cannes) and the Internationales Forum des...

    • Ravenous Cinephiles Cinephilia, Internet, and Online Film Communities
      (pp. 111-124)
      Melis Behlil

      The above is a fairly classic exchange from two of the more seasoned members of theNew York TimesFilm Forums.² It contains references to some of the most often-mentioned films of these Forums:oilcanboydoften expresses his admiration for O.C. & Stiggs (USA: Robert Altman, 1987), and every time Ravenous (Czech Republic/UK/Mexico/USA/Slovakia: Antonia Bird, 1999) or anyone related to that film is mentioned, he makes a point of commenting on it, often noting that it is his eleventh favorite film of all time. ʺRavenousʺ in the title of this article refers not only to this film and the little ritual...

    • Re-disciplining the Audience Godard’s Rube-Carabinier
      (pp. 125-134)
      Wanda Strauven

      In the late 1990s, I toured California in a roofless Jeep. After a long day of ʺtoughʺ (windy) driving, I ended up, rather accidentally, in the ʺno-nonsense services townʺ¹ of Barstow. On the historic Route 66, I took a cheap room in a Best Motel. Fatigued and dazed by the trip, I nestled down on the queen-sized bed and switched on the color TV, one of the motelʹs amenities. There were probably over 100 channels. And, inevitably, I started zapping. I would prefer to see myself in this specific situation not as a couch potato, but as an active ʺhomo...

    • The Original Is Always Lost Film History, Copyright Industries and the Problem of Reconstruction
      (pp. 135-150)
      Vinzenz Hediger

      Over the last few decades, film archivists and copyright holders of films have become increasingly aware that the film heritage is under threat. Chemical decomposition and archival negligence, often due to lack of funds, eat away at the substance of what is left of the worldʹs film heritage. Accordingly, conservation and reconstruction are the order of the day. In recent years, film archivists have developed the restoration of film into an archival discipline of its own, university programs are devoted to the preservation and presentation of films, entire festivals focus on the programming of restored works of film art, and...

  7. III. Techniques of Cinephilia:: Bootlegging and Sampling

    • The Future of Anachronism Todd Haynes and the Magnificent Andersons
      (pp. 153-168)
      Elena Gorfinkel

      Parker Tylerʹs early treatise on the retrospective pleasures of cinematic artifacts, despite its having been written close to 46 years ago, reflects some of the ʺretroʺ stylistic tendencies in the recent work of American independent filmmakers, Todd Haynesʹ Far From Heaven (USA: 2002), Paul Thomas Andersonʹs Boogie Nights (USA: 1997) and Wes Andersonʹs The Royal Tenenbaums (USA: 2001). For these directors, the ʺanachronisticʺ become, subjected to different aesthetic and narrative strategies, in which reference to ʺoutdatedʺ historical periods and objects invites spectators to engage affectively, though not necessarily uncritically, with history. The work of these American art-house auteurs has been...

    • Conceptual Cinephilia On Jon Routson’s Bootlegs
      (pp. 169-180)
      Lucas Hilderbrand

      From the releases of George Lucasʹs blockbuster disappointment Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (USA: 1999) to acting twin Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsenʹs feature film flop New York Minute (USA: Danny Gordon, 2004), Baltimore-based conceptual artist Jon Routson (1969) recorded cinema screenings with his digital video camera. Routson would merely turn on his camera when the feature began, often cutting off the opening credits and jostling the image as he settled into his seat. He would rest the camera low on his chest or stomach to be inconspicuous and record without looking through the viewfinder in order to preserve...

    • Playing the Waves The Name of the Game is Dogme95
      (pp. 181-196)
      Jan Simons

      In hindsight, Dogme95 has been a spectacular but short-lived experience. The Danish film movement was launched in March 1995 at the conference ʺCinema in its second centuryʺ in the Odeon Theater in Paris where Lars von Trier presented the Dogme95 Manifesto.¹ The closure of the Dogme95 secretariat was officially announced in June 2002.² If one takes into account that the first official Dogme films Festen (Denmark: Thomas Vinterberg, 1998) and Idioterne (Denmark: Lars von Trier, 1998) were premiered at the 1998 edition of the Cannes Film Festival, one could argue that Dogme95 lasted for only four years. Considering that each...

    • The Parenthesis and the Standard On a Film by Morgan Fisher
      (pp. 197-210)
      Federico Windhausen

      In his 16mm film Standard Gauge (USA: 1984), the American filmmaker Morgan Fisher presents, in a close-up long take of a light table, a series of frames from his collection of 35mm filmstrips. Throughout the course of his presentation, Fisherʹs voice-over narration frequently describes what connects him to each piece of film, while also providing fragments of a broader cultural history, tied to ʺthe complex of economic activity that gives rise to an Industrial standardʺ such as the preferred gauge format of 35mm.¹

      Near the end of the film, as he recounts his work as editor and actor on a...

    • The Secret Passion of the Cinephile Peter Greenaway’s A Zed and Two Noughts Meets Adriaan Ditvoorst’s De Witte Waan
      (pp. 211-222)
      Gerwin van der Pol

      During the 1986 International Rotterdam Film Festival I attended the Dutch premiere of A Zed and two Noughts (UK/Netherlands: Peter Greenaway, 1985).² As history records it, the film left behind a bewildered and amazed audience.³ The opening credit scene gives so much visual and auditory information that the spectator is unable to ʺenterʺ the film. That may explain why many spectators talk about the film in spatial metaphors: the film was ʺbeyondʺ them, or they felt ʺleft out.ʺ Often mentioned in reviews of the film – and something Peter Greenaway seems to be proud of – is that watching the...

  8. Biographies
    (pp. 223-226)
  9. Index of Names
    (pp. 227-232)
  10. Index of Film Titles
    (pp. 233-236)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 237-238)