PUBLIC SPACE, CINEMA AND MEDIA AUDIENCES
Framework is online. Issue 42 on Public Space is available exclusively online. Some may miss the presence of a print version, but FrameworkOnline reaches a more international and eclectic audience than any print journal. The website is also a space for Framework's impressive archive of international film history, theory and practice.
Issue 42 focuses on cinema and social space. The issue explores two distinct, but related aspects of cinema and social space. The 'Archaeology' section is devoted to cinephilia. Here, the film spectator is defined in relation to their intense, loving and individual relationship with cinema. Christian Keathley reflects on what it means to be a film spectator and a cinephile, as does Jean Douchet, interviewed by Antoine de Baecque and Christian-Marc Bosséno. The highly personal nature of the cinephiliac moment says as much about the spectator as the memorability of film images. The cinephiliac moment also foregrounds the film spectator as a minority, one person who sees something others do not. Cinephilia is about a private moment in a public space. Timothy Barnard's article on French film critic Léon Moussinac explores the public and private world of early cinema. Moussinac played a central role in Impressionist film criticism in the 1920s and 30s, writing in the literary magazine Le Mercure de France, communist party newspaper L'Humanité and film journal Monde. Moussinac's ground breaking book Naissance du cinéma (1925) considers not just the artistic, but the social, technological, political and economic aspects of early cinema.
This way of looking at the cinematic experience embraces, amongst other things, architecture, film distribution and screening, film images and audience responses. In the section 'Public Space', the film audience is examined as a 'public' which is constantly in a state of flux. Christine Geraghty charts changes in the British public's experience of going to the cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. S V Srinivas documents how male, middle class and upper caste Indian film-goers in the 1940s and 1950s fashioned themselves into a public distinct from the rest of Indian audiences. The cinema gradually changed from an environment for all to a more fragmented, and hierarchical space. Valentina Vitali's analysis of the family and, in particular, women in Hindi cinema presents a similar socio-historical approach to film studies, a rich approach which Janet Staiger and Martin Barker rightly identify as an important development in the study of the cinematic experience. Articles in this issue by Lúcia Nagib, Andrew Jakubowicz, Michael Chanan, Stephen Teo and others draw upon the artistic, social, political, technical and economic aspects of cinema, television, radio and new media from around the world. We hope Moussinac is watching.
– Annette Hill
Many thanks must go to Noel King for his involvement in the archaeology section on cinephilia. Thanks also to Paris for permission to translate the interview with Jean Douchet, and thanks to Timothy Barnard for an excellent translation. Finally, thanks to David Gauntlett for patiently piecing together this issue in online form.