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[Commlist] Re-Examining Turn-of-the-Century Film Culture: Twenty Years of Film Studies

Tue Mar 26 16:40:16 GMT 2019

Re-Examining Turn-of-the-Century Film Culture: Twenty Years of /Film Studies/

Call for papers

She told herself that she had NT$ 500,000 in the bank. When she'd used it up, she would leave him for good. This happened ten years ago; in the year 2001. The world was greeting the twenty-first century and celebrating the new millennium.

(/Millennium Mambo/, 2001, Hou Hsiao-hsien)

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s /Millennium Mambo/is set at the turn of the century but its main character voice-over narration is situated in 2011; the events are seen retrospectively. Similarly, this issue of /Film Studies/is situated at the beginning of the third decade of the twenty-first century and looks back to turn-of-the-century cinema, film scholarship and criticism.

In those heady days, while the world was about to greet the twenty-first century and celebrate the new millennium, the journal/Film Studies/came into being. Our first issue (Spring 1999) was edited by Ian Christie and Michael Grant and included contributions from Murray Smith, Peter Wollen, Robert Smith, Mikhail Iampolski, Edwin Carels, Andrew Klevan, Stephen Bottomore, Frank Gray and Philip Horne. These scholars looked back at the century which was about to end and investigated the work of Aleksandr Sokurov, Jean Renoir, Wim Wenders, Luis Buñuel, Martin Scorsese and Andrei Tarkovsky.

During those months, an extraordinary number of movies which are today described as /cult/were released - /Fight Club/, /The Blair Witch Project/, /The Matrix/, /The Sixth Sense/- and in the meantime Jar Jar Binks angered the fans of /Star War/in the first instalment of the prequel trilogy. Lynne Ramsay debuted with /Ratcatcher/,the Dardenne brothers won the Palme d’Or with /Rosetta/and Stanley Kubrick died before his /Eyes Wide Shut /was released; the first episode of /The Sopranos/came out in the summer and VHS was still the preferred medium of consumer audiovisual recording and ‘time shifting’. Not long before, Susan Sontag – among others – had declared the ‘decay of cinema’ and many critics and scholars spoke about the last days and death of a century’s erstwhile medium and system of consumption.

Twenty years later, the Editors of /Film Studies/seek to commemorate two decades since our founding and reconsider those bygone days with a special issue that re-examines the hopes, dreams, anxieties and state of millennial film and Film Studies in essays of 4000-8000 words each. What was turn-of-the-century film culture? And how have the concerns of that era been extended, transformed, surpassed or resolved in the meanwhile?

We invite contributions that retrospectively examine */turn-of-the-century/*:

• film scholarship, education and criticism

• film theory, debate and discourse (e.g., ‘death of the cinema’, medium-specificity debates)

• film production (individual films, production cycles, genres and trends)

• distribution and exhibition practices (incl. video installations, films on television, video shops, DVD-by-post, early efforts at streaming)

• technological developments

• film policy, funding practices and politics

• film audiences

• film authors

• film festivals.

Abstracts of 150-250 words, and a short biographical note, should be sent by 5 April 2019 to (filmstudiesjournal /at/ Complete manuscripts should be ready for peer review by 1 October 2019. Publication is due for summer 2020.

Maurizio Cinquegrani

Mattias Frey

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