As the numbers of both film festivals and film scholars have risen, programming is more and more seen as a possible career path for some of those scholars. At the same time, programmers are a pragmatic lot, by and large. A lot of what we do is conditioned by what we can afford, what equipment we have, what we can find to show. So what are the links between film studies as an academic discipline and programming? In my case, it was the study of film aesthetics and theories of spectatorship that had the most profound impact on my practice as a programmer. Programming requires an attachment to the notion of the cinematic experience as one that is both public and private at the same time; the spectator is both absorbed into the image but also a body in a seat in a darkened room with other bodies seated nearby. And both aspects of watching films, the aesthetic and the social, are profoundly political. It is in relation to these aspects of film spectatorship, and film programming, that I will be considering the following statement (from Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema 2: The Time Image): “Restoring our belief in the world—this is the power of modern cinema (when it stops being bad).” In a world saturated with both images and cynical reasoning, is it worth believing in cinema?
Reception 5-6pm College D245