Annual Bibliography of Film Studies-2007

By Telotte, J. P. | Post Script, Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

Annual Bibliography of Film Studies-2007

Telotte, J. P., Post Script


As has become our practice with Post Script's Annual Bibliography, I would like to introduce it by pointing up a number of the trends and developments that become apparent as one surveys recent film scholarship. Perhaps the most obvious place to start is with the special issues that we increasingly see characterizing journal publication, since we can assume that they reflect the current concerns of editors and of the larger critical community. The other obvious element to consider is simple quantification, as we look not only at the raw numbers of essays in a particular category of film research, but also how those numbers compare to those we have seen in the same categories over recent years.

In last year's edition of the Bibliography, we noted that the great majority of special issues seemed to reflect the increasing pattern of internationalism in both film production and film criticism. For 2007 it is difficult to point to a similarly dominant emphasis. In fact, what may be most striking for this year is the very variety of interests that have generated special issues. Among this diversity, we might especially note College English's symposium on the film Crash and its presentation of racial issues, Film Criticism's number on digital effects in popular film, Film Quarterly's collection of essays on Ang Lee's controversial Brokeback Mountain, Canadian Journal of Film Studies' issue on documentary, Journal of Popular Film and Television's number on film and the other arts, Post Script's own issues on documentary film and the film criticism of Susan Sontag, Quarterly Review of Film and Video's "Postcolonialism and Cybernetic Cultural Theory" issue, October's reconsideration of the work of Dziga Vertov, with its special emphasis on his links to Constructivist art, and Velvet Light Trap's collection of essays and interviews on pornography studies and on the documentary. These varied numbers seem to suggest no clear trend, other than the very diversity and indeed vitality of contemporary film studies.

In terms of sheer numbers of articles, however, we can observe certain directions, some of them quite predictable. After we saw a spike in the number of pieces on actors in 2006, this year's bibliography records a sharp drop in such efforts, as it also does in articles categorized under the headings of "Film History" and "Screenwriting." Where we can note significant gains are in articles devoted to digital media, director studies, documentary film, and international filmmaking. The first of these seems inevitable, for as digital technology increasingly becomes central to all filmmaking, it will also increasingly bulk into the body of film criticism itself. The second of these developments seems part of the cyclical focus on the filmmaker that we have been observing for a number of years with the bibliography. The latter two increases continue the rising interest we have seen in recent years in documentary--coupled with the appearance in 2007 of a new journal, Studies in Documentary Film, dedicated to the form--and in the international cinema.

Not subject to such trends, the Annual Bibliography retains the format that has served us well for many years, including those categories that have repeatedly demonstrated their usefulness. Each English-language film article receives a single full citation, based on the current MLA style, although many of the entries are also cross-referenced to one or more additional categories. Where necessary, entries also receive a brief annotation. Except in the cases of the "Actors / Actresses" and "Directors" categories, entries are all alphabetized according to the authors' last names, and we abbreviate journal citations in line with the "Periodicals Indexed" listing that follows. As in the past, we welcome any suggestions our readers might have for streamlining the format, adding additional journals, or introducing other categories.

I would also note that the production of this research tool remains very much a group effort. …

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