Academic journal article CineAction

New Directions?

Academic journal article CineAction

New Directions?

Article excerpt

The conceit of the question mark added to "New Directions?" was intended to open up the line of possible inquiry rather than frame it too narrowly. As well, I wanted to set up a series of doubts rather than certainties about the state of film and filmmaking today. The central question here is whether there are any identifiable trends and directions in the first place. Are we, for instance, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, witnessing any sort of transformation in filmmaking, production, distribution, reception? Have the parameters changed because of a recent move towards transnationalism or multi-nationalism in film production? Is there still the possibility (or desirability) of a distinctly national cinema? At the same time, are there individual films and/or filmmakers that challenge the conventions of the medium?

One of the underlying, anxiety-producing, concerns of editing an issue of this magazine is that, once the 'call for papers' has been put out, you never know what the mail (or rather, email) will bring; that is, how your chosen theme will be materialized, 'made into flesh'--interpreted, expanded, stretched and/or manipulated. I am delighted (and relieved) to be able to say that, while the papers contained in this issue cover a lot of ground, they do so with a depth of analysis and insight that contributes to a broader understanding of the possibilities inherent in cinema today.

Four of the papers deal more or less with specific films--Spike Lee's The 25th Hour (2003), Gyorgy Palfi's Hukkle, (2002), Peter Howitt's Sliding Doors (1997), and Bernard Rose's ivansxtc. (2000)--firmly locating their films within the social and political issues of national identities in such a way that unfamiliarity with these films is not a deterrent. …

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