Archive for the ‘site specifics’ category

Welcome to the filmlinc blog

September 16, 2008

As the Film Society of Lincoln Center gears up for the 46th Annual New York Film Festival, we hope you’ll stop by this blog for:

  • Daily updates, photos and reports from the festival
  • Special content from Film Comment magazine like Site Specifics, a column that unearths vital web resources for film lovers
  • Feeds from our Flickr pool
  • Exclusive interviews and video content
  • The chance to win free stuff and tickets!
  • Links to other organizations that cover our programming

Film Comment Site Specifics: Europa Film Treasures

September 11, 2008

Launched in June, Europa Film Treasures has quickly vaulted to the top ranks of online video-on-demand ventures spearheaded by moving-image archival institutions. As such, it takes its place alongside such valuable destinations as the Library of Congress’s American Memory site, the British Film Institute’s YouTube channel, and the UbuWeb Film & Video resource. At this early stage, the cleanly designed site offers visitors only 50 films for viewing, and the administrators still have to make good on their promise to improve the streaming video playback. But this Europe-based project is immediately striking for its ambitiously planned scale and eclectic range.

Led by those zealous lovers of early and forgotten films, Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange, the Paris-based Lobster Films has partnered with 37 nationally based archives from throughout the European Union, as well as from Russia and such candidate countries as Macedonia, to digitize parts of their collections and provide well-written historical notes about the films. Among the current works online, you’ll find an intriguing mixture of the familiar and the obscure, notable artistic achievements alongside fascinating footage of mainly documentary interest: to name a few, Viking Eggeling’s classic Symphonie diagonale (25), John Ford’s early western Bucking Broadway (17) (rediscovered by France’s CNC archive), a Finnish short about the sauna, the 1909 English science-fiction film The Airship Destroyer featuring air raids by German zeppelins, and a hand-painted experimental short by Margaret Tait from 1970.

Given its substantial E.U. funding, EFT leans heavily on a familiar institutional and promotional rhetoric regarding European cultural identity and the project’s effort to make the diverse film heritage of Europe more readily available for discovery. If the participating archives commit their full support to the site’s expansion, it could serve to showcase their indispensable, fundamental work with actual materials, rather than digital transfers, much as the U.S. Treasures from American Film Archives DVD releases have. Countless riches lie in store.

-Paul Fileri, from the September/October 2008 issue of Film Comment

Film Comment Site Specifics: Dave Kehr’s online destination for cinephiles

September 8, 2008

The best blogs thrive as online meeting-places for discerning enthusiasts—a modest-sounding accomplishment that actually means a great deal. Launched in 2005, Dave Kehr’s website is a sideline to his gig reviewing DVDs at The New York Times. Yet as its tagline, “Reports from the Lost Continent of Cinephilia,” suggests, it also serves as a venue for Kehr to bring his critical intelligence and knowledge to bear on much more than the home-video landscape.

Calling himself an “increasingly alienated observer” of contemporary film culture, Kehr embraces his Times post, which directs his viewing “away from the frontlines” of reviewing new releases. The blog’s backbone is formed by entries linking to his weekly column, but the real action occurs in the comments section, where discussions are sparked by Kehr’s remarks on everything from the state of film criticism to, for example, the careers of Richard Widmark and Sydney Pollack. “I just keep the door open and see who wanders in . . . I toss out the odd conversation ball,” says Kehr.

His reflections on the site tend to circle back to the changing experience of filmgoing today. The culture of cinephilia “used to be about, for instance, hanging out in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art and starting a discussion or argument.” But now, Kehr adds, these encounters largely take place “home alone”—usually spurred by a DVD, TCM, or something online. This site, which began as a lark, has become a prime Web destination.

-Paul Fileri, from the July/August 2008 issue of Film Comment