Cinematic Lounge

Thursday, November 15, 2007


During the most active cinephile period, the French New Wave, a lot of cine-clubs had been formed. There, as I suppose, had been taking place projections, discussions, discussions and, well, discussions. This resulted in a massive cinematical social commitment: people watched cinema, thought about cinema, talked about cinema, breathed cinema...

This spirit is somehow lost... Are there still regular cinematic gatherings where the central task is not to merely watch, but also to think and discuss? To search meanings and possible new roads? To truly participate in a commited community?

Festivals have to a degree alienated this - they have turned cinema into an official event where only grand speeches and not thoughtful discussions can take place. The principle is that something has to be said, to fill the time schedule, but what and how is not a valid question.

So my concern is towards this: does anyone know of such active clubs? How do they operate? What are their program and syllabus? What are their aims and in what way do they try to achieve them?

Please, share any expirience! Also, any detailed knowledge or direction towards sources about such past clubs is welcome!


HarryTuttle said...

Hi Marina,
I agree with you there. I never lived in the golden era of Ciné-Clubs, but there are always some of them here and there in Paris, and I like the interaction when it does happen.
This spirit is dead. I thought the internet was the new place for Ciné-clubs, under a new format, less local and more anonymous. So you can find some micro communities on certain forums (mainly DVD consumption-oriented), but their interest are different.
When the original idea was to gather people around a film and theme of discussion, and exhange of impressions, maybe the comparison of 2 or 3 movies in the same night. which implies the mediation of the debate by someone who select the film(s) and propose to answer to questions.

In Paris, there are a few regular meetings (every week or every month) that I can think of now :
- Jean Douchet at La Cinémathèque (this year he reviews French cinema since 1990)
- Claude Jean Philipe at a arthouse (L'Arlequin) mainly on revisiting repertoire movies, often silent.
- By journalists from the Courrier International newspaper at a multiplex, projecting politicaly-oriented documentaries, with guests to discuss the issues in the film. (last time was, Where The Sun Shines a doc on the prime minister of East Timor)
- Ciné-Philo, a philosopher teaches philosophy in a multiplex with mini-clips of films (old and new)

Carlos Ferrao said...

Dead and buried in Portugal. Although at least there still is the Cinematheque and a couple of theatres to watch good films at a relatively low cost.

Here in London the BFI is very expensive (at least as expensive as the posh multiplexes) and I never found anything resembling the Cineclub spirit.