In this first installment of Best of the Net I wanted to talk about two websites that I have been frequenting lately. This is by no means meant to be an endorsement by all shooting wall members, but just a list of some sites and blogs that I find helpful, illuminating, or otherwise captivating.
Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell (University of Wisconsin) are known for the Film Studies 101 Books: Film Art (1979) and Film History (1994). Their neoformalist approach has alienated the more psychoanalytical and post-structuralist theorists and critics, but I find blog posts to be particularly inspired. The blog, like much of their work, closely examines Classical Hollywood cinema to bring to light their theories on scenic density, fragmentary flashbacks, and Scriptography, among other diverse topics. Bordwell is also regarded as an expert on East Asian cinema and auteurs and his posts, which are neatly organized on the blog, are a good starting point to learn about these lesser known directors.
This newish online film journal is a great place to find contemporary critical and theoretical writing that is both relevant and understandable. What I love about their inaugural issue is that it features filmmakers talking about other filmmakers. I tend to think that the best filmmakers are the ones who are often the best film critics and historians and I always love reading what a director has to say about the works of others. The first issue of "Histories" features Joe McElhaney on his "passion for aging filmmakers, the older the better"; William D Routt's expansive consideration of Lubitsch; Andrew Klevan on "films which put the in-between at their centre"; Luc Moullet, with his irresistible title: "Ah Yes! Griffith was a Marxist!"; Richard Porton on Dušan Makavejev's WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971); Shigehiko Hasumi: "Stated briefly, my hypothesis is that the medium of film has not yet truly incorporated sound as an essential component of its composition."; Sylvia Lawson on Australian cinema's relationship with the nation's history; Stephen Goddard on the ways we remake our own histories; Darren Tofts's defense of The Song Remains the Same (1976); Adrian Martin himself: "Wenders and Godard define, for cinema's Modern or Modernist period, two trajectories of imaginative, cinematic migration."; Justin Grace on "traversing the various locations of XL: A City Symphony at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam"; Nicole Brenez on FJ Ossang; James Guida on Lucrecia Martel; David Phelps on Jacques Rivette's 36 vues du Pic St-Loup (Around a Small Mountain, 2009); and Elena Gorfinkel on Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder's exhibition, Light Spill.