The advent of new screening practices and viewing habits in the twenty-first century has spurred a public debate over what it means to be a 'cinephile.' In Anxious Cinephilia, Sarah Keller places these competing visions in historical and theoretical perspective, tracing how the love of movies intertwines with anxieties over the content and impermanence of cinematic images.
Keller reframes the history of cinephilia from the earliest days of film through the French New Wave and into the streaming era, arguing that love and fear have shaped the cinematic experience from its earliest days. This anxious love for the cinema marks both institutional practices and personal experiences, from the curation of the moviegoing experience to the creation of community and identity through film festivals to posting on social media. Through a detailed analysis of films and film history, Keller examines how changes in cinema practice and spectatorship create anxiety even as they inspire nostalgia. Anxious Cinephilia offers a new theoretical approach to the relationship between spectator and cinema and reimagines the concept of cinephilia to embrace its diverse forms and its uncertain future.
"This quietly incendiary book makes a crucial intervention in the study of cinephilia by showing how the love of cinema has always been intertwined with anxiety. In embracing an expansive and historicized sense of cinephilia, it stands as an important corrective to previous scholarship that has far too often privileged French postwar auteurist film culture. A brilliant and ambitious work that will help spark a thousand cinema conversations." - Gitish Shambu, autohor of The New Cinephilia
Contents: Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Ardor and Anxiety: The History of Cinephilia 2. Enchanting Images 3. Cinephilia and Technology: Anxieties and Obsolescence 4. The Exquisite Apocalypse Conclusion: Anxious Times, Anxious Cinema Notes Selected Bibliography Index
About the Autor: Sarah Keller is associate professor of art and cinema studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is the author of Maya Deren: Incomplete Control (Columbia, 2014) and the coeditor of Jean Epstein: Critical Essays and New Translations (2012).