I’m sure the irony is not lost on our readers that this new issue of the journal, substantially devoted to two filmmakers, Eric Rohmer and Solrun Hoaas, who both passed away in recent months, coincides with the Easter period of resurrection. Purely coincidental, of course, but the symbolism is inescapable, if strictly unintentional. And yet, filmmakers do live on in their works and to devote critical attention to such works evokes a form of eternal return.
Rohmer’s qualities as a filmmaker have always been close to the sensibilities of our journal, and so, we could not but offer a commemorative issue to mark his passing away. We hope the selection of articles, which range from personal tributes to reflective essays to scholarly studies, do full justice to such a sublime filmmaker.
Less well known to our international readers, Solrun Hoaas’ life and career were nothing less than fascinating in their own right. As we learn from Lisa French’s extensive interview with the filmmaker, Hoaas was born in Norway in 1943, but much of her adolescence and early adult life was lived in Japan, an experience which marked her for life. In 1972 she settled in Australia, attended film school and soon after embarked on a long career as an independent filmmaker of both documentaries and narrative feature films, often blending the two modes in the one film. Her attitude is perhaps best encapsulated in these words, published as a personal statement early on in her career: “I would be most afraid of stagnating and resisting change and hope to retain the restlessness that demands taking chances in every film.” Which indeed she did to the very end.
As a mark of honour to the two directors highlighted, we have temporarily refrained from including new Great Directors entries for this issue.
Finally, and importantly, I draw readers’ attention to the Senses of Cinema survey posted with this issue, and kindly encourage readers to complete it. It provides an opportunity for you to tell us what you think of Senses, and in turn, an opportunity for us to learn about our readers, ensuring we produce a journal that places our readers’ interests at the forefront of future endeavours. As a gesture of thanks for your time and effort one individual from the pool of respondents will win their choice of five DVDs from Madman’s Directors Suite Collection to a value of AUD$200. Our thanks to Madman for donating the prize.
Hope you enjoy the issue.