It would be preposterous to claim that this dossier encapsulates the totality of the stylistic trends, industry moves and authorial voices that dictated the pace of cinema during the past ten years. We have gathered, however, the voices of 17 of our best authors, who were prompted with a simple, yet challenging question: “What defined cinema in the 2010s?”.

Some answered by identifying industrial trends that shaped Hollywood’s business strategy, others pointed to technological change in terms of digital distribution and production, while others focused on particular national cinemas and their response to events such as natural disasters and political movements. Some authors pointed towards guerilla-type filmmaking triggered by the use of nascent visual cultures such as mobile apps and YouTube, platforms with which creators and audiences establish increasingly intimate links. Indeed,as several of our writers note, technological change has had a significant impact on our film experience, and on the cultural perspectives on film production.

The 2010s threw at us an even more complex question: What is cinema today? The emphasis on the way we watch emerged strongly – what is it to watch cinema in a theatre, as opposed to streamed into the domestic space? Several writers confronted the impact of the streamed image on film culture and film reception, but also the strengthening of community based film-going.

The micro-cinema and the community film festival have emerged strongly at the point in time where the cinema going experience has become increasingly decentralised. Indeed, audiences themselves have changed radically as demographics shift and critical responses – often vehemently expressed across social media – become an entrenched part of the critical engagement with cinema in the 2010s. Issues of gender, identity and politics have moved central to our experience not just of the cinema, but of the industry and culture that shapes it.

The 2010s have been a decade of revision, where ideologies have shifted, priorities have been reordered and our relationship with the cinema has grown both more simple and more complex. Do enjoy our dossier and the varied approaches our outstanding writers have taken to this question, and it may prompt your own reflection on the impact of the 2010s on your viewing habits, and the way you think about cinema moving into the 20’s.

The editors,
Mark Freeman and César Albarrán-Torres

About The Author

Mark Freeman is an academic in the Department of Film and Animation at Swinburne University. His most recent publication was in Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon edited by Linnie Baker and Xavier Aldana Reyes. He is also an editor at Senses of Cinema and has interests in national cinemas, horror and reality television.

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