The very first edition of Senses of Cinema appeared on line in December 1999, so it is appropriate that our final issue for 2009 appears, if only just, exactly to the month ten years on. By pure coincidence, 2009 turns out to be a year dove-tailed by two milestone issues: a 50th issue earlier in the year and a 10th anniversary issue to close the year.
It is also by happy coincidence that the founding editor of Senses, Bill Mousoulis, is represented in this 10th anniversary issue as a contributing author. Bill reviews both the Athens and Thessalonki film festivals, which can be found in the Festival Reports section, and for those who know him personally they make for interesting reading from a number of points of view.
It is true to say that Bill is a sedentary person by nature, but after a lifetime living in Melbourne, earlier this year Bill made the decision to re-locate to Greece, the country of his ancestry. As Bill says in his review, “Attending the Athens International Film Festival last year was like swimming in the ocean after years of admiring it from the safety of the shore”. He may be writing about a festival, but it is also about accounting for the change in lifestyle and experience, the “now and then” as the title of his review puts it. Bill uses the analogy of an individual, “then”, standing at the shoreline looking out at the world from a distance, and “now”, immersed and swimming in its waters. That analogy has all kinds of resonances.
The world, for Bill, means film culture. He may see it differently but, in effect, ten years back, Senses was a first attempt to bridge those waters, to open up a web-based dialogue with an international film culture that was elsewhere than in Melbourne, Australia. “Then” travel wasn’t an option. That the journal has endured for ten years is a testament to how successfully that dialogue grew and developed. The irony being, of course, that Bill is “now” on the other side of the mirror, so to speak, writing about the kinds of events and occasions that he once, “then”, so appreciated receiving from Senses’ overseas contributors.
The Australian Dutch-born filmmaker Paul Cox knows a thing or two about the vicissitudes that divide local and international film cultures. Having eschewed the industrial model of filmmaking from the start, he has managed to forge a three decades-long career at least of making distinctive, personal films that have found favour on the international film festival circuit. He has a small, dedicated local audience, but a bigger following and critical reputation overseas, as is made evident by the many name contributors to the dossier that is guest-edited by Victoria Duckett. Our thanks to Victoria for assembling such a stimulating and diverse body of writing on Cox’s cinema.
Much else in this issue circle around the topic of aesthetics and film, whether it be on colour (Murray Pomerance looks at the Technicolor process in general and Michelangelo Antonioni’s particular and extraordinary use of the process) graphic design (Drew Morton deconstructs Jean-Luc Godard’s pop-art/comic strip mise-en-scène), or the multitude of crosscurrents between pictorial art and film (Angela Dalle Vacche on Vittorio Storaro’s love of Caravaggio and Michael Riedlinger on Orson Welles’ interest in painting). The stimulus behind the decision to focus on aesthetics came from thoughts arising from Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s Une visite au Lourvre, for which Sally Shafto has provided a detailed transcript of the audio track with accompanying images. Thanks to each and all of our contributors.
Finally, and most importantly, with this issue we farewell two members of the Senses’ team. Co-editor Scott Murray came on board in 2005 with the kind of editing experience that the rest of us could only dream of. Before joining Senses, he was a co-founder and long-time editor of Cinema Papers, Australia’s premier print journal from 1973 onwards. When needed, his was the voice of professionalism, and contributed much to the vision and culture at Senses.
Web designer, Cerise Howard, has been with the journal for longer than even she may wish to remember. She dates her start with the journal in 2001 and while she had her hand in several roles over the years, principally, hers was the hand that gave the journal its distinctive design and look for all these years.
Both will be missed and we wish them well in the pursuit of their next endeavours.
With this issue we formally welcome on board Matt Stephenson as our web designer.
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Solrun Hoaas (1943 — 2009), filmmaker and film enthusiast.
Here’s to the next ten years!
Postscript: a quick note to our readers: until the migration of our archived content is complete, you may continue having trouble accessing the archive from outside links. The best way to do so remains via the ‘archive’ link on the current issue.
Also, a reminder that if readers wish to contribute to our World Poll:
Senses of Cinema invites our readers to nominate the best films of 2009 for our annual World Poll supplement to be posted online in January 2010.
You may choose to limit your choices to titles released in your country of residence during the year, or select from the full viewing range including commercial releases, film society and film festival screenings, straight-to-DVD titles and retrospectives. You may also choose to include in your wrap-up a list of the worst or most overrated films of the year.
Submissions should primarily consist of lists, annotated or otherwise, but you are welcome to include short general reflections on the year in cinema. Reflections generally do not exceed 500 words.
Each film title must be in the original language (except for Japanese, Chinese and Russian, and so on, where transliterations are preferred), accompanied by an English translation (if required), the director’s name and the film’s release date. The title must be as given on the film, with accents included. For example: Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7, Agnès Varda, 1961) and Ba wang bie ji (Farewell My Concubine, Chen Kaige, 1993).
Please remember to include your author by-line (no more than 50 words).
The deadline for contributions is 5th January. However, Senses would greatly appreciate submissions as soon as possible. Please email your submissions (and enquiries) to email@example.com