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Like the commercial management of the multiplex, the festival pre-calculates how many seats a film is likely to fill at what time and takes this into consideration when assigning theaters and timeslots to the various films. The schedule and numbers of screenings per film is set and limited beforehand. However, the juggling with attendance figures not exclusive to the IFFR points to a progressive institutionalization of the festival system that has to account for its mass popularity and competitiveness with hard figures.

The disturbing aspect of these stores as replacements of this kind is the further breakdown of any distinction between culture and advertising which already characterises urban society in general. But a positive aspect may also exist in terms of community and collective emotion. Where traditional cinephilia often conjures up images of people gathering in run-down establishments with character to catch one special screening, the Rotterdam festival takes place Drowning in Popcorn at the International Film Festival Rotterdam?

Embedded in the global competitive context of the festival circuit and dependent on the criteria of support from the Ministry of Culture and the municipality of Rotterdam, the festival needs to be able to address a multiplicity of needs. The festival has to obtain films, secure premieres and persuade filmmakers and journalists to attend the festival. It also has to compete nationally on the cultural agenda with other events for audiences, media attention and funding. On the festival circuit, the IFFR has found a niche position with its focus on art, avant-garde, and experimental works.

Both the festival organization and part of the professional public are strongly dedicated to maintaining this aspect. In fact, the strength of Rotterdam when compared to the major festivals in Cannes, Berlin and Venice is precisely this co-existence of cutting edge and uncompromising film programs and a receptive general audience. Using ANT to compose the preliminary list of cinephiles means being concerned with describing what the actors do. The encounters between the various films, experts, and spectators in the stimulating and dynamic environment of the festival is thus the ideal starting point for the development of taste.

The professional cinephiles, the film critics, have an important task in this regard. As Wesley Monroe Shrum Jr. The relation between producers and consumers of art is not constant.

Cinephilia / Cinephobia: New Mediations of Desire and Disgust

It entails different levels of expert involvement. The higher a work is in the cultural hierarchy, the more important is discourse about the object to its status. Taste in high art is mediated by experts, whereas taste in low art is not. The festival as a multiplex of cinephilia might evoke visions of capitalist appropriation at first, but then reveals itself as a hopeful metaphor for the event that nurtures cinephilia in its multiple forms.

The festival in Rotterdam is a joyful celebration of cinema that, through its popular appeal, introduces a larger audience to the cinephile experience and can potentially even persuade them to continue to deepen this engagement. There is no reason to fear loss of recognition and exclusivity as long as the festival organization and critics remain resistant to the impulse to drown in popcorn.


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The IFFR has successfully adjusted itself to the globally dominant model of the media event and managed to use the changing interface of world cinephilia to expand its accessibility and address the needs of a variety of cinephiles. Peranson, Mark. Bertina, Bob. Also see Heijs, Jan, Frans Westra. Que le Tigre Danse. Huub Bals, een biografie.

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The biggest audience festival is the Berlinale. Abram, Ido. Linssen, Dana. Het IFFR moet kleiner, opvallender en behapbaarder worden. See, for example, Kim, Soyoung. Film Festivals and the Identity Question. Fitzmaurice eds. International Film Festival Summit. Actor Network and After. Perren, Alisa. Shrum, Wesley Monroe Jr. I only discuss them when I am asked to do so by a fellow poster. To ignore such requests would be rude. I may have a lot of bad traits, one of which is being not long on truthfully or fairly attributing remarks to others, but rudeness is not one of them.

The New Cinephilia With the changes technology has brought to contemporary life, cinephiles — for whom movies are a way of life, films and how they are experienced have undergone major changes. For others, it was merely a new beginning. Born into an pre-existing home-viewing culture, I am among those who think limiting cinephilia to movie-going is a restrictive and provisional way of perceiving the love of cinema. Not only that, but it is also restrictive in the sense that people living outside of a handful of Western metropolises did not have the chance, until recently, to see non-mainstream fare, on or off the screen.

The new cinephilia is closely related to technology, in the way that it relies on the gadgets that make home theaters possible: first the VCR, then the hi-fi surround sound systems, and lastly the DVD. Those bemoaning the demise of cinema often argue that movie theaters have all been cut into movieplexes with many tiny theaters, all showing the most recent, unoriginal and uninspired blockbusters. The availability of films is assured not only through giant merchandisers like Amazon.

Ravenous Cinephiles Not surprisingly, the new breed of cinephilia feeds itself intellectually through the technology of the internet. Various sites on the net are not only the source of great and unfortunately not always correct information, but they also provide a space for cinephiles to get together and exchange ideas, and fuel their need to discuss the films they have seen, which is a part of the cinephiliac tradition.

Similarly, there are online journals such as Scope, Senses of Cinema or Film Philosophy that are no less stimulating than their printed counterparts, which are also often partly or fully available online to readers who would not have a chance to get hold of this material otherwise.

Fellow film buffs may be easy to find in large cities or on university campuses, but cinephiles living in more rural and less culturally diverse areas are frequently on their own when it comes to tastes in film.

Film-related communal cyberspaces are quite varied, ranging from casual chatgroups to academic mailing lists, from devoted fan-site-rings to theory-oriented e-journals. I will use the New York Times Film Forums as an example to look at the way in which an online community functions.

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However, since then, there have been a number of changes in the community, and some members have split up to form different film discussion sites. It is only natural for a community to undergo changes, even more so when this community is based in a constantly changing and growing environment like the internet.


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  8. But I also find it interesting that by being associated with the New York Times, the Forums carry a certain weight, a connotation of being a part of one of the leading newspapers in the world. To demonstrate the dynamics of this online community I will relate my own observations on the Forums, as well as some responses from forumites to questions I posed regarding their film-viewing and online habits.

    Although all of these sections were and still are used as general guidelines, some discussions occurred in unrelated sections, and off-topic conversations used to be very common. The ages ranged from late teens and college students to pensioners in their sixties. These were mostly amateur cinephiles, but also some film professionals, film critics: but interestingly, no formal film students.

    I should note that all these data are from posters, and not lurkers readers. Forum members saw films both in movie theaters and at home.


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    Most of them went online both from work and from home, making the EST early evening hours the busiest times on the Forums. Most Forum members had never been a member of a film club, nor did they frequent any other film-related online communities. It is their love of cinema that has drawn them to these Forums and keeps them together, even though the tastes and interests of forumites are quite diverse.

    For the members of the Forums from outside large cities who amount to at least half of the posters , cyberspace is the only option to exchange opinions. What used to be a minority taste in their local surroundings is no longer minority in the global context, reached via the internet. Although membership has changed somewhat, many of the rituals discussed here are still observable, in the original Forums or in their spin-offs.

    Firstly, there are the little daily rituals concerning dialogues. Certain members have unique expressions or phrases, which function as a signature. Oilcanboyd is also responsible for another ritual, involving Ravenous, related in the introduction of this article. On another level, Forum members discuss their film-viewing rituals. Frequently, members describe the exact circumstances in which they watched a particular film, mentioning the movie theater, the Ravenous Cinephiles weather; or if at home, where they got their film from, what they ate before watching it, and what kind of wine they drank while watching it.

    It involves a two-tiered voting, where nominees are determined by open voting online, and winners by a second round, done via emails sent directly to the volunteering counter. This tradition continues on the Milk Plus blog, where the awards have been renamed Droogies. Moderation of the Forums, while sometimes limiting the use of certain words, used to be very relaxed in terms of off-topic postings. Although these did get out of hand at times, off-topic postings also provided Forum members with background information about the other forumites, making the exchanges a lot more personal and friendly, a point frequently made in the emails sent to me by the members.

    There have been occasions that brought members together, when one member became a father, when one opened a bar in Las Vegas, and when one of the much-loved members of the community lost his wife. I mentioned earlier that a large percentage of the members come from outside the large cities, where they have limited access to films and opportunities to discuss cinema. This also helps to build strong ties between forumites, since within this group, they are no longer isolated film buffs, but just one of the crowd.

    Cinephilia: Movies, Love and Memory by Marijke de Valck

    When asked what they find advantageous about the Forums, nearly all of the members regard forming friendships with like-minded people and sharing opinions as their highest priority. There are members who get along well with one another, and those who declare their clear dislikes of certain other forumites. Cutting out the moronic trolls that plague the NYT Forum as well as the endless white noise chatter, this format will encourage a more fruitful and efficient way for all of us to communicate across the globe on the topics. These postings are usually longer pieces of criticism on a specific film or a TV series, and sometimes they are festival notes from around the world.

    On the comments pages, members and non-members can express their opinions about the post.