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Wikipedia defines Cinephilia as “the term used to refer to a passionate interest in cinema, film theory and film criticism. The term is a portmanteau of the words cinema and philia, one of the four ancient Greek words for love.” A person who loves movies is refered to as a Cinephile. Cinephilia has been an important part of the movie industry since it’s invention. People who strive to learn more about movies have helped develope the foreign film market in America and unlock forgotten gems. In the age of the internet, making new discoveries and engaging in movie culture is as simple as searching on google. Movie forums and criticism have blossomed and a new wave of internet cinephiles has emerged.
Cinephilia has been around since the dawn of cinema. As silent films developed so did film criticism and fandom. Movie clubs became more popular and often lead to a resurgence of interest in older films or film movements. After World War Two many countries were introduced to foreign films, notably France. Post WW2 French cinephilia gave birth to one of the most influencial film movements in history, The French New Wave. Cinephilia became trendy in the 70’s and 60’s, and through the ever expanding home video market of the 80’s and 90’s a new world of movies was introduced to Americans (particularly asian cinema).
CINEPHILIA AND THE INTERNET
BLOGGING- Movie blogs are arguably the most important part of modern day cinephilia. Since the beginning of blogging, film blogs have existed: Charting a bloggers viewings and movie marathons, bringing attention to older or lesser known movies, and reporting on the latest film movements and trends. Blogging has virtually changed the world’s perception of film criticism. A film critic doesn’t have to be a well educated and distinguished scholar anymore, now anyone can be a film critic, from a novice film lover to a knowledgable movie buff. Movie blogs often discuss the latest developements in a promising film production (such as trailers, production stills, concept art, and interviews), now cinephiles can fully interact with the movie-making community like never before.
PODCASTS AND VIDEOS- Film podcasts are also a haven for cinephiles to express their opinions. While podcasts also report on current movie events, most of them focus on a specific movie or director per episode (i.e. Battleship Pretension, Criterion Cast, Scene Unseen Movie Reviews, etc.)
Obviously movie trailers have benefitted from Youtube, but video reviews have also proven to be very popular. An example of a popular video critic would be The Nostalgia Critic who has an impressive following and could be considered an internet sensation on his own. Another example being the Cinema Snob (a lesser known but also popular critic). Even James Rolfe, the creator of The Angry Video Game Nerd, has tried his hand at movie reviews.
3,282,457 views (part 1 of a 7 part review)
The Nostalgia Critic
Another popular type of cinephilia related video is the “my dvd collection” concept. The concept is simple, movie buffs share their home video collections.
LISTS- Film lists are common place amongst cinephiles (a notable list being the AFI’s top 100 list), specifically top 10 lists. The film site mubi.com even has a list making feature.
INTERNET FORUMS AND THE CRITERION COLLECTION- Movie forums serve a similar purpose to that of movie blogs. The are a place to discuss all types of film related subjects. 4chan’s /tv/ board is used to discuss both television and movies, it’s a vast community of moviegoers but is for the most part mainstream. For example, one of the most popular discussions on /tv/ at the moment is this still of catwoman from the new Christopher Nolan film “Dark Knight Rises.”
The prime internet movie forum that specifically caters to cinephiles is mubi.com (previously theauteurs.com). As of november 2010 there have been over 700,000 members on mubi. The website streams rare movies from across the globe for a nominal fee, has a monthly newsletter along with a movie news feature, contains an extensive film data base (similar to imdb.com), can connect to facebook, and has a list making feature.
The Criterion Collection is a specialized home video company founded in 1984. They focus on foreign and classic films but contain some more recent films. Criterion is famous for their fantastic dvd presentations and exellent fan service. Their internet resources are above average, like mubi.com they send a monthly newsletter, they have an expanding hulu page, have an informative website containing a blog that is updated daily (excluding weekends), and even have a youtube account. Even the mubi forum contains a criterion discussion section.
Every new years criterion releases a drawing on their website hinting to what movies they will be releasing the following year. This illustrates how a company built on cinephilia utilizes the internet.
Movies and the internet have both affected eachother in big ways, partly because of cinephilia. Movies have become more accessible, easier to discuss, and recieve a higher fanbase because of the internet. There are also plenty of movie related memes, such as “get to the choppa,” “If You Watch X Backwards, It’s About Y,” and “Supercut Movie Clichés,” just to name a few. Cinephilia is a vast subculture built out of passion, information, and social networking, all of which the internet supply.
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