“We do not propose either a return to a golden age of film studies or a rejection of the methods that have dominated the field since the 1950s. We do hope, however, that the essays here encourage film scholars and students to ask questions about methodologies and about film studies as a scholarly discipline, and to consider new subjects and modes of historical inquiry. We are not advocating removing the text from film studies, but instead we aim to develop the notion of the textuality of the historical field. Such a field includes a broad variety of primary materials, with movies holding a significant position but not always the central one.”

– Eric Smoodin, “The History of Film History”

I know I’m in the right program because this is pleasure reading. I started into the readings today, three of them, and I feel like I’ve been waiting three and a half years, since Roger Ebert died, to get knocked over the head by film writing that reinvigorated the interest in movies I once had. I think this might be it, a call to break down (okay, fine, not reject) the primarily 20th-century notion of academic film studies and replace it with the study of something far more personal, films in the context of how they were made, who made them (EVERYONE who made them, and what they made), who they were made for, and the effects they continue to have on all of us, no matter who we are – a study of the story of films, one in which the film is often of secondary importance. There’s a lot more of this kind of thing to come and you’ll be sick to death of hearing it, I’m sure.

I had my first pumpkin cream cheese muffin of the pre-season today. Currently listening to Jack White’s new acoustic record on Spotify. The White Stripes released their last record the year I began grad school the first time. A lot of White Stripes songs on this one, done beautifully and softly, taking me back and forward at the same time.

And in your own mind you know you’re lucky just to know her
And in the beginning all you wanted was to show her
But now you’re scared, you think she’s running away
You search in your hand for something clever to say, don’t go away
‘Cause I want to keep you in my pocket, where there’s no way out now
Put it in the safe and lock it, ’cause it’s home sweet home

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