We have a new sponsor. The Society for the Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) joins our other sponsor, the Forum for Movies and Mind (FMM), in supporting the journal’ s goal of investigating the ways in which film opens up the exploration of the mind and the ways in which studies of the mind deepen our understanding of film. (See pages 141–142 to learn more about our sponsors.) We continue to be both focused and eclectic; a term we have used for ourselves before is “parallactic”—we study the subject from a variety of points of view to achieve a fuller vision and understanding. Having SCSMI aboard enriches our journal. The organization has an excellent and renowned group of scholars, and the cognitive study of film is already influencing our understanding of film and mind profoundly.
Big News in River City
Lars von Trier on Antichrist
Peter Schepelern and Lars von Trier
Interview with Lars von Trier
Hindi Cinema as a Challenge to Film Theory and Criticism
Patrick Colm Hogan
It is commonplace to remark that India has the largest film industry anywhere, producing “unquestionably the most-seen movies in the world” (Kabir 2001: 1). Of the many languages in which Indian movies are made, films in Hindi (or Urdu) are the most prominent globally, and they comprise the most obviously “national” cinema (Ganti 2004: 12). Indian films in general, and Hindi films in particular, have had international success for decades (Desai 2004: 40). They constitute perhaps the only national cinema that can come close to rivaling the U.S. film industry. This parallel with Hollywood has led to the popular name for the Hindi film industry, “Bollywood.” The name refers particularly to the entertainment-oriented films from the 1960s on, and of these especially the films produced since the early 1990s in the period of economic neoliberalism and globalization.
We Are Honored and Delighted
We are honored and delighted that our journal has won a prestigious “Prose”award for being 2008’s Best New Journal in the Social Sciences and Humanities, an award given by the Association of American Publisher’s Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division. Humility is in order and we will try to find time for it in a later issue of the journal.We are fortunate to have an involved and talented editorial board and submissions from top writers and scholars. All of us are committed to the subject of movies and mind because it opens so many doors for our understanding of art and science, the mind and brain, ourselves and others.
As We Complete Our Second Year
As we complete our second year of publication, we notice how international our journal has become. We now receive submissions and publish writing from France, Italy, England, Scotland, Israel, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Australia, and the United States. We imagine that this list will continue to grow because of the ubiquitous nature of both film and the disciplines we bring to bear on the subject of the motion picture. This internationalism is made possible by new technologies in communication, and also by the continuing internationalism of the English language. Film has been the most international of art forms since its origins and it seems only fitting that film studies should be a joint collaboration of writers from around the globe.
A Conversation with Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh and Andrea Sabbadini
Andrea Sabbadini, a London psychoanalyst who is head of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival and also a member of our journal’s Editorial Board, interviewed the British film director Mike Leigh as part of the Connecting Conversations series* in London on 29 June 2008. We thought the conversation and the questions and answers that followed were especially effective in illuminating Mike Leigh’s unique improvisatory method of working with his actors—a method that has resulted in such dramatically immediate and psychologically convincing films as Secrets and Lies (1996) and Vera Drake (2004).—The Editors
Facilitating a Dialogue
We at Projections have stated our purpose as being to ‘facilitate a dialogue between people in the humanities and the sciences’ (not a modest goal for a little journal first making its way in the world). We have intended to do this through what seems to us the medium that best synthesises art and technology and opens itself up to scientific investigation because of its complex perceptual nature—film. Our focus, at the same time, has been on the mind/brain, since that seems to us the place were science and film best meet.
Feeling Our Way
Our journal did not come into the world with authority and certainty but did so, instead, with some hesitation and tentativeness. The narrator of Jonathan Swift’s eighteenth-century satire on modern learning, A Tale of a Tub (1704) claims for himself “an absolute authority in right” as the “last writer” and “freshest modern.” We make no such claim. At this point we may be both new and fresh, but we need to feel our way, to discover what is out there and what we might realistically expect to come into our own purview. But tentativeness is good. It allows us to be responsive to a variety of articles so long as they satisfy our goal of exploring film and mind. Tentativeness also allows us a sustained and continuing debate.
An Interview with Jonathan Caouette
Jonathan Caouette and Laurence Hegarty
Jonathan Caouette suggested that we meet at a coffee shop opposite the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York. For someone who is said to have invented a genre of cinema by trawling through his own twenty-year archive of home-movies, sound-tapes, and sundry snippets of memorabilia, it seemed like a good choice. From watching Tarnation one senses Caouette is as much a curator of collections as he is a film director. Tarnation tracks the developmental struggle of the young Caouette, especially as he tries to understand and orient himself to his mentally disturbed mother. Although the final cut does not necessarily represent the final word (there is a great deal more footage than was used in the release print) or a single voice, it does stand as an adult attempt to collate, and edit, the whole chaotic mess of his childhood experience.
As we launch this journal, we think of the scene in Citizen Kane when Orson Welles, as the young Kane, reads the “Declarations of Principle” he has just written for his newspaper The New York Daily Enquirer. We do not claim the same aims—nor anticipate the same future—but we feel something of the same excitement. Journals are not easy to get started, but this one came into being in a short amount of time after we conceived its goals. A number of very fine journals are already published on film, but none, we feel, puts film (and the visual arts in general) into the dynamic and developing intellectual current of our time.