Like many, I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new film journal that Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu have been working on for months now. Today's the day. The theme of the inaugural issue of LOLA is "Histories."
Girish has already drawn up a guide, pulling quotes from each of the essays, so briefly, "Histories" features Joe McElhaney on his "passion for aging filmmakers, the older the better"; William D Routt's expansive consideration of Lubitsch; Andrew Klevan on "films which put the in-between at their centre"; Luc Moullet, with his irresistible title: "Ah Yes! Griffith was a Marxist!"; Richard Porton on Dušan Makavejev's WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971); Shigehiko Hasumi: "Stated briefly, my hypothesis is that the medium of film has not yet truly incorporated sound as an essential component of its composition."; Sylvia Lawson on Australian cinema's relationship with the nation's history; Stephen Goddard on the ways we remake our own histories; Darren Tofts's defense of The Song Remains the Same (1976); Adrian Martin himself: "Wenders and Godard define, for cinema's Modern or Modernist period, two trajectories of imaginative, cinematic migration."; Justin Grace on "traversing the various locations of XL: A City Symphony at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam"; Nicole Brenez on FJ Ossang; James Guida on Lucrecia Martel; David Phelps on Jacques Rivette's 36 vues du Pic St-Loup (Around a Small Mountain, 2009); and Elena Gorfinkel on Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder's exhibition, Light Spill.
As Girish notes, "Adrian's been very busy: he also guest-edited the new issue of Screening the Past." This new issue, "Cinema Between Media," opens with his own essay, "Turn the Page: From Mise en scène to Dispositif," in which he notes, "The term dispositif is popping up in many places in English-language theoretical writing at present. Its feed-in to film studies is coming, simultaneously, from at least five sources — sometimes with overlaps, sometimes with confusions." The question he then steers toward is, "[H]as there been a certain tendency in cinema (and audiovisual production more generally), not necessarily only an invention of recent times, that has been marginalised or literally undetected by the protocols of mise en scène critique, with its inevitable, in-built biases and exclusions? A tendency which is not the opposite of mise en scène or its negation, but a particular, pointed mutation of it?"
Overall, the issue is, of course, outstanding, incorporating U-matic to YouTube, "a selection of papers from a National Symposium celebrating three decades of Australian Indigenous Community Filmmaking edited by Therese Davis," and featuring, along with ten book reviews, Jodi Brooks on David Lynch's Inland Empire, Andrew Frost on "Contemporary Video Art, SF and the Postmodern Sublime," Laura Sava on Ariane Mnouchkine's Molière, Julia Vassilieva on Alexander Kluge's 9½-hour film Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike - Marx/Eisenstein/Das Kapital (News from Ideological Antiquity: Marx/Eisenstein/Capital) and Nicole Brenez's 1997 essay, "Incomparable Bodies."
Image: Girish tops his blog entry with the opening title from Jacques Demy's Lola (1961); LOLA itself features Barbara Sukowa from Fassbinder's Lola (1981). I'm going with Marlene Dietrich's Lola Lola from Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel (1930). For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @thedailyMUBI on Twitter and/or the RSS feed.