Journals and Magazines


Scholars working in the field of film studies, who publish articles on various aspects of film, often rely on trade journals as an archive of information for research on aspects of cinema's history. Historical and empirical perspectives on film are the focus of Film History (begun in 1987), the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television (begun in 1981), and Early Popular Visual Culture (begun in 2005, formerly Living Pictures [2001–2002]). Other publications are known for their left-wing political positions, such as Cineaste (begun in 1967), Afterimage (1970–1987), Jump Cut (begun in 1974, since 2001 an online journal), Framework (published since 1975, but particularly political between 1980 and 1992), and the early issues of CineAction (begun in 1985). These journals have been predominantly concerned with independent and experimental fimmaking, Third Cinema, race and gender, and art cinema and documentary film.

Third Cinema is also the concern of a large number of regional publications. In fact, the majority of film journals offering analysis and academic discussion are concentrated on national or regional cinemas. Cinemaya (published since 1988 in New Delhi) has been a sustained local voice on the broad questions of cinema across the Asian continent. The Sri Lankan–produced Cinesith (begun in 2001) and the New Zealand–produced Illusions (begun in 1986) largely deal with contemporary film developments. Asian Cinema (begun in 1986), East-West Film Journal (1987–1994), and Journal of British Cinema and Television (begun in 2004) publish a range of cultural, historical, and theoretical studies across periods in film.

Established academic film journals include Film Quarterly (begun in 1945); Cinema Journal (begun in 1959); The Velvet Light Trap (begun in 1971), concerned mainly but by no means exclusively with American film; Post Script (begun in 1971); Journal of Popular Film and Television (begun in 1972), concerned with mainstream, often genre-based cinema; and camera obscura (begun in 1976), which focuses on the topics of gender, race, class, and sexuality. Although central to film studies, these journals have not been associated with a particular critical school or position.

Screen (begun in 1969), founded by the Society for Education in Film and Television, was noted by the mid-1970s for its important articles on realism, formalism and poststructuralism, theories of ideology, aesthetics, and approaches to semiotics and pyschoanalysis. The journal, which published the first English-language translations of key texts by important theorists including Christian Metz, Roland Barthes, and Bertolt Brecht, inspired publications such as The Australian Journal of Screen Theory (1976–1985) and indeed gave rise to the term "screen theory." Cahiers du Cinéma was the other major journal to have had a lasting impact on film studies. Established in 1951 by André Bazin, this French journal (available additionally in English for just twelve issues from 1966 to 1967), was responsible for publishing not just debates regarding the politique des auteurs , but crucial discussions on film editing and mise-en-scène . Its writers included Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, and Jacques Rivette, who, together with several other important directors, were later recognized as the French New Wave.

Cahiers du Cinéma was an influence on Movie (1962–2000), a British journal that admired a large group of Hollywood directors (above all Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock) for what it saw as their authorial skill and personal vision. Movie paid particular attention to mise-en-scène and held that critical analysis in existing British journals, such as the orthodox Sight and Sound (begun in 1932), was lacking. Sight and Sound , a publication of the British Film Institute, absorbed the Monthly Film Bulletin (1934–1991), a sister journal that was a film credits and reviews listing, only a year after the demise of a main UK competitor, Films and Filming (1954–1990). Sight and Sound 's equivalent American publication was Film Comment (begun in 1961), published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Sight and Sound and Film Comment cover foreign films and also devote in-depth discussions to new releases and developments in mainstream cinema. With the Internet now so central to culture, and with film magazines devoted to popular movies dominating the market, these film studies journals face the challenge of remaining both commercially attractive and critically cutting-edge.

SEE ALSO Auteur Theory and Authorship ; Criticism ; Fans and Fandom ; Film Studies ; Star System

Baker, Bob. "Picturegoes." Sight and Sound 54, no. 3 (Summer 1985): 206–209.

Barth, Jack. "Fanzines." Film Comment 21, no. 2 (March–April 1985): 24–30.

Fuller, Kathryn H. At the Picture Show: Small-Town Audiences and the Creation of Movie Fan Culture . Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996.

Greenslade, Roy. "Editors as Censors: The British Press and films about Ireland." Journal of Popular British Cinema 3 (2000): 77–92.

Hutchings, Peter. "The Histogram and the List: The Director in British Film Criticism." Journal of Popular British Cinema 4 (2001): 30–39.

Sanjek, David. "Fans' Notes: The Horror Film Fanzine." Literature/Film Quarterly 18, no. 3 (1990): 150–160.

Studlar, Gaylyn. "The Perils of Pleasure?: Fan Magazine Discourse as Women's Commodified Culture in the 1920s." Wide Angle 13, no. 1 (January 1991): 6–33.

Ian Conrich

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