Udine, 18 February 2016 – FilmForum Udine-Gorizia in association with CUC – Consulta Universitaria del Cinema and Cinéma&Cie – International Film Studies Journal are pleased to announce the winner of the Best International Film Studies Book section of the fourteenth annual Limina Prize: The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come by Francesco Casetti (Columbia University Press, 2015).
This volume argues that in the age of convergence, when the various media have tended to mutate and merge, not only has cinema survived but in fact it is flourishing once again. We find cinema in theaters, but also in our houses, in galleries and museums, on modes of transportation or in waiting rooms, on our mobile devices and online. The Seven Key Words proposed by the author help us to comprehend the ways in which cinema has opened up to new horizons, while nonetheless keeping its own distinct identity.
The Prize for Best International Film Studies Book is awarded by Editorial Board of the prestigious academic journal Cinéma & Cie. International Film Studies Journal, which is composed of world-renown international film and media scholars.
The prize-giving ceremony took place in Gorizia at FilmForum 2016, the XXIII Udine International Film Studies Conference/XIV MAGIS International Film Studies Spring School.
Conferimento Dottorato Honoris Causa a Francesco Casetti
16 marzo 2016 Teatro Auditorium – Campus di Arcavacata (CS)
Il Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici dell’Università della Calabria conferisce il Dottorato internazionale di studi umanistici honoris causa a Francesco Casetti (Yale University), studioso di cinema e di media audiovisivi, dei quali ha indagato principalmente le teorie, le strategie di comunicazione e l’impatto sociale.
Casetti, dopo l’esperienza in diversi atenei italiani (Università di Genova, di Trieste) è stato per molti anni professore ordinario di cinema alla Cattolica di Milano (dove è stato anche Prorettore e ha diretto il Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione e dello Spettacolo), prima di approdare (dopo esperienze a Berkeley, Paris III, University of Iowa) come professore ordinario all’Università di Yale. Di recente ha insegnato anche ad Harvard. È stato anche per diversi anni Presidente della Consulta Universitaria del Cinema. Tra le sue ultime pubblicazioni ricordiamo: “La Galassia Lumière. Sette parole chiave per il cinema che viene” (2015), “L’occhio del Novecento. Cinema, esperienza, modernità” (2005), “Teorie del cinema. 1945-1990” (1993). Nei suoi testi sul cinema ha studiato, in particolare, i problemi riguardanti la teoria, i prodotti di genere, e i rapporti tra produzione e discorso critico. Più di recente, ha indirizzato la sua ricerca sulle modalità in cui il cinema ha elaborato uno sguardo capace di porsi quale emblema dell’esperienza moderna, e insieme sulle modalità in cui questo sguardo sta mutando con l’avanzare della cosiddetta post-modernità. Le sue analisi collegano strettamente processi comunicativi e processi sociali, con una costante attenzione a questioni quali le nuove forme di cittadinanza, fiducia, soggettività.
L’omaggio a Francesco Casetti prevede un ricco programma, che partirà alle ore 10:30 di mercoledì 16 marzo, con il conferimento del Dottorato e proseguirà, nel pomeriggio, con una giornata di studi che vedrà coinvolti, oltre ai docenti di cinema e teatro dell’Unical, anche alcuni dei principali studiosi di cinema provenienti da diverse università italiane.
«Contemporary cinema’s uncertain identity is the starting point of The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Keywords for the Cinema to Come (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015) by Francesco Casetti. By telling two anecdotes, Casetti introduces the reader to basic but paramount questions, echoing André Bazin’s pivotal query: what, when, and where is cinema today? Or, in a more encompassing way: how is cinema today, as Casetti pays great attention to cinematic practices rather than essentialist surveys…».
The title of Francesco Casetti’s book – The Lumière Galaxy: seven key words for the cinema to come – is at the same time brilliant and deliberately misleading; indeed, though referring to McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy, it differs from it on at least three relevant points.
First, McLuhan insists on the importance of the medium’s technological and material basis in determining both the media experience and the perception of the medium itself; Casetti, by contrast, believes that media experiences and the very possibility of recognizing media specificities are relatively independent of their technological bases and their material conditions of viewing and listening, since they represent specific cultural forms
Second, McLuhan argues that ‘With [the] recognition of curved space in 1905 the Gutenberg galaxy was officially dissolved’ (253). Casetti’s central thesis about cinema in the digital era is exactly the opposite: the forms of cinema experience tend to survive after the end of cinema as a technological and factual apparatus, and they tend to endure even in the very different circumstances of audiovisual consumption characterizing the present condition; indeed, cultural forms bend disparate technologies and settings to their own expectations and needs, thus producing experiential forms that, despite their differences from the past, can still be targeted as ‘cinema’.
A third point of opposition between McLuhan and Casetti regards the structure of the book. Indeed, McLuhan designs his work as ‘a mosaic pattern of perception and observation’ (265), composed by a number of short chapters; on the contrary, Casetti arranges his discussion around seven chapters, each corresponding to a keyword: relocation, relics/icons, assemblage, expansion, hypertopia, display, performance. Beyond the paratactic succession of the seven issues, it is useful to introduce a distinction: while most of the chapters follow a descriptive-interpretative approach, two of them (assemblage and performance) adopt a more strictly theoretical orientation. We will set them apart in our presentation.
Ruggero Eugeni (2015) ‘The Lumière Galaxy: seven key words for the cinema to come’, New Review of Film and Television Studies, 13:4, 443-447, DOI: 10.1080/17400309.2015.1093282.
“The Lumière Galaxy is an exuberant, gracefully written book inviting us to understand the relocations, expansions, and reinventions of cinema and its possibly grand future in close, loving proximity to its rich past .”
Holly Willis, FilmComment
“Still an object to be discovered”: The Lumière Galaxy by Francesco Casetti
Book review by Daniel Fairfax, Senses of Cinema, Issue 74, March 2015
A disclosure is in order. The author of The Lumière Galaxy – Italian-born, Connecticut-based film studies professor Francesco Casetti – teaches in my department, and has been a key mentor figure over the years, one under whom I have learnt and with whom I have taught, so this relationship will innately colour the review that follows. Furthermore, I am penning this article at Francesco’s own behest: with the book hot off the printing presses, he insisted that I air my feelings about it. The reason for his doing so, I suspect, is that on the many occasions in which we have conversed about the cinema, about its present fortunes, its metamorphoses and its novelties, we have often had diametrically opposed attitudes towards these phenomena. Whereas Francesco celebrates the rise of new media practices, revelling in the latest YouTube mash-up or digital reworking of a classic, or extolling the possibilities opened up by the advent of smartphones, tablets, laptops and various other gadgets, I tend to be much more sceptical about such tendencies, if not downright hostile. Conversely, those works I hold up as paragons of contemporary cinema – whether they represent the last breaths of the old guard of film aesthetics, such as Hard to be a God (2014) or The Turin Horse (2011), or the flowering of new, but still resolutely cinematic, visual practices, think Leviathan (2012) or Story of My Death (2013) – are for the most part no longer the focus of my elder’s attentions. Indeed, I am regularly given a good-natured chiding for my stubborn attachment to a certain classical mode of spectatorship – watching films in continuity, in a darkened movie-theatre and even, although this particularly possibility is rapidly vanishing, on celluloid – which is seen as little more than a nostalgic yearning for a technologically and socially outmoded past.
Read full review on sensesofcinema.com »
In connection with his new book, The Lumière Galaxy. Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come, Francesco Casetti (Yale University) will discuss new modes of existence in cinema through the convergence of media.”Relocated cinema” fulfills the galaxy of possibilities embedded in the medium from its inception. This talk is part of “Sites of Cinema.
“Sites of Cinema” takes a new approach to the question of cinema at the moment when cinema is said to be in decline, even in some accounts said to be facing its “death.” At this moment, when are focused on a convergence of moving image forms into a single delivery system we take up divergence over convergence, a divergence. Alternative to André Bazin’s question “What is Cinema?” “Sites of Cinema” will ask “Where is Cinema?” Where has it been seen to be and where will it be spaced in the future—as theoretical construct, national culture, material object, artistic work, social practice and space of exhibition. Cinema has moved and is still moving—from theatrical stages to museum walls, in and on buildings as well as within historical nations and regions of the world. “Sites of Cinema” signals our interest in site-specific cinemas plural but also cinema as a total apparatus—the “cinema of the mind” for the mass audience.
On December the 5th, I will be delivering the concluding keynote speech at the Photography and Visual Cultures in the 21st Century: Italy and the Iconic Turn International Conference, held by the University of Roma Tre, Italy.
Please read the conference presentation and full program here.
Whether we experience film in the theater, on our hand-held devices, in galleries and museums, onboard and in flight, or up in the clouds in the bits we download, cinema continues to provide us an enjoyment. It is still living, even though convergence gives media new identities and new functions. If we want to fully grasp such a persistence of cinema, we must not only engage ourselves in an exciting travel from the remote corners of film history and theory to the most surprising sites on the internet and in our cities; moreover, we need to switch our minds far from the usual approaches based on concepts like canon, repetition, apparatus, and spectatorship, in favor of new words and ideas, including expansion, relocation, assemblage, and performance. The result will be, hopefully, an innovative understanding of cinema’s place in our lives and culture, along with a critical sea-change in the way we study the art. What eventually we will able to capture is that the more the nature of cinema transforms, the more it discovers its own identity: the “relocated cinema” is the one that fulfills the galaxy of possibilities embedded in the medium since its inception.
Columbia University Press, New York, Forthcoming February 2015