Returning to a Fascinating Fascination

I’m currently feeling fairly pleased with myself. A while ago – I’ve forgotten exactly how – I got in touch with Christian Keathley, the American academic whose work my Master’s is broadly based upon. I emailed him a copy of my thesis and he said he enjoyed it, and we began to occasionally exchange emails and ideas. A few weeks ago, I decided to email him with a few of my recent ideas about how to develop my thesis: I know I finished my MA over six years ago, but it’s subject, cinephilia, still interests me, and it feels like the concepts I wrote about could be developed. The love of film and it’s manifestations seemed to be developing rapidly, especially online, but I didn’t know whether anyone else had picked up on that and started to theorise it. I thought I’d bite the bullet and ask Dr. Keathley what he thought, and a couple of weeks ago he kindly replied, suggesting two books he thought I might be interested in.

With my parents help (thanks Mum and Dad!) I managed to get hold of the two volumes of one of them, and sat down to read it after breakfast this morning. I usually just read things on my computer these days so I was a little out of practice turning pages; I also often get the screen reader to read things aloud to me, so the going was rather slow. Yet quite soon I found myself immersed in the subject of my thesis again: it all came flooding back. More to the point, I recognised in the book, published two or three years ago, many of the same ideas I had spoken about in my thesis. Others had obviously come to the same conclusions I had in my MA, which is enormously reassuring. Of course, this book goes much further than I did: Cinephilia in the Age of Digital Reproduction is evolving rapidly, and I have a lot of interesting new material to get into.

I spent about three hours reading this morning, and even then didn’t finish the introduction. It was slow going, but even so felt good to reacquaint myself with concepts which still intrigue me. What is it about film we love? How do we express that love? I’m not sure where I’ll go with this, but, having kept my own personal writing up it will hopefully help me develop my own ideas. And who knows: this could eventually lead to my reentry into academia.

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