EIFF 2011: Critical Massive

One of many new introductions to EIFF, <b>Project: New Cinephilia</b> intends to be an "energetic gathering of film lovers engaging in conversations on how to write about cinema"

Article by David McGinty | 02 Jun 2011


Embracing its former reputation as the intellectual film festival, the 65th EIFF’s Project: New Cinephilia invites critics, bloggers, journalists, and film lovers in general to do what they do best: talk — and inevitably argue — about cinema.
Though its scheduling (16 June, the day after opening night) could be interpreted as an attempt to cajole film journalists, the often overeager patrons of a free bar, into an early night, this promising and intriguing event may yet have a broader appeal.
Co-presented by film-centric social network MUBI, the experimental day-long symposium will consist of presentations and interactive sessions on topics such as new critical approaches to reading film, and how film is consumed in the 21st century, alongside roundtable debates led by a number of internationally renowned writers.
Whilst the idea of spending an entire day inside discussing these subjects is probably not to everybody’s taste, there is a large contingent of EIFF attendees for whom this type of event is a welcome inclusion. Certainly an example of director James Mullighan’s desire to “engage audiences of all tastes, ages and backgrounds”, the event’s appeal depends far more on how engaging it is rather than its abounding intellectualism.
Some conventions of this nature have a tendency to swing towards the impenetrably academic or the downright esoteric. Yet Project: New Cinephilia is essentially trying to spark debate, endeavouring to uncover how we talk about films and how our relationship with cinema expresses itself in our daily lives.
Besides, at the end of the day there is a critic vs. critic 140-character Twitter review battle and who wouldn’t enjoy that sort of tantalising excitement? [David McGinty]


Find MUBI online at www.mubi.com