Amateur in cinema: another paradigm ?
In June 2015, film historians Valérie Vignaux and Benoît Turquety organised an international symposium "Amateur in cinema: another paradigm? "at François-Rabelais University in Tours (France), in collaboration with UNIL (Lausanne). The collected papers of these two days have just been published by the French Association of Research on the History of Cinema (AFRHC).
As Valérie Vignaux indicates in her introduction, the papers gathered in this book show that "the way to study and describe amateurs in cinema [...] has changed." According to her: "this amateur practice is now fully integrated into the field of film studies. Works are re-attributed to their authors, whether famous or anonymous. And images produced by amateur filmmakers have become archival materials that can contribute to a wider knowledge of cinema or that can be used for the purpose of social or cultural history. "
Not only did the two book editors try to renew the methodological frameworks of amateur cinema studies (or rather the "amateur in cinema"), but they also collected papers that show the diversity of research projects already undertaken in France, Switzerland, Italy and Québec.
The book is accompanied by a DVD which shows the plurality of films and questions raised by the researchers. Several films illustrate the exciting article by Anne Gourdet-Marès (Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé) about the experiments of engineers who developed and perfected the first Pathé-Baby 9.5 mm cameras. Ciclic allows us to discover an amateur film created in 1945, which reported on the events of World War II in Vendôme (see the article by Julie Guillaumot). Thanks to the Cinémathèque de Bretagne, two films by the Torr e Benn group make it possible to discover a militant use of Super8 (see the article by Sébastien Layerle). Finally, three films by filmmaker Boris Lehman recall his claim to his amateur side, and the freedom it provides him.
The summary is available here.
The book is available on the website of the Comptoir des presses d'université : here.
Benoît Turquety et Valérie Vignaux (dir.), L'Amateur en cinéma, un autre paradigme : histoire, esthétique, marges et institutions, Paris, AFRHC, 2016, 378 p.
19 euros (book + DVD)