General Editor’s Note
Alphaville Issue 19 is characterised by a distinct focus on intermediality, interartiality and intertextuality. Both of the issue’s main sections aim to shed light on some of the ways in which music and the moving image have intersected historically, giving rise to particular formats, genres and instances of medium hybridity. While covering diverse generic and geographical areas, “Performing the Intermedial across Brazilian Cinema”, a selection of articles and interviews curated by Tamara Courage and Albert Elduque, and “Music Videos in the British Screen Industries and Screen Heritage: From Innovation to Curation”, a dossier edited by Emily Caston, place the accent on a set of specific encounters between cinema, video and music, thus shedding new light on corpora that have often been underrepresented in international scholarship in film and screen media, while simultaneously investigating broad-ranging methodological concerns. The ambition of this issue of Alphaville is all at once to pay due attention to specific films, genres, traditions and styles, to promote the scholarly understanding of neglected areas of study, and to contribute fresh thinking to the open debate on the most responsive methodological tools to characterise and analyse the intermedial in film and video. Inspired by the hybridity of their objects of study, the authors of the work here collected employ a range of approaches that, along with textual analysis and, in one case, videographic criticism, draw on studies of creativity, industry, heritage, marketing, performance and reception. An additional characterising feature of the issue is the ample presence of interviews with experts and practitioners, which contribute to bridge the gap between areas of knowledge and experience. Through all this work, the intermedial emerges as a crucial nexus to explore the interplay between art and industry, medium and society, and thus also to reveal some of the gender, class, racial and social politics regulating the access of individuals and groups to forms of audiovisual expression and communication.
It is perhaps unsurprising that a strong methodological focus emerges from the issue as a whole, given its rootedness in two distinct and successful research projects, both of which placed questions of method at their core. This model also accounts for the coherence of an issue, that, we believe, will represent an innovative contribution to intermedial studies and to scholarship on the creative coextension of music and moving image—as well as to the discrete areas of Brazilian cinema, music documentary, music video, and the British screen industries.
We invite you to listen to the fourth episode of the Alphaville podcast, which offers a lively introduction to some of the themes that shape this issue, and also to delve in the rich book reviews and festival reports section. This includes, among other extended critical commentaries, a review by the late Jonathan Kahana of Thomas Waugh’s The Conscience of Cinema: The Works of Joris Ivens 1912–1989, which appears here for the first time in its integral version. We are grateful to Jennifer Horne for authorising its publication, and are happy to publish it in this form in memory of its author.
Rascaroli, Laura. “General Editor’s Note.” Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, no. 19, 2020, pp. 1–2, DOI: https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.19.00.
Laura Rascaroli is General Editor of Alphaville and Professor of Film and Screen Media at University College Cork. She is the author and editor of a range of volumes including How the Essay Film Thinks (2017), Antonioni: Centenary Essays (with John David Rhodes, 2011), The Personal Camera: Subjective Cinema and the Essay Film (2009), and Crossing New Europe: Postmodern Travel and the European Road Movie (with Ewa Mazierska, 2006). Her new book, Theorizing Film Through Contemporary Art: Expanding Cinema, coedited with Jill Murphy, is forthcoming with Amsterdam University Press in 2020.