- Editors’ Foreword
Members of the Association of Moving Image Archivists communicate with each other in many ways: in lively exchanges through the association Listserv, in professional blogs that share individual perspectives, during our annual meetings, via social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and, of course, in our quarterly AMIA Newsletter. In this rich communication environment, how can The Moving Image strengthen and expand our discussions? Its editors see the journal as a way to highlight and preserve experiences and ideas that we hope will be of long-term interest to our readers. Double-blind peer review ensures that submissions pass rigorous examination by experts in our fields. We see the journal as offering a space where scholars, archivists, librarians, and others can present research that uses archival materials in creative and innovative ways. Some pieces may explore practical and theoretical issues that animate our field, whereas other essays share experiences from archival and preservation projects that may assist readers in their own work. We are also interested in articles that explore the history of individual archives, collaborations between archives, or interactions among archives and film festivals. Essays may be presented as features or grouped within the Forum section to highlight common themes. In addition, conference reviews enable members to share insights from meetings all over the world and on a wide range of subject areas with those who may not have participated but want to be informed. Finally, book and DVD reviews help all of us stay current with new publications and new releases in the constantly changing environment of moving image media.
Tom Gunning kicks off this issue with an extended meditation on what, if anything, film theory can tell us about the most basic concept of the “moving image,” namely, [End Page vii] does cinema really project movement? In “Animation and Alienation,” he addresses the efforts of philosophers Henri Bergson, writing at the dawn of film, and Gilles Deleuze, in the 1970s, to understand how cinema motion is captured, stored, and perceived by viewers. Tangentially concerned with animation films, he mainly focuses on the idea of animation itself—the creation of motion—that underlies all cinema production and how the static images on the filmstrip do or do not move.
Gunning is one of the most important film historians of our time and is renowned for his studies of D. W. Griffith and Fritz Lang as well as dozens of scholarly articles. He will be remembered especially for his development of the hypothesis of the cinema of attractions, which addressed the rationale of filmmakers and film audiences in the first decade of the movies. The editors are especially pleased to offer readers of The Moving Image a recent work by this major figure in film and media studies that examines the theoretical foundations of our field.
Jerry White examines the condition of film archives in the Republic of Georgia, once part of the Soviet Union and a vital center of film production in the Soviet era and before. Many of the negatives and projection prints that document the country’s film history were sent to Moscow and remain there today, a result of the shifting cultural and political relationships that defined the post-Soviet period. Georgian cinema celebrates its hundredth anniversary this year, but preserving and sharing its own heritage continues to be a challenge. White’s article offers a detailed account of current conditions within the republic’s national archives and also describes how international festivals and archives, such as Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, in Pordenone, Italy, and the Pacific Film Archive at Berkeley, support the circulation of Georgian films.
In keeping with the journal’s ongoing focus on the history of archives, Emily Carman profiles the paper document collection found at the Warner Bros. Archive at the University of Southern California. The collection includes production, distribution, and exhibition records, such as legal documents, studio memos, and publicity materials, and records of creative work, including story files and drafts of scripts, musical scores, art department files, and animation backgrounds. These holdings provide a detailed look at the activities of a major vertically integrated studio during the classical Hollywood...