Volume 11, Issue 7 / July 2007

10th Anniversary Special

In this issue

This July 2007 marks the 10th Anniversary for Offscreen (with its sister magazine Hors Champ in its 11th year). With the ephemeral nature of online publishing I guess this is some sort of accomplishment, so I thought it would be nice (and appropriate) to commemorate it in some way. One of the first things that came to mind was the value and importance of the many writers who have contributed to Offscreen, especially those who have done so with consistency. It became natural then to think of doing something that would involve as many of these regular writers as possible. With this in mind I decided to ask some of my regular contributors a set of questions relating to cinema of the last the ten years, 1997 to 2007. I have collected these responses and collated them in the first article: “10th Anniversary Survey Responses.” I think you will find them intriguing, fun, eccentric, varied, and irreverent. Given the range of material, subject matter and approaches that Offscreen has featured over the last ten years, the broad range of responses is exactly what I would have expected. With one eye necessarily always looking ahead I thought this would be the perfect time to look back at a specific event way back in the summer of 1997 that served as a warm-up to Offscreen: working alongside Hors Champ as the official online critical mouthpiece for the 1997 FCMM (Festival of New Film and New Media). A month after this critical enterprise with the FCMM, Offscreen was officially launched. As part of the 10th Anniversary celebration I thought it would be fun (or should I say masochistic?) to gather together some of these reviews, which, to keep in mind, were written quite spontaneously and with no sense of posterity. A sampling of these reviews have been archived together in the two part article, “In the Beginning.” The FCMM also showed two Peter Greenaway films that year, his then new feature The Pillow Book and an early short film, Dear Phone. In anticipation of these two films, Nicolas Renaud and Daniel Lynds travelled a few hours to Rochester, New York a few months before the FCMM to hear Greenaway give a conference talk. Their transcription of his talk, which has never been published, appears here for the first time. For the final ‘non-anniversary’ related essay of this issue I selected something which fits the occasion in two senses: 1) it is written by one of Offscreen’s regular contributors, Betty Kaklamanidou and 2) it deals with a subject that has been a mainstay at Offscreen since day one, Asian cinema and, in particular, a cinema which challenges preconceived notions of popular genre. The essay in question is about South Korean director Park Chon-Wook’s unorthodox thriller Oldboy: “Genre: Oldboy & the Suspense Thriller.” As they say, here’s hoping for ten more years! (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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