Volume 9, Issue 1 / February 2005
Susan Sontag Special
In this issue
The Film Criticism of Susan Sontag
Laughter and Philosophy
On Montreal Screens
The space where ideas about art, culture, and society bubble and brew became far poorer on December 28, 2004 with the death of Susan Sontag. Few thinkers were as articulate about as many different subjects as Susan Sontag. In a world which commonly reflected C.P. Snow’s creative landscape of “Two Cultures” (science vs. the humanities) in the form of artists and critics, Sontag was a unique cross-over, a creator and an articulator. She was an accomplished novelist, short-story writer, photographer, playwright, essayist, and filmmaker; and wrote some of the finest criticism on film, photography, dance, art, and wrote astute, provocative social and political commentary. Offscreen is pleased to have its new design launch coincide with a dedication to the work and spirit of Susan Sontag. Colin Burnett approaches Sontag from the tail end of her critical writing, beginning with her by now infamous piece on the death of cinephilia, and cleverly finds a response to her polemic in her own earlier work. Donato Totaro tackles a single piece of Sontag’s writing, “Against Interpretation,” with a similar goal of arriving at a critical ‘reconciliation’ of Sontag’s position. Rounding out the issue is Peter Rist’s end of the year roundup of film viewing in Montreal, Daniel Garrett’s probing review essay on one of the most refreshing US releases of 2004, I Heart Huckabees; and Roberto Curti is welcomed back with a report on the beast that is the San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival.
Featured photo source from, Regarding Susan Sontag