cover of 2022 spring issue

An Alphabet of Film Studies Under Quarantine

YASMIN HAMILTON
B is for Barthes, Roland. In particular, his 1979 essay “Upon Leaving the Movie Theater,” my favorite piece of writing on the syllabus of my freshman year film studies course. Barthes explores the pre- and post-viewing condition of the movie-goer—what he calls the “cinematic condition.” He describes the condition of the viewer before seeing a movie in Freudian terms: as “pre-hypnotic,” the viewer having a “‘crepuscular reverie’” that draws them to submit themself to the “anonymous, indifferent cube of darkness” that films are (1)….Continue Reading An Alphabet of Film Studies Under Quarantine