Cinephilia and History, or the Wind in the Trees (Paperback)
Indiana University Press, 9780253217950, 212pp.
Publication Date: November 24, 2005
Cinephilia and History, or The Wind in the Trees is in part a history of cinephilia, in part an attempt to recapture the spirit of cinephilia for the discipline of film studies, and in part an experiment in cinephilic writing.
Cinephiles have regularly fetishized contingent, marginal details in the motion picture image: the gesture of a hand, the wind in the trees. Christian Keathley demonstrates that the spectatorial tendency that produces such cinematic encounters--a viewing practice marked by a drift in visual attention away from the primary visual elements on display--in fact has clear links to the origins of film as defined by Andr Bazin, Roland Barthes, and others. Keathley explores the implications of this ontology and proposes the "cinephiliac anecdote" as a new type of criticism, a method of historical writing that both imitates and extends the experience of these fugitive moments.