Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paul Willemen

I have learned from Catherine Grant that Paul Willemen has passed away. There's a fitting tribute from a number of scholars at her Film Studies for Free blog, which also has links to Willemen writings online as well as links to scholars influenced by him.

Like many others, I have found Paul Willemen's work very useful, from his diagnosis of the Sirkian System to his theoretical reflections on Third Cinema and cinephilia. Willemen brought some of the best tendencies of 1970s film theory, yet he was also continually looking to push for new directions and set new critical agendas.

Moreover, as film scholarship is reengaging a dialogue with film criticism, Willemen's model of scholarship has come back into vogue. His interview with Haile Gerima in Framework, for instance, exhibits to my mind the wonderful potential of the scholarly-interview format.

Stopping to reflect back on this career, it makes me want to revisit his scholarship, to read more.

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