Girish Shambu is not only a cinephile but a collector, bringing in discussions from around the world (a world both physical and digital). While he has long been an essential resource on the web, with The New Cinephilia he has written a necessary, compelling and elegant book that takes stock of the state of cinephilia in the twenty-first century, and the conditions that are changing it but also renewing its vitality. Shambu shows that cinephilia is not a solitary activity but one that is—and continues to be—defined with conversation, whether in person, through published texts, or across social media platforms. But most of all Shambu has written a plea for writing: for a new cinephilic and academic writing about film, a writing that is alive to the fascination of moments and to the insights of sustained reflection. This is a book about what it means to be a cinephile right now, what it means to embrace the cinema and to do so within the contemporary world.
— Daniel Morgan, University of Chicago
Read David Hudson’s appreciation of The New Cinephilia as one of the highlights of 2015 on Fandor, Jordan Cronk’s interview with Girish Shambu in the L.A. Review of Books and a review of the book in Cineaste.
The New Cinephilia
Cinephilia has recently experienced a powerful resurgence, one enabled by new media technologies of the digital revolution. One strong continuity between today’s “new cinephilia” and the classical cinephilia of the 1950s is the robust sociability which these new technologies have facilitated. Each activity of today’s cinephilic practice – viewing, thinking, reading and writing about films – is marked by an unprecedented amount of social interaction facilitated by the Internet. As with their classical counterparts, the thoughts and writings of today’s cinephiles are born from a vigorous and broad-ranging cinephilic conversation. Further, by dramatically lowering the economic barriers to publication, the Internet has also made possible new hybrid forms and outlets of cinephilic writing that draw freely from scholarly, journalistic and literary models. This book both describes and theorises how and where cinephilia lives and thrives today.
Girish Shambu is a cinephile and Associate Professor of Management at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He runs a community-oriented film blog named “girish” at girishshambu.blogspot.com, and co-edits, with Adrian Martin, the on-line cinema journal LOLA. His writings have appeared in Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, Artforum.com, Cineaste and in the collection Cinephilia in the Age of Digital Reproduction, Volume 1: Film, Pleasure and Digital Culture (Wallflower Press).