Horrors of the Black Museum

Senses of Cinema would like to apologise to both authors and readers for the lateness of this issue.

Senses has undertaken a complete redesign of its website. We had hoped to launch issue 49 with a trial version of that new website, the full shebang being unveiled in all its glory with our 50th anniversary issue.

That has now changed, and we now hope to launch the complete new website with issue 51. And, to make up for lost time, we will release each subsequent issue a few weeks earlier than the usual three months so that we are fully back on schedule by the end of the year.

The delay has also meant we could not go ahead with the annual World Poll. Our sincere apologies.

As for this issue, in typical eclectic Senses style, it range between a penetrative analysis of digital advances/retreats in the cinema (Sally Shafto taking an engagingly optimistic view) to iconic moments in Australia Cinema to several pieces of fascinating historical research (found fragments of London at the turn of the last century; a much disputed wartime propaganda effort from Alfred Hitchcock; the great Irish actor and nationalist Arthur Shields, who worked with both John Ford and Jean Renoir).

There are equally groundbreaking pieces that look at unusual aspects of the work of great directors, ranging from nudity in the films of Michelangelo Antonioni to the influence of Spanish writer José Ortega y Gasset in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Stalker.

Co-editor Scott Murray concludes a decade of research into one of his favourite topics – apart from Robert Bresson, of course, and an obscure film from Lewis Gilbert about teenagers in the Camargue, now released in Spain on DVD! – which is how an extraordinary group of characters became the most maligned and misunderstood in cinema: namely, the Bond Women. (Deadlines meant Quantum of Solace couldn’t be included, other than a cryptic note on its awfulness. There will be a full Update soon, should Scott’s 35,000 words and Bond Women charts not have satiated your interest.)

One of Senses’ new editorial desires is to record from across the globe people’s favourite shots and scenes in the cinema. We begin with Australian Cinema and the results are surprising – especially the shot chosen from Mad Max. We will announce future national topics as they are chosen, but we invite anyone with a passion for a shot or short scene to write around 500 words and send them to us.

Finally, who would have thought that one of the greatest benefits of the DVD revolution would be the Silent Cinema? While some (especially the French) may still rail at the DVD for being a dumbed-down version of the cinema-going experience, no one can deny its role in bringing to light films that would otherwise not be easily seen ­ early works by Abel Gance, for example. (And Lewis Gilbert, I hear Scott calling out.)

We hope you enjoy this new issue.

Rolando Caputo & Scott Murray
Editors, Senses of Cinema

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