Peter Wollen, the famous British scholar, essayist, screenwriter, filmmaker, theorist and curator, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Peter was my lecturer, PhD supervisor, mentor and friend during my studies in the School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA (1992-1999). While a lot can be written about Peter’s contribution to film studies, experimental film, and the development of late twentieth century intellectual thought, I want to highlight that Peter was, above all, an educator. I will explore what I learned from him in his capacity as Professor in the Critical Studies program at UCLA, in the years just before Alzheimer’s disease so cruelly took his memory from us. Before developing discussion, however, I highlight that there are many other students who were taught by Peter at UCLA. Each, in their own idiosyncratic way, will have a different lecturer’s legacy to recount.

Myself with Peter Wollen and Penny Kramer in 1999, receiving the UCLA Center for the Study of Women dissertation award

I list those scholars that I know, their  names and current academic affiliations. I do this in order to frame my reminiscence, not only because Peter fostered and encouraged collegiality and mutual care, but because we evidence the centrifugal momentum of Peter’s continued presence in the world. In alphabetical order, these are: Luisela Alvaray (DePaul University), Jennifer M. Barker (Georgia State University), Miranda Banks (Emerson College), Dan Bernardi (San Francisco State University), Peter Bloom (UC Santa Barbara), Vincent Brook (UCLA), Kelley Conway (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Cynthia Felando (UCSB), Kevin Fisher (University of Otago, NZ), David Gerstner (CUNY), Haden Guest (Harvard Film Archive), Bambi Haggins (UC Irvine), Kristen Hatch (UC Irvine), Peter Limbrick (UC Santa Cruz), Jerry Mosher (California State University), Ed O’Neill (Creative Learning Arts Consultant), Julian Scaff (ArtCenter College of Design), Marc Siegel (Goethe University, Frankfurt), Beretta E. Smith-Shomade (Emory College), Matthew Solomon (University of Michigan), Michela Tork (psychotherapist) and Tami Williams (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), as well as the late Lisa D. Kernan (UCLA Arts Library) and David Pendleton (Harvard Film Archive).

1. In Memory of Paddy Whannel
— Dedication, Singin’ in the Rain

We know, from Peter’s own dedication of Singin’ in the Rain (1992) to educator and scholar Paddy Whannel (the book is prefaced: “In Memory of Paddy Whannel”) that Peter was acutely aware of the importance of film education and intergenerational dialogue and exchange. As he observes in his concluding footnote to Singin’ in the Rain, Stuart Hall and Paddy Whannel’s The Popular Arts (London, 1964) was a “path-breaking book.” This scholarship was joined to “many subsequent discussions of Hollywood movies and many viewings of Singin’ in the Rain with Paddy Whannel…[which] decisively shaped my own thought on the cinema”.1 By opening and concluding his work with a dedicatory note, Peter is flagging the importance of scholarly kindship and the passing of a baton from one generation of film scholars to the next. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Peter opens his book with a proposition –what he might call a ‘catalyst’ – about how we can look at and engage with film. In his signature prose, which is at once clear yet conceptually challenging, the book begins: “The history of cinema coincides with that of twentieth-century dance”.2

I have only recently understood the extent to which dance was integrated into The Popular Arts and the nod implicit even in Peter’s opening argument. I will not explore, however, Peter’s implication in the development of film studies in Britain and the resonance of The Popular Arts in his subsequent writing. Ian Christie has recently written a brilliant obituary in The Guardian and this details information about Peter’s life and history in a clear and well informed manner.3 Instead, and to paraphrase a title from Peter’s own work, I explore ‘the passage of a generation of students at UCLA through a rather brief moment in time’. I ask: How did a British maverick like Peter conduct himself within an American institution such as UCLA during his tenure as Professor and Chair of the Critical Studies program in the 1990s? What can we learn from this, particularly today when I have little input into decisions about graduate student acceptances, when my annual teaching is monitored through work allocation spreadsheets, and curriculum changes are processed through cumbersome online procedures? How did Peter engage with university administration? How did he structure and run undergraduate and graduate classes? What kinds of discussions did he enable and lead? How did Peter’s own work, particularly his Signs and Meanings in the Cinema (required reading for all of us at UCLA in the mid 1990s), shape our approaches to the cinema and its history? What films did Peter promote, enable, make accessible through his weekly screenings? What activities did he support us as graduate students to undertake? Finally, how can I ensure that the depth of Peter’s critical thinking is not replaced by a simplistic re-telling of the auteur theory?  Indeed, how do I help protect Peter’s productivity as a teacher so that his work does not succumb to the process of a thoughtless  ‘je ne sais quoy’? Je ne sais quoy is something Peter railed against, citing Shaftesbury twice in Signs and Meaning in the Cinema. What Shaftesbury makes clear is that uncritical, reactive responses to art and culture represent the “response to which idiots and the ignorant of the arts would reduce everything.”4

2. We are keenly aware of the financial anxieties which you expressed in our earlier conversations…
— excerpt from Peter’s 1993 letter to me as Chair of the Critical Studies Program at UCLA

While Peter was a scholar who launched an analysis of Singin’ in the Rain through a clever pairing of film with dance, as a teacher and mentor Peter was also a pragmatist. I want to stress his pragmatism, particularly now that I work in a university system where personal spontaneity is stymied by bureaucratic process and where it is rare for a Professor to engage in a meaningful way with students in large survey classes, undergraduate scholarly work and take on the prickly issues surrounding the financial cost of attending graduate school. At UCLA, in contrast, Peter not only read and commented on my undergraduate essay written for his British National cinema class in 1992, he also asked me to meet with him to discuss my interpretation of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus (1947). We had watched the film in class, projected (as was Peter’s practice) through an archival 35 mm print. I had loved the film’s pairing of women with technicolour and, in my work, explored the red which weaved its way like Ariadne’s thread through the film’s props (lipstick, mirror), costume, blood and lighting. Peter wanted to know why I had not also explored this colour in relation to the lesbian eroticism of the film. His willingness to speak to me as an intellectual peer was met by his gentle insistence that I needed to write with confidence about what I saw differently on screen.

At the conclusion of my Honours year at UCLA, Peter’s intervention in my learning shifted from this gentle encouragement to articulate queer difference to the offer of financial support that allowed me to continue to study at UCLA. At this point, I was an exchange student from Melbourne University and expected to return to Australia. Because Peter was Chair of the Critical Studies program, I spoke through my career options with him. I explained that I had taken Teshome Gabriel’s ‘Third Cinema’ class as well as a year-long independent research project on Hong Kong cinema with Nick Browne. I had enrolled in both classes under the pretence that I was a graduate student. I now wanted to enter the MA program but had two problems. The first was that, with the exception of Peter, staff thought I was an MA student. The second was that I had no way of paying the fees needed for graduate school. UCLA only offered PhD scholarships after the competitive completion of a two-year MA. What did Peter think?

Peter thought my predicament was hilarious. He literally laughed. He found my charting my own course of study at UCLA refreshingly pragmatic. Choosing to support a student he barely knew, he went out of his way to secure me a full tuition scholarship. Within a month of our meeting, I therefore had a type-written letter from him detailing how I was to pay for my fees, the teaching opportunities I was to enjoy, and a promise of further funds and support. Peter’s response to me reveals his deep commitment to helping students as well as a remarkable capacity to listen, empathise, advocate and act on their behalf.

Peter’s letter of support to me, 1993

3. The text is the factory where thought is at work, rather than the transport system which conveys the finished product.
— Signs and Meaning in the Cinema, p. 164.

Peter’s promise of teaching support included participating as Teaching Assistant in his Fall 1994 undergraduate German Film class. This was a ten-week class that screened a total of 33 archival prints (both 16mm and 35 mm format). Screenings were held each Tuesday and Thursday while lectures were delivered before the screenings on Thursday. What is remarkable about this class was Peter’s insistence on projectable and accessible prints being made accessible to a large group of undergraduate students. At this point in time, the films we were watching were not generally available on video. Even if a given film had been transferred onto this format–and indeed we were encouraged to re-watch and view videos in the library–it was the specificity of film projected in the theatre which was important to Peter’s delivery of the class. When Hans-Jürgen Syberg’s Parsifal (1982) was not available in Week 7, Peter substituted this for Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu (1979). We therefore early learnt that access to films might make class content change, but that it was our task to watch works not in circulation, to be aware of the histories that are out of sight, hidden, and lost in the film archive. In this context, Peter explored film history with seriousness and rigour. Film, he insisted, needed to be watched. We cannot substitute a film clip, a written text or verbal description of a scene with our own singular yet collective act of watching and interpreting film.

When I glance through Peter’s German film syllabus I am struck not only his assumption of our commitment to attending film screenings, but by the sheer scale of the national film history brought to an undergraduate cohort. Students watched a total of almost 50 hours of film over a ten week class. Each screening was generally 2.5 hours; a student was expected watch two subtitled German feature films in the one sitting. The course was structured chronologically yet – significantly – not around a narrative of disciplinary development from primitive to progressive, from bad to good, and so on. We opened with works such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Weine, 1919), The Golem (Paul Wegner and Carl Bose, 1920), Symphonie Diagonale (Viking Eggeling, 1925) and Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau, 1922), and then moved through the rich period of the late 1920s with films that we all now well know–works such as Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), Berlin, Symphony of a City (Walter Ruttmann, 1927), G. W. Pabst’s The Joyless Street (1927) and the Loves of Jeanne Ney (1929) , Sunrise (Murnau, 1927), and The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930).  Lesser-known works were also included: The Accident (Ernö Metzner, 1929), The Slums of Berlin (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1925), as well as Asphalt (Joe May, 1929). Leni Reifenstahl’s The Blue Light (1932), and Olympia (1932) followed. These were joined, in a foregrounding of new reflections on Nazism, by Mephisto (István Szabó, 1981). The class was concluded by films from the New German Cinema: Yesterday Girl (Alexander Kluge, 1966) and Power of Emotion (Alexander Kluge, 1983), Lili Marleen (Rainer Fassbinder, 1980), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Fassbinder, 1972), and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Fassbinder, 1973) as well as Wim Wenders with The American Friend (1977) and Kings of the Road (1976).

As Peter explained, he was concerned that we understood the relationship between a given filmmaker and the socio-political context in which they worked. German film emerges from this emphasis upon historical context as a shifting national category and concept, one which oscillates between the filmmaker-as-artist and the socio-political realities of the Germany at a given point in time. As Peter writes in his introduction:

Throughout, the class will try to place the films and the directors’ careers in the context of German history and society: the political and cultural tensions of the Weimar period, the rise and fall of Nazism, the post-war Germany of the Economic Miracle, the Cold War, and the Berlin Wall. In a number of ways, the course will be trying to relate the complex and highly personal ‘Germany’ of a series of exceptional artists to the political and historical ‘Germany’ in which they lived and worked.

Section of Peter’s syllabus for FTV106B: German Film, 1994

There was, in this brief summation of pedagogy, the presumption that students would be capable of understanding what it means to read and interpret a film, an art form, and (above all) what it means to place the name of a nation state between italics.

While the class was framed in terms of historiographic method, no explanation was provided to introduce the intertitles and subtitles we would read. On the course guide students were merely told to  “Remember to watch the films screened attentively so that you will be able to discuss their visual features, as well as their themes or subject-matter, when you come to write your papers”. Of course, this was an era in which there were no YouTube clips to jog our memory of what we had seen on the screen, no mobile phones to surreptitiously record footage we could otherwise not access, and no online streaming service so that we could comfortably miss a semester of class and still claim to have participated in class learning. German cinema, as Peter correctly demonstrated, was to be watched in a cinema attentively together. It was presented and framed as a visual medium that expressed ideas, trends, concerns, art movements, politics and personalities which, as undergraduate participants, we could define, determine, and discuss.

Given this focus on the importance of screening the archival print–and the sheer quantity of material we were expected to watch and critically digest in the semester–it is not surprising that a quarter of the student grade was dependent on “attendance and contribution to your section”. Evidently, Peter expected dialogue about ideas and thought, not the question-and-answer format of an exam or written paper. Moreover, ‘about thirty’ books were on reserve. These were works that included the classic histories of German national cinema (Lotte Eisner, Siegfried Kracauer), revisionist histories of German cinema (Timothy Corrigan, Thomas Elsaesser, Cooper C. Graham, Klaus Kreimeier, Bruce Murray and  Julian Petley) as well as works that focused on specific issues (Julia Knight’s 1992 Women and the New German Cinema, Wim Wenders’ Emotion pictures: reflections on the cinema  (1986, 1989)). When I reflect on the difference between these books – each significant, each expected to be accessed as a learning resource – and the two single chapters and/or articles that I hope my students glance at each week, I am struck by the profound respect Peter had for our collective capacity as young scholars to engage with him in a journey where thought was put to work.

4. To go to the cinema, to read books or to listen to music is to be a partisan. Evaluation cannot be impartial.
Signs and Meaning in the Cinema, p. 171.

Peter’s focus on the intellectual work in watching film was articulated in Signs and Meanings in the Cinema, where he stresses that watching a film is an active process. Stating that “To go to the cinema, to read books or to listen to music is to be a partisan” he intimates individual engagement in a text as political participation and resistance to the idea of mindless consumption.  We are not passively enjoying popular culture, but individuals who actively determine the meaning and therefore the function of cultural engagement. Our capacity to engage in film was extended by Peter in the late 1990s to include our capacity as students to intervene in debate about what film studies might be, particularly in the context of the developing internet (or the World Wide Web, as it was then often called). Encouraging a group of us to launch a student journal he suggested that we had the tools to produce and intervene in scholarly debates. We therefore formed a group consisting of Julian Scaff (as editor), Jerry Mosher and myself (as associate editors) and Bambi Haggins (from what I recall, as assistant with content and online delivery). The journal, S.T.R.O.B.E., was launched in March as “the first journal specifically geared for the internet.” As Peter explained in a February 1997 interview with UCLA’s undergraduate The Bruin newspaper, “The students already have access to computers and technology, and with the Internet you eliminate the entire printing process”. Further, Peter understood that our reach was global and that, in this way, ideas could circulate. As The Bruin reported, he stated that “On the Internet we have the potential of reaching people throughout the world, not just people at UCLA”.5

Screen shot of STROBE journal. Note that this does not display correctly in today’s browsers as HTML has changed. We embedded Flash files that are no longer supported

I do not recall when or how the journal folded; by July 1997 I left UCLA to undertake research in Paris, with Peter formalised as my dissertation chair. What I do recall, however, is Peter’s generosity with his own work, the gifting of his scholarship to help define and validate the intellectual scope of STROBE. Hence, the single and inaugural issue was launched using the S, T, R, O, B and E excerpts from Peter’s writing on his “Alphabet of Cinema”, made available to us years before this was published in its entirety in the New Left Review (in 2001).6 It is worth citing Peter’s effort here to re-think cinema through a process of disconnecting what he would term ‘gramaticality’ from ‘semanticity.’ In other words, Peter’s concern with the failure of linguistics to divorce grammar – “the syntactic component of language” – from “a unitary semantic code, which would give a correct semantic interpretation of any sentence” was exposed in this cinematic alphabet.7 What should and could ‘S’ stand for? Or any other letter, for that matter? How do we determine meaning, if not through a centrifugal and learned analysis of our own function as critics, readers, and audience members with the lived experience of watching film?

Taking each letter of ‘Strobe’, Peter identified meaning. S was for the surrealist response to a specific scene isolated in Josef von Sternberg’s noir film, Shanghai Gesture,  read through Peter’s own dream. Peter states:

S, then, is for Sternberg, Shanghai Gesture and Surrealism…in my dream, the Surrealists were asked what they thought was in the box [in Shanghai Gesture]. They imagined a host of strange, bizarre dream-like objects, in keeping with the mysterious and delirious world of Sternberg’s movie…My suggestion is much more mundane, but just as magical. I think that the box contained a pair of red-and-green glasses for watching three-dimensional films.

S is for…

While S opened the possibility for a phenomenology of screen spectatorship and a foregrounding of spectatorial presence in the realisation of film, T instead opened the possibility for the Telecinema. Telecinema involves what we today understand in terms of intervisuality and intermediality, a mixing of screen media. Moreover, T stands for Technology which constantly offers the promise for artists (that is, experimental filmmakers) to focus on visual aesthetics rather than words and narrative. As Peter elaborates:

…T is for Telecinema and Third Dimension. It is for Television, too, cinema’s domestic sibling… The Telecinema was the first theatre specially built to project television onto a large screen…For me, the great moment was when the giraffes stretched their necks out from the screen and high over the audience, as though you could stretch up towards them and touch them. The Telecinema was my first introduction to the idea of experimental film, the search for new possibilities—both animated abstraction8… T is also for Technology… The cinema has constantly reconstructed itself through waves of technological innovation—sound, colour, wide-screen, 3D, Dolby, Imax, digital editing, new media. Experimental film-makers, on the other hand, have exploited its technical resources in their own subversive way, misusing (or travestying) them even, not to submit them to the law of narrative, but to develop new forms of film-making, to create new beginnings for the art of film.

T is for…

The belief Peter had in the avante-garde was tempered by his awareness of the history of style and changing tastes for film. As he notes, an experimental filmmaker can see work butchered in post-production:

…R, as chance would have it, is not only for Roberto Rossellini and Rome, Open City, but also for Renoir and Rules of the Game…In London, we dug back, down to ontology and phenomenology, back to Bazin. Bazin described Rules of the Game as a realist film, largely because of its use of location shooting and depth of field in the cinematography, which he saw as analogous to Greg Toland’s use of deep focus in Citizen Kane. Like Kane it was also a film maudit, butchered by its distributor, re-constructed and re-released under Bazin’s supervision ten years after it was made…

R is for…

Peter’s foregrounding of Bazin’s realism, emerging as it does in terms of an almost  Romantic intervention into the materiality of film, is followed by his embrace of digital technology. Anticipating our ability, though the internet, to make new footage from old clips, to access archives, and facilitate Cloud teaching, he prophetically imagines online cinema as a new cinema:

O is for Online. Strictly speaking, we are moving away from cinema now, yet the cinema itself is clearly mutating into a digital art, with its dependence on special effects and its potential for home delivery and interactivity. Digital technology is changing the whole nature of image-capture, allowing images to be changed, combined and appropriated. When cinema goes online, we will be able to download films and simultaneously summon up clips from other films for comparison, background information from research libraries and archives, even out-takes that we can use privately to make our own revised versions of sequences. Film-studies seminars will be global events with participants in distance-learning classrooms, watching and discussing the same films…Until recently, we could say nothing much had happened since Christmas 1895 in the technology of cinematography, except for some improvements to lens and film-stock. That is no longer true. Cinema is finally being re-created, or perhaps I should say, re-engineered.

O is for…

Returning to history, and particularly to the Second World War that so marked his view of our capacity as viewers to at once enjoy popular culture and be partisan participants in its consumption, he explains that B is for Disney’s Bambi:

Bambi was the first film I ever saw and it left, no doubt, a deep mark on me, even a traumatic one. After seeing it, I repressed it, I put it out of my mind—until one day, on the outskirts of Santa Barbara, California, I was driving down the road with friends, sitting in the back of an open car, when I looked up and suddenly had a vision of my terrifying childhood memory, right there: the forest fire in Bambi. At first I couldn’t grasp what I had seen but, as I recovered from the shock, I realized that there was a huge drive-in movie screen right across the road and we had happened to drive past it precisely at my traumatic moment. Horror and pity—Aristotle’s categories—had stayed with me, more or less suppressed, for years which, increasingly, I spent in the cinema, without ever thinking back to the trauma. When I did, after my Santa Barbara ‘return of the repressed’, I started to realize that the horror and pity were not simply explicable in terms of the little Disney deer. There was something else at stake. Bambi was made during the War and, in a hidden sense, it was a war film. In fact, it was released in August 1942, at the onset of the Battle of Stalingrad…

B is for…

Peter’s final letter – E, which he states represents  “Eisenstein, another ruined film-maker, an image-maker ‘haunted by writing’ ([Serge] Daney’s phrase)” – might also, in my mind, represent Education. As Peter explains, Eisenstein was important as he joined theory and practice, teaching with making:

…out of favour with the Communist establishment, and unable to direct, he was employed as a teacher in the Moscow Film School….fundamentally… he was trying to formulate a new aesthetic, to understand a new medium, sound film, which he saw as completely different from silent cinema.

E is for…

Developing this theory/practice dyad within the context of his own life, Peter reflects: “I still cling to the idea that theory and practice belong together. I don’t see my books or my lectures as separate activities from my screen-writing or my film-making”. What Peter articulates here is not only that practice is research, but that teaching is a scholarly pursuit, on par with writing books and making film. Those who insist on creating academic hierarchies – who remove Professors from undergraduate teaching, ask that teaching be compartmentalized into syllabi that moves not between ideas but between available staff members, who drive wedges between those who work with Non Traditional Research Outputs (practice) and Traditional Research Outputs (articles, books), and who determine annual research points, as though traders on a stock market–have possibly never had a teacher like Peter. Certainly, they have never imagined that an undergraduate lecturer could seek to push thought in a classroom the way they might move words on a book’s page.

5. Universities still continue to parade a derelict phantom of aesthetics, robbed of immediacy and failing in energy, paralysed by the enormity of the challenge which has been thrown down.
Signs and Meaning in the Cinema, p. 8.

Peter was a child in the Second World War and a young adult in the turbulent 1960s. Disdain for institutional and generational anachronism rings through his writing. We understand that he is urging change, not from an abstract philosophical point of view, but change in terms of how we orientate ourselves to film studies, the nation state, art movements, the contemporary political moment, even to each other. We also understand that when Peter wrote, he wrote for students, fellow learners, making complex ideas clear. Like others of his generation – his UCLA colleague Carlo Ginzburg in the Cheese and the Worms, for example, writing lucidly about the miller Menocchio – he managed write at once simply and eruditely. In his “Alphabet of Cinema”, I am reminded that a new generation of historians took up the challenge that Ernst H. Gombrich earlier took on, under different circumstances, in A Little History of the World. Gombrich begins: “All stories begin with ‘once upon a time’. And that’s just what this story is all about: what happened, once upon a time”.9 I am also reminded, most obviously, of the alphabet books we read to children. Each letter joins a series of possible pictured objects, determined through the relationship of word to image, the semantic to the syntactic. Peter asks: What if we taught others to look and read differently? What if S is indeed for Surrealism and the dream about Shanghai Gesture that Peter once had? What if we each write our own alphabet, in dialogue with his own? What if German cinema did not sit still or stay flat within national borders, so that it is indeed topological? What if, as teachers, we tried to help foreigners into countries and universities, so that doors were opened, so that they could afford to stay and study? What if we did not have to holler our words or drown ideas in repetition, so a single sentence could be read and understood? What then? Well, then I would conclude this article with the single sentence: The history of film studies coincides with the history of teaching. And you would hopefully know, at this late point, who and what I am acknowledging. Thank you, Peter.

I would like to thank Julian Scaff and Anne Coveny for accessing STROBE materials and sending me publishable screen shots of the journal. I would also like to thank Matthew Solomon for sending me the pdf of Peter’s German Film syllabus, a class he also attended at UCLA. Without Matthew’s vigilant and careful archiving–and generosity in scanning and sending this material– I would not have had access to this information.

Endnotes:

  1. Peter Wollen, Singin’ in the Rain (London: British Film Institute, 1992, 2001) p. 72.
  2. Wollen, p. 9.
  3. Ian Christie, “Peter Wollen Obituary,” The Guardian, 9 January 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/jan/08/peter-wollen-obituary
  4. Shaftesbury, cited in Peter Wollen, Signs and Meaning in the Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press in association with the British Film Institute, 1969, 1972), p. 109. See also p. 17-18 where Peter writes: “Two and a half centuries ago Shaftesbury (1671-1713), the greatest English writer on aesthetics and the semiology of the visual arts, wrote as follows, in his preliminary notes for a treatise on Plastics: Remember here (as prefatory) to anticipate the nauseating, the puking, the delicate, tender-stomached, squeamish reader (pseudo- or counter-critic), delicatulus. ‘Why all this?’ and ‘can’t one taste or relish a picture without this ado?’ Thus kicking, spurning at the speculation, investigating, discussion of the je ne sais quoy. Euge tuum et belle: nam belle hoc excute totum, / Quid non intus habet? / So the ‘I like,’’you like,’ who can forbear? who does forbear? / Therefore. Have patience. Wait the tale. Let me unfold etc.”
  5.  Trinh Bui, “UCLA’s ‘Strobe’ strides onto World Wide Web,” Daily Bruin, 17 February, 1997, https://dailybruin.com/1997/02/17/uclas-strobe-strides-onto-worl/. See also https://web.archive.org/web/19980111033408/http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/strobe/wollen/default.html
  6. Peter Wollen, “An Alphabet of Cinema,” NLR 12 (Nov-Dec. 2001): p. 115-133; subsequently published as the first chapter in Peter Wollen, Paris Hollywood: Writings on Film, (London, New York: Verso, 2002).
  7. Wollen, Signs and Meaning in the Cinema, p.170
  8. See this clip of Normal McLaren’s 3-D giraffes that was included on the STROBE site
  9. Ernst H. Gombrich, A Little History of the World (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1936, 2011), p. 1

About The Author

Victoria Duckett is Senior Lecturer in Screen and Design at Deakin University, Melbourne. She has published extensively on actresses, archives and early film. Her book, Seeing Sarah Bernhardt: Performance and Silent Film (University of Illinois Press) was named a 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. She is currently working on a monograph that explores French stage actresses and their importance to the emergence of modern media industries.