This project looks at the French film and television critic Serge Daney (1944-92), and at his relationship with the twenty-first century’s new, queer and feminist modes of cinephilia. It is funded through the AHRC’s Research Network scheme and runs from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020.
Serge Daney is a central figure in film and television criticism of the post-war era. From 1964 he wrote for the leading French film journal Cahiers du cinéma, and was its Chief Editor from 1973 to 1981. He then went on to write for the French daily Libération and to found the film magazine Trafic. He died of AIDS in 1992, just before the start of the digital era that has transformed film criticism and cinephilia.
Daney's criticism incorporated psychoanalytic, Marxist and media theory, and offers many points of connection with current film and media studies. In France, Daney is acknowledged as a key influence by a broad range of philosophers, theorists, critics and filmmakers. However, his work has never been systematically translated into English, and has not received the international scholarly attention it deserves. Daney was the embodiment of a particularly French kind of cinephilia, dubbing himself a ciné-fils (son of the cinema, punning on cine-phile). However, his work’s links to studies of queer cinema (the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s and more recent productions) have received very little attention in Europe. This network will focus on these and on less patriarchal, queer and feminist forms of cinephilia: who are the ciné-filles of today?
The network, which is being led by Dr Kate Ince of LCAHM (PI) and Dr Marc Siegel of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (Co-I), will address these areas in a set of three workshops to be held in Paris (organized by Pierre Eugène), Mainz and Birmingham in 2018 and 2019. They will establish an international network of scholars, critics and curators who will develop future research on Daney and queer cinephilia.