Let me preface the following article by saying that I was deeply honoured to have given the Martin Walsh Lecture at Queen's University, not only because I was fortunate enough to have had some personal contact with Martin Walsh but because the early years of Cine-Tracts were helped along to no small degree by Martin's committment to the project. It is fitting that Cine-Tracts will, in a limited sense, be revived shortly, when Indiana University Press publishes a selection of articles from the magazine entitled, Explorations in Film Theory.
Martin Walsh had a knack of getting right to the point, as when he asked me why we had subtitled Cine-Tracts, A Journal of Film, Communications, Culture and Politics for the first issue (circa, 1976). I responded that we wanted to develop an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis and study of film, but that we also wanted to examine other cultural phenomena such as television and the growth and development of new communications technologies. But, he asserted, we don't know all that much about the cinema nor do we have the kind of theoretical model which would allow us to cross interdisciplinary boundaries in a fluid and productive way. Perhaps, he continued, we need to define the boundaries of the discipline a bit more tightly. He of course meant the discipline of film studies, but the conversation we had revealed a problem which the journal responded to by the third issue with a new subtitle: Film and Cultural Studies.Read More