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Friday, 11 May 2012

My name is John Sambuco, and I suffer chronic cinephilia...
What is cinephilia? Cinephilia is the term used to refer to a passionate interest in cinema, film theory and film criticism. It is a serious disorder, and once infected, there is no cure.

Is there a prevention for cinephilia? Yes - Avoid all forms of film and moving image. 
Is this practical in today's digital revolution? "Not bloody likely!" to quote Eliza Doolittle in the 1938 British film 'Pygmalion'. 

In the early days, film was contained within the safe walls of a cinema. Those who wanted to experience it could, and those who didn't want to didn't need to. There were many people in the 1920s and 1930s who felt film was a corrupt, blasphemous and immoral artform, and actively went out of their way to avoid it... some even fought to have film banned.

Today, film is available virtually everywhere. We can watch film at the cinema, on TV, on our PCs, on our smart phones and on our tablet computers. We can watch film at home, at the office, in our cars, on planes, in buses, at cafés, while we're shopping, while we get our hair cut, while we wait in a doctor's waiting room... film is available virtually anywhere and everywhere we go. In short, THERE IS NO ESCAPE!!

Why has film captivated so many spectators from around the world?  After all, film is just an optical illusion generated by a series of photos played in sequence. It's nothing special, or is it?
I think David Bordwell and Kristen Thompson say it best in their book "Film Art: An Introduction":
"Film takes us on a journey, offering a patterened experience that engages our mind and emotions" (Bordwell & Thompson, 2008, p2)
Film communicates information and ideas, while showing us (the viewer) places and ways of living we might not have known. It draws us into the lives of its characters, and uses stylistic techniques such as camera framing, lighting, editing and music to trigger our emotions.

While there is no cure for cinephilia, it is treatable by subjecting the cinephile to as much film required to satiate their impulsive craving. Without proper treatment, the cinephile may experience severe withdrawal symptoms and become extremely bored.


  1. What an awesome way to start your blog! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. Hi Dan. Thank you for your lovely comments. Out of interest, how did you find my blog?