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Letter from the Editor

Issue 14

It has been one heck of a year at Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. This year, our brave faculty welcomed a myriad of M.A. students, while the school also inaugurated its sparkling new Ph.D programme. Synoptique put out its call for submissions, asking students to chime in on a theme as colorful and contested as we could think up to combat Montreal’s long grey winter. Thus, our issue presents itself as fragmented and scattered, as polyphonous and diverse, and as multivalent. We’ve conceived an issue that occupies a liminal space—which is another way of saying that issue number 14 is slightly queer. We are a new editorial team, and we bring you our first issue in-between semesters and make some noise about Sex and Sexuality…so “let’s talk about sex” shall we?

It is spring, and we have sprung forward with a love letter from Marcin Wisniewski to Kate Winslet, in which he showers her with unadulterated affection and respect for her consistent portrayal of sexually empowered women. I personally couldn’t agree more. I was so impressed by her daring turn as an unabashedly desirous and sexual, albeit not vilified, mother/wife…woman “Sara” in Todd Field’s film Little Children (2006) that I literally stopped Todd Field on the street at the film debut in Telluride back in 06. Also in this issue, Dino Koutras explores representations of post-9/11 trauma, focusing on the fear of penetration as presented in John Cameron Mitchell’s sexually audaucious film Shortbus (2006). For his part, Alexander Carson draws some striking parallels between Dziga Vertov’s cameraman’s penetrating gaze in Man with a Movie Camera (1929) and the fevered gaze of the pornographic film in his essay Kino-Cock.

In this issue we also find our faculty and our doctoral candidates chiming in on the state of Film Studies in the wake of Dudley Andrew’s recent article “The Core and Flow of Film Studies” and his inspiring lecture at Concordia which followed.

Finally, with its minimalist but rigid structure and ambiguous nature, what better way to round things out than with a few haikus? We hope you agree.

We are grateful to Olivier Creurer who once again has provided Synoptique with an incredible design, including the unique scrolling banner above. Olivier has managed to balance the sex theme with the Dudley Andrew responses in a way that, perhaps ironically, illustrates a dialectic between the polyphonic, diverse modes of sexual praxis and the stimulating, multivalent practice of academic discourse. To my delight, Olivier has visually conceptualized the relationship between cinephilia and acedeme as rightfully sado-masochistic. Good one!

We also want to thank Adam Rosadiuk for enabling us to upload issue fourteen. Adam has given much needed support and guidance to Synoptique’s new editorial staff.

Thanks also to everyone else (students, colleagues, professors, friends) who contributed and supported us in other ways.

synoptique fourteen
various essays appear here
as diverse as Sex

co-managing editor Lindsey Campbell

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