The Bioscope decides

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on the direction of the Bioscope. I put the question whether it would be a good idea to expand its range beyond silent films. The balance of opinion seems to be not to do so. Of course, these are opinions from those who come to this site for its information on silent films, so there may be a slight bias there, but on careful reflection I agree with you. This is a blog about silent films, and it is best to keep it at that. Change would only be for change’s sake (which is seldom wise), and it would damage what has been built up quite carefully over four years. So we’ll stick to the brief of reporting on the world of early and silent cinema.

That said, I will start to make some excursions beyond the silent comfort zone from time to time, particularly when considering contexts and research resources. One must always bear in mind the phrase that C.L.R. James used for cricket in Beyond a Boundary, but which applies to so much else: what do they know of silent films who only silent films know? We must seek out the bigger picture, or delve behind the screen, or turn our backs on the screen sometimes and look in the other direction. Otherwise how can we say with any confidence that we know where we are?

4 responses

  1. No doubt about it, there is quite enough work in keeping up with the silent film world, while in sound there are so many thousands of existing bloggers already.
    One exception: reporting on the sound films that have been made about, renovated from, silents. An example, the forthcoming reno on JP McGowan and Helen Holmes. Does it stack up with silent film standards or is it a cheeky outrage, as silent film lovers see it??

  2. Dear Luke,
    Just to say I am glad you made this decision. I missed the poll but we at the autopsies group (and many of us at UCL as well in film studies and beyond) are hugely appreciative of the early cinema focus of bioscope. While I was a fan of one of your earlier blogs as well and was sorry to see it go, I think this one has a wonderful niche and a clear focus in a way that has contributed to orienting the field in interesting historical ways. Don’t hesitate to call on us if we can support this or other adventures in blogging. All best, Jann from the Autopsies Research Group

  3. Thank you very much. A clear focus is essential. One of the reasons I closed down Screen Research (which I think is the other blog to which you refer) was because I couldn’t see what its focus should be.

%d bloggers like this: