Sunday, April 27, 2014

Positif: A History of Amateurism

"Positif between amateurism and professionalism : a review battling with its identity. Created in 1952 by young cinema lover students, Positif straightaway presented as an amateur review in al senses : the writers were unpaid, avid film-goers, but also in a way amateurish, as they claimed a subjective and non-theoretic approach of criticism. But if the context of the 50’s, when cinema was a widespread passion, authorized such a review, which was quite a fanzine, to live, and even develop, the staff quickly realized they had to adapt to the transformations of the field. Indeed, in the 70’s and 80’s, it evolved to an increased professionalism, in order to compensate for the collapse of the audience. But how could a review that founded its identity on amateurism, manage to follow such an evolution without losing its stances? Positif found itself in a very uncomfortable situation, partially adapting its practices – to more professionalism – while holding, in the discourses, its positions on a coherence with its original identity, that is the commitments that permitted its recognition in the field. The analysis tries to bring out the mechanisms that particularly hampered Positif, while the rest of the field transformed without any major problem."

Follow the link to read Anne-Laure Brion's great French essay Positif entre amateurisme et professionnalisme : une revue aux prises avec son identité.

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