A Sala Llena

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Editorial | May 2022

In that great comedy that is The Money Pit or Hogar, dulce hogar (as it was called here in Argentina), Tom Hanks was in love not only with his partner but also with a project: redesigning a house. He not only wanted to make it a miracle of architecture but a home.

To that end, Shelley Long (his partner) supported her husband, although things didn’t always turn out as they hoped. The house/home not only fell apart day after day but also, in a memorable scene and as if it were a haunted mansion, kept Hanks trapped inside a kind of quicksand made up of a carpet and a hole in the upper floor; stuck, immobilized and screaming. The project engulfed Hanks, something that made him proud but also made his life a bit impossible.

As you can see, ASL launched a web redesign, something that we had been working on for a long time and that we wanted to finalize so that our Argentine and international readers – that is, you – could have a better experience when browsing the site, reading the articles, interacting, signing up for our courses and purchasing our books.

Today ASL  is republishing an editorial after two years of pandemic. Something that kept us away from movie theaters for too long, and this is why we wanted to reflect on some issues such as exhibition and projection quality.

The pandemic completely changed certain exhibition paradigms and led to several studios’ decisión of watching what they consider “cinema” in what, as far as we are concerned, is no longer a “movie theater” (or it is, but an impaired way). This passage sped up, and today, streaming commands. Platforms, in turn, saw this shortcut and began to buy films in heaps at festivals. In this way, all the cinema that we were going to see in movie theaters thanks to those distributors that took risks so that we Argentines could see films properly, will continue in streaming, completely breaking the structure that existed and prevailed in terms of sales, distribution, exhibition and eventual VOD.

As it happens, we are experiencing a new stage of cultural, technological and audiovisual involution, especially in Argentina. This is because the degradation in terms of quality does not cease. I am referring to the transfer of film to digital copy and the increasingly horrible projections (disproportion of lumens/screen size/movie theatre size, masking, resolution) that can no longer only be glimpsed in chains of movie cinemas but also on emblematic screens such as ours. Gaumont, whose previous renovations experienced one of the most insensible decisions: reducing a single screen that was brilliant for its size (Cinerama) to one of small dimension compared to the size of the movie theatre. This has led to smaller screens and an audience that has little interest in the subject or, worse still, does not even register it. We only mention quality and not content, a topic that we will have to analyze in our texts and to which we can devote an upcoming editorial.

On a cheerier note, our news. We want to let you know that ASL editions last month  launched two new paper books: Kubrick: Obsesión por el (des) control, by Hernán Schell, and El Canon del cine norteamericano, volume 1, by Fredy Friedlander and Alfredo Villanueva. Both were presented at the [23rd] BAFICI and this week at the International Book Fair, to which we add two upcoming dates for El Canon… and El concepto del cine in Madrid (Spain) with the on-site presence of its authors, Friedlander and Faretta.

Dominio eminente. Teoría de la Clase B y la cultura tradicional en diáspora desde “el otoño de la edad media”, Faretta’s long-awaited new book for which he conducted a thorough analysis of Jacques Tourneur’s masterpiece Cat People (1942), is underway, and we are hoping it will see the light next month. Besides, his online seminar Die Hard is now available and can be viewed right here

Finally, we want to turn the ASL project into something similar to The Money Pit, that is, a film criticism website in which we put a lot of care and effort in enhancing, not only in structure but in content, and to which we certainly cling because it does us good, not only to write it but to read it.

So let’s celebrate a new one of the many stages of the website!


Shot from The Money Pit (Richard Benjamin, 1986), with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.

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