Tuesday, 6 October 2015

NO HOME MOVIE: In Warm Memory of Chantal Akerman (1950-2015)


Akerman’s search for images that represent nothing, and mean nothing else (except perhaps themselves – and even this is difficult enough) while she focuses her camera on observing the minutiae of women’s lives, is expressed in the first instance by her style: distant, clean, sober, looking at the image outside of the image. Rootless, detached images. Images in the Diaspora. Is it possible to return home, to where the image can exist, outside of the commandment? Is such an image even possible? (Dana Linssen on Akerman's filmmaking)
Despite their apparent simplicity, Akerman’s assured framing and narrative, built out of blocks of real time intercut by radical ellipses, are not easily replicated. Rather, the film’s impact is indirectly evident in the emergence of a new phenomenological sensibility and approach to observation and the weight of time... (Ivonne Margulies on Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles)

Unbelievable, unbearable news, but just confirmed by Libération.

Chantal Akerman has died.

Links to online, freely accessible studies of her work and to tributes to it will continue to be added below in the next days (as they will, undoubtedly, at KeyFrame Daily | Fandor, and elswehere). It's the only way that Film Studies For Free can process this news.... Incroyable....

By / With Chantal Akerman

Studies of Akerman's work

Tributes to Akerman

BERLIN: Testimony of a City by Andy Moore and Ian Magor
Using Chantal Akerman's News from Home [1977] here the city of Berlin is the stage for another journey through another city. Reflective and reversing timelines encourage the visual to interact with the spoken testimony.

The portrayal of desire on the cinema screen is necessarily problematic. Too often it is an assertion of masculine power, sometimes an idealised notion of romance, rarely the reality of sagging mattresses and aching muscles. Chantal Akerman's Je, tu, il, elle is set alongside two typical Hollywood portrayals of sexual passion.

The personal and the public. Private letters and open spaces. Home, exile. Chantal Akerman’s News From Home is often torn between personal introspection and visual ethnography. Here, its slow composure is put in to conversation with the chaos of Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi. Whilst the former tackles the personal and transcends towards the universal, the latter uses the universal to invoke a self-observating experience. If Koyaanisqatsi signals a life out of balance, News From Home tries to rectify that balance - in pace, in space and in the everyday. - Jessica McGoff

Belgian director Chantal Akerman gained world success with her masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) and consolidated her reputation with films like Toute une Nuit, Les années 80 and Le Marteau. In the early nineties Akerman shifted her career from strictly film into the arts. She participated, amongst other exhibitions, at dOCUMENTA 10 and 11. It dated from 1995 since Akerman exhibited in her native country with a massive retrospective. In Too Far, Too Close the M HKA presented an overview from Akermans oeuvre starting with the 1968 production Saute ma Ville and ending with her most recent work, Maniac Summer.

Monday, 14 September 2015


A new score for Georges Méliès's Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902). Written for The New Music Players and Orchestra of Sound and Light for concerts in London and Sussex, UK, with funding support from the RVW Trust and Arts Council England. (Music © University of York Music Press, 2015). More information here.

Hello there! It's been a rather busy few months, so Film Studies For Free had to take a little break from its long-form advocacy activities at this website, although its bountiful open-access recommendations continued to issue forth as usual on Twitter and Facebook. But the extended version of FSFF returns now with news of a number of fabulous online publications for your autumnal (Northern Hemisphere) or Spring (Southern Hemisphere) viewing and reading pleasure. Do scroll down for all the contents listed in the title. Oh and one more thing: don't miss Sight and Sound's ongoing "Women on Film" coverage.

[in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, 2.3, 2015
P.S. Please note [in]Transition's call for submissions for a special issue on Latin American cinema at http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/intransition/call-special-issue

Some Recent Theme weeks:

  • Monday, August 24, 2015 - Shohini Chaudhuri (University of Essex) presents: Gaza and the Trope of Encirclement
  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - Sara Saljoughi (University of Toronto) presents: Nostalgic Returns
  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - Michelle Baroody (University of Minnesota) presents: "A River Runs Through It": Visualizing Fluency
  • Thursday, August 27, 2015 - Aisha Jamal (Sheridan College) presents: The ‘Afghan girl" Sherbat Gula’s popularity with Afghans
  • Friday, August 28, 2015 -Negar Mottahedeh (Duke University) presents: A revolutionary meme
  • Monday, August 10, 2015 - Shani Heckman (College of Marin) presents: Celebrity Skinned: Patty Schemel Lesbian Hero featured in film Hit So Hard
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - Landon Palmer (Indiana University) presents: Rocking the Transmission: Vulgar Spontaneity in Live Television Music
  • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - Jesse Scholtterbeck (Denison University) presents: Performance and the Pursuit of Stardom in Anvil: The Story of Anvil
  • Thursday, August 13, 2015 - Michael Bass (Georgia State University) presents: Filth, Fury, and Fiction: Creating a Mythology in The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle
  • Friday, August 14, 2015 - Laura Mayne (University of York) presents: Seeking the variety of live performance in The Rolling Stones’ Rock n Roll Circus (1968)
  • Monday, August 17, 2015 - Shane Denson (Duke University) presents: VHS Found Footage and the Material Horrors of Post-Cinematic Images
  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - Laura Wilson (University of Manchester) presents: Affective Horror of the Found Footage Anthology
  • Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - Anthony C. Bleach (Kutztown University) presents: Video Aesthetics and Nostalgia Deployed in Better Call Saul
  • Thursday, August 20, 2015 - Rebecca Jackson (Johnston Community College) presents: JOLT! And The Glitch Aesthetic
  • Friday, August 21, 2015 - Leo Goldsmith (New York University) presents: The All-Consuming: Scratch Video’s Ambivalent Bodies
  • Monday, June 29, 2015 - Maria San Filippo (University of the Arts Philadelphia) presents: Captive Viewers: Learning In/humanity through Film in ‘Dogtooth’ and ‘The Wolfpack’
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - Emily Carman (Chapman University) presents: Illicit Achive: Sony Hack as Access for Media Industry Studies
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - Catherine Grant (University of Sussex) presents: Scholarly Striptease. Or, The Unintended Consequences of Film Studies For Free
  • Thursday, July 2, 2015 - Zoe Shacklock (University of Warwick) presents: Kathryn Alexandre and the Performance of the Body
  • Friday, July 3, 2015 - Kevin L. Ferguson (Queen’s College) presents: Pee-Wee’s Daddy

VIEW 4.7, 2015: Archaeologies of Tele-Visions and -Realities
Table of Contents

DELETION The Open Access Forum in Science Fiction Studies
Episode 10: The Science Fiction Blockbuster
Previous Episodes

FILM QUARTERLY Vol. 68 No. 4, Summer 2015 for free until September 30th, 2015: http://fq.ucpress.edu/content/68/4

Table of Contents

  • Black Media Matters: Remembering The Bombing of Osage Avenue by Karen Beckman
  • China Unraveled: Violence, Sin, and Art in Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin by Jiwei Xiao
  • Mickey Horror: Escape from Tomorrow and the Gothic Attack on Disney by Aviva Briefel
  • Attention Duras by William Caroline
  • Maximum Emotions, Minimum Words: Interview with Eugène Green by Megan Ratner
  • Crónica de castas (Chronicle of Castes) and Sangre bárbara (Barbarous Blood) by Paul Julian Smith
  • The Vulnerable Spectator: On the Contagion of Vulnerability by Amelie Hastie
  • Marking Time: The Long form Documentary at IDFA 2014 by Deirdre Boyle
  • Sundance 2015, The Crystal Ball by B. Ruby Rich
  • Remembering Resnais: An Encounter on the First Anniversary (Approximately) of His Death by Paul Thomas
  • Bernie Cook Reflects on Katrina Media at the Ten-Year Mark in FLOOD OF IMAGES: Media, Memory, and Hurricane Katrina by Regina Longo
  • Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Technology, and the Emergence of 1970s Blockbuster Aesthetics by Julie A. Turnock DANA POLAN
  • Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter by Richard Barrios CARRIE RICKEY
  • Army Film and the Avant Garde: Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military by Alice Lovejoy TANYA GOLDMAN
  • L.A. Plays Itself / Boys in the Sand (Queer Film Classics series) by Cindy Patton GREG YOUMANS
  • Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywoodby Kaveh Askari
  • Film Rhythm after Sound: Technology, Music, and Performance by Lea Jacobs MASHA SHPOLBERG

Indiancine.ma is an annotated online archive of Indian film. It is intended to serve as a shared resource for film scholars and enthusiasts in India and beyond.

Indiancine.ma has been initiated by Pad.ma, and is operated in collaboration with a number of organisations and film studies institutions. These include:

The initial set of films and metadata is based on Ashish Rajadhyaksha's and Paul Willemen's Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, and the Indiancine.ma Wiki. The website was built with pan.do/ra, and launched in February 2013 at Jaaga in Bangalore, with support from the Bohen Foundation, The Foundation for Arts Initiatives, and the Goethe Institute.

At present, Indiancine.ma is being utilized as a backbone structure for several research projects on Indian film, including a project for an 'Annotated Repository on the Art Cinemas of India" being conducted by the University of Chicago Center in Delhi, a project on the Left and the early Malayalam cinema being overseen by Prof. Satish Poduval of the English & Foreign University, a repository for precious historical print holdings on the history of Tamil and Telugu cinemas being assembled by Samyuktha P.C. (Chennai) and Dr. S.V. Srinivas (Bangalore), and a project on early Bengali films at the Media Lab, Jadavpur. A general focus at the moment is on out-of-copyright films, currently pre-1954.

  • Three Bombay Talkies Films from the 1930s Debashree Mukherjee, as a part of a Pad.ma film histories fellowship, selected and annotated a trio of major Franz Osten Bombay Talkies films. Debashree writes about her selection and annotation strategy and presents an interview with Peter Dietze, grandson of Himanshu Rai with rare images from his Melbourne collection.
  • A Filmi Twist of Fate: An Interview with Peter Dietze, Grandson of Himansu Rai Debashree Mukherjee's interview with Peter Dietze, grandson of Himanshu Rai with rare images from his from his Melbourne collection. In her own words, 'the only extant and accessible collection of studio papers from any Indian talkie studio of this time'.
  • A Second Bibliography Around John Abraham Jenson Joseph is researching Malayalam cinema around the key figure of filmmaker John Abraham. This is part of the Annotated Repositories of the Art Cinemas of India project supported by the University of Chicago's Delhi Centre. This is a first Visual Bibliography of his researches, and includes previously inaccessible material around the Odessa Film Collective and other material on and by Abraham.
  • A Second Select Bibliography on the Cinema of Mrinal Sen This is the first set of materials assembled as a part of the Annotated Repository of the Art Cinemas of India project supported by the University of Chicago Delhi Centre. It includes key texts around the work of Mrinal Sen, and includes publicity materials around Sen's films, the reception of the films when they were first released, on the making of the films, and reviews.
  • A Second Select Bibliography on the Cinema of Jahnu Barua This is the first set of materials assembled as a part of the Annotated Repository of the Art Cinemas of India project supported by the University of Chicago Delhi Centre. It includes reviews and writings on the cinema of Jahnu Barua.
  • Signifying Nativity: ‘Documentary reels’ in early South Indian films By Jenson Joseph
  • The Complete ICC Reports Five complete volumes of the Indian Cinematograph Committee evidence (1927-28).

Thursday, 11 June 2015

New Issues of NECSUS on 'Animals', Godard, Sobchack, Mulvey, Musicals, Documentary, Feminisms, and PARTICIPATIONS on film festivals, internet, television, Twitter, film and theatre audiences

A concise video primer by Catherine Grant on phenomenological film theory as well as a tribute to the works of René Clément, Henri Decae, Vivian Sobchack, Steven Shaviro and Claude Lévi-Strauss. Published in NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Spring, 2015, where you can also read an accompanying text: "Film studies in the groove? Rhythmising perception in Carnal Locomotive."

Today, Film Studies For Free brings very glad tidings of two newly published, open access journal issues, from NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies (still rolling out, and which, alongside its regular features and sections, offers a special dossier on 'animals') and PARTICIPATIONS: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies. All the contents are listed and linked to below.

If you're attending the annual gathering of the Network of European Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) in Łódź, Poland, have fun! It's a great conference. This year, FSFF's author is presenting instead at the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities-funded workshop on Scholarship in Sound and Image, taking place from next week at Middleburg College in Vermont, U.S.A. from which some wonderful (and certainly open access) things will soon come.

NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Spring 2015

Audiovisual essays:

Special section: Animals (rolling out shortly)
  • Animals, anthropocentrism, media by Barbara Creed and Maarten Reesink
  • Why not look at animals? by Anat Pick
  • When Lulu met the Centaur: Photographic traces of creaturely love by Dominic Pettman
  • Tasmanian tigers and polar bears: The documentary moving image and (species) loss by Belinda Smaill
  • Cinematic slowness, political paralysis?: Animal life in ‘Bovines’, with Deleuze and Guattari by Laura McMahon
  • Horseplay: Equine performance and creaturely acts in cinema by Stella Hockenhull
  • Cows, clicks, ciphers, and satire by Tom Tyler

Book reviews:

(edited by Lavinia Brydon and Alena Strohmaier [NECS Publication Committee])

  • Television studies reloaded: From history to text review by Massimo Scaglioni
  • The documentary film book review by Malin Wahlberg 
  • Storytelling in the media convergence age: Exploring screen narratives review by Emre Caglayan
  • Education in the school of dreams: Travelogues and non-fiction films review by Adam Freeman

Festival reviews:

(edited by Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist [Film Festival Research Network])
  • Dossier: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015 edited by Marijke de Valck
  • Dispatches from the dark: A conversation with Neil Young at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015 by Daniel Steinhart
  • Hollywood legacies and Russian laughter: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto / Pordenone Silent Film Festival 2014 review by Gert Jan Harkema
  • We can haz film fest!: Internet Cat Video Festival goes viral review by Diane Burgess

Exhibition reviews:

(edited by Miriam De Rosa and Malin Wahlberg [NECS Publication Committee])
  • Too much world: A Hito Steyerl retrospective review by Paula Albuquerque
  • McMansion of media excess: Ryan Trecartin’s and Lizzie Fitch’s SITE VISIT review by Lisa Åkervall
  • Reaching out!: Activating space in the art of Olafur Eliasson review by Olivia Eriksson
  • David Reeb: Traces of Things to Come review by Leshu Torchin

PARTICIPATIONS 12. 1, May 2015

All the below contents are linked to herehttp://www.participations.org/Volume%2012/Issue%201/contents.htm

Editorial: Barker, Martin (Editor): 'Thinking differently about "censorship"''


Themed Section 1: 'Theatre Audiences' (Guest editors: Matthew Reason and Kirsty Sedgman)

Themed Section 2: 'Tweeting the Olympics: International broadcasting soft power and social media' (Guest editors: Marie Gillespie and Ben O'Loughlin)

Themed Section 3: 'EIFAC 2014' (Guest editors: Lesley-Ann Dickson)


Monday, 1 June 2015

THE CINE-FILES on Film Sound (Chion, Flinn, Beck) & FRAMES CINEMA JOURNAL on "Conflicting Images, Contested Realities"

Screenshot from Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006). You can read Mack Hagood's article “The Tinnitus Trope: Acoustic Trauma in Narrative Film”, which refers to this film)

Film Studies For Free is thrilled to rapidly relay news to its readers of two new open access film journal issues: The Cine-Files (8, 2015) on Film Sound and Frames Cinema JournalConflicting Images,Contested Realities (7, 2015). Both volumes boast truly magnificent contents, but the Sound Dossier and Issue at The Cine-Files is something really special, with contributions from the likes of Michel Chion, Caryl Flinn, Jay Beck and Kate Lacey among many other luminaries.

FSFF's author also contributed to this excellent issue - on the emergent focus on film sound, music and listening in audiovisual essays.

Frames Cinema JournalIssue 7, June 2015 on Conflicting Images,Contested Realities, (click here to access all the below contents)

  • Conflicting Images, Contested Realities: An Introduction to Frames 7 by Eileen Rositzka and Amber Shields
Feature Articles
  • "Goya on his Shoulders: Tim Hetherington, Genre Memory, and the Body at Risk" by Robert Burgoyne and Eileen Rositzka
  • "New Ethical Questions and Social Media: Young People’s Construction of Holocaust Memory Online" by Victoria Grace Walden
  • "The War Tapes and the Poetics of Affect of the Hollywood War Film Genre" by Cilli Pogodda and Danny Gronmaier
  • "A Revolution for Memory: Reproductions of a Communist Utopia through Tsui Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain and Posters from the Cultural Revolution" by Nathan To
  • "The Long Life of Belgian WWI Documentaries in the Interwar Period" by Natalia Stachura
  • "'Choirs of Wailing Shells': Poetic and Musical Engagements in Derek Jarman’s War Requiem –between Documentary and Fiction" by Caroline Perret
Point of View
  • "Matricídio, or Queerness Explained to My Mother" by Diego Costa
  • "Bollywood Bodies: Turning the Gaze from Babes to Boys and Back Again in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year" by Amber Shields
  • "Civil War Photography and the Contemporary War Film" by John Trafton
  • "Argentine Documentaries on the Malvinas (Falklands) War: Between Testimony and Televisual Archive" by Mirta Varela
  • "The British Docudramas of the Falklands War" by Georges Fournier
Book Reviews
  • In Contrast: Croatian Film Today by Ana Grgić

Monday, 25 May 2015

[in]TRANSITION Issues! Rossellini, Marclay, Burnett, Snow, Emoticons, Time, Surveillance, Volumetric Cinema, Experimental Cinema, Spaghetti Westerns, Women in Prison Genre

THEORY OF RELATIVITY by Catherine Grant is an experimental video about digital intertextuality and cinephiliac relativity. It was inspired, in part, by (the non-open access article) "Time and Time Again: Temporality, Narrativity, and Spectatorship in Christian Marclay’s The Clock," just published in the Spring 2015 issue of Cinema Journal (54.3) by film scholar Julie Levinson. You can read a little more about this video and the connections it makes here. It was also made as a reserve entry for the new issue of [in]Transition linked to below.

Film Studies For Free is truly thrilled to present an entry on the last two issues of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, of which FSFF's author is proud to be a co-editor. The journal and its editors and project managers recently won an 'Award of Distinction' for Innovative Scholarship thanks to the 2015 Anne Friedberg Award Committee and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Board of Directors, presented at the annual SCMS conference in Montreal. Woohoo! (Btw, look out for content related to this conference in FSFF's next entry, coming soonish!)

The first of the two issues FSFF is catching up with was published to coincide with the Montreal conference back in March. It was the first issue of [in]Transition devoted exclusively to peer-reviewed videographic work! Each video was accompanied by a curatorial statement from the maker, as well as the peer reviewer evaluations, all transparently published in the spirit of openness, to encourage scholarship as conversation, and to help our discipline establish a set of criteria for what constitutes valid scholarship in this emerging, audiovisual form. [in]Transition continues to accept submissions of videographic work for peer-reviewed publication in subsequent issues. Guidelines for submission are here.

[in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, 2.1, 2015
And the second issue to be publicised here (commissioned and edited by FSFF's author) has just been published! It features content generated as part of an exciting collaboration with Cinema Journal, its partner publication. That journal's editor, Will Brooker, shared with [in]Transition's editors (some six months in advance of publication) four articles from the latest issue of this highly esteemed journal—54.3, Spring 2015—and asked if we would be interested in commissioning videographic responses to the work. We accepted this challenge, conceiving of it as an experiment to see how audiovisual essays (produced and published relatively quickly) could take up, adapt, or riff off debates and arguments posited by written scholarly texts (which, as is customary, had taken several years to produce and publish).

Five sets of audiovisual essayists accepted the unusual commission, and their creative, critical work forms the basis of the issue. Each video is accompanied by a written statement from the maker(s) discussing the matters at stake in composing such audiovisual responses. Further responses to the work from viewers and readers are invited in the comments threads to the entries.

[in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, 2.2, 2015
[Note: The video at the top of this FSFF entry was made as a reserve video for the issue. You can read more about that one here.]

There is further open access content connected to the above articles from the latest issue of Cinema Journal with which [in]Transition 2.2 interacted, as follows:

Cinema Journal Afterthoughts and Postscripts, Spring 2015, 54.3