Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Ingmar Bergman Studies

Updated September 19, 2011

Film Studies For Free brings you, below, a very long list indeed of links to online and openly accessible studies of the work of Ingmar Bergman. The list was especially inspired by hearing of the first of the three video studies above, via Adrian Martin, Corey Creekmur and Christa Fuller. This news led to the subsequent discovery of the rest of this amazing videographic trilogy on Bergman's films by Jonas Moberg. Update: FSFF has learned that these videos were devised by Thomas Elsaesser, during his year as Ingmar Bergman Professor at Stockholm University in 2007 in conjunction with the project "Ingmar Bergman in the Museum" (a summary of which is linked to below). Initially, seven of these videos were planned, to go with each of the chapters in the book Film Theory - An Introduction through the Senses. The research for all seven Bergman Senses Videos was carried out by Elsaesser, together with Anne Bachmann, a PhD student at Stockholm University, and Jonas Moberg then edited three of them. Sadly, time ran out on the project and the remaining four planned videos weren't completed.

Bergman scholars and fans should also know about Ingmar Bergman: Face to Face, the beautiful website of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, which showcases and links to numerous further resources. Sight and Sound has also just featured a fascinating essay by Lena Bergman on her father's viewing habits in his unique private cinema, a converted barn on Fårö, the Baltic island where he lived until his death in 2007. This year’s Bergman Week festival takes place in the cinema on Fårö from 28 June to 3 July. Television viewers in the UK might, in addition, like to hear that Film4 will show 16 Ingmar Bergman films in a series beginning next week. Yay!

If FSFF says so itself, the below list is probably one of its best ever (do scroll right down for all the videos). It was certainly one of the most rewarding to compile... It hopes you will find it in equal parts enjoyable and useful.

    Liv Ullmann at the Bergman Week 2010, speaking about the filming of Face To Face with Ingmar Bergman. She talks about the relationship between a director and his actors, and specifically the scene when her character commits suicide in the film.

    Wim Wenders talks about Ingmar Bergman

    Agnes Varda talks about Bergman.

    David Stratton talks about Ingmar Bergman.

    Bergman Center interviews American director John Landis about Ingmar Bergman at Venice International Film Festival.

    Bergman Center interviews French actor Jean-Marc Barr about Ingmar Bergman at Venice International Film Festival.

    Tuesday, 28 June 2011

    Memory Screens: New Issue of IMAGE AND NARRATIVE

    Frame grab from 1975 (Shaun Wilson, version 1 (2005), DV as single channel DVD, colour, sound, 5mins). Visit Shaun Wilson's website here and read his article about 'home movies' here
    The concept of memory screens is an overarching term exploring the relationship between forms of media, viewers, practitioners and memory. The notion of memory screens alludes to the ways in which memories become remembered, layered, forgotten and transformed. The range of articles in this volume reflects the relationship between memory and history, both public and personal. ['Thematic Cluster: Introduction' by Teresa Forde]

    Film Studies For Free continues to be impressed by the excellence of the online journal Image and Narrative which has recently published a special issue entitled Memory Screens.

    FSFF particularly appreciated film and video artist Shaun Wilson's essay on the art of vintage home movies, Jenny Chamarette's study of the dynamics of the ‘spectre’ or ‘spectral body’ of the auteurist figure of Agnès Varda, Peter Kravanja's exploration of narrative contingencies in Rohmer and Akerman and Teresa Forde and Erin Bell's discussions of memory and British television. But this is a very high quality issue throughout and, as always at I and N, particularly characterised by the thoughtful integration of close analysis and film and moving image theory.

    Image and Narrative, Vol 12, No 2 (2011): Memory Screens

    Table of Contents
    • 'Thematic Cluster: Introduction' by Teresa Forde ABSTRACT PDF
    • 'Remixing Memory through Home Movies' by Shaun Wilson ABSTRACT PDF
    • 'Video Installation, Memory and Storytelling: the viewer as narrator' by Diane Charleson ABSTRACT PDF
    • 'Spectral bodies, temporalised spaces: Agnès Varda's motile gestures of mourning and memorial' by Jenny Chamarette ABSTRACT PDF
    • 'Television and memory: history programming and contemporary identities' by Erin Bell ABSTRACTPDF
    • 'Television Dramas as Memory Screens' by Teresa Forde ABSTRACT PDF
    • 'The Lives of Others: re-remembering the German Democratic Republic'  by Margaret Montgomerie and Anne- Kathrin Reck ABSTRACT PDF
    • 'Nostalgic [re]remembering: film fan cultures and the affective reiteration of popular film histories' by Nathan Hunt ABSTRACT PDF
    Various Articles
    • 'Cinema, Contingencies, Metaphysics' by Peter Kravanja ABSTRACT PDF
    Review Articles
    • Hillary Chute's Ambivalent Idiom of Witness' by Charlotte Pylyser  ABSTRACT PDF
    • 'Naissances de la bande dessinée de William Hogarth à Winsor McCay' by Pascal Lefèvre ABSTRACT PDF

    "Born in a dream": studies of Ritwik Ghatak

    Subarnarekha (lit. "Golden Line/Thread", Ritwik Ghatak, India, 1962-65)
    All motion, in fact, has the same origin. The camera moves, so do men. Then everything comes to rest, or, various integral compositions made out of these create a whole design born in that dream.
    Ritwik Ghatak [Ritwikkumar Ghatak, Rows and rows of fences: Ritwik Ghatak on cinema (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2000), p. 65]

    Every film is going to be more than you can see... Where the real cinema takes place is in your head.
    The notion of a film born in a dream that then manages to figure that dream in all of these movements, in all of these modulations, in all of these articulations is at the heart of Ghatak
    Adrian Martin, 'Seven and a Half Minutes with Ritwik Ghatak (An Apprenticeship in Magic)', Film and Television Studies ‘Under Construction’ Seminar Series, Monash University, June 8, 2011(mp3: 1:40:38, mp4 - Video version)
    Very recently, in a much-discussed Film Comment article by David Bordwell, and in the project of a fascinating book titled The Language and Style of Film Criticism ([eds. Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan] Routledge 2011), an old-fashioned line has been redrawn, separating the work of criticism proper (evocative, descriptive, evaluative, lyrical, etc) from the so-called ‘formalism’ of close, textual analysis (frame and audio analysis, structural segment/part breakdown, etc). I reject this distinction.

    In the lead-up to the WORLD CINEMA NOW conference this September at Monash, I propose taking seven and a half magnificent minutes – one complex scene in three parts – from Ritwik Ghatak’s Subarnarekha (The Golden Line, India, 1965) – and seeing how deeply we can dig into its sharp audiovisual beauty. Ghatak (1925-76), only now receiving the full international recognition he deserves, is a key figure for any history of cinematic forms: using the melodramatic tradition as his pivot between classicism and modernism, he elaborated a moment-to-moment style that was a form of fluid mise en scène shot through at every moment with the kind of disruptive ‘intervals’ beloved of his Master, Eisenstein. In Ghatak, scenes do not simply unfold: they open up into multiple, contesting worlds, man versus woman, old versus new, feeling versus reason, body versus song …

    Along the way of this demonstration, I hope to offer a model of how film analysis might be done, or at least how I try to do it: its possible protocols, procedures, pay-offs. Seven and a half cinematic minutes with Ghatak, plus around two musical minutes with Abdullah Ibrahim, amounting to around sixty minutes … Adrian Martin, 'Seven and a Half Minutes with Ritwik Ghatak (An Apprenticeship in Magic)'
    Today's entry here at Film Studies For Free -- a list of links to openly accessible studies of the work of the great Bengali filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak -- was very much inspired by the online availability of a podcast of a lecture by Adrian Martin, Associate Professor in Film and Television Studies and co-director of the Research Unit in Film Culture and Theory at Monash University. In the lecture Martin discusses a scene in Ghatak's Subarnarekha (lit. "Golden Line/Thread", India, 1962-65).

    The sequence discussed by Martin may be found at 7:40 in the first of the two clips embedded above, continuing up to around six minutes through the second clip. As the above lecture abstract indicates, along the way, Martin says many important things about the practices of film criticism/analysis, and, indeed, about Film Studies more broadly. Great work, and thanks to Arts at Monash University for making it available. [Update: August 2011 - here's a link to the video recording of the lecture. Right click on the link to save to your computer for viewing later).

    Monday, 27 June 2011

    New SCOPE: Chris Marker, Cult cinema, Dance on Film, 1970s Film Theory

    Image from The Company (Robert Altman, 2003)

    Today, Film Studies For Free is thrilled to point you in the tremendous direction of the latest contents of Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies. There's lots to recommend in this issue but FSFF particularly enjoyed Katharina Lindner's article on the female dancer on film, along with numerous, wonderful book reviews and conference reports, all part of the fabulous and openly accessible service that Scope provides to the international film studies community.

    Scope, Issue 20, June 211


    Book Reviews

    Film Reviews

    Conference Reports

    Sunday, 26 June 2011


    Image from Guest (José Luis Guerin, 2010)

    Film Studies For Free took a little break and caught up with some reading. A mini flurry of posts will issue as a result over the next few days, including this first one listing links to the excellent contents of the latest issue of Melbourne based online journal Senses of Cinema.

    FSFF particularly liked the interview with the remarkable filmmaker José Luis Guerin about his most recent film Guest, Pedro Blas Gonzalez on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Jiwei Xiao on the films of Jia Zhangke.

    Senses of Cinema, Issue 59 Contents
    Feature Articles
    Melbourne on Film
    Festival Reports
    Book Reviews
    Cteq Annotations

    Monday, 13 June 2011

    Viewing Modes and Mise en Scene: 50 YEARS ON by Christian Keathley

    Film Studies For Free is thrilled to present a brilliant video essay by Christian Keathley. Keathley's latest video is a revision of a contribution made for the Society of Cinema and Media Studies' 50th anniversary conference.

    It beautifully posits and explores the idea of two different viewing strategies in the cinema: what Keathley calls a "literate" mode in which "a single-minded gaze is directed torward the obvious [cinematic] figure on offer" on the screen; and a "non-literate" mode, less narrowly focused, roaming instead "over the frame, sensitive to its textures and surfaces".

    Keathley's work provides an interesting cinephilic counterpoint to Tim Smith's important psychological film studies research into how our eyes scan and sample images, as highlighted by David Bordwell at his website back in February.

    See also Keathley's excellent Pass the Salt  - a videographic study of a moment in Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder,  as well as his written essay on the "obvious' in Preminger at World Picture journal.

    FSFF will be out of action until the beginning of July while an acute shoulder injury heals. It hopes you enjoy Keathley's work, as well as other videos at Audiovisualcy, in the meantime.

    Sunday, 5 June 2011

    New Issue of WIDE SCREEN Journal: Cinemas of the Arab World, Militant Cinema, Film Production Studies, SciFi

    Frame grab from Drôle de Félix (Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, 2000)

    Film Studies For Free's author is busy with marking this weekend, and so can only look longingly for now at the below Table of Contents of a bumper new issue of the journal Wide Screen which appears to be going from strength to strength. There are some very enticing and valuable items here, so FSFF wanted to rush its readers the usual direct links to the openly accessible contents.

    Wide Screen Vol.3 No.1
    • 'From the Editors' Desk' by Kuhu Tanvir PDF
    • 'Militants and Cinema: Digital Attempts to Make the Multitude in Hunger, Che, Public Enemies' by Joshua Aaron Gooch Abstract PDF
    • 'Minnelli's Yellows: Illusion, Delusion and the Impression on Film' by Kate Hext Abstract PDF
    • Trauma, Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction and the Post-Human' by Anirban Kapil Baishya Abstract PDF
    • 'Drôle de Félix: A Search for Cultural Identity on the Road' by Zélie Asava Abstract PDF
    • 'An Analysis of the Technoscientific Imaginary in the Remake of The Stepford Wives' by Jessica Johnston and Cornelia Sears Abstract PDF 
    • Home Sweet Home: The Cautionary Prison/Fairy Tale' by Paul Tremblay Abstract PDF 
    Film Production Studies (Contd. from W.S. 2.2)
    • Handling Financial and Creative Risk in German Film Production' by M. Bjørn von Rimscha Abstract PDF
    • Opening Pandora’s (Black) Box: Towards A Methodology Of Production Studies' by Graham Roberts Abstract PDF 
    Cinemas of the Arab World:  
    • 'Introduction: Cinemas of the Arab World' by Latika Padgaonkar Abstract PDF
    • 'Cinema “Of” Yemen And Saudi Arabia: Narrative Strategies, Cultural Challenges, Contemporary Features' by Anne Ciecko Abstract PDF 
    • Director Profile: Mai Masri' by Latika Padgaonkar Abstract PDF
    • Salah Abu Seif and Arab Neorealism' by Ouissal Mejri Abstract PDF 
    • Review: London River' by Latika Padgaonkar Abstract PDF 
    Book Reviews:
    • 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: Seriously Funny Since 1983' by Radha Dayal Abstract PDF

    Thursday, 2 June 2011

    Undead Links to George A. Romero Studies

    Zombies intruding on the free flow of commerce? Frame grab from Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978)
    In [George Romero's films], antagonism and horror are not pushed out of society (to the monster) but are rather located within society (qua the monster). The issue isn’t the zombies; the real problem lies with the “heroes”—the police, the army, good old boys with their guns and male bonding fantasies. If they win, racism has a future, capitalism has a future, sexism has a future, militarism has a future. Romero also implements this critique structurally. As Steven Shaviro observes, the cultural discomfort is not only located in the films’ graphic cannibalism and zombie genocide: the low-budget aesthetics makes us see “the violent fragmentation of the cinematic process itself." The zombie in such a representation may be uncanny and repulsive, but the imperfect uncleanness of the zombie’s face—the bad make-up, the failure to hide the actor behind the monster’s mask—is what breaks the screen of the spectacle. [Lars Bang Larsen, 'Zombies of Immaterial Labor: the Modern Monster and the Death of Death', E-Flux, No. 15, April 2010

    About a month ago, Film Studies For Free's author was delighted to take part in the first of a series of screenings and roundtables on the fascinating and complex subject of 'Intrusion' and its 'specific relation to the visual on the different but interrelated registers of the psychic, sexual, social and political'

    This inventive and highly productive series was organised by Amber Jacobs, Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, and creator and presenter of the wonderful Daily Subversions weekly radio show on ResonanceFM (available everywhere online). FSFF will post a video essay contribution on the first film in the 'Intrusion' series just as soon as the more mundane 'intrusions' of research deadlines and the hectic grading season have subsided.

    An excellent podcast of the final roundtable of the series, discussing George A. Romero's 1978 film Dawn of the Dead, has just gone online. The discussion features Dr Jacobs, along with Mark Fisher (Cultural Studies and Music Culture, Goldsmiths), Gordon Hon (Artist and Lecturer in Visual Culture, Winchester School of Art), Paul Myerscough (Senior Editor at the London Review of Books), and some great contributions from the audience. The podcast lasts just under an hour. 

    To accompany this new online resource, FSFF has assembled and updated a scarily good list of links to further, openly accessible studies or scholarly discussions of Romero's work. Also see previous related entries "Any Zombies Out There?" Undead Film Studies and Zombie Week at In Media Res. And also be aware that you can watch Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead in its entirety at the Internet Archive.