Monday, 28 November 2011

Free Sample Chapters from 50+ New Palgrave Macmillan/BFI Film and TV Books

Professor Jon Lewis of Oregon State University on his BFI Film Classics book on The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972). See the 41 page sample from this book linked to below.

Once again, Film Studies For Free celebrates the fabulous, free, Film and Television Studies book samples available for perusal and download at the Palgrave Macmillan website. 

These are not properly Open Access works, but this blog chooses not to be purist when there are some amazingly generous PDF excerpts -- from soon-to-be as well as recently published works -- available online by scholars of the renown of those listed below. Thanks to the British Film Institute and Palgrave Macmillan! For an earlier list of great, free Palgrave Macmillan/BFI excerpts linked to at FSFF, click here.
      BFI Film Classics: 

      "Pity we aren't madder": Ken Russell links in his magnificent memory

      "I think we've all gone mad" [Jennie Linden as Ursula Brangwen]
      "Pity we aren't madder" [Alan Bates as Rupert Birkin] 
       Scene from Women in Love (Ken Russell, 1969)

      An extract from one of Ken Russell's very first films, Amelia and the Angel (1958) 

      Film Studies For Free was saddened to hear of the death yesterday of the magnificent filmmaker Ken Russell. A monumental passing. But what a cinematic life he lived!

      Russell's weirdly, viscerally, brilliant Altered States (1980) was one of the first films genuinely to whet FSFF's author's off-beat cinematic appetite, and his adaptation of Women in Love (excerpted above) and his portraits of Elgar (1962), Delius (1968) and Mahler (1974) are several of her favourite British films.

      Below, FSFF has gathered some links to online scholarly studies of Russell's work, and to related  resources. Readers should also check out David Hudson's essential collection of tributes to, and other material about, the British filmmaker for the Mubi Notebook here.

          Sunday, 27 November 2011

          New Todd Haynes' Masterclass

          Todd Haynes' masterclass given on November 12, 2011, on the occasion of a retrospective of his films at the XIIth Queer Film Festival MEZIPATRA in Prague. Coproduced by MEZIPATRA, MIDPOINT and FAMU. Todd Haynes speaks about all his films with the Variety critic Boyd Van Hoeij.

          Film Studies For Free heard about the above, enjoyable and hugely insightful video thanks to San Francisco based film critic Michael Guillén.

          FSFF has a longstanding soft spot for Haynes, a great filmmaker whose work has a compelling relationship with film theory, as well as with Film Studies as a discipline, as the above video indicates time and again.

          Interested readers can find earlier FSFF entries on Haynes (with links to lots of online studies of his works) here and here, and also on queer film theory here.

          Saturday, 26 November 2011

          Film and Television Studies Theses from the University of East Anglia

          Image from Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino, 1987). You can read about this film in '“There are a lot of things about me that aren’t what you thought”: Dirty Dancing and Women’s Liberation', Chapter Two in Oliver Gruner's 2010 PhD thesis: Public politics/personal authenticity: a tale of two sixties in Hollywood cinema, 1986-1994

          A quickie entry from Film Studies For Free today: a list of links to eight, excellent quality, PhD theses in film and television studies (plus a related journal article) from the University of East Anglia Digital Repository.

          These links have been added to FSFF's permanent listing of links to openly accessible, English-language, online film and moving studies PhD and MPhil from repositories all over the world. The list now exceeds 200 items.

          PhD Theses:

          Other items:

          Friday, 25 November 2011

          International cinema, comedy, and online film and media practices: audience research at PARTICIPATIONS

          Frame grab from A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971). You can read about audience responses to this film in Peter Krämer's excellent article '‘Movies that make people sick’: Audience Responses to Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange in 1971/72'

          Film Studies For Free takes to the blogwaves today to shout out about a truly excellent issue of the Open Access, and openly refereed, international audience research journal Participations.

          It's a bumper issue with 27 articles - an advantage of an online journal format over its offline, paper-bound relatives, as editor Martin Barker outlines in his interesting introduction to this issue.

          FSFF particularly appreciated the section on international film audiences, and also especially enjoyed Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore's study 'Reviewing Romcom: (100) IMDb Users and (500) Days of Summer' and also Anne Collins Smith and Owen M. Smith's article on 'Pragmatism and Meaning: Assessing the Message of Star Trek: The Original Series'.

          Special Edition Contents

          Special Section: Comedy Audiences
          Special Section: International Film Audiences Conference
          Special Section: Approaching the Online Audience: New Practices, New Thinking

          Monday, 21 November 2011

          On the myth of the frontier in cinema and culture

          'A whole new world that is nothing but frontier...': Richard Langley in the narration to his excellent short film, embedded above, American Un-Frontiers: Universality and Apocalypse Blockbusters
          This film concerns recent apocalyptic Hollywood blockbusters, which have utilised notions of the ‘frontier’ to develop ideas of American hegemony in the uni-polar era, even as they postulate a universal erasure of national boundaries. Largely, the non-human agents of apocalypse in such films are responsible for erasing boundaries, but in so doing they simultaneously establish the conditions of American renewal. Indeed, the frontier must be continually renewed; it is drawn in order to be effaced, redrawn and effaced again.

                However, at the moment of effacement, when the boundaries between nations are broken down and a sense of universality seems triumphant, the dawning of a new world re-inscribes the frontier - the new world that is constructed is still American led; the mooted universality is both particular and parochial. Such films, which appear to posit un-American (or at least post-national) frontiers, actually achieve the inverse; the universal equality offered by apocalypse offers an American un-frontier, a site seemingly without boundaries, but which is simultaneously nothing but frontier, a re-dramatisation of America’s founding mythology.
          The inspiration for today's Film Studies For Free entry -- on the (transnational) myth of the frontier in cinema and related culture -- was Richard Langley's excellent, highly persuasive, short documentary embedded above. That video also has a vivid, post hoc connection to this blog's popular list of "Links of Doom and Disaster! Apocalyptic Film and Moving Image Studies" posted but a few short weeks ago.

          Like cinematic apocalypses, filmic frontier mythology turned out to be an incredibly rich vein of web scholarship. So, many thanks to Richard and all the below named scholars for making sure their very valuable work was openly accessible online.

          Open Access is, after all, the real 'final [e-]frontier'.

          And hopefully it won't turn out to be a myth...

            Sunday, 20 November 2011

            Realism and reality, intermediality and film space, new waves: three volumes of Acta Universitatis Sapientiae Film and Media Studies

            Frame grab from Il gattopardo/The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963). Read Ivo Blom's article on "Frame, Space, Narrative. Doors, Windows and Mobile Framing in the Films of Luchino Visconti"

            Film Studies For Free is immensely indebted, as it so often is, to the hawkeye skills of legendary film critic and scholar Adrian Martin. He has discovered an online treasure trove of fabulous film and media studies at the Romanian, English language journal Acta Universitatis Sapientiae

            Three great volumes have been published to date: on issues of cinematic reality, intermediality and film space, and cinematic new waves. All the contents are linked to below, and ACTA has been added to FSFF's permanent listing of online film and moving image studies journals.

            Keep 'em coming, Adrian! And grazie!

            Contents of Volume 1 , 2009

            • M. Szalóky
              The Reality of Illusion. A Transcendental Reevaluation of the Problem of Cinematic Reality
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 7-22     Full text in PDF
            • M. Sághy
              Subborn realism. What Kind of Fiction is Reality?
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 23-33     Full text in PDF
            • I. Füzi
              "Where is Reality?" Photographic Trace and Infinite Image in Gábor Bódy's Film Theory
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 34-46     Full text in PDF
            • Á. Pethő
              (Re)Mediating the Real. Paradoxes of an Intermedial Cinema of Immediacy
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 47-66     Full text in PDF
            • Zs. Gyenge
              Illusions of reality and Fiction on the Desired Reality of Fiction: Dogme 95 and the Representation of reality
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 69-79     Full text in PDF
            • A. Virginás
              Between "Facts" of Genre and "Fictions" of Love. Happy Together (1997) and In The Mood for Love (2000)
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 80-91     Full text in PDF
            • A. É. Tóth
              Appearance, Presence and Movement in Benedek Fliegauf's Milky Way
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 92-105     Full text in PDF
            • E. Buslowska
              Cinema as Art and Philosophy in Béla Tarr's Creative Exploration of Reality
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 106-116     Full text in PDF
            • Z. Gregus
              Images of Strangeness in András Jeles's Films
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 117-135     Full text in PDF
            • A. Szekfü
              Reality and Fiction in Classical Hungarian Documentaries
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 136-148     Full text in PDF
            • M. Blos-Jáni
              In and Out of Context. On the Reality Effect and Evidentiary Status of Home Videos
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 149-166     Full text in PDF
            • E. Szabó
              The Official and Hidden Scenarios of Role-Playing in István Dárday's The Prize Trap (1974)
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 1 (2009) 167-180     Full text in PDF

            Contents of Volume 2 , 2010

            • Ginette Verstraete
              Introduction. Intermedialities: A Brief Survey of Conceptual Key Issues
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 7−14     Full text in PDF
            • Jürgen E. Müller
              Intermediality and Media Historiography in the Digital Era
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 15−38     Full text in PDF
            • Ágnes Pethő
              Intermediality in Film: A Historiography of Methodologies
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 39−72     Full text in PDF
            • Annika Wik
              Experiences. The Transmedial Expansion of the Matrix Universe
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 73−90     Full text in PDF
            • Ivo Blom
              Frame, Space, Narrative. Doors, Windows and Mobile Framing in the Films of Luchino Visconti
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 91−106     Full text in PDF
            • Jens Schröter
              The Politics of Intermediality
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 107−124     Full text in PDF
            • Klemens Gruber
              An Early Staging of Media. Gustav Klutsis's Loudspeaker Stands
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 125−132     Full text in PDF
            • Jens Schröter
              Volumetric Imaging as Technology to Control Space
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 133−144     Full text in PDF
            • Antonio Somaini
              Visual Surveillance. Transmedial Migrations of a Scopic Form
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 145−159     Full text in PDF
            • Maaike Lauwaert
              Intermedialities in Policy Making & Funding
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2 (2010) 161−166     Full text in PDF

            Contents of Volume 3, 2010

            • Yvonne Spielmann
              New and Novelty in Contemporary Media Cultures
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 7−18     Full text in PDF
            • Doru Pop
              The Grammar of the New Romanian Cinema
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 19−40     Full text in PDF
            • Marco Grosoli
              Hélas pour Nouvelle Vague
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 41−54     Full text in PDF
            • Daniel Fairfax
              Birth (of the Image) of a Nation: Jean-Luc Godard in Mozambique
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 55−67     Full text in PDF
            • Ágnes Pethő
              Intermediality as Metalepsis in the "Cinécriture" of Agnes Varda
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 69−94     Full text in PDF
            • Marco Grosoli
              Moral Tales from Korea. Hong Sang-Soo and Eric Rohmer
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 95−108     Full text in PDF
            • Jacqui Miller
              The French New Wave and the New Hollywood: Le Samourai and its American legacy
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 109−120     Full text in PDF
            • André Crous
              True and False. New Realities in the Films of Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 121−131     Full text in PDF
            • Hajnal Király
              Abbas Kiarostami and a New Wave of the Spectator
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 133−142     Full text in PDF
            • Thomas Schick
              A "Nouvelle Vague Allemande"? Thomas Arslan's films in the context of the Berlin School
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 143−155     Full text in PDF
            • Maria Vinogradova
              The Berliner Schule as a Recent New Wave in German Cinema
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 157−168     Full text in PDF
            • Zsolt Győri
              Waves of Memory: Cinema, Trauerarbeit and the Third Reich
              Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 3 (2010) 169− 181     Full text in PDF

            Saturday, 19 November 2011

            "Between Past and Future": ROME, OPEN CITY Studies

            Updated November 19, 2011
            Frame grab from Roma, città aperta/Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
            Projected on the war torn landscape for a weary people, Rome Open City poetically serves the goals of unification and restoration. In many respects, this film both conforms to and promotes an ideal image of a courageous, Resistant and unified population – from communist intellectuals, to catholic priests, to working class women and their children. Open City maintains the comfortable melodramatic schema of Rossellini’s earlier Fascist-era films in which the forces of good (the Italian people) struggle triumphantly against the forces of evil embodied in the Nazi general Bergmann and his deviant cronies. The director’s fondness for his people culminates in an apologetic portrayal of Italian fascists as either wretched or unwilling collaborators. However, in the end, Open City’s epic scope effectively precludes the possibility of another film like it: all the “fathers” (Manfredi, Pina, Don Pietro) are dead and the child soldiers are abandoned to the city, suspended “between past and future”. The conclusion, the partisan priest’s execution, witnessed by the children of his parish, forewarns of the fragmentation, destitution, and moral poverty to come. With his last words, “non è difficile morire bene, è difficile vivere bene” (it’s not difficult to die well, it’s difficult to live well”), Don Pietro intimates the struggles ahead. [Inga M. Pierson, Towards a Poetics of Neorealism: Tragedy in the Italian Cinema 1942-1948', PhD Thesis, New York University, January 2009  97-98] 
            Another teaching week beckons, and Film Studies For Free's author looks forward to pondering, for the umpteenth, pedagogical time, that intensely strange film Roma, città aperta/Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945).

            There are some excellent resources on this film, and on related issues of (neo)realism, that are openly accessible online. So, andiamo felicemente with one of FSFF's regular studies of a single film.

            Monday, 14 November 2011

            Animation Studies: Three Fabulous Online Resources

            Updated with a call for papers on November 15
            Lignes verticales/Lines Vertical (Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, 1960). Read Aimee Mollaghan's article on McLaren's Line Films here.

            Animation has an unlimited potential to visually represent events, scenarios and forms that have little or no relation to our experience of the 'real' world. Implemented in many ways, in many disciplines, it is increasingly influencing our perception and experience of the world we live in. This timely and groundbreaking international conference unites speakers from a wide range of research agendas and creative practices. It facilitates much-needed dialogue centred on the ubiquitous and interdisciplinary nature of animation, its potentially radical future development, and its ethical responsibilities for spatial politics in moving image culture. The conference's contributors include Norman Klein, Michael Snow, Vivian Sobchack, Tom Gunning, Anthony McCall, George Griffin, Suzanne Buchan, Beatriz Colomina, Edwin Carels, Siegfried Zielinski, Lisa Cartwright, Johnny Hardstaff and Esther Leslie. Especially since the digital shift, the uses of animation are no longer exclusive to cinema, and animation's origins in pre-cinematic optical experiments through avant-garde experimental film continue to evolve in fascinating ways. Artists increasingly incorporate animation in installations and exhibitions, architects use computer animation software to create narratives of space in time, and scientists use it to interpret abstract concepts for a breadth of industries ranging from biomedicine to nanoworlds. Pervasive Animation provides a dynamic international forum to explore animation's myriad forms and applications across a wide band of creative and professional practice. Organised by Suzanne Buchan, Reader in Animation Studies and Director of the Animation Research Centre at the University College for the Creative Arts, and Stuart Comer, Curator of Film at Tate.

            Film Studies For Free animatedly highlights three fabulous Animation Studies resources today. First up, through the second of the two videos embedded above, you can access the entire, recorded proceedings of a very high quality conference on animation held in 2007 at London's Tate Modern.

            FSFF heard about those videos through the fantastic Experimental Animation website which houses, and links to, many more animation treasures, like Lignes verticales/Lines VerticalNorman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart's brilliant 1960 opus embedded at the top of this post.

            Finally, the third amazing resource du jour are the below contents of the volumes of Animation Studies, the online, Open Access and peer-reviewed Journal of the Society for Animation Studies (also on Twitter as @anistudies). See also the Society's Call for Papers for an upcoming conference at the foot of this post.

            "Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

            Animation Studies - the Journal of the Society for Animation Studies

            Call for Papers:
            ‘The Animation Machine’ - The 24th Society for Animation Studies Conference

            Date: June 25-27, 2012

            Hosted by: RMIT University
            Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

            Keynote speakers include:

            •         Thomas Lamarre (McGill University, Canada)

            •         Tomotaka Takahashi (The University of Tokyo, Japan)

            The Society for Animation Studies (SAS) invites submissions of proposals for individual papers and panels for its 24th Annual Conference, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia at RMIT University, 25-27 June 2012.

            Animation production and consumption has continued to grow as animation itself has become ever more prevalent and visible in recent years. In parallel, the field of animation studies has expanded excitingly and dramatically, bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines.

            The theme of this year’s conference, ‘The Animation Machine’, reflects the wide range of processes, technologies, histories and structures in animation. As movement is an essential aspect of animation, whatever creates that movement may constitute an animation machine and one could conceive that animation is itself a machine. The animation machine can be considered from both the production process and the end product. Therefore, it refers to the machines of animation presentation, be these pre-20th century animation devices, movie or video screens, or even automata. The animation machine also relates to the multitude of animation production processes – from animating technologies (animation stands, cameras, computers), through to the animator’s individual creative practice. Ultimately, the animation machine can be described quite broadly and we welcome your own interpretations.

            With the centenary of Australian animation approaching, the 2012 conference will also provide an opportunity to highlight some of Australia’s animation heritage. The conference will coincide with the Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) and a number of crossover events are planned.

            We invite proposals on a wide range of animation topics on all aspects of animation history, theory and criticism for 20-minute conference presentations. Proposals may include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

            •         Australian Animation

            •         Animation and the Asia-Pacific Region

            •         Animation Histories

            •         Future Forms of Animation

            •         Industrial Methods and Changes

            •         Materiality of Animation

            •         Algorithmic Animation (including Games)

            •         Philosophy and Animation

            •         Motion Graphics

            •         Scientific Visualisation

            •         Contemporary Art and Animation

            •         Architecture and Animation

            •         Drawing and Animation

            •         Web Animation

            •         Narrative and Non-Narrative Animation

            •         Obsolescence and Questions of Materiality

            •         Augmented Reality and Vision

            •         Automata (including Robotics)

            •         Animation and Pedagogy

            •         Documentary and Animation

            •         Animation Fringes and Counter-Cultures

            •         Sound and Animation

            Please include with your individual submission the following:

            •         Title and abstract of no more than 250 words (suitable for publication).

            •         A brief biographical statement (suitable for publication).

            •         Complete contact information, including name, institutional affiliation (if any), postal address, e-mail address and telephone number.

            •         A head shot photo of yourself that will be suitable for publication (optional).

            For panel proposals of 3-4 presenters, the chair of the panel should submit the following:

            •         Overall panel title/theme, plus a 100-word description suitable for publication.

            •         Name and contact information for the panel chair.

            •         Titles and abstracts for each paper (as noted above).

            •         Biography statement for each member (as noted above).

            •         Name and contact information for each member (as noted above).

            •         Photo of each presenter suitable for publication (optional).

            Submit abstracts to:
            Submission deadline: December 12, 2011
            Conference website:
            Conference Chair: Dr Dan Torre, RMIT University