Tuesday, 20 December 2011

FSFF's Favourite Online Film Studies Resources in 2011

Insightful interview (in English) with filmmaker and academic Clio Barnard about her experimental documentary The Arbor on the life and work of Andrea Dunbar, British writer of the 1986 film Rita, Sue and Bob, too. The Arbor was one of Film Studies For Free's author's favourite films seen in 2011 (interview December 5, 2011)

Not since its December 2008 blog entry A-Z of Favourite Scholarly Film and Moving Image Blogs has the otherwise intrepid Film Studies For Free ventured into the rather crowded, online territory of end-of-year lists.

But, as it signs off on its seasonal break until the first few days of 2012, FSFF thought the time was right for a listing of links to its favourite, openly accessible, online Film Studies resources in 2011.

Thanks so much to all who worked hard to bring you these openly accessible treasures in the first place. And thanks also, dear readers, for being there to appreciate them.

FSFF very much looks forward to seeing you again in the New Year.
  1. Top seven film and moving image studies history resources online in 2011: 
    1. The Colonial Film Project archive plus two freely accessible chapters by those involved in the project: Lee Grieveson and Colin MacCabe (eds), Empire and Film (BFI/Palgrave, 2011) and 32 sample pages; and Lee Grieveson and Colin MacCabe (eds), Film and the End of Empire (BFI/Palgrave, 2011) and 25 sample pages
    2. Media History Digital Library
    3. The Turconi Project
    4. EU Screen
    5. European Film Gateway
    6. The Permanent Seminar on Histories of Film Theories
    7. The Kracauer Lectures website
  2. Top five, most consistently brilliant Film Studies bloggers:
    1. David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson for Observations on Film Art
    2. Luke McKernan for The Bioscope (also see McKernan's two new ScoopIt! projects: The Bioscope and Screen Research)
    3. Roland-François Lack for The Cine-TouristThe Daily Map and The BlowUp Moment (also see The Autopsies Group website) and also on Twitter
    4. Dan North for Spectacular Attractions (also see The Cinema of Puppetry) and also on Twitter
    5. Tie between Michael J. Anderson and Lisa K. Broad for Tativille and Ten Best Films; and  Omar Ahmed for Ellipsis
  3. Best new Film Studies blog: Katherine Groo's Half/Films
  4. Best 'media studies approaches to film and moving image studies' blog - tie between:
    1. Just TV by Jason Mittell (also on Twitter)
    2. Celebrity Gossip, Academic Style by Anne Helen Petersen (also on Twitter)
    3. The Chutry Experiment by Chuck Tryon (also on Twitter)
    4. The Negarponti Files by Negar Mottahedeh (also on Twitter and Facebook)
  5. Most consistently original, Film and Moving Image Studies writer active online - a tie between: 
    1. Adrian Martin (e.g. see all the links here)
    2. Nicholas Rombes (e.g. see here and here)
    3. Amanda Ann Klein (also see here)
    4. David Bordwell
    5. Kristin Thompson (also see here and here)
    6. Jeffrey Sconce (also see here)
  6. Best Film Studies informed, commercial film criticism website: Alternate Takes
  7. Best new online film journal in 2011 - a tie between:
    1. LOLA edited by Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu
    2. ALPHAVILLE edited by Laura Rascaroli and others at the University of Cork
    3. JOAN'S DIGEST edited by Miriam Bale
  8. Best recently established online academic Film Studies journal: MOVIE: A Journal of Film Criticism
  9. Top twelve established, online, (mostly) English language, Film Studies journals:
    1. Screening the Past
    2. Film-Philosophy
    3. SCOPE
    4. Jump Cut
    5. Senses of Cinema
    7. Participations
    8. Bright Lights Film Journal
    10. Offscreen
    11. La Furia Umana 
    12. World Picture Journal
    13. For links to one hundred more journals (including some brilliant, primarily non-English language journals, like Transit: Cine..., see here)
  10. Most generous, Open Access Film Studies author: Thomas Elsaesser for the below freely accessible e-books and for the hundreds of further resources linked to from his website:
    1. Elsaesser, Thomas (ed), A Second Life : German Cinema's First Decades (Amsterdam University Press, 1996)
    2. Elsaesser, Thomas (ed), Harun Farocki: Working on the Sight-Lines (Amsterdam University Press, 2004)
    3. Elsaesser, Thomas,  Jan Simons, Lucette Bronk (eds), Writing for the Medium: Television in transition (Amsterdam University Press, 2004)
    4. Elsaesser, Thomas, European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood (Amsterdam University Press, 2005)
    5. Elsaesser, Thomas, Fassbinder's Germany: History, Identity, Subject (Amsterdam University Press, 1996)
    6. Elsaesser, Thomas, Noel King, Alexander Horwath (eds), The Last Great American Picture Show: New Hollywood Cinema in the 1970s (Amsterdam University Press, 2004)
  11. Best online cinephile news and criticism site: MUBI Notebook (thanks so much to David Hudson and Daniel Kasman for their brilliant work)
  12. Best cinephile salon site - a tie between:
    1. Dave Kehr's place
    2. Girish Shambu's place
  13. Best seven multimedia/multiplatform/multichannel-style film and moving image studies websites:
    1. FlowTV
    2. In Media Res 
    3. Moving Image Source 
    4. Screen Machine 
    5. Screen Culture
    6. Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture 
    7. Critical Studies in Television
  14. Most impactful online Film Studies work in 2011 - a tie between:
    1. Tim Smith's work on how movie viewers watch, showcased here as well as on his blog Continuity Boy and his research site.
    2. Matthias Stork's video essays on Chaos Cinema (see FSFF's original post on this)
    3. Aitor Gametxo's video essay: Variation: THE SUNBEAM, David W. Griffith, 1912
    4. Steven Shaviro's work on Post-Cinematic Affect: see here for lots of links
  15. FSFF's favourite Film Studies academic links on Twitter: @filmdrblog (also see the Film Doctor's actual blog)
  16. FSFF's favourite non-academic, film studies-informed, online film critics - a tie between:
    1. Srikanth Srinivasan (also on Twitter)
    2. Matt Zoller Seitz (also on Twitter
    3. Kevin B Lee (also on Twitter here and here)
    4. Jim Emerson (also on Twitter)
    5. Jonathan Rosenbaum (also on Twitter)
    6. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (also on Twitter)
    7. Farran Smith Nehme (also on Twitter)
    8. Marilyn Ferdinand and Roderick Heath (also on Twitter here and here) and see Rod's blog
    9. Anne Billson (also writing for the Guardian and on Twitter)
    10. David Cairns (also on Twitter)
  17. FSFF's ten favourite FSFF blogposts (and blogpost clusters) in 2011
    1. On 'Affect' and 'Emotion' in Film and Media Studies
    2. Double Vision: Links in Memory of Raúl Ruiz, a Filmmaking Legend and ¡Viva Raúl Ruiz!
    3. V.F. Perkins on FILM AS FILM and More Victor Perkins Video Interviews Online from Saarbruecken 
    4. The Future of Cinema: Discussion with David Bordwell, Simon Field, Andréa Picard and Alan Franey 
    5. The Tree of Links: Terrence Malick Studies 
    6. Ingmar Bergman Studies 
    7. Viewing Modes and Mise en Scene: 50 YEARS ON by Christian Keathley and The Obscurity of the Obvious: On the Films of Otto Preminger 
    8. On Figural Analysis in Film Studies 
    9. Liquid Atmospherics: On the cinema of Wong Kar-wai 
    10. Its own video essay posts: Framing Incandescence: Elizabeth Taylor in JANE EYRE (1944); Studies of Film Noirishness, with Love; Links on videographical film criticism, editing, 'intensified continuity', 'chaos cinema', 'hapticity' and (post) cinematic affect; and Audiovisualcy: Videographic Film Studies 
  18. FSFF's most read post in 2011 by some distance was "An incarnation of the modern": In Memory of Miriam Bratu Hansen, 1949-2011
  19. Most popular resource at FSFF: Open Access Film E-books List
  20. Best search engine for Open Access Film Studies (and other Arts and Humanities resources): JURN (thanks, as ever, to the indefatigable David Haden)

Cambridge Film Studies Videos: Godard, Renoir, Literature and Film, Film and Forgetting, Representation of War in Film

Framestill from Scénario du film "Passion"/Script for the film "Passion" (Jean-Luc Godard, 1982). This film is discussed by Libby Saxton in her paper on gesture in Godard's films
Today, Film Studies For Free joyously tips the wink to its readers about the online availability of video recordings of papers from research events held at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge. 

These valuable online resources will clearly be added to in the coming months and years so while FSFF will keep its beady eye trained for the appearance of future recordings of note, its readers might like to do the same with their own beady eyes.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Age Spots and Spotlights: Celebrity, Ageing and Performance

Actress Nicole Kidman at the 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Photograph by Caroline David, shared under a  Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license at Wikipedia. Listen to Pam Cook's brilliant talk about Kidman's "commodity stardom" here.

Film Studies For Free was thrilled to discover that audio files of the talks from the conference on Age Spots and Spotlights: Celebrity, Ageing and Performance, which took place on December 9, 2011 at Birkbeck College, London, are now available online for listening and download.

The talks are of a very high calibre indeed, so several hours of truly worthwhile, scholarly listening await you. Links and a description of the event are given below. Enjoy!
Organisers' description of the event:

Diane Keaton has just published her memoirs. Reflecting on becoming a mother at 50 and kissing Jack Nicholson at 57, Keaton is ageing in her own unique way. On Friday 9 December Birkbeck, University of London, [held] a major research symposium exploring how stars including Keaton, Brigitte Bardot, Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Taylor aged in the public eye.
  This one-day research symposium, organised by Dr Janet McCabe and Dr Deborah Jermyn, [debated] two significant (and interlinked) issues; performance and ageing. Encompassing both historical and topical case studies, speakers [considered] a range of celebrities, stars and case studies drawn from different national and industrial contexts. The keynote speaker w[as] Professor Ginette Vincendeau (King’s College, University of London).
   The co-organisers believe the time is right for new scholarship focussing on ageing and celebrity and for us to think anew about how we think about growing old. We hear endless reports of how age is becoming increasingly relative, ‘60 is the new 40’ and so on’. With the baby boomer generation going into retirement and being reluctant to be written off as ‘old’, there is a heightened demand for positive representations of ageing. At the same time, stars like Helen Mirren are re-writing the rules for older women working in Hollywood, says Jermyn. The symposium addresse[d] some of these issues and ask[ed]s just how much things are really changing, since women stars are still subjected to a much more critical eye as they age than are their male co-stars. ‘Growing old, and I do mean growing’ writes Diane Keaton, ‘requires reinvention’. I like this quote, says McCabe. We must adjust our ideas about how we age without talking exclusively about how we defy the ageing process. This symposium adopt[ed] different perspectives [...] about how celebrity is changing our perceptions and attitudes toward ageing and getting older.
Panel 1
Panel 2

Thursday, 15 December 2011

"Global Cinema: Cinéma Engagé or Cinéma Commerciale?" Special Issue of SITUATIONS

Framegrab from Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu , 2006)
Babel sets out to be a new sort of film that attempts to create a “world cinema” gaze within a commercial Hollywood framework. I examine how it approaches this and ask whether the film succeeds in this attempt. I explore the tensions between progressive and conservative political agendas, and pay particular attention to the ways “other” cultures are seen in a film with “Third World” pretensions and U.S money behind it. I frame my analysis around a key question: does the Iñárritu-led outfit successfully create a paradigmatic “transnational world cinema” text that de-centers U.S. hegemony, or is this a utopian project doomed to failure in a film funded predominantly by major U.S. studios? I examine the ways in which the film engages with the tourist gaze and ask whether the film replaces this gaze with a world cinema gaze or merely reproduces it in new ways . [Deborah Shaw, "Babel and the Global Hollywood Gaze", Situations, 4.1, 2011]

Film Studies For Free is delighted to announce the publication of a new film issue of the Open Access journal Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination. The special issue is entitled "Global Cinema: Cinéma Engagé or Cinéma Commerciale?" and it contains ten essays on modern international films and cinemas, including those of Iran, Nigeria, Mexico, Romania, France, China, Argentina, and India as well as on contemporary film festivals and on films documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As the editors write:
The issue has a global reach in its coverage of countries and regions of the world ranging from Hollywood’s own “Global Gaze,” to a placement of Nigerian Cinema as the equal of Africa’s modernist cinema, to Venezuela’s difficult negotiation of a Bolivarian cinema in a neoliberal context, to a questioning of the radical othering of Eastern European cinema whose concerns now seem much closer to those of the West, and, finally, to a tracing of a complex multiperspectival fashioning of the image of the Chinese peasantry in a moment when the distinction between city and country are rapidly fading.  The global reach of the issue extends as well to the range of theoretical positions used to examine contemporary global cinema, be it:  structural-materialist aspects of the questioning of the Israeli-Palestinian problematic; the integration of economic and aesthetic methodologies in a post-Adornian examination of the Cannes Film Festival; feminist and subaltern theory utilized to critique the patriarchal aspects of what is sometimes viewed as India’s most politically progressive cinema; a rereading and deconstruction of French radical workerist post-1968 cinema; and a linking of feminist and anti-colonial perspectives to highlight the way that in Iran Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten spotlights Muslim women's emancipation.
Below are direct links to the contents, as per usual here at FSFF.

Situation homepage  Archives

Vol 4, No 1 (2011) Table of Contents PDF
  • Terri Ginsberg, Dennis Broe, "Whither Globalization? An Idea Whose Time Has Come or Whose Time Has Come and Gone?" PDF
  • Deborah Shaw, "Babel and the Global Hollywood Gaze" PDF
  • Dennis Broe, "The Film Festival as Site of Resistance: Pro or Cannes" PDF
  • Hossein Khosrowjah , "Neither a Victim nor a Crusading Heroine" PDF
  • Jonathon Haynes , "African Cinema and Nollywood: Contradictions" PDF
  • Terri Ginsberg, " Radical Rationalism as Cinema Aesthetics: The Palestinian–Israeli Conflict in North American Documentary and Experimental Film" PDF
  • Paul Douglas Grant, "Just Some of the Ways to Shoot a Strike: Militant Filmmaking in France from Arc to the Groupe Medvedkine" PDF
  • Noah Zweig, "Villa del Cine (Cinema City): Constructing Bolivarian Citizens for the Twenty-First Century" PDF
  • Ping Fu, "Encircling the City: Peasant Migration in Contemporary Chinese Media" PDF
  • Gayatri Devi, "Between Personal Cataclysms and National Conflicts: The Missing Labor Class in Malayalam Cinema" PDF PDF
  • "Eastern European Cinema on the Margins" by Meta Mazaj PDF
  • Contributors, Film Issue PDF

Film Studies with added awesomeness

He knows his stuff...
Hey readers.... A really quick link today, one specially for the end of a long and tiring teaching term. Film Studies For Free loves this Tumblr by girldetective and hopes that you will find it stimulating, too.
It’s all part of the Hey Girl/Ryan Gosling Tumblr meme (the origins of which can be found here). In a nutshell, following the success of Danielle Henderson’s blog, Feminist Ryan Gosling (which, in turn, was a derivative of the blog F[***] Yeah Ryan Gosling), many other bloggers rehashed the format using references to different fields of study, including Typography, International Development and Rhetoric. Being the nerdy cinephile that I am, I kept hoping that somebody would create a Film Studies version of the meme, but when that didn’t happen, I decided to just make one myself. [girldetective's mission statement]
Also, must read: Anne Helen Petersen of Celebrity Gossip, Academic Style on the Gosling meme.

Hat tip to Nelson D. (aka @nelly061) for passing the link onto FSFF.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Screen Attachments: new Issue of SCREENING THE PAST

Framegrab from Nuovo cinema Paradiso/Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988), a film which is the starting point of film theorist Francesco Casetti in his new article "Cinema Lost and Found"

Film Studies for Free rushes you the wonderful news that a special issue (no. 32) of Screening the Past has just gone online. The issue treats the topic of Screen Attachments and is edited by Catherine Fowler and Paola Voci

The obvious highlight is a brilliant article by Francesco Casetti, but a quick glance at all the other articles indicates a very high quality issue indeed. FSFF's own favourite is Fowler and Voci's study 'Brief Encounters: Theorizing Screen Attachments Outside the Movie Theatre', with its compelling use of Sara Ahmed's notion of orientation.

The Classics and Reruns section also has some real gems.

Screen Attachments
Classics and Reruns Reviews

    Thursday, 8 December 2011

    Dynamic Views at FILM STUDIES FOR FREE?

    An all too telling image of the messy wondrousness of Film Studies For Free?

    It is a truth almost certainly universally acknowledged that, in so far as Film Studies For Free is known at all, it is known for its content rather than for its distinctly generic design. But some (long-overdue) design and layout changes are definitely on the horizon in the new year.

    This website will almost certainly be adopting what's known in Blogger's jargon as a 'Dynamic Views' format, just as soon as some of the gremlins and limitations of this new system are ironed out. The most pressing issue to resolve first will be to find out how to accommodate the veritable riches of FSFF's standalone pages and sidebar content in the new format.

    In the meantime, FSFF would like to offer its readers the chance to express a preference for any of the basic options that it is considering for its makeover. If you click on the links below, you can see how this blog would look in the different dynamic views on offer.

    Your own dynamic views on this matter would be most appreciated. So, if you have any preferences, or indeed any other thoughts to express about the future look and functionality of FSFF, please leave them in a comment below or email this blog.

    Thank you.
    • Classic: A modern twist on a traditional template, with infinite scrolling and images that load as you go
    • Flipcard - Site photos are tiled across the page and flip to reveal the post title
    • Magazine - A clean, elegant editorial style layout 
    • Mosaic - A mosaic mix of different sized images and text
    • Sidebar - An email inbox-like view with a reading page for quick scrolling and browsing
    • Snapshot - An interactive pinboard of posts 
    • Timeslide  - A horizontal view of posts by time period

    Read more on the Dynamic View styles.

    Tuesday, 6 December 2011

    Film,Television and Media Studies articles in STUDIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

    Framegrab of Rooney Mara as 'final girl' Nancy Holbrook in the 2010 remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street (Samuel Bayer, 2010). Read Kyle Christensen's article on this film's source text ('The Final Girl versus Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street: Proposing a Stronger Model of Feminism in Slasher Horror Cinema'), and also check out Film Studies For Free's entry of links to 'Final Girl' Studies

    Below, Film Studies For Free links to the entire online contents, to date, of the excellent Open Access journal Studies in Popular Culture: a list of more than 60 great articles on film, television and media studies. 

    The journal of the US Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association in the South, SPC dates back, in its offline, print version, to 1977, making it one of the oldest, continuously published academic journals to treat audiovisual media.  

    SPC has been online since 2006 and is a wonderful example of how an online presence indicates no necessary lowering of the quality bar for a properly peer-reviewed journal. 

    29.1 October 2006 [Go here for an online table of contents)
    30.2 Spring 2008 [Go here to find a PDF of the entire issue]
    31.1 Fall 2008 [Go here to find a pdf of the entire issue]
    31.2 Spring 2009 [Go here to find a pdf of the entire issue]
    32.1 Fall 2009 [Go here to find a PDF of the Entire Issue]
    32.2 Spring 2010 [Go here to find a pdf of the entire issue]
    33.1 Fall 2010 [Go here to find a pdf of the entire issue]
    33.2 Spring 2011 [Go here to find a PDF of the entire issue]
    34.1 Fall 2011 [Go here to find a PDF of the entire issue]

    Saturday, 3 December 2011

    More Victor Perkins Video Interviews Online from Saarbruecken

    Film Studies For Free very excitedly learnt of the posting of five more fascinating and hugely insightful extracts from the marvellous recorded interview with legendary film scholar V.F. Perkins which took place at the Kino 8 1/2 in Saarbrücken, Germany, and was filmed by Media Art and Design Studiengang. They are available online here.

    If you missed the earlier seven interview extracts you can find them in one handy place (and, let's say it: FSFF is one very handy place!) here.

    What more need FSFF say, than "Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy"!

    Thursday, 1 December 2011

    Longtime Companion? HIV/AIDS in thirty years of cinema, media and culture

    Images from two 'AIDS film dramas': above, Longtime Companion (Norman René, 1989), a film which, as Emmanuel Levy puts it, carried "the burden of being the first [widely distributed] theatrical movie to deal directly with AIDS"; below, a frame grab from Yesterday (Darrell Roodt, 2004), about a Zulu woman living with AIDS. Read Jean Stuart's and Olaia Cores Calvo's articles on this film.
    It was [30] years ago, in the summer of 1981, when society as a whole[, including] the scientific community[,] was faced with an unknown disease that came later to be known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Several films [...] reflected the initial fears and uncertainty, the responses of the different social groups, the fight against ignorance, the [demand for] access to treatment and the suffering of the infected individuals and their families [...] due to this disease. Taking into account that these movies were filmed when these epidemics took place they can actually be considered as [...] historical documents that deserve [to be] analysed by the generations to come. Films such as And The Band Played On; Longtime Companion; Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt; Les Nuits Fauves; Angels in America; Yesterday and My Brother... Nikhil have marked [30] years of AIDS history that should not be forgotten by the world. [Adapted from António Pais de Lacerda, 'Cinema as an Historical Document: AIDS in 25 years of Cinema', Journal of Medicine and Movies, 2 (2006): 102-113; hyperlinks added by FSFF]
    Film Studies For Free today commemorates the twenty-third World AIDS Day in the thirtieth year since the identification of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. The Human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], the lentivirus which causes the syndrome, was identified two years later, in 1983.

    FSFF marks this anniversary year with the below entry of links to scholarly resources on the figuration of AIDS/HIV in cinema and culture.

    Today's posting was also inspired by a series of film screenings and discussions on 'AIDS and its Melodramas' that have been taking place at the University of Sussex, UK, organised by Michael Lawrence and John David Rhodes. These academic events will continue next term with screenings of Fatal Love (1991), And the Band Played On (1993), Philadelphia (1993) and, one of FSFF's favourites,  Boys on the Side (1995). Please email FSFF if you'd like more details.