Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Road to Digital - New AUP eBooks on Film Archives and Mobile Screens and a Video Lecture on Digital Cinematic Attractions

  • Digital Cinema Essay-Film-Lecture (for Film History and Criticism, University of Roehampton, 29 March 2012) by William Brown
    • Films mentioned in William Brown's essay-film-lecture, above: Arabesque (John Whitney, USA, 1975); TRON (Steven Lisberger, USA, 1982); Terminator 2: Judgement Day (James Cameron, USA, 1991); Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1993); Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, USA, 1994); The Incredibles (Brad Bird, USA, 2004); A Very Long Engagement (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France/USA, 2004); Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera, Mexico/USA, 2008); Day Watch (Timur Bekmambetov, Russia, 2006); The Host (Joon-ho Bong, South Korea, 2006); Panic Attack! (Fede Alvarez, Uruguay, 2009); O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen, UK/USA, 2000); Making Of O Brother, Where Art Thou?; 300 (Zack Snyder, USA, 2006); Beowulf (Robert Zemeckis, USA, 2007); Singin' in the Rain Golf GTI Advert (Ne-o, 2005); Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, USA, 2008); Fight Club (David Fincher, USA, 1999); War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg, USA, 2006); Spider-Man (Sam Raimi, USA, 2002); Avatar (James Cameron, USA, 2009); The Day After Tomorrow (Roland Emmerich, USA, 2004); The Matrix (Andy and Larry Wachowski, USA, 1999); Planet Terror (Robert Rodriguez, USA, 2007); The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, USA/New Zealand, 2003)
    • Academic texts mentioned in the above lecture: Bordwell, David (2002). ‘Intensified Continuity: Visual Style in Contemporary American Film’, Film Quarterly, 55:3 (Spring), pp. 16-28; Brown, William (2009). ‘Man Without a Movie Camera – Movies Without Men: Towards a Posthumanist Cinema?’ in Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies (ed. Warren Buckland), Abingdon/New York: Routledge/AFI, pp. 66-85;  Buckland, Warren (2006). Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the Contemporary Hollywood Blockbuster, London: Continuum; Elsaesser, Thomas, and Warren Buckland (2002). Studying Contemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis, London: Arnold; Gunning, Tom (1986). ‘The Cinema of Attraction, Early Film, Its Spectators and the Avant-Garde’, Wide Angle, 8:3-4, pp. 63-70; Manovich, Lev (2001). The Language of New Media, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press; Minnis, Stuart (1998). ‘Digitalisation and the Instrumentalist Approach to the Photographic Image,’ Iris, 25, pp. 49-59; Prince, Stephen (1996). ‘True Lies: Perceptual Realism, Digital Images, and Film Theory,’ Film Quarterly, 49:3 (Spring), pp. 27-37; Wood, Aylish (2002). ‘Timespaces in spectacular cinema: crossing the great divide between spectacle versus narrative,’ Screen, 43:4, pp. 370-386
Film Studies For Free presents a delightfully digital trove of film studies treasure today. Above, a fabulously illustrated, highly informative, and very wide-ranging, first year university lecture on Digital Cinema by University of Roehampton film scholar (and filmmaker) William Brown.  
And, below, links to two wonderful, openly accessible, online "digital film studies" books published by Amsterdam University Press, the best academic publisher ever, in FSFF's admittedly, somewhat biased view: Giovanna Fossati's 2009 From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition; and, just published, Nanna Verhoeff's 2012 Mobile Screens The Visual Regime of Navigation.  
Both have been added to FSFF's continuously updated list of openly accessible film studies books.
Film is in a state of rapid change, with the transition from analog to digital profoundly affecting not just filmmaking and distribution, but also the theoretical conceptualization of the medium of film and the practice of film archiving. New forms of digital archives are being developed that make use of participatory media to provide a more open form of access than any traditional archive has offered before. Film archives are thus faced with new questions and challenges. From Grain to Pixel attempts to bridge the fields of film archiving and academic research, by addressing the discourse on film ontology and analysing how it affects the role of film archives. Fossati proposes a new theoretization of film archival practice as the starting point for a renewed dialogue between film scholars and film archivists.
    • Table of Contents
      • Acknowledgements 9
      • Framing Film (in Transition): an Introduction    13
    • part one practice and theory of (archival) film
      • 1    Film Practice in Transition    33 
      • 2    Theorizing Archival Film    103
    • part two theorizing (archival) practice
      • 3    Film Archival Field in Transition    149
      • 4    Restoration Case Studies: Theorizing Archival Practice    211
      • A New Mindset for (Archival) Film in Transition: a Conclusion    255 
      • Notes 261 Glossary of Technical Terms    285 List of Illustrations    291 Filmography 293 Bibliography 297 Index 311
"Nanna Verhoeff’s new book is a must for anybody interested in visual culture and media theory. It offers a rich and stimulating theoretical account of the central dimension of our contemporary existence – interfacing and navigating both data and physical world through a variety of screens (game consoles, mobile phones, car interfaces, GPS devices, etc.) In the process of exploring these new screen practices, Verhoeff offers fresh perspectives on many of the key questions in media and new media studies as well as a number of new original theoretical concepts. As the first theoretical manual for the society of mobile screens, this book will become an essential reference for all future investigations of our mobile screen condition". – Lev Manovich
    • Table of Contents
      • Acknowledgements    9
      • List of Illustrations    11
        Introduction    13
      • 1. Panoramic Complex    27 Building Visions    28 Panoramic Desire    32 Movement in the Panorama    39 Modes of Viewing    42 The Gaze in Motion    44 A Panoramic Complex    46 The Windshield as Screen    48
      • 2. Self-Reflection    51 The Point of Self-Reflection    51 Meanings of the Screen    56 Spatial Attractions and Visual Deixis    57 Navigating the Screen    65 Navigation as Narration    68 Boundary-Crossings    70
      • 3. Theoretical Consoles    73 The Status of the Gadget: The Case of Nintendo DS    73 Portrait of the Gadget as a Theoretical Console    77 Touch Screen: Dirty Windows    82 Mobile Screen: Carrying, Sharing, Transporting    89 Double Screen: Split, Insert, Map    92 Gadgetivity    95
      • 4. Urban Screens    99 Places of Transit    99 Screenspace    104 Urban Transformation    107 Screen Practices    114 Installation    116 Programming Hybridity    124 Responsive Presence    129
      • 5. Performative Cartography Mobile Dispositif Contesting Cartography Performative Cartography Cartographic Interface Tagging, Plotting, Stitching Layering in Augmented Reality Haptic Engagement
      • Epilogue: You Are Here!
      • Notes Bibliography Index of Names and Titles Index of Terms

1 comment:

David Martin-Jones said...

I thoroughly enjoyed William Brown's lecture on digital cinema. I was most delighted to see that the Uruguayan animation Ataque de Panico! (2009) - which is on YouTube - was incorporated into the discussion. What Brown says about the obliteration of Montevideo by special effects chimes more generally with the way that filmmakers in small nations like Uruguay background nationally specific locations and iconography to get their films distributed internationally. Uruguay's Control Z Films are a good case in point.

Interestingly also, La casa muda (2010) is a very low budget excellent Uruguayan digital horror film that followed a similar route to international prominence as Ataque de Panico! by posting a teaser trailer on YouTube, after which the filmmakers were contacted by major Hollywood studios and by Cannes.