Thursday, 31 January 2013

Two new eBooks: On Stillness and Motion Film, and on Contemporary Indonesian Film

Screenshot of a freeze frame from the opening credit sequence of Die Ehe der Maria Braun/The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979)
Even before the credits, the opening of the film brings us the scene of a newly married couple and a registry official leaving a German registry office during an air raid. We watch as the excited couple throw themselves to the ground, imploring the official to sign the marriage certificate right there. A sheet of paper floats upward, borne on the gust of wind caused by exploding bombs, and then, in the middle of the visual field, there is a sudden standstill in the form of a freeze-frame, while the soundtrack continues to herald the horror of the approaching artillery. This is followed by the film title in red letters that fill the entire visual field, word after word, as if it were a page in a book. At the end, Fassbinders name appears alone on a white backdrop.
    With this standstill, the floating sheet of paper is simultaneously captured and displaced by the film. Due to the non-sync between image and sound, of visual interruption and auditive flow, we are confronted from the very start with two various temporal modi: the time of the film narrative (the postwar years) and the time of the making of the film (the 1970s). At issue here is Fassbinders time-place: when the author tells stories and histories, they are always primarily in the present tense. [Christa Blümlinger, writing on the sequence in which the above freeze frame appears, in 'The Figure of Visual Standstill in R.W. Fassbinder’s Films', in Eivind Røssaak (ed.), Between Stillness and Motion Film, Photography, Algorithms (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011)
There's nothing Film Studies For Free likes more than a good open access ebook. So you can imagine how delighted it is to bring its readers news of not one but two such English language, digital artifacts, from different Dutch publishers to boot!
The contents are listed below, and both books have been added to FSFF's permanent, and continuously updated listing of more than 100 free ebooks in film and moving image studies.

Dank u wel, the Netherlands (and the below authors, editors and publishers!): FSFF salutes you for your pioneering, open access ebook achievements!

Eivind Røssaak (ed.), Between Stillness and Motion Film, Photography, Algorithms (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011)

The Still/Moving Field: An Introduction - Eivind Røssaak

Philosophies of Motion
The Play between Still and Moving Images: Nineteenth-Century “Philosophical Toys” and Their Discourse - Tom Gunning
Digital Technics Beyond the “Last Machine”: Thinking Digital
Media with Hollis Frampton - Mark B.N. Hansen

The Use of Freeze and Slide Motion
The Figure of Visual Standstill in R.W. Fassbinder’s Films - Christa Blümlinger
The Temporalities of the Narrative Slide Motion Film - Liv Hausken

The Cinematic Turn in the Arts
Stop/Motion - Thomas Elsaesser
After “Photography’s Expanded Field” - George Baker
On On Otto: Moving Images and the New Collectivity - Ina Blom

The Algorithmic Turn
Mutable Temporality In and Beyond the Music Video:
An Aesthetic of Post-Production - Arild Fetveit
Algorithmic Culture: Beyond the Photo/Film Divide  - Eivind Røssaak

Archives in Between
“The Archives of the Planet” and Montage: The Movement of the Crowd and “the Rhythm of Life” - Trond Lundemo

Katinka van Heeren, Contemporary Indonesian Film; Spirits of Reform and ghosts from the past (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2012)
part 1 film mediation practices
1 new order and surface

Production: The attempt to produce Provokator the New Order way 26 Distribution and exhibition: Trade and charade in cinemas and film formats
Exhibition and consumption: Film festivals as forums for national imaginations and representations
2 reformasi and underground
Reformation in film production: Kuldesak and film independen
Distribution and exhibition of new media formats: ‘Local’ Beth versus ‘transnational’ Jelangkung
Alternative sites of film consumption: Additional identifications and modes of resistance Conclusion
part 2 discourse practices
3 histories, heroes, and monumental frameworks

Film history: New Order patronage of film perjuangan and film pembangunan
Film and historiography: Promotion and representations of New Order history
‘Film in the framework of’: G30S/PKI and Hapsak

Monday, 28 January 2013

Queer Film Festival Studies

Click here to visit the full interactive version of the above map.

As identity-based festivals, queer film festivals have a specific relationship to the audience to which they cater. More specifically, most of these festivals have had a strong connection to the political and social movement behind the lesbian and gay/queer agenda and try to maintain this relationship between cultural event and political framework [...]. Because of this history, queer film festivals have a strong tradition of a nuanced critical inquiry into the interconnections of cultural event management, community politics, nation state politics, funding and marketing strategies, and organizational structures [...]. [From Skadi Loist and Marijke de Valck, 'LGBT / Queer Film Festivals', Film Festival Research Network, last updated November 2012]
Festivals are the primary markets for international queer film, but they do not simply acquire and screen the films they show; they actually create the economic conditions that enable their production. This is not to imply that queer internationalism is merely inauthentic or commercial and thus without any kind of political viability. Rather, what it indicates is that scholars, activists, and festival directors must begin to look at the economy of queer cultural production as an essential element of queer collectivities and the institutions they form. Conceiving of an international queer community through cultural circulation and consumption begs significant questions about how U.S. audiences understand the role of the festival in defining a gay and lesbian class identity within this global economy. [From Ragan Rhyne, 'The Global Economy of Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals', GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Volume 12, Number 4, 2006]
As the above two scholarly excerpts indicate, the subject of film festivals is one which raises numerous issues of central importance to cultural studies more generally. For this reason, as well as to celebrate the work of scholars who have shared their findings in particular corner of this field online, Film Studies For Free is delighted to announce that the latest set of links to open access queer film studies that it has created for its sibling Global Queer Cinema website is devoted to the topic of Queer Film Festival Studies. You can visit numerous earlier FSFF entries on film festival studies by clicking here.

This most recent collection in the GQC Resources section includes a link to the full, interactive, version of the map at the top of this entry, created by pioneering film festival scholar Skadi Loist (co-founder, with Marijke de Valck,  of the Film Festival Studies Network), which shows 256 LGBT/queer film festivals existing globally since 1977.

For live-link access to all the below resources, please visit this webpage.

  • Chris Berry, 'My Queer Korea: Identity, Space, and the 1998 Seoul Queer Film & Video festival', Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, Issue 2, May 1999
  • Noa Ben-Asher, 'Screening Historical Sexualities: A Roundtable on Sodomy, South Africa, and Proteus',Pace Law Faculty Publications, 2005. Paper 589
  • Kaucyila Brooke, 'Dividers and Doorways [on the locational politics of Los Angeles's Gay and Lesbian film festival]', Jump Cut, no. 42, December 1998, pp. 50-57
  • Phillip B. Cook, 'Gay Sundance 2013: The Year Ahead in Independent Queer Cinema', The Blog, Huff Post Gay Voices, January 17, 2013
  • Michael Guillén, The Evening Class blog, 2006-present
  • Mel Hogan, '21 years of image & nation: legitimizing the gaze', Nouvelles «vues» sur le cinéma québécois, no. 10, Hiver 2008-2009
  • Jamie June, 'Is it Queer Enough?: An Analysis of the Criteria and Selection Process for Programming Films within Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Film Festivals in the United States', MA Thesis, University of Oregon, August 2003
  • Alice Kuzniar, 'Schwul-lesbisches Kino aus Deutschland', in: Bildschön: 20 Jahre Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg, ed. by Dorothée von Diepenbroick and Skadi Loist (Hamburg: Maennerschwarm Verlag, 2009)
  • Hui-Ling Lin, Bodies in Motion: The Films of Transmigrant Queer Chinese Women Filmmakers in Canada, PhD Thesis, University of British Columbia, 2011
  • Skadi Loist, 'Precarious cultural work: about the organization of (queer) film festivals', Screen, 52.2, 2011
  • Skadi Loist and Marijke de Valck (2010). “Film Festivals / Film Festival Research: Thematic, Annotated Bibliography: Second Edition.” Medienwissenschaft / Hamburg: Berichte und Papiere 91 (2010). (19. May. 2010 (sections1. Film Festivals: The Long View2. Festival Time: Awards, Juries and Critics3. Festival Space: Cities, Tourism and Publics4. On the Red Carpet: Spectacle, Stars and Glamour ; 5. Business Matters: Industries, Distribution and Markets6. Trans/National Cinemas7. Programming8. Reception: Audiences, Communities and Cinephiles9. Specialized Film Festivals10. Publications Dedicated to Individual Film Festivals11. Online ResourcesContact / Bio), 2008
  • Skadi Loist, 'Queer Film and the Film Festival Circuit', In Media Res, September 14, 2010
  • Skadi Loist, 'Das Queer Cinema und die Bedeutung lesbisch-schwuler Filmfestivals: Monika Treut im Interview mit Skadi Loist'n: Bildschön: 20 Jahre Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg. Eds. Dorothée von Diepenbroick, and Skadi Loist. Hamburg: Männerschwarm, 2009. pp. 12–20
  • Skadi Loist and Marijke de Valck, 'Film Festival Studies: An Overview of a Burgeoning Field', in: Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit. Eds. Dina Iordanova and Ragan Rhyne. St. Andrews: St. Andrews Film Studies, 2009. pp. 179–215
  • Scott McKinnon, 'Taking the Word ‘Out’ West: Movie Reception and Gay Spaces', Participations, Volume 7, Issue 2 (November 2010) 
  • Kelly McWilliam, 'We're Here All Week': Public Formation and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival. Queensland Review 14(2), 2007:pp. 79-91
  • Jenni Olson, 'Film Festivals', GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. 2002. 24 February 2007
  • Ricardo Peach, Queer Cinema as a Fifth Cinema in South Africa and Australia, PhD Thesis, University of Technology, Sydney 2005
  • Renee Penney, Desperately Seeking Redundancy? Queer Romantic Comedy and the Festival Audience, PhD Thesis, University of British Columbia, 2010
  • Mel Pritchard, 'the big queer film festival list',
  • Marc Siegel, 'Spilling Out onto Castro Street', Jump Cut No. 41 (May), 1997
  • Amy Watson, Being Inappropriate: Queer Activism in Context, MA Thesis, Central European University 2009
  • Gerald J. Z. Zielinski, Furtive, Steady Glances: On the Emergence and Cultural Politics of Lesbian and Gay Film Festivals, PhD Thesis, McGill University, August 2008
  • Ger Zielinski, 'On the production of heterotopia, and other spaces, in and around lesbian and gay film festivals', Jump Cut, No 54, Fall 2012
  • Ger Zielinski, '"Queer Film Festivals." LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia. Eds. John C. Hawley, and Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009. pp. 980–984
  • Ger Zielinski in Conversation with Stephen Kent Jusick, Executive Director of MIX Festival of Queer Experimental Film and Video, FUSE Art Culture Politics (summer issue, 2010), pp. 16-23 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Four Issues of INTENSITIES: The Journal of Cult Media and a Call for Papers

Screencap from the credit sequence of Games (Curtis Harrington, 1967). Read Steven Jay Schneider's 2003 article for Intensities in which he discusses this and other cult psychological thrillers and horror films.

Film Studies For Free just bumped into the new online incarnation of Intensities, the wonderful journal of cult media studies. Oh yes!

Always a highly innovative and valuable project, Intensities was first launched at Cardiff University in 2001 under the editorship of Matt Hills and Sara Gwenllian Jones. As its new website tells us, it later moved to Brunel University, where it was edited by David Lavery. The journal has relaunched in 2013 with Leon Hunt as its new editor and will publish two issues a year. The journal addresses all aspects of cult media including cult television, cult film, cult radio, cult comics, literary cults and cult authors, new media cults, cult figures and celebrities, cult icons, musical cults, cult geographies, historical studies of media cults and their fandoms, cult genres (e.g. science fiction, horror, fantasy, pulp fiction, Manga, anime, Hong Kong film etc.), non-generic modes of cultishness, theorisations of cult media, relevant audience and readership studies, and work that addresses the cult media industry.

In addition to publishing refereed essays (of between 6000 and 8000 words), Intensities also features a non-refereed Cult Media Review section which will carry shorter speculative reviews, reviews of cult phenomena (e.g. cult TV series, cult films, cult novels, science fiction, comics), short critical essays, interview transcripts, conference and convention reviews and articles about aspects of industry, fan culture, production and authorship.

Intensities' latest calls for papers are reproduced below, as are the tables of (linked) contents from the excellent first four issues of this journal. Let's all wish Intensities a very happy and long online life at its new website. Its entry has been updated at FSFF's permanent listing of open access film and media studies journals.
Call for Papers
Intensities will publish two themed issues in 2013.  Essays should be between 6000 and 8000 words, referenced Harvard style and sent as a word document – a 200 word abstract should be sent as a separate document.
Issue 5 Comic Book Intensities – Comics and Cult Media
The first new issue seeks submissions dealing with comics as cult media.  Topics might include:
  • Cult comic book auteurs – Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Mark Millar, Joss Whedon.
  • Cult films from comics – Cinefumetti, Manga and Anime, the Turkish KIlink films, Dredd 3D.
  • National and international comic book cultures – French bandes dessinees, Italian fumetti, Japanese Manga.
  • Comic book fan cultures – Cosplay and beyond.
  • Underground and alternative traditions.
  • Beyond the cape and mask – neglected comic book genres.
  • From EC to Dark Horse – Horror comics.
Deadline extended to Friday March 1st 2013
Issue 6 Historical Approaches to Cult TV
This issue seeks submissions examining TV shows that have acquired cult status at a historical distance – both established cult shows (The Avengers, The Prisoner, the ‘classic’ series of Doctor Who) and those that have received less (or possibly even no) critical attention.  In addition, the papers will locate those shows historically, either by drawing on archive materials or suggesting new cultural, historical or institutional contexts in which they might be understood. Deadline for submissions: May 31st 2013

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Nagisa Oshima (1932-2013), a Tribute by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Screencap from Night and Fog in Japan / 日本の夜と霧 / Nihon no yoru to kiri (Nagisa Oshima, 1960)

Film Studies For Free has the honour of presenting the below tribute to Nagisa Oshima. It is written by the great film scholar Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, now Honorary Professorial Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London.

The tribute has, of course, been added to FSFF's own, earlier homage to the late Japanese filmmaker-- Emperor of the Senses: RIP Nagisa Oshima 1932-2013--a list of links to online studies of his life and work.

FSFF warmly thanks Professor Nowell-Smith for so wonderfully marking the passing of this hugely important and influential director and screenwriter.

Nagisa Oshima (1932-2013), a Tribute by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Nagisa Oshima was one of the boldest and most radically innovative of the “new wave” filmmakers of the 1960s, rivalled only by Godard. He only came to world attention in 1968, by which time he had already made twelve features in his native Japan, mostly crime films but including the extraordinary political drama Night and Fog in Japan (1960), which led him to leave the Shochiku studio and make shift as an independent. His early crime films were remarkable for their lack of moralism and their shifting focus of identification, making them hard to assimilate into normal genre patterns as understood by western audiences. In this respect they picked up on a sense of disarray felt by his generation of young people in Japan. Born in 1932 and only thirteen years old at the time of Japan’s catastrophic defeat in 1945, he experienced not only the humiliation of defeat but a deep discontent with the way his country was attempting to rebuild itself under American influence while disavowing the reasons for the catastrophe. From the mid-1960s onwards his films are full of references to the legacy of Japan’s imperial adventures earlier in the century – notably the subjugation of Korea (1905 onwards) and the invasion of Manchuria in 1931. The plight of the Korean minority in Japan is a recurrent theme, for example in A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Song (1967 – sometimes known under the grotesque title Sing a Song of Sex) and in his first international success Death by Hanging (1968). Manchuria hovers in the background of A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Song where drunken old men sing songs about their war experiences (to which the young people respond with songs about sex). It is present again in The Ceremony (1971) and even in Oshima’s  most notorious film In the Realm of the Senses (1976 – also known as Empire of the Senses), where the claustrophobia of the sex scenes is interrupted by shots of soldiers marching off to war.

In the last few years some of Oshima’s early films have belatedly been released on DVD in the west, but his reputation resides mostly on his more recent films, from In the Realm of the Senses onwards. Meanwhile the great middle-period films which first made his international reputation, from Death by Hanging in 1968 to Dear Summer Sister in 1972, have disappeared from circulation. These films are both more formally innovative and fiercer in their social and political critique than either the early crime films (made for Japanese audiences only) or the later ones (made as expensive international co-productions for the world market). It was probably inevitable that when these middle-period films reached the west Oshima would be seen as somehow a “Japanese Godard”. But the comparison is misleading. It is true Oshima stood out among his Japanese peers rather as Godard did among the French. Also, like Godard, he made films fast and according to his own recipe, and these films fitted into a climate of a political militancy that was as intense in Japan as anywhere in the West, if not more so. But the similarities do not go far and Oshima himself was eager to avoid any invidious comparisons. Asked at the time what he and Godard had in common, he replied: “Two things: cinema and politics”. The remark should be taken literally, as meaning simply, we both make films and we are both on the left politically. Beyond that, the differences are more significant than the similarities. For Godard in the relevant period – roughly from La Chinoise in 1967 to Tout va bien in 1972 – political films meant films which pursued a political line, with some questioning but with a line none the less. For Oshima, too, politics meant having a line, but film-making was something else. Very few of his films have a message but one that does is The Man Who Left His Will on Film from 1970, and there the message is that making films and doing politics are different and indeed antithetical things. As for doing politics, Oshima’s position, if he has one, was the same in the late 1960s as it was in Night and Fog in Japan nearly a decade earlier – aligned on the left but not with the left and indeed harshly critical of both old and new lefts in contemporary Japan. Most importantly, just as it is hard to find any stable focus of sympathy in any Oshima film, so it is hard to find the expression of a “correct” point of view on politics or anything else. The characters flounder, they are stuck with attitudes and behaviours whose rationale is obscure to themselves and often to the audience as well. There is never a voice of truth in an Oshima film. Some characters may strive harder than others to understand the truth about themselves or their situation but the film as a whole never puts forward their point of view as overriding truth. This is in sharp contract to the “political” Godard, who is always telling the audience what to think, either in an intrusive voiceover or through a character speaking on his behalf.

“Above all,” Oshima said in an interview in Cahiers du cinéma shortly after the film’s release, “I hope that people will talk about the content of Death by Hanging” – the content in question being not so much the ostensible one of the death penalty but issues of identity and violence and, inevitably, the Korean question (the man to be hanged is Korean). Content is paramount in Oshima’s films and tends to revolve around a stable core of themes and motifs, despite their variations in form. Formally, in fact, the films are very varied indeed. There are only forty-five shots in Night and Fog in Japan, but two thousand in the 1966 Violence at Noon. Some films, such as The Ceremony, have a very composed look, whereas The Man Who Left his Will on Film, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (1969), and Dear Summer Sister are more obviously freewheeling, with lots of hand-held camera. Narration is mostly impersonal, though The Boy (1969) contains scenes inviting identification with the boy of the title. Overt reflexivity is rare, with only The Man Who Left his Will on Film inviting the audience to reflect on the status of the narrated fiction, but in A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Song and Death by Hanging there are disconcerting shifts in the level of reality to be attributed to the events on the screen. Tone also varies, sometimes subtly, sometimes vertiginously. Even the most solemn films (for example The Ceremony) have comical moments, and in Dear Summer Sister the former war criminal’s final crime is played entirely for laughs, while the mostly comical Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Song receives a brutal final twist which is chilling in its effect.

The content around which these formal variations revolve has two elements. On the one side there are certain recurrent externalities, which Oshima was not alone in commenting on. These include the disavowed legacy of Japan’s military adventures and subsequent defeat, the disorientation of a younger generation growing up after 1945, sexual mores in a changing (but sometimes regrettably unchanging) society, criminality, and a combination of violence and sexual dysfunction whose predictable outcome is rape. Taken by themselves, however, these externalities fall far short of explaining the originality and power of Oshima’s films, particularly those that he made in his extraordinary burst of creativity between 1967 and 1972. To get beyond the commonplace one has to go deeper, to understand how the various external features are brought together by a view of the world which was profoundly pessimistic about what Sigmund Freud memorably called the discontents of civilization – any civilization, not just European after the First World War as in Freud’s case or Japanese after the Second as in Oshima’s. The Japanese critic Tadao Sato has commented that in Oshima’s early films criminality emerges out of an obscure need to express something that society prevents from being expressed and is therefore potentially revolutionary. But from the mid-1960s onwards, Sato suggests, “he seems to be experimenting with the idea of a human craving for freedom that cannot be satisfied through social revolution and he almost always repeats the despairing view that if people seek freedom they can only become criminals.” The qualification “experimenting with” is important, because the films in which this radical pessimism emerges are all experiments, exploring ideas about things that might happen, rather than purporting dogmatically to describe the world as it is. But this tentative, experimental quality is a logical consequence of Oshima’s own observation that when desire runs up against its limits one needs to be able to take a leap into the deeper realm of the imaginary. It is this hazardous leap into the imaginary that gave his films from A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Songs onwards their compelling power.

  • Oshima interviewed by Pascal Bonitzer, Michel Delahaye, and Sylvie Pierre, Cahiers du cinéma 218, March 1970
  • Tadao Sato, Currents in Japanese Cinema (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1982)

This tribute is adapted from a chapter on Oshima which will shortly appear in the revised version of Geoffrey Nowell-Smith's book Making Waves: New Cinemas of the 1960s, to be published by Bloomsbury in June 2013. Some parts of it have also appeared in FilmQuarterly 64:2, Winter 2010

Monday, 21 January 2013

Performing/Representing Male Bonds: Issue 2 of INMEDIA

Screencap from The Matrix (Larry and Andy Wachowski, 1999). Read Marianne Kac-Vergne 's article Losing Visibility? The Rise and Fall of Hypermasculinity in Science Fiction Films on the images of masculinity offered up by this and other scifi films.

Film Studies for Free let its readers know, early last year, of InMedia, a great online French Journal, in English, of Media and Media Representations in the English-Speaking World. Its first issue treated  Global Film and Television Industries Today.

Issue 2 on Performing/Representing Male Bonds has also been published recently and its contents, many of which are film related, are linked to below.

InMedia, Issue 2, 2012: Performing/Representing Male Bonds
Edited by Raphael Costambeys-Kempczynski, Claire Hélie and Pierre-Antoine Pellerin
Bibliographical Essay
Critical Perspective
Conference and Seminar Reviews
Book Reviews
Index by author
Index by keyword

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Emperor of the Senses: RIP Nagisa Oshima 1932-2013

Last updated January 22, 2013
Screen capture of a scene from 愛のコリーダ/Ai no Korīda/In the Realm of the Senses/L'Empire des sens (Nagisa Oshima, 1976)
Compelling tension in this way is my dramaturgy (doramatsurujii). I compel tension in everyone. It is fine to compel tension in one person, but to compel tension in a great number of people, to increase it by ten-fold, that kind of tension is, I think, what life (seimei) is about.

Film Studies For Free was very sad to hear news of the death of one of the very greatest Japanese filmmakers Nagisa Oshima (大島 渚, Ōshima Nagisa). Links to tributes and to online studies of his work will continue to appear here over the next hours and days.

Online tributes

Online studies

Also see Film Studies For Free's other, related entries on Japanese Cinema, Kazuo Hara and Japanese Documentary Film, Japanese cinema and animation, Satoshi Kon (1963-2010).

Corrected entry (February 12): FRAMEWORK: The Journal of Cinema and Media

'Snakes&Funerals' by Emily Jeremiah, James S. Williams and Gillian Wylde. Taking Jean-Luc Godard’s canonic film Le Mépris / Contempt (1963) as a starting-point, Snakes&Funerals set out to explore the queer possibilities of image and sound, especially of colour and of ‘straight’ repetition. First published in Frames, Issue 1, July 2012.

Film Studies For Free [thought it had] had a lovely surprise today. It found, through Google Scholar, that NINE full issues of Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media (including the most recent five issues) were freely accessible through the Digital Commons of its publisher Wayne State University Press. It jumped to the pleasing conclusion (encouraged by the use of the word Commons + free access), that this great journal had turned to open access publishing.

Then, on February 11, FSFF received a very courteously worded email with the following message from a very nice representative of Wayne State University Press:

Unfortunately, this journal is not open access, and we have no plans to make it so at this time. I'm writing to you so that you have the correct information about Framework

When you visited the site, BePress (administrator of Digital Commons) had not yet activated the toll-access barrier to the journal content. That was an error on our part, one that we have since rectified. Those who click on the links you have posted on your blog will not be able to download the article for free. Instead, a $5 fee is charged before access is granted. I apologize for the confusion [...].
$5 is much, much cheaper than most traditional "gated" online academic publication access, for sure. But FSFF must apologise to its readers -- who, up until a short while ago, will have been able to access contents for free -- for drawing a premature conclusion.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Issue 35 of SCREENING THE PAST: Martin, Ruiz, Godard, Marker, Malick, Ophuls, and RIP Vikki Riley

Corrected edition! [Thanks AM!]
Screen cap from Petulia (Richard Lester, 1968). Read Adrian Danks's new article on this film and its director. And read Roger Ebert's fascinating review of the film at the time of its release.

It was somewhat remiss of Film Studies For Free to tweet the link to a new, and excellent, issue of Screening the Past, and then not to follow up with an entry here. This little oversight is corrected today with the below list of contents and links.

There are a huge number of film studies topics covered in the issue (although a fair few of them, in a variety of great contributions, by Adrian Martin!). FSFF particularly liked Lorraine Sim on the ensemble film and Roger Hillman on Malick.

This blog especially recommends, also, the dossier (introduced by Martin) dedicated to the work and memory of Vikki Riley, a highly original writer on film and a tireless political activist who tragically died in a road accident in Darwin, Australia, last September.
Screening the Past, Issue 35, 2012
First Release

Classics and Re-runs

Saturday, 12 January 2013

“How Motion Pictures Became the Movies”: A Video Lecture by David Bordwell

Not the actual Vimeo embed! For that you MUST visit David Bordwell's website...
Today something new has been added [to the Observations on Film Art website]. I’ve decided to retire some of the lectures I take on the road, and I’ll put them up as video lectures. They’re sort of Net substitutes for my show-and-tells about aspects of film that interest me. The first is called “How Motion Pictures Became the Movies,” and it’s devoted to what is for me the crucial period 1908-1920. It quickly surveys what was going on in cinema over those years before zeroing in on the key stylistic developments we’ve often written about here: the emergence of continuity editing and the brief but brilliant exploration of tableau staging.
     The lecture isn’t a record of me pacing around talking. Rather, it’s a PowerPoint presentation that runs as a video, with my scratchy voice-over. I didn’t write a text, but rather talked it through as if I were presenting it live. It nakedly exposes my mannerisms and bad habits, but I hope they don’t get in the way of your enjoyment. [David Bordwell, ''What next? A video lecture, I suppose. Well, actually, yeah….", Observations on Film, January 12, 2013]

The above is, hopefully, self-explanatory. In other words you should head straight over to David Bordwell's website (also see here) to be reminded, if you really needed to be, of just what a valuable resource it is, and just what a global treasure he is (and, of course, Kristin Thompson, too!].

Film Studies For Free can't wait for more of these. Thank you, David!

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Issue of MEDIASCAPE Online on "History and Technology"

Frame grab from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980), one of the subjects of Film Studies For Free's author's latest videographic film study in her new article 'Déjà-Viewing? Videographic Experiments in Intertextual Film Studies', which you can find in the newly published issue of Mediascape.
The much awaited Winter 2013 issue of MEDIASCAPE, UCLA's Journal of Cinema and Media, has just been published. There are two very fine articles on historical film archives by Christina Petersen and Bryan Sebok, as well as two excellent columns on related historiographical themes. Meanwhile, the META section boasts some very good, new video essay work by Matthias Stork, Alexandra Schroeder, and Clifford James Galiher and reflections on videographic and other digital film studies practices by great luminaries, such as Yuri Tsivian and Daria Khitrova, alongside those of much more ordinary mortals! There's also a highly informative interview with filmmaker Thom Andersen and some very interesting reviews to catch up with.

All contents are listed and linked to below. But, also, do check out MEDIASCAPE's occasional, but very high quality blog which publishes between journal issue releases. A good place to start is this entry: 'Mastering "The Master"' by Vincent Brook

MEDIASCAPE, Winter 2013

Editorial by Andy Myers and Andrew Young







Holy LOLA! Issue 3 on MASKS Online

FSFF's montage of frame grabs from Les yeux sans visage / Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960) and Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012). Read Part One of LOLA's collective hailing of the latter film

Film Studies For Free is delighted to bring you the always lovely news that not only has a new issue of Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu's LOLA been published -- on Masks -- it has already been extended, as per the new rolling publication style of this wonderful online film journal.

There is one final roll-out for this issue coming soon. This will include texts on Jerry Lewis, Rivette and Carpenter compared, Sitges Film Festival, and the conclusion of 'Hail Holy Motors'. FSFF will add links to the below list of contents once these are online.

LOLA, Issue 3 (December 2012): Masks
Notes on Contributors