Wednesday 24 December 2008

Wong Kar-wai Links: To Faye Wong (and David Bordwell), Thanks For Everything

Faye Wong sings her fabulous Cantonese cover of 'Dreams' by the Cranberries in Wong Kar-wai's Chung Hing sam lam/Chungking Express

Film Studies For Free was so inspired by David Bordwell's great recent post (Ashes to Ashes (Redux)) on Kar Wai Wong/Wong Kar-wai's Ashes of Time Redux (2008) (also see Bordwell's Years of being obscure), and so (eternally) grateful to Faye Wong for lending her iconic classiness to FSFF's upper regions, that its festive gift to its readers this year is some extensive, scholarly, Wong Kar-wai linkage - see below. Oh and, as a little extra stocking-filler, do please check out the wonderful new issue of World Picture Journal on 'the obvious':

Derek Attridge and Henry Staten, Reading for the Obvious: A Conversation; Scott Durham, "The Center of the World Everywhere": Bamako and the Scene of the Political'; Rosalind Galt, The Obviousness of Cinema; Sandra Gibson + Luis Recoder Cinema/Film; Christian Keathley, Otto Preminger and the Surface of Cinema' David Farrell Krell, The School for Stupefaction; Scott Krzych, Kino Ex Nihilo; Ernesto Laclau in conversation with Brian Price and Meghan Sutherland, Not a Ground but a Horizon; Sam Lipsyte, A Pimple on the Ass of Drew Barrymore Speaks; Karen Pinkus, Nothing from Nothing: Alchemy and the Economic Crisis; Angelo Restivo, The Obvious: Three Reminiscences; Stephen G. Rhodes, Interregnum Reanimated: The Living Cemetery; Jeffrey Sconce, Circuit City Unplugged.

Warm seasons greetings to every one of FSFF's readers, many thanks for a fun first six months of blogging-life, and see you all again after a short break!

  • Acquarello on Wong Kar-wai at Strictly Film School
  • Matt Bautch, 'The Cultural Aesthetic of Wong Kar-wai', Latent Image 2003
  • Felicia Chan, 'In Search of a Comparative Poetics: Cultural Translatability in Transnational Chinese Cinemas', PhD E-thesis, Nottingham University 2007, (chapter 3 - p. 147-201 - treats Wong Kar-wai)
  • Ethel Chong, 'In the Mood for Love: Urban Alienation in Wong Kar Wai’s Films', Kinema Spring 2003
  • Jeremy Cohen, 'Lonely Hearts: Wong Kar-Wai's Obscure Objects of Desire', Eye Candy Winter 2006
  • Christopher Doyle & Wong Kar-wai interview for Interview Magazine on Ashes Redux
  • Wendy Gan, "0.01cm: Affectivity and Urban Space in Chungking Express." Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies, November 2003
  • John Christopher Hamm, 'Review of Wong Kar-Wai's Ashes of Time by Wimal Dissanayake', MCLC Resource Publication, October 2005
  • Ian Johnston, 'Unhappy Together: Wong Kar-Wai's 2046', Bright Lights Film Journal, vol. 47, February 2005
  • Kent Jones, "Of love and the city." Film Comment, Jan/Feb 2001. Vol. 37, Issue 1; p. 22
  • Daniel Kälberer, 'Reference Literature on Wong Kar-wai', Film Bibliography 2006
  • Anthony Leong, 'Meditations on Loss: A Framework for the Films of Wong Kar Wai', Asian Cult Cinema 1999
  • Toh Hai Leong, 'Wong Kar-wai: Time, Memory, Identity', Kinema Spring 1995
  • Trish Maunder, 'Interview with Tony Leung', Senses of Cinema 2001
  • Andrew O’Hehir, 'Wong Kar-wai's blueberry-pie America', 2008
  • Robert M Payne, 'Ways of seeing wild: the cinema of Wong Kar-Wai', Jump Cut 44, 2001, text version HERE
  • Effie Rassos, 'Everyday Narratives: Reconsidering Filmic Temporality and Spectatorial Affect Through the Quotidian,' PhD E-thesis, University of New South Wales, 2005
  • Tony Rayns, 'The Innovators 1990-2000: Charisma Express', Sight and Sound January 2000
  • Quentin Tarantino on Chungking Express on YouTube
  • Stephen Teo, 'Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love: Like a Ritual in Transfigured Time', Senses of Cinema 2001
  • Stephen Teo, '2046: A Matter of Time, a Labour of Love', Senses of Cinema 2005
  • Stephen Teo, 'Local and Global identity: Whither Hong Kong Cinema?' Senses of Cinema 2007
  • Fiona A. Villella (symposium ed.), 'The Cinema of Wong Kar-wai - A 'Writing Game', Senses of Cinema 2001 (entries on Backside; Blue; Creation; Dali-esque Time' Desire; Emotion; Look; Love; Possibility; Repetition; Space; Third-World; Time; Wrongheaded)
  • Elizabeth Wright, 'Profile of director Wong Kar-wai', Senses of Cinema 2002


Thursday 18 December 2008

On film-thinking: Daniel Frampton's Filmosophy

L’Enfant / The Child (Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, 2005)

For what are hopefully self-evident reasons, Film Studies For Free chooses very rarely to focus on papercentric Gary Hall) Film Studies. But today (The Day That UK Academia Stands Still) it opts for the purposeful casting of its beady e-eye on the digital and freely accessible manifestations and repercussions of just one such item.

The book of which FSFF speaks is by an author - Daniel Frampton - who is the true pioneer of Open-Access Film Studies, initially through his founding (in November 1996) of the magnificent, online salon-journal Film-Philosophy. Thanks to his Filmosophy, Frampton has also come to be of those (nowadays) very rare authors who have succeeded in founding a significant school of thought.

Filmosophy (London: Wallflower Press, 2006) - Frampton's book - describes itself thus (hyperlinks added, as ever, by FSFF):

Filmosophy is a provocative new manifesto for a radically philosophical way of understanding cinema. The book coalesces twentieth-century ideas of film as thought (from Hugo Münsterberg to Gilles Deleuze) into a practical theory of ‘film-thinking’, arguing that film style conveys poetic ideas through a constant dramatic ‘intent’ about the characters, spaces and events of film. With discussions of contemporary filmmakers such as Béla Tarr, Michael Haneke and the Dardenne brothers, this timely intervention into the study of film and philosophy will stir argument and discussion among both filmgoers and filmmakers alike.

As for his book's central concept of the 'filmmind', Frampton writes:

Film seems to be thinking right in front of us. Consider the empathetical framings of The Child, the questioning movements of Magnolia, the egalitarian images of Time of the Wolf. The point is that both the daytime chatshow and the video news report also involve this choice, this belief about what they show (or do not show, as in the lack of images from Helmand). If we begin to understand how film "thinks" we will start to
understand how moving images affect our life and being.

If you would like to know more about Filmosophy, or, if you already know more, but would like to read about it online for free, below are some hot, hot, hot filmosophical links:

Daniel Frampton's online writing about Filmosophy:

Open Access Articles Referring to Filmosophy:

  • Daniel Yacavone, 'Towards a Theory of Film Worlds', Film-Philosophy, 12.2, 2008 ('Daniel Frampton has recently attempted to provide a less reductive account of film. worlds (as experienced by viewers) within his broader ‘filmosophy’. ...')
  • Sarah Cooper, 'Mortal Ethics: Reading Levinas with the Dardenne Brothers', Film-Philosophy, 11.2, 2007 ('Frampton equates with the consciousness of the ‘filmmind’')
  • Davina Quinlivan on Lars Von Trier, Film-Philosophy, 12. 1, 2008 ('Frampton’s envisioning of the ‘filmmind’ (Frampton, 2006, 147), a cinematic consciousness. whose form embodies the very ideology that it diegetically ...')

Open Access, English-language Reviews of Filmosophy:

  • Review for Film-Philosophy by Philipp Schmerheim (12.2, 2008) ('Frampton wants to establish a terminology which redirects scholarly attention to the experience rather than analysis of film ... [H]is attempt to reform writing about film, away from what he conceives of as ‘technicist’ rhetoric to a more poetic way of writing, ultimately does not live up to its promises')
  • Review of Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture by Sylvie Magerstädt (vol. 5 no. 3, September 2008).
  • Review for Scope by Ils Huygen ('Filmosophy is about this mutually productive encounter between cinema and ... In filmosophy "film style is now seen to be the dramatic intention of the film')
  • Review for Senses of Cinema by Tony McLibbin
  • Review for Frieze Magazine by Roland Kapferer ('Filmosophy is representative of this Postmodernist dethroning. The neologism ‘filmosophy’ is in itself highly revelatory. Philosophy – philo-sophia...')

Also see:

Other citations listed on

  • Asbjørn Grønstad, 'Downcast Eyes: Michael Haneke and the Cinema of Intrusion', Nordicom Review 29 (2008) 1, pp. 133-144 here
  • Ils Huygens, 'Deleuze and Cinema: Moving Images and Movements of Thought', Image & Narrative, Issue 18. Thinking Pictures, here
  • Mark Goodall's text about 'Crash Cinema' here
  • Mark Richardson, 'The Importance of Paracinema in the Cyberspace Era ', The Film Journal, here
  • Richard Camilleri on Korean cinema, To Taste: Aesthetics, Politics, Bodies (November 7 2007) here
  • Eric Henderson's text on Chris Marker for Slant Magazine here
  • Owen Hatherley's text on cinema here
  • Some Iranian texts here & here & here & here

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Film 'Conversations With History': Stanley Cavell, Oliver Stone, Robert Wise, and others

Stanley Cavell, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Harvard University, joins UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler to talk about his life as a philosopher and his passion for movies as part of Kreisler's Conversations with History series.

Thanks a lot for your nice comments about Film Studies For Free's A-Z of Favourite Scholarly blogs post. If it had its fun time compiling the list all over again, the rather absent-minded FSFF would add the following two favourite items: f i l m j o u r n e y . o r g and Latest Articles on Moving Image Source (indeed they, and one or two others, will be added when the list joins the right-hand menus of this blog).

Today, Film Studies For Free is thrilled to bring you links to the great videos and transcripts of interviews with filmmakers and filmthinkers that form part of UC Berkeley's Conversations with History series. All the videos last roughly an hour, so these are rich resources indeed. The full film-related index is HERE.

See also Harry Kreisler's Conversations with History Blog for further updates about this series.

Friday 12 December 2008

A-Z of Favourite Scholarly Film and Moving Image Blogs

Film Studies For Free has recently been infected by two viruses: one nasty but better now, thanks (ach-oo); the other relatively benign, but still totally brain-scrambling in its own way.

The latter is the dratted 'alphabet meme' still doing the film-blogospheric round (issuing from the Blog Cabins site).

As this metablog doesn't write about films (oh no), the forced A-Z of its choice is 'Favourite Scholarly Film/Moving Image Blogs' mostly in the English language, or 'Favourite [anglophone] Film/Moving Image Blogs with a Sizeable Scholarly Component or Impact'.

And, yes (note to FSFF's more litigious readers), all of the usual rules of this exercise are broken below (and more); but this piece of favouriting frenzy is a service to the community: FSFF's formal film blogroll currently has just under 200 entries, so the below choices will form the basis of a new 'Highly Recommended Scholarly Blogs List' to sit near the top of FSFF's right-hand menu.

Comments on this list are most welcome. And do please let FSFF know if it's missing any really important blogs from its various lists. Thank you.

Thursday 11 December 2008

Lick the Star: Sofia Coppola Links

For those (vast hordes) of you interested in the work of filmmaker Sofia Coppola, a tip (via GreenCine Daily) that you should visit the Cinetrix's regularly wonderful and terribly withering (to academic film theory, at least) website Pullquote where she's posted a video version of Coppola's 1996 debut short Lick the Star - see her post Boys in the attic HERE. Thanks Cinetrix!
Here's a little FSFF Sofia Coppola linkage:

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Round up: Online Scholarship, Virtual Training Suites, and Fascinating Miscellany

Honourable mentions in despatches (from Film Studies For Free's return to [indefatigable] active duty) for the following:

The Day The Clangers' Moon Stood Still: RIP Oliver Postgate 1925-2008

Clangers : The Intruder (season 1, Episode 5)

Back from its wee break, Film Studies For Free was saddened to hear of the passing of one of the DIY geniuses responsible for its author's early fascination with the world of filmmaking: Oliver Postgate, co-creator (with Peter Firmin) of numerous magical Small Films shown on television (Bagpuss, Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, Pogles, Pingwings), died peacefully in Broadstairs on the Kent coast on 8 December 2008.

Here are some Postgate weblinks: