Saturday 31 October 2009

"Horror in Homeopathic Doses": Franju's Eyes Without a Face

More than any other image, an erased human face remains horribly eloquent. In fact, a face cannot be made to vanish completely: it stays sufficiently human to horrify by its exact lack of humanity. Hence the unnerving effect of Georges Franju's film Eyes Without a Face (1959), in which a young woman, disfigured in a car crash, is subjected to her father's insane and murderous plan to give her a new face. We never see the daughter's ravaged face, but the featureless white mask she wears for most of the film is enough to suggest her uncanny oscillation between human and inhuman.
Brian Dillon, 'The Revelation of Erasure', Tate Etc., Issue 8, Autumn 2006

Being a horror buff of the rather squeamish and easily frightened kind, Film Studies For Free usually likes its scary, gory movies to be Lyrical... Poetic... Beautiful. That way, it finds, it doesn't have to avert its eyes from the screen too much. 

Thus, FSFF is a particular fan of the truly horrific but extraordinarily beautiful film Les Yeux sans visage/Eyes Without a Face. Georges Franju's classic delivers its 'horror in homeopathic doses', as Franju himself so aptly put it. 

So, it's the film FSFF just had to choose for its little homage in scholarly links this Halloween. (P.S. If you are based in the USA or Canada, you can also currently watch it for free online as part of October Halloween Festival of free films at The Auteurs website).

Thursday 29 October 2009

Peruvian Cinema (in the age of transnational film finance)

Image of Fausta/Magaly Solier, in La teta asustada/The Milk of Sorrow (Claudia Llosa, Spain/Peru, 2009) - see a review of this film here

Film Studies For Free's author attended a very stimulating seminar yesterday given by Sarah Barrow of Anglia Ruskin University, entitled 'Transnational Film Financing in the Hispanic World: A Peruvian Case Study'.

Barrow presented a fascinating overview of Peruvian cinema in the last five years, and, in particular, of the efforts made by an emerging set of filmmakers to take advantage of new international funding and support opportunities. These include the regional Ibermedia programme, Rotterdam Film Festival’s Hubert Bals project, the Berlin World Cinema Fund (WCF), and the Cannes screenwriting residency awards for developing writer-director talent from developing economies. Barrow focused on the career trajectories of two Peruvian writer-directors: Josué Méndez (Días de Santiago [2004]; Dioses [2008]) and Claudia Llosa (Madeinusa [2006]; La teta asustada/The Milk of Sorrow [2009], Winner of the Golden Bear Award at the Berlinale 2009 and 2009 Foreign-Language Oscar Nominee).

FSFF wanted to follow up on Barrow's valuable seminar with some online resources for researchers working on Peruvian cinema as well as on transnational film finance. Below, then, are some links to high-quality, openly-accessible, scholarly work on these topics, most of them in English. See also FSFF's earlier post on Studies of 'Third Cinema' and anti-Eurocentric film culture

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Lastingly good work on Ephemeral Media

The Psycho Shower Scene: A Reenactment: a YouTube fan video discussed by Barbara Klinger in her talk linked to below.

Today, Film Studies For Free is delighted to pass on details of some great freely accessible film and media studies research resources from the Institute of Film and Television at the University of Nottingham.

This summer, the Institute held two Arts and Humanities Research Council 'Beyond Text' workshops on ‘ephemeral media,’ focusing on the growth of the brief or ‘ephemeral’ texts that exist beyond, below and between the films, television programmes, and radio broadcasts more commonly isolated for analysis.

For those interested, the plenary sessions can be found as YouTube recordings and/or sound files on the Beyond Text website (following the photo and video gallery). Also see below.

The Ephemeral Media website has great resources links, too, so do please explore those.

1. The Promotional Surround: logos, promos, idents, trailers (Click here for the Abstracts)

2. Internet Attractions: online video and user-generated ephemera (Click here for the Abstracts)

Monday 26 October 2009

Sensing cinema: phenomenological film and media studies

Film Studies For Free is using all of its searching senses today to bring you lots of links to perceptive film and media studies of the phenomenological kind, or to studies which at least touch meaningfully on issues of phenomenology, perception, and haptics.

Those especially interested in these topics might also like to experience the fascinating Cinesensory website once they've dipped into some of the wonderful, openly-accessible, scholarly resources below:

Sunday 25 October 2009

Concordia cinema studies resources freely accessible online

The woman at the window: image from Jane Campion's Bright Star (2009); a trope explored in Julianne Pidduck's PhD thesis on the costume film now accessible online

Film Studies For Free was excited to hear last week that Concordia University has launched its online Institutional Research Repository Spectrum, with 6,000 full-text theses and dissertations. It was excited because it knows that based at Concordia is the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema of the Faculty of Fine Arts, the largest, university centre for the study of film animation, film production and film studies in Canada.

FSFF also specifically knew that highly significant Canadian scholars, such as Julianne Pidduck (now a professor at the Université de Montréal) and André Habib (also at the Université de Montréal) had produced graduate theses there.

So, it is delighted to bring you the below links to the fabulous (mostly) Film Studies thesis resources accessible via the repository, including ones by Pidduck on the costume film (and also on contemporary film noir), Habib's brilliant francophone thesis on Jean-Luc Godard, and great work by other (now) well-known scholars such as Liz Czach.

Friday 23 October 2009

Bellocchio, Bertolucci, Pasolini, Verga and beyond: Italian Cinema research from new look

Image from I pugni in tasca/Fists in pocket (Marco Bellocchio, Italy, 1965).
See Deborah Young's short essay on this film here.

Here's another post to celebrate Open Access Week, just in the nick of time.

Film Studies For Free, tipping its jaunty e-hat to the fabulous weblog Open Access News for the information, has been delighted today to revisit the eScholarship archive of the University of California, which has had a makeover. Here's the explanation of the whys and wherefores. FSFF can happily testify that it is now even more user-friendly than before, so do please explore it.

To celebrate, here's a little crop of wonderful, openly-accessible articles on Italian cinema, all published in the UCLA journal Carte Italiane, that FSFF was able to harvest in a even shorter jiffy than usual.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

An Index to SCAN Journal of Media Arts Culture

Frame grab from All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999) from an image-essay by Ryland Walker Knight) - see also Fiona Jenkins' wonderful SCAN essay, Grief’s Testimony: On Almodóvar’s All About My Mother

It's Open Access Week this week, and while every Film Studies For Free blogpost brings you links to openly accessible Film and Media Studies resources, FSFF thought it was a good moment to celebrate one of the most consistently excellent OA e-journals, the Australia-based SCAN: Journal of Media Arts Culture. Below, then, is a complete and convenient one-stop index of live links to all the refereed articles on film and media that SCAN has published in its five and a half years of online existence.

FSFF's highlights are: the Film as Philosophy and Screenscapes Past Present Future special issues; the fantastic Cinematic Scriptwriting issue, edited by Kathryn Millard; Elizabeth A. Wilson's brilliant reflections on artificial intelligence; Justine Toh on Batman Begins; Christopher Hayton on Charlton Comics' Monster Movie Adaptations; Darrin Verhagen on audiovision; and Ahu Paköz on Persepolis.

The Expanded-contracted Field of Recent Audio-Visual Art Ian Andrews

Developing the Practice and Theory of Stream-based Sonification Stephen Barrass

Captured Space Philip Samartzis

Audiovision, psy-ops and the perfect crime: Zombie Agents and sound design Darrin Verhagen

Body≈Sounds: an emergent sonic practice Danielle Wilde

Considering comics as medium, art, and culture - the case of From Hell Simon Locke

The tools and toys of (the) War (on Terror): Consumer desire, military fetish and regime change in Batman Begins Justine Toh

Remasters of American Comics: Sequential art as new media in the transformative museum context Damian Duffy

Fantastic Giants: Charlton Comics' Monster Movie Adaptations Christopher Hayton

Reading Comics Rhetorically: Orality, Literacy, and Hybridity in Comic Narratives Bobby Kuechenmeister

Possession without a touch: letters of Marina Tsvetaeva: Written in and translated from the Russian by Natalija Arlauskaite

"When the grinding starts": Negotiating touch in rehearsal Kate Rossmanith

Sound, touch, the felt body and emotion: Toward a haptic art of voice Yvon Bonenfant

Interactive instrumental performance and gesture sonification Kirsty Beilharz

Critical Dialogues 1 David Chapman and Louise K. Wilson, with Anne Cranny-Francis

Sonic Assault to Massive Attack: touch, sound and embodiment Anne Cranny-Francis

(Re)Constructing History: Italy's Post-War Resistence Movement in Contemporary Comics Laura Perna

Too Cruel: The Diseased Teens and Mean Bodies of Charles Burns's Black Hole James Zeigler

"His greatest enemy – intolerance!" The Superman radio show in 1946 Michael Goodrum

Out of Africa: The Saga of Exiled Cartoonists in Europe John A. Lent

A Reawakening of Memories in Comic Form: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi Ahu Paköz

The Cultural Biographies and Social Lives of Manga: Lessons from the Mangaverse Mio Bryce, Jason Davis and Christie Barber

If Walls Could Talk: Spatialising Narrative in the Museum Peter Doyle

For a History of Black Sean Cubitt

YouTube: the New Cinema of Attractions Teresa Rizzo

S.M.L.XL: Feature film across the Screenscape Alex Munt

Voice, Image, Television: Beckett’s Divided Screens Julian Murphet

James Ellroy's Cinematic Crime Writing: From 'Stephanie' to My Dark Places Rodney Taveira

Surveillance Screens and Screening in Code 46 Peter Marks

From Big to Little Screens: Recurring Images of Democratic Credibility and the Net Mark Rolfe

Uncertain Spaces: Artists’ Exploration of New Socialities in Mediated Public Space Maria Miranda

Dead to the World: The future of hand-held art Darren Tofts

iApparatus or How the Culture of Personalised Media Creates Millions of iOperators Andreas Ströhl

A phenomenology of tragedy: illness and body betrayal in The Fly Havi Carel

Grief’s Testimony: On Almodóvar’s All About My Mother Fiona Jenkins

A Play of Memory: Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil Catherine Summerhayes

Grace and Violence: Questioning Politics and Desire in Lars von Trier’s Dogville Robert Sinnerbrink

Even Better than the Real Thing: Sadism and Real(ity) T.V. Matthew Sharpe

Thinking cinema(tically) and the Industrial Temporal Object: Schemes and technics of experience in Bernard Stiegler's Technics and Time series Patrick Crogan

The cinematic condition of the politico-philosophical future Daniel Ross

soundAFFECTs: transcoding, writing, new media, affect Hazel Smith

Performing the Network Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark

Sonic Immersion: Interactive Engagement in Real-Time Immersive Environments Garth Paine

Performing Posthuman Perspective: Can You See Me Now? Rosemary Klich

e-Collaborations in Sixties America: 9 Evenings, the Dancer’s Body, and Electronic Technologies Meredith Morse

Somatechnics, or Monstrosity Unbound Nikki Sullivan

Somatic Technologies: Embodiment, New Technologies and the Undead Anne Cranny-Francis

Cyber Disobedience: Gandhian Cyberpunks Cynthia Townley & Mitch Parsell

Deus est Machina: Technology, Religion and Derrida’s Autoimmunity Nick Mansfield

(De)constructing Technologies of Subjectivity Nicole Anderson

Border Trouble: photography, strategies, and transsexual identities Sara Davidmann

Grow Your Own - Angiogenetic Body Adornment Norman Cherry

The theatrical text as a misrecognised technological practice: Shape-shifting interventions between words and bodies Mark Seton

Kind of a Revolution, and Kind of Not: Digital Low-Budget Cinema in Australia Today Adrian Martin

Writing for the Screen: Beyond the Gospel of Story Kathryn Millard

Re-telling History in the Digital Age: The Scripting Of Hunt Angels Alec Morgan

Digital Kiarostami & The Open Screenplay Alex Munt

Writing the 'Real'/ Really Writing Maree Delofski

Writing on the screen John Grech

Wikinews: The Next Generation of Alternative Online News? Axel Bruns

Disaggregating Online News: The Canadian Federal Election, 2005-2006 Greg Elmer, Zach Devereaux & David Skinner

Democracy & Online News: Indymedia and the Limits of Participatory Media Lee Salter

News on the Net: A critical analysis of the potential of online alternative journalism to challenge the dominance of mainstream news media Trish Bolton

The Daily Show, Crossfire, and the Will to Truth Megan Boler

The Utilitarian Photographer Lindsay Barrett

Doomed streets of Sydney 1900-1928: Images from the City Council's Demolition Books Sue Doyle

Haunted by a Vitality that is No More - Interpreting the Photograph in the Crime Archive Caleb Williams

Public eye, private eye: Sydney police mug shots, 1912-1930 Peter Doyle

"Can you think what I feel? Can you feel what I think?": Notes on affect, embodiment and intersubjectivity in AI Elizabeth A. Wilson

"The Chain of Memory": Distributed Cognition in Early Modern England Evelyn Tribble

Tangkic Orders of Time: an anthropological approach to time study Paul Memmott

Body Memory in Muscular Action on Trapeze Peta Tait

The Dynamic Body Image and the Moving Body: revisiting Schilder's theory for psychological research Francine Hanley

The Mutation of "Cognition" and the Fracturing of Modernity: cognitive technics, extended mind and cultural crisis Andrew Murphie

Indexing Audio-Visual Digital Media: the PathScape prototype Mike Leggett

Seeking self-consistency with integrity: an interdisciplinary approach to the ethics of self and memory Russell Downham

On the Likely Form of 'Autobiographical Memory' for Aristotle James William Ley

The Enigma of Arrival James Donald

SYD: the city as airport Gillian Fuller & Ross Rudesch Harley

Morphings and Ur-Forms: From Flâneur to Driveur Sherman Young

Drawing Sydney: Flatlands and the Chromatic Contours of a Global City Stephanie Hemelryk Donald & John Gammack

"I’d rather take Methadone than Ken Done": Branding Sydney in the 1980s Susie Khamis

Blue Murder: a RE-IMAGINED history Greg Levine & Stephen McElhinney

Body Politics in Post-Soviet Russia Dmitry Mikhel

'It's as plain as the nose on his face': Michael Jackson, modificatory practices, and the question of ethics Nikki Sullivan

Fleshly Impressions: The Work of Paddy Hartley Paddy Hartley

The Monster Body of Myra Hindley Cathy Hawkins

Producing Identity: Elective Amputation and Disability Harminder Dosanjh Kaur

Queering Performativity: Disability After Deleuze Margrit Shildrick

Better dicks through drugs? The penis as a pharmaceutical target Petra Boynton

Digital memories, analogues of affect Robert Payne

“Pagan Poetry”, Piercing, Pain and the Politics of Becoming Greg Hainge

The Christological Imperative: notes towards a speculative re-interpretation of Catholic martyrdom Daniel Nourry