Thursday 21 June 2012

Pantheon Level Author: In Memory of Andrew Sarris

UNL Film Studies professor Wheeler Winston Dixon describes the auteur theory of filmmaking, 
including the contribution to this theory by Andrew Sarris.You can read Professor Dixon's obituary of Sarris here.
The art of cinema is the art of an attitude, the style of a gesture. It is not so much what as how. The what is some aspect of reality rendered mechanically by the camera. The how is what the French critics designate somewhat mystically as mise-en-scene. Auteur criticism is a reaction against sociological criticism that enthroned the what against the how. However, it would be equally fallacious to enthrone the how against the what. The whole point of meaningful style is that it unifies the what and the how into a personal statement. [Andrew Sarris]

Film Studies For Free was really saddened to hear of the death of Andrew Sarris, one of the most influential of all film critics on the academic study of the cinema.

In memory of his huge contribution to film studies, FSFF has begun to gather links to online works by Sarris as well as to studies of his writings and related items. The collection process will continue in the next days.

Meanwhile, David Hudson is very valuably collecting links to online tributes to Sarris at Fandor's Keyframe Daily site. And see the great PressPlay at Indiewire tributes, including a great video essay featuring probably the last recording of Sarris's voice, here.

Keep coming back for updates.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Welcome to NECSUS, A New Open Access Film and Media Studies Journal

Frame grab from The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999). Read Anna Backman Rogers's article on this film at the new NECSUS journal.

Hot off the press! To coincide with its annual conference, taking place in Lisbon from tomorrow, the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) has just launched its new online and open access journal NECSUS. Feast your eyes on the marvellous contents of its first issue on Crisis below.

It has been added to Film Studies For Free's permanent listing of online and open access film and media studies journals. And now FSFF's author will read it! Yay!

Enjoy the conference, fellow NECS members!

Spring 2012: Launch Issue

Special Section: Crisis

Book Reviews:

Conference Reviews:

Festival + Exhibition Reviews:

Saturday 16 June 2012

Up, up, and away! Transformative Works and Fan Activism

May the Fourth Be With You published on May 4, 2012 by
Read Henry Jenkins' and Ashley Hinck's articles about the Harry Potter Alliance.
Many fans have resisted efforts to bring politics into fandom, seeing their fan activities as a release from the pressures of everyday life, or preferring the term charity rather than the more overtly political term activism to describe their pro-social efforts. Our goal is not to instrumentalize fandom, not to turn what many of us do for fun into something more serious; fandom remains valuable on its own terms as a set of cultural practices, social relationships, and affective investments, but insofar as a growing number of fans are exploring how they might translate their capacities for analysis, networking, mobilization, and communication into campaigns for social change, we support expanding the field of fan studies to deal with this new mode of civic engagement. [Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova, 'Up, up, and away! The power and potential of fan activism' [1.9], Transformative Works and Cultures, Vol 10 (2012)]
Film Studies For Free is a very big fan of the open access journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, so it is delighted that there's a new issue out.

It's a themed collection of studies of transformative works and fan activism, edited by media studies superheroes Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova. Links to abstracts of the articles (and from there to the articles themselves) are given below.

Transformative Works and Cultures, Vol 10 (2012): Transformative Works and Fan Activism, edited by Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova, University of Southern California. 

Friday 15 June 2012

New LOLA: Ruiz, Adair, Akerman, Rosenbaum, Brenez, García Düttmann

Frame grab image of John Hurt in Love and Death on Long Island (Richard Kwietniowski, 1997) an adaptation of the late Gilbert Adair's novel. 

Film Studies For Free is thrilled to alert its readers to the publication of a new issue of LOLA, the fantastic online journal edited by Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu.

You can read all about it, and also find the essential links to articles, at this account of the issue at Girish's blog, in which he additionally announced that, henceforth, LOLA would be releasing the contents of each issue in stages.

So, in the coming weeks, you should definitely watch for further texts on Bresson, Cronenberg, Grandrieux, Rotterdam Film Festival, Venice Biennale, and more.

In the meantime, you don't have to wait to read the following fabulous essays by stellar contributors, including a marvellous dossier on the work of Chantal Akerman.

LOLA Issue 2: 
'Devils', Dedicated to Raúl Ruiz and Gilbert Adair
  • 'Cinema is Another Life' by Raúl Ruiz
  • 'A Letter to My Dead Friend Gilbert Adair About Blindness' by Alexander García Düttmann
  • 'A Letter' by Dana Linssen
  • 'Chantal Akerman: The Pajama Interview' by Nicole Brenez
  • 'Chantal Akerman: The Integrity of Exile and the Everyday' by Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • 'Almayer's Folly: Synopsis and Statement of Intent' by Chantal Akerman

Tuesday 12 June 2012

The Cine-Files on the French New Wave

Today, Film Studies For Free is delighted to flag up wonderful work by the graduate students of the Cinema Studies master's program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. They recently published the second volume of their bi-annual online journal, the Cine-Files.  This issue's theme is the French New Wave.

FSFF particularly liked the really interesting take on this well-worn topic - the interviews with luminaries (including Dudley Andrew, Richard Neupert, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Sylvie Blum-Reid and Timothy Corrigan) were an especially nice touch. This blog also very much appreciated the three student filmmaker takes on the New Wave's influence, including Jae Matthews' compelling reflection on Chabrol's Les Bonnes femmes/Good Time Gals - not only because the latter afforded an always welcome opportunity to newly embed its old video essay on the very same (favourite) film (see above). Very well done, guys!
The Legacy of the French New Wave … The Experts Answer the Cine-Files' Questions:

Featured Scholarship:

Student Filmmakers Reflect on the New Wave’s influence:

Friday 8 June 2012

"Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia" Masterclasses in Film Criticism by Adrian Martin, Jonathan Rosenbaum and Jacques Rancière

Jonathan Rosenbaum KASK cinema Gent 28/10/11 from Courtisane Festival on Vimeo.

Jacques Rancière - Bozar studios Brussels - 18/11/'11 from Courtisane Festival on Vimeo.

“For me, film criticism is not a way of explaining or classifying things, it’s a way of prolonging them, making them resonate differently”

Today, Film Studies For Free presents some videos it's been meaning to link to here for an age: a series of very extensive, and very wonderful, masterclasses given by Adrian Martin, Jonathan Rosenbaum and Jacques Rancière in Brussels in 2011.

Their talks, part of the "Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia" project, explore the status and possibility of cinephilia and film critical thinking. These astonishingly good events took their title from the wonderful 2010 book by Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Below are a few related links, including one to FSFF's mammoth collection of online writing on cinephilia.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

A Place for Film Noir with Will Scheibel


Production at Film Studies For Free Towers will slow up, for a month or so, due to the sheer weight of responsibilities elsewhere, FSFF is afraid.

Some of those responsibilities are significant authorial and, especially, editorial ones which will bear truly glorious, open access, film scholarly fruit very soon!

But this site will continue to post some occasional gems in the meantime. And this brings us to the above, excellent excerpt from one of the great Indiana University Cinema Podcasts.

Regular hosts Andy Hunsucker and Jason Thompson invited Film Studies grad student at Indiana University (and former notable blogger) Will Scheibel to talk about Film Noir, particularly in relation to preparing a class on this fundamental film studies topic. The discussion is extremely engaging and very well informed

Check out the full audio podcast episode at here. Lins to previous episodes are here. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. The IU podcast is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Two earlier FSFF entries on film noir are given below:  
And for further, film studies, podcast fun and frolics please don't forget the wonderful Film Versus Film crew series with Dustin Morrow, Chris Cagle, David Cooper Moore and Matt Prigge. Their beautiful Tumblr is here.