Friday 30 November 2012

New issue of SCOPE: Nicole Holofcener, Realism, Self-Transformation Narratives, Károly Makk, the Feature Film as "Short Story" and More

Framegrab from Lovely and Amazing (Nicole Holofcener, 2001). You can read Rachel Lister's article about Holofcener's films here

Life is good, thinks Film Studies For Free: a new issue of Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies has just been published. There's a small but well-edited selection of great articles, and an enormous number of hugely useful book reviews and conference reports. FSFF particularly liked Rachel Lister on Nicole Holofcener's "short story" films and Miklós Kiss on Károly Makk's Szerelem/Love.

All contents are listed and linked to below.

Scope: Issue 24 October 2012


Book Reviews

Film and Television Reviews

Conference Reports

Thursday 29 November 2012

To Cinephilia and Beyond! Christian Keathley's Film Studies Online

A free-to-attend University of London Screen Studies Group series event. Full details are given here:

A free-to-attend University of Sussex Centre for Visual Fields event. Further details are given here:

Film Studies For Free is almost unspeakably thrilled that its author is helping to host a visit to her shores by the wonderful film scholar Christian Keathley. So thrilled, in fact, that a collected edition of links to his generously-shared, online, film scholarship is given below. 

Keathley, Associate Professor of Film and Media Culture at Middlebury College, USA, is the author of Cinephilia and History, or The Wind in the Trees (Indiana University Press, 2006), and is currently completing a second book, The Mystery of Otto Preminger (under contract to Indiana University Press). Professor Keathley’s research interest also focuses on the presentation of academic scholarship in a multi-media format, including video essays.

In addition to the two UK events detailed above, Keathley will also give a keynote lecture on his work as part of the lineup for a two-day symposium in Antwerp, Belgium, entitled "FROM PHOTOGÉNIE TO CINEPHILIA 2.0, a seminar on cinephilia then and now". The event takes place between December 7-8. Unlike the two events above, it isn't free-to-attend, but it is incredibly good value. 

This superb looking symposium is hosted by the Flemish Service for Film Culture, Centre for Cinema and Media Studies (UGent) and Research Group Visual Studies and Media Culture (University of Antwerp) organised in collaboration with Research Center for Visual Poetics (University of Antwerp) and CINEMATEK, with two other internationally recognised keynotes Malte Hagener and Sarah Keller. You can find further details of the symposium here.

There should be some open access resources emerging from the above events, and if that happens, FSFF will be among the first to let you know about them.

Online Written Texts by Christian Keathley:
Online Video Essays by Christian Keathley:
Video essay on a scene from Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder.

50 Years On from Christian Keathley
Revision of a video made for the Society of Cinema and Media Studies' 50th anniversary conference.

Does Your Dog Bite? from Christian Keathley
A video essay by Christian Keathley on a canine moment in Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951).

About Christian Keathley's work:

Wednesday 28 November 2012

FRAMES Cinema Journal Issues 2 and 1!! - Kubrick, Resnais, War Films, Digital Film Studies and more!

Frame grab from The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980). Read Hannah Mowat's article on this and other 'hotel films' in the new issue of Frames Cinema Journal

Film Studies For Free is very happy to announce the online publication of Issue 2 of Frames cinema journal,. The issue contains six fine articles, on a variety of topics, produced in collaboration with the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS). Details and links are given below.

The publication of issue 2 marks Frames' move to a new server and a great new look. As a consequence of this move all of the original URLs for the forty or so contributions to Issue 1 (guest edited by FSFF's supremo) on Film and Moving Image Studies Re-Born Digital? have had to be changed. For this reason, there's a second list of that issue's contents given below, replete with all the new links......

Frames, Issue 2,  November 2012: BAFTSS Fall 2012

Frames, Issue 1, July 2012: Film and Moving Image Studies Re-Born Digital? Guest-edited by Catherine Grant

Tuesday 27 November 2012

On ’Tangibility’ and Relocating Cinema: NECSUS #2, Autumn 2012

To celebrate the new issue of NECSUS on tangibility, above is a reposting of TOUCHING THE FILM OBJECT? by Catherine Grant. Also see version with audio commentary

[A] media, singular, is not just its medium – it is not only a support or a device. A media is also and foremost a cultural form; it is defined by the way in which it puts us in relation with the world and with others, and therefore by the type of experience that it activates. By experience, I mean both a confrontation with reality (to gain experience) and the capacity to manage this relation and to give it meaning (to have experience). From its very beginnings, cinema has been based on the fact that it offers us moving images through which we may reconfigure the reality around us and our own position within it. Cinema has always been a way of seeing and a way of living – a form of sensibility and a form of understanding. [Francesco Casetti, 'The relocation of cinema', NECSUS, Issue 2, Autumn 2012]
A great second issue of NECSUS, the brilliant journal of NECS, the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies has been published. It boasts some superlative articles including Francesco Casetti's must-read article from which Film Studies For Free has excerpted above.

For those interested in hapticity, and our experience of the material properties of film, there's a very special section on that topic.

All in all (and all the contents are directly linked to below), some truly wonderful work. Well done and thank you NECSUS!

Editorial Necsus

Special Section: Tangibility

Festival Reviews:
Edited by Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist of the Film Festival Research Network

Book Reviews:

Exhibition Reviews:

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Real and Fictional Monarchies on Screen

An archive video collage exploring some of the psychological and mediatized components of the public's relationship with the UK monarchy. It features excerpts from D.W. Winnicott's 1970 essay 'The Place of the Monarchy' (published in Home is Where We Start From: Essays by a Psychoanalyst, compiled and edited by Claire Winnicott, Ray Shepherd and Madeleine Davis [London: Penguin, 1986]). Although it doesn't mention this, Winnicott's essay was published after the broadcast of the ground-breaking Royal Family documentary in 1969, which opened up new breaches in what the psychoanalyst was raising about the necessary distance and proximity of the public's relationship with the UK monarchy.
Public Domain Film Excerpts (from the Internet Archive Moving Image Collections)
Music Excerpt
Self-Reflect” by Jared C. Balogh. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike license. Available for Download from from the Fee Music Archive:

Film Studies For Free was inspired by two events -- one offline and one online -- for today's entry.

The offline happening is an excellent looking conference on the British Monarchy on Screen taking place later this week, between November 23-24.

The conference is hosted by the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House, and convened by the University of London Screen Studies Group, the Institute of English Studies, the department of Media Arts and the Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research at Royal Holloway, University of London.

A somewhat ambivalent republican, but one indelibly marked by growing up immersed in the UK's mediatised monarchy, FSFF would have loved to attend. But its author is presenting instead at a conference in an actual Republic this weekend, instead. So this blog contributes the above monarchical-video-meditation in lieu of its presence - and there will be an accompanying essay about it for the Filmanalytical website very shortly.

Another series of events happening this week - also, sadly, to be missed by a gadabout FSFF -- will take place in Brighton. The Global Queer Cinema project is collaborating with the annual CineCity film festival on the topic of "Curating Queer Film Culture". Information about these really excellent and important events can be found here and here

The inspirational online event was another one FSFF missed... It was the competition which also inspired the above video, although the video took a somewhat different (topical) turn in its making: "The Past Re-Imagined as the Future" Remix Context, held by the brilliant Prelinger Archives and the Free Music Archive.

FSFF looks forward to hearing about the winners of that event but, in the meantime, had great fun as usual remixing material from both these amazing, public domain archives, and encourages its readers to have a go at doing the same. Any good film related results should be reported here forthwith.

Below, you can find a little (growing) list of links to online studies of monarchies on screen just to keep FSFF's hand in with this blog's day-job....

Monday 19 November 2012

Truly Doing Film Criticism: Online Film Studies by Tag Gallagher

Tag Gallagher: A New Reality. Roberto Rossellini's Francesco, guillare di Dio, (US 2006)

[T]here is no formula for movie criticism. Cinema is not the same cinema in Ford and Rossellini, so you don’t use the same tools to look at it. Frame enlargements can show a lot of Ford’s art -- composition, camera angles rhyming from one shot to the next, lighting – but almost nothing of Rossellini’s art, because Rossellini turns everything into motion. All the feelings, the motivations, the characters’ sense of self, even morality and philosophy are turned into motion. So I published a thousand pages about Rossellini, but I really couldn’t deal with his cinema, until I made my video about his Francesco, giullare di Dio['Truly Doing Film Criticism: Interview with Tag Gallagher',,  2009]
The first video I made about Roberto Rossellini was [on Francesco, giullare di Dio]. I made it for a company that turned it down because it did not like the quality of the recording of my voice. So I lost the opportunity to publish this essay in that country, and in some others. [...] So I showed my video on Francesco only at some museums and gave some copies to friends, but that was it.  [Excerpts from a January 2012 interview with Gallagher: Elpidio del Campo Cañizares, 'Los «ensayos visuales» de Tag Gallagher como paradigma de nuevos modelos de análisis cinematográfico', Revista Comunicación, No. 10, Vol.1, año 2012: 1334-1347 [PDF]]

Today, Film Studies For Free is delighted to publish online, for the first time, film critic and historian extraordinaire Tag Gallagher's first video essay on a Roberto Rossellini film.

To celebrate and accompany this publication, for which FSFF and its readers have to thank the great Tag himself, below is a list of links to Gallagher's online film studies essays (written and audiovisual), interviews with him about his work, and studies of his work. If there is anything missing from the below lists, please leave a relevant link in the comments section. Many thanks!

    Gallagher's Written Work Online:

    Gallagher's Video Essays Online:

    Online Interviews with Gallagher:

    Thursday 8 November 2012

    Dreaming of Westerns... More video essays including Tag Gallagher's classic on STAGECOACH

    When Film Studies For Free published its popular entry on video studies of the Western a few weeks back, it asked its readers if they knew of any further essays.

    Thankfully, the veritable 'Daddy' of the online video essay format, Kevin B. Lee got in touch to flag up some more, including one of the best such essays ever made, Tag Gallagher's 'Dreaming of Jeanie' (above).

    Many thanks for the additions, Kevin!

    If you would like to see more of the brilliant Gallagher's fantastic work online, please leave a comment and maybe we can convince him (we did! see here!)! Also, please let FSFF know if you know of even further great video essays as yet unlisted....

    A two-parter by Kevin B/ Lee and Matt Zoller Seitz  on Raoul Walsh's THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON: Part 1

     Below, Kevin B. Lee analyzed a scene in Sam Peckinpah's PAT GARRET AND BILLY THE KID, both at normal and at half speed: Part 1: Normal  

    Below, another video essay on the same scene, by Derek Dehart

    Monday 5 November 2012

    Belén Vidal's book, Figuring the Past: Period Film and the Mannerist Aesthetic

    Belén Vidal, Figuring the Past: Period Film and the Mannerist Aesthetic (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012). Vidal is lecturer in film studies at King’s College London, co-editor (with Dina Iordanova and David Martin-Jones) of Cinema at the Periphery (Wayne State University Press, 2010) and author of Heritage Film: Nation Genre and Representation (Wallflower/Columbia University Press, forthcoming).

    This definitive work offers a new approach to the period film at the turn of the twenty-first century, examining the ways in which contemporary cinema recreates the historical past. This book explores the relation between visual motifs and cultural representation in a range of key films by James Ivory, Martin Scorsese and Jane Campion, among others. Looking at the mannerist taste for citation, detail and stylisation, the author argues for an aesthetic of fragments and figures central to the period film as an international genre. Three key figures - the house, the tableau and the letter - structure a critical journey through a selection of detailed case studies, in relation to changing notions of visual style, melodrama, and gender. This seeks to place this popular but often undervalued genre in a new light and to rethink its significance in the context of key debates in film studies.

    Film Studies For Free had a very pleasant surprise, today, when it discovered that Belén Vidal's remarkable book is the latest Amsterdam University Press publication to be distributed as an Open Access ebook. The table of contents is given below.

    This truly excellent volume has been added to FSFF's permanent listing of free Film Studies ebooks. Please support its generous publisher and author by ordering a copy for your university library!

    Introduction – Period Film and the Mannerist Moment - Fragments and Figures - An International Genre - Mannerism: The Possibilities of a Conservative Aesthetic

    Chapter 1 – A Poetics of Figuration - The Belated Moment of Mannerism - Pastiche and the Reality Effect - From the Figurative to the Figural - Classical/Post-classical: Adaptation, Film Writing and the Technological Narrative - Credits Roll: The Figure as Threshold

    Chapter 2 – Present in the Past: The House - Nostalgia Interrupted: The House and its Ghosts - Home and (Dis)Inheritance: Howards End -The Collector and the House-Museum: The Golden Bowl and End of Period - Melodrama and the Descriptive Mode: The Age of Innocence -Fidelity to the Past and the Melancholic Imagination: Woman as Ghost - The House of Mirth or, Time and Woman

    Chapter 3 – Time and the Image: The Tableau - Still Images/Moving Narratives: The Tableau Effect - The Shot-Tableau: From Pregnant Moment to Hieroglyph -The Portrait as Fetish - Portraits and Tableaux in the Feminist Imagination - Deframings: The Portrait of a Lady - Double-Framing the Mythologies of the Female Artist: Artemisia - Vision, Blindness and the Displacement of Trauma - The Governess or, the Woman in Camera

    Chapter 4 – The Scene of Writing: The Letter - Textual Erotics: Reading the Letter as Object and Figure - The Letter that Arrives Too Late: Figuration and Melodramatic Temporality - Letters and Spatial Displacement - The Love Letter and the Queer Encounter: Onegin - Imaginary Landscapes of Loss: To Those Who Love - Truncated Narratives, Textual Possibilities: Atonement and the Interrupted Histories of the European Period Film.

    Conclusion – Second Sight: Reviewing the Past, Figuring the Present - Notes - Bibliography - Index of Film Titles - Index of Names and Subjects