Monday 24 December 2012

A Stocking Full of eReading and Viewing: Happy Holidays!

Updated December 31, 2012
Frame grab from Caravaggio (Derek Jarman, 1986). Read Keeley Saunders' article about the tableaux vivants in this film

'Tis the season to be jolly, apparently, and so Film Studies For Free is happy to oblige with some extremely jolly, serious, and completely free eGifts for the festive season, ones from wise men and women around the world. You can find them liberally scattered in list form, below, under the six headers in bold.

This bountiful blog will be back early in the New Year with its list of Best Online (and Open Access) Film Studies Resources in 2012. So, if you haven't taken part in the readers' poll for that yet, you still have a little time.

In the meantime, FSFF wishes you very happy holidays indeed!

SEQUENCE 1.1, 2012

The first array of eBook publications from SEQUENCE Serial Studies in Media, Film and Music has just been launched — a central element in REFRAME and SEQUENCE’s particular model of academic ePublishing.

You can now read SEQUENCE 1.1 — Steven Shaviro’s magisterial and open access article about a film about the end of world (‘MELANCHOLIA, or, The Romantic Anti-Sublime‘) — in a variety of free eBook formats. Just click here to check them out and download them to your devices.


RE.FRAMING ACTIVISM: Creating the Witness

Leshu Torchin's current research focuses on how screen media bear witness to human rights abuses and genocide in order to mobilise audiences. In her guest post for RE.FRAMING ACTIVISM, Torchin introduces some of the issues that are central to her new book, Creating the Witness: Documenting Genocide on Film, Video, and the Internet. Thanks to Torchin and the book’s publishers University of Minnesota Press, REFRAME has been granted the permission to share the extensive introduction to the book online. You can read it here.

ALPHAVILLE, Issue 4, Winter 2012

Open Theme Edited by Stefano Odorico and Aidan Power
Book Reviews Edited by Pierluigi Ercole
Reports Edited by Ian Murphy

NETWORKING KNOWLEDGE: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN, Vol 5, No 3 (2012): The Biographical Narrative in Popular Culture, Media and Communication

Editorial The Biographical Narrative in Popular Culture, Media and Communication: An Introduction PDF  Matthew Robinson


PGN Matters

THE CINE-FILES: A Scholarly Journal of Cinema Studies, Issue 2, 2012 

Sunday 16 December 2012

AUDIENCES - a wonderful new book from Amsterdam University Press and a bumper new issue of PARTICIPATIONS!

Frame grab from Le Voyage dans la lune/A Trip to the Moon (Georges Méliès, 1902). Read Dan North's great blog entry about the audience-oriented 'attractionist aesthetic' of this film', and Frank Kessler's chapter on this film in the collection Audiences: Defining and Researching Screen Entertainment Reception
This timely volume engages with one of the most important shifts in recent film studies: the turn away from text-based analysis towards the viewer. Historically, this marks a return to early interest in the effect of film on the audience by psychoanalysts and psychologists, which was overtaken by concern with the 'effects' of film, linked to calls for censorship and moral panics rather than to understanding the mental and behavioral world of the spectator. Early cinema history has revealed the diversity of film-viewing habits, while traditional 'box office' studies, which treated the audience initially as a homogeneous market, have been replaced by the study of individual consumers and their motivations. Latterly, there has been a marked turn towards more sophisticated economic and sociological analysis of attendance data. And as the film experience fragments across multiple formats, the perceptual and cognitive experience of the individual viewer (who is also an auditor) has become increasingly accessible. With contributions from Gregory Waller, John Sedgwick and Martin Barker, this work spans the spectrum of contemporary audience studies, revealing work being done on local, non-theatrical and live digital transmission audiences, and on the relative attraction of large-scale, domestic and mobile platforms. [Publisher's blurb for Audiences: Defining and Researching Screen Entertainment Reception, ed. by Ian Christie (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012)]

Film Studies For Free is delighted to pass on news of the publication of an open access version of a wonderful new book from Amsterdam University Press. Audiences: Defining and Researching Screen Entertainment Reception is an extremely high quality collection edited by Ian Christie, Professor of Film and Media History, at Birkbeck, University of London. This great tome has, of course, been added to FSFF's permanent listing of Open Access eBooks. Please support its generous publisher and author by ordering a copy for your university library!

Since we're on the subject of audiences, it seems a brilliant moment to reproduce, below, links to the incredibly rich contents of the latest, just published, issue of PARTICIPATIONS, the excellent online journal of audience research. Not all items are directly film studies related, but they should be of interest to all researching issues of reception in film and media culture.

  • Editorial; Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: In Search of Audiences Ian Christie
PART I: Reassessing Historic Audiences
  • “At the Picture Palace”: The British Cinema Audience, 1895-1920 25 by Nicholas Hiley
  • The Gentleman in the Stalls: Georges Méliès and Spectatorship in Early Cinema by Frank Kessler
  • Beyond the Nickelodeon: Cinemagoing, Everyday Life and Identity Politics by Judith Thissen
  • Cinema in the Colonial City: Early Film Audiences in Calcutta by Ranita Chatterjee
  • Locating Early Non-Theatrical Audiences by Gregory A. Waller
  • Understanding Audience Behavior Through Statistical Evidence: London and Amsterdam in the Mid-1930s byJohn Sedgwick and Clara Pafort-Overduin
PART II: New Frontiers in Audience Research
  • The Aesthetics and Viewing Regimes of Cinema and Television, and Their Dialectics by Annie van den Oever
  • Tapping into Our Tribal Heritage: The Lord of the Rings and Brain Evolution by Torben Grodal
  • Cinephilia in the Digital Age by Laurent Jullier and Jean-Marc Leveratto
  • Spectator, Film and the Mobile Phone by Roger Odin
  • Exploring Inner Worlds: Where Cognitive Psychology May Take Us by A dialogue between Tim J. Smith and Ian Christie
PART III: Once and Future Audiences
  • Crossing Out the Audience by Martin Barker
  • The Cinema Spectator: A Special Memory by Raymond Bellour
  • Operatic Cinematics: A New View from the Stalls by Kay Armatage
  • What Do We Really Know About Film Audiences? by Ian Christie
  • Notes; General Bibliography; Notes on Contributors; Index of Names; Index of Film Titles; Index of Subjects

Special Section: Comic-Book Audiences
Special Section: Music Audiences
Special Section: Audience Involvement and New Production Paradigms [COST Action]
Special Section: Multi-Method Audience Research [COST Action]

Thursday 13 December 2012

New SENSES OF CINEMA: Haneke, Méliès, Hanoun, Bergman, Villaverde and more

Frame grab from Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012). Read Roy Grundmann's article on this film.

Film Studies For Free brings you glad tidings of a new issue of Senses of Cinema. All the contents are linked to below. FSFF hasn't pored over all of these yet, but so far the standout piece of interest may well be Haneke scholar extraordinaire Roy Grundmann's article on the Austrian filmmaker's latest film, which argues that
[Amour]’s particular take on the moral tale becomes clearer when we compare it to the moral tales of French New Wave filmmaker Eric Rohmer. As Rohmer explains, the conte moral does not pivot on characters’ actions, but on their inner conflicts and on how characters rationalize their motivations that arise from these conflicts. It has been noted that Rohmer’s films, like many examples of the Nouvelle Vague, are filled with dialogue in which the protagonists verbalize their feelings, perceptions, and mental states. Haneke’s new film harkens back to this pattern. 
FSFF also liked Marc Saint-Cyr's take on one of its favourite films Fanny and Alexander. And there's lots more that catches the eye in this issue.... 

Issue 65, 2012, Editorial 

Feature Articles
Great Directors
Special Dossier on Tasmania and the Cinema
Festival Reports
Cinémathèque Annotations on Film
Book Reviews

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Chronicle of an Auteur: More Antonioni Goodness!

Frame grab from Cronaca di un amore / Story of a Love Affair (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1950)

Film Studies For Free presents the second of its celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni. Below are embedded the video recordings of a number of unmissable talks at Antonioni and the Arts, an event held at Royal Holloway, University of London, in October to mark the anniversary. 

Thanks to Royal Holloway's School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures for hosting the talks, as well as taking the trouble to record them and make them freely available online.

This latest entry coincides with Cronaca di un autor: Convegno dedicato a Michelangelo Antonioni nel centenario della nascita, a marvellous conference, with an amazing array of speakers, taking place between December 11-13, 2012, merely the latest in a series of brilliant, celebratory events in Ferrara, Antonioni's birthplace.

Who knows? Maybe there'll be some more videos to embed here at FSFF! Hope so! In any case, You can see the first FSFF Antonioni anniversary celebration here: Sculpting the Real: Michelangelo Antonioni Studies in the Centenary Year of his Birth.

Dr. Laura Rascaroli's lecture and discussion. In conversation with Dr. Giuliana Pieri.

A study day devoted to the late Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) took place on Friday, 26 October, in Egham, co-sponsored by HARC, SMLLC, Media Arts, and the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni.

The centenary of the birth of this master of European modernist cinema was a chance to bring together a number of scholars and curators who have a particular interest in the interdisciplinary aspects of Antonioni’s oeuvre. Dr Laura Rascaroli (U. of Cork) and Dr John David Rhodes (U. of Sussex), who edited the 2011 volume, Antonioni: Centenary Essays, offered a novel perspective on the work of the Italian film-maker by focusing on the influence of art and architecture respectively. The two talks were preceded by a screening of two rare Antonioni documentaries: Gente del Po (1943-7) and Lo Sguardo di Michelangelo (2004). Documentaries are a very important but often less studied aspect of Antonioni’s production. They also ideally frame his career since Antonioni began as a documentary film maker and ended his cinematic career with his tribute to the master of the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo Buonarroti, in a short film of extreme beauty which helped the audience to reflect upon art and tradition. The general discussion that followed covered a number of fascinating topics relating to Antonioni’s practice, including his consistently ‘open’, physical engagement with the human figure, as compared, for example, with that of Jean-Luc Godard.
Dr. John David Rhodes's lecture, discussion and round table with Dr. Laura Rascaroli, Dr. Giuliana Pieri and Prof. James Williams.

Prof. Dominique Païni's presentation of the retrospective 'Antonioni And The Arts. The Gaze of Michelangelo' and lecture. Introduction by Prof. Williams James.

The second part of the study day was a lecture by film scholar and curator, Professor Dominique Païni (École du Louvre, Paris), who presented with slides his plans for the forthcoming centenary exhibition on Antonioni in his home-town of Ferrara. Prof. Païni revealed that the physical challenge of the exhibition space, the Renaissance Palazzo dei Diamanti, created the opportunity to present Antonioni’s work as a series of contrasts arising from the idea that cinema is, after all, narrative sculpture in movement, and that shapes are born out of the most basic contrast, that of light and dark. Both the lecture and ensuing discussion brought into focus a series of important characteristics of the work of Antonioni: the identification of women and the nation, ideal masculinity and Italian art and tradition, the critique of humanism and the classical heritage, and the ambiguous relationship between Antonioni and Italy’s post-war tradition of social and political engagement (impegno) which characterised the work of many of his contemporaries working in film and literature.
A few reflections with Professor Dominique Païni. Translation in English by Alix Agret.

Monday 10 December 2012

Best Online Film Studies Resources in 2012: Announcing a Readers' Poll!

Dear Film Studies For Free Readers,

One of FSFF's most popular and most useful blog entries last year was its December 20 roundup: FSFF's Favourite Online Film Studies Resources in 2011.

It will repeat this endeavour this year. But FSFF will make things much more interesting, hopefully, by inviting readers' suggestions, and trying to reflect the views gathered in the results.

Below are last year's categories. Please feel free to respond to these headers or suggest new ones (FSFF will itself inaugurate some videographical/multimedia film studies categories, for example).

You can leave suggestions in the comments below, tweet them to @filmstudiesff, leave them at the Film Studies For Free Facebook page, or send your nominees to FSFF by email. Please feel free to self-nominate!

Let the crowdsourcing begin!!

Lots of love from

Film Studies For Free xx

  1. Top film and moving image studies history resources online in 2012
  2. Top Film Studies bloggers
  3. Best new Film Studies blog/website
  4. Best Media Studies approaches to film and moving image studies' blog/website
  5. Most consistently original, Film and Moving Image Studies writer active online
  6. Best Film Studies informed, commercial film criticism website
  7. Best new online film journal in 2012
  8. Best recently established online academic Film Studies journal
  9. Best established online Film Studies journals
  10. Most generous, Open Access Film Studies author
  11. Best online cinephile news and criticism site
  12. Best cinephile salon site
  13. Best multimedia/multiplatform/multichannel-style film and moving image studies websites
  14. Most impactful online Film Studies work in 2012
  15. Best Film Studies academic links on Twitter
  16. Best non-academic, film studies-informed, online film critics
  17. Ten favourite FSFF blogposts (and blogpost clusters) in 2012
  18. FSFF's most read post in 2012
  19. Most popular resource at FSFF
  20. Best search engine for Open Access Film Studies