Monday 31 March 2014

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Post-Conference Round Up: [IN]TRANSITION,Transnational Cinemas, MOVIE eBooks, and much more!

Homepage of [in]Transition, 1.1, 2014

Film Studies For Free is just back from attending the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. This year it took place in the distinctly cinematic, and especially fun, city of Seattle in Washington State, USA.

The big event, from this blog's point of view, was the launch of [in]Transition, a new open access periodical, co-edited by FSFF's author with Christian Keathley and Drew Morton. [in]Transition – a collaboration between MediaCommons and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ official publication Cinema Journal – is the first peer-reviewed academic journal of videographic film and moving image studies. [in]Transition has a highly distinguished editorial board and is more than ably project managed for MediaCommons by Jason Mittell and for Cinema Journal by Chris Becker, CJ's online editor (big thanks also go to the very visionary Will Brooker [CJ editor], Avi Santo, Monica McCormick and the rest of the heroic MediaCommons team). 

You can read more about the project here, and about videographic film studies and its lineage more generally in the Resources page here. Please visit the website and be very encouraged to comment on the curated videos (on Marilyn Monroe, neorealism, F for Fake and the films of Ingmar Bergman) published in issue 1. One of the main goals of this journal is to generate debate and understanding about audiovisual moving image studies, and we would love to be able to count on the insights and questions of our viewers/readers in this project. So please visit the journal website and see whether you'd like to contribute to the Open Peer Commentary.

You can also watch video recordings (linked to below) of the historic SCMS conference workshop on Visualizing Media Studies, on March 20th, which launched [in]Transition, with contributions by Chris Becker, Drew Morton, Catherine Grant, Christian Keathley, Matthias Stork, Benjamin Sampson, Jason Mittell, and a very lively and interested audience. This session was livestreamed and then archived for online viewing among a series of other SCMS panels and workshops. These are all linked to below, along with lots of other items of interest and news from the conference.
SCMS Workshop Livestreaming:
Transnational Cinemas Links:
On March 24, 2014, Film Studies For Free interviewed Dr Austin Fisher, Senior Lecturer in Media Arts at the University of Bedfordshire, UK, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema and editor of the forthcoming volume Spaghetti Westerns at the Crossroads: Studies in Relocation, Transition and Appropriation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), among other publications
     The interview took place in Seattle, USA, after the close of the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, where Austin was contributing to a number of workshops and panels as co-chair (with Iain Robert Smith) of the SCMS Scholarly Interest Group in Transnational Cinemas. Austin talks about this topic in the interview and connects it to his longstanding interest in Italian cinema and the spaghetti western. He was also in the US as an invited speaker (with Sir Christopher Frayling) at an event at Texas Tech, in Lubbock, Texas, to celebrate 50 years since the release of A Fistful of Dollars.
     Austin is also author of a video essay on The Searchers, and in the interview he talks about the experience of making this work, a topic of particular interest at the SCMS conference where [in]Transition was launched.

MOVIE eBooks!!
  • At a wonderful SCMS workshop on 'Film Scholarship and the Online Journal' (proposed by V.F. Perkins and chaired by Girish Shambu), John Gibbs announced the launch of a range of open access eBooks by MOVIE: A Journal of Film Criticism. The first three volumes (in EPUB and Mobi formats) are as follows:
    • Movies and Tone by Douglas Pye
    • The Police Series by Jonathan Bignell 
    • Reading Buffy by Deborah Thomas 
Discussions of/Reflections on SCMS:
Other material presented or referred to at SCMS (please let FSFF know of more to add to this list):
Other news and links: 

Thursday 27 March 2014

On Cinematic Découpage

Opening paragraph from Timothy Barnard's new book Découpage (Montreal: caboose, 2014)
French term, untranslatable into English, for an EDITING “plan” of a (sometimes finished) film which is like a visual version of a “screenplay,” but not necessarily a “storyboard” or “shooting script” because these can’t include a precise conception of movement within and between shots. Most notably used by film theorist Noël Burch and director Robert Bresson. 

Film Studies For Free is thrilled to present an entry on the concept of cinematic découpage to celebrate the online publication of the first half of the forthcoming volume on that topic in the Kino-Agora series (edited by Christian Keathley, author of some of the other works on découpage linked to below) published by the Canadian publisher caboose and written by Timothy Barnard. The full book will be published in Fall 2014. While you're visiting the caboose website, it's really worth having a good look around: this is one of the most generous of film publishers in offering free excerpts from its wonderful books.

FSFF will be back on Monday with a round up entry of open access goodies from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference on Seattle, at which [in]Transition, the new journal of videographic film and moving image studies was launched! So, if you have any items you'd like to share, please email them. Thanks!

The recording of a Film Studies research seminar given by Christian Keathley at the Centre for Visual Fields, University of Sussex, on December 4, 2013. For information about this video (and for an audio file version) please see here.

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 working on 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 multimedia format, including video essays (see his Vimeo account here). Keathley is editor of caboose's kino-agora book series.

For links to numerous examples of Keathley's scholarly work online, including items he mentions in this talk, please see this earlier Film Studies For Free entry.

Monday 17 March 2014

Study of a Single Film: IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)

INTERSECTION, a videographic film study of In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000) 
By Catherine Grant, Chiara Grizaffi and Denise Liege

The above video explores the notion (and some of the motifs) of 'Intersection' in Wong Kar-wai's 2000 film In the Mood for Love. It works through a synchronous compilation of the images and soundtracks from the montage sequences in the film that use the same orchestration of a waltz originally composed by Shigeru Umebayashi for the film Yumeji (Suzuki Seijun, 1991). Watch the video, then read these linked to, intersecting quotations from written texts about Wong's film. Then repeat.

Film Studies For Free proudly presents its latest "Study of a Single Film" entry which, this time, showcases open access scholarly work on the subject of Wong Kar-wai's 2000 film In the Mood for Love.

It's a film that FSFF's author has been fortunate to have been teaching this semester, on a course which devotes its entire attention just to this one movie. As with the corresponding course last year (which treated Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados), this period of intense study has resulted in a videographic study of In the Mood for Love on the film - embedded above - this year, one co-produced as part of a research collaboration with two graduate students Chiara Grizzaffi and Denise Liege.

Speaking of videographic film studies... is exactly what FSFF's author will be doing at a workshop at the upcoming Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference in Seattle, USA (download PDF of the program here). At this workshop an important announcement will be made: notably, the precise online location of a brand new open access journal to which the below official press release refers:

Announcing [in]Transition

Cinema Journal and MediaCommons will soon announce the launch of the first peer-reviewed academic journal of videographic film and moving image studies. The journal, [in]Transition, will unveil its inaugural issue at next week's annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Seattle, Washington. The journal will be formally launched and discussed (amongst other topics) at the “Visualizing Media Studies: The Expansion of Scholarly Publishing into Video Essays” workshop on Thursday, March 20th (Session E14).

[in]Transition will provide a forum for a range of digital scholarship (which includes such formats as the video essay and the visual essay) and will also create a context for understanding and evaluating videographic work as a new mode of scholarly writing for the disciplines of cinema and media studies and related fields. This goal will be achieved through editorial curating of exemplary videographic works, through critical analysis and appreciation, pre-publication peer review and Open Peer Commentary.

[in]Transition will be co-edited by Catherine Grant (University of Sussex), Christian Keathley (Middlebury College), and Drew Morton (Texas A and M University-Texarkana) and managed by Christine Becker (Cinema Journal) and Jason Mittell (MediaCommons).

FSFF will also bring you that news as hot off the press as it can, probably just after the conference. So do please stay tuned! It hopes to see some of you at the workshop, too, as well as at its author's other conference panel appearance (on "Transnational Film Remakes" with Iain Robert Smith and Michael Lawrence).

But, in the meantime, please enjoy perusing the below links to scholarly material about Wong's wonderful film.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Toute la mémoire du monde: In Memoriam, Alain Resnais (June 3, 1922 - March 1, 2014)

Screenshot from Les Statues meurent aussi (Alain Resnais/Chris Marker, 1953)
 "I never had any special appetite for filmmaking, but you have to make a living
and it is miraculous to earn a living working in film." - Alain Resnais

News has just come in of the death of Alain Resnais at the age of 91. The below tribute will evolve and expand over the next days and weeks. But Film Studies For Free has begun it with a sense of shock and huge sadness. David Hudson is also collecting tributes and links at Keyframe Daily.