Monday 6 June 2016

The Persistence of Vision: Videos on the Work of Film Theorists and Scholars

A New Video Tribute to the Work of Film Scholar Elizabeth Cowie.

Film Studies For Free's author has just published her latest video tribute to a film theorist! The above, quite heartfelt work (with key contributions from Andrew Klevan, Christine Evans, Coral Houtman and Sarah Wood) celebrates the writing of Professor Emeritus Elizabeth Cowie, a pioneer in psychoanalytic and feminist approaches to cinema studies and author of two important books in our field (Representing the Woman: Cinema and Psychoanalysis, 1997, and Recording Reality, Desiring the Real, 2011). She has also published the below, wonderful essays online:
The publication of the above video prompted FSFF to assemble and embed its now numerous celebratory video works on the writings (and films) of individual (to date, mostly anglophone) film theorists and scholars. So, below, you can watch video works on writings by:
Pam Cook; Elizabeth Cowie; Alexander Doty; Richard Dyer; Amber Jacobs; Andrew Klevan; Annette Kuhn; Mathieu Macherey; Laura Marks; D.A. Miller; Laura Mulvey; Vivian Sobchack; Lesley Stern; Gaylyn Studlar; Dai Vaughan; and Patricia White. 

Pam Cook

Alexander Doty

Richard Dyer (and Elizabeth Cowie and Adrienne McLean)

Richard Dyer and Pam Cook

Amber Jacobs 

Read more about this video essay here.

Andrew Klevan

Read more about this video here.

Annette Kuhn

Mathieu Macherey

Mechanised Flights: Memories of HEIDI from Catherine Grant
Read more about this video here.

Laura Marks

Also see here.

D.A. Miller

Also see here.

Laura Mulvey

Vivian Sobchack

Published in NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Spring, 2015. Online at:, where you can also read the accompanying text: "Film studies in the groove? Rhythmising perception in Carnal Locomotive."

Lesley Stern


An experimental response to (or adaptive working through of) the following written essay:

This video by CATHERINE GRANT was presented at THE AUDIOVISUAL ESSAY Conference, Deutsches Filminstitut/Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, November 23-4, 2013

Gaylyn Studlar

Dai Vaughan

Patricia White

"In the earlier film version of Stella Dallas [Henry King, 1925], the overwrought Stella takes refuge in the ladies’ waiting room at the train station directly after her visit to Helen [the woman to whom she has just entrusted her daughter]. She’s watched very closely by a woman whose flashy dress indicates her similarity to Stella in class status, if not in her dubious profession. The stranger offers the apparently inconsolable Stella a cigarette, and Stella puts it in her mouth and lights it end to end with the cigarette in the other woman’s mouth. A fade to black gives the gesture—which resembles a kiss—an elliptical significance, though nothing else is made of this scene. The shot echoes with Stella’s connection to Helen in the previous scene. But the silent version of Stella Dallas  suggests that such sympathy, and women’s motives, need not be reduced to shared maternal feeling. The washroom “pick-up” scene doesn’t occur in the [original 1922 source novel Stella Dallas  by Olive Higgins Prouty].
QUOTATION: Patricia White, Uninvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999), pp. 107-8.

Patricia White (and Tania Modleski)

Also see: See "The Remix That Knew Too Much? On REBECCA, Retrospectatorship and the Making Of RITES OF PASSAGE", THE CINE-FILES, 7, Fall 2014.

Various theorists (Stanley Cavell, Linda Williams, William Rothman, and Christian Viviani)

Read the related multimedia essay "The Marriages of Laurel Dallas: Or, The Maternal Melodrama of the Unknown Feminist Film Spectator", MEDIASCAPE, Fall 2014.  (this essay has been translated into Spanish by Cristina Álvarez López and published here)