Sunday 31 December 2017

12 Favourite Online Film Studies Items from 2017, and Other Links of Note!

Last updated January 2, 2018

NE ME QUITTE PAS - a new video assemblage focusing on Brief Encounter and Carol by Catherine Grant

To commemorate the somewhat sad and strange outgoing year -- and very much to welcome in 2018 --- Film Studies For Free has selected, below, twelve of its favourite online film studies items encountered (or re-encountered) in 2017 for your delectation and delight - in no particular order of category.

Some of these involved poignant encounters, associated with terribly untimely passings of pathbreaking scholars (see no. 1). Some are amazing new resources from (already) the most generous of brilliant scholars (see no. 2). All come with associated links, and are well worth your time exploring.

Wishing you a radically happy and active 2018!

With openly accessible love (and a brand new video, above) from FSFF xx

P.S. Remember to follow Film Studies For Free on Twitter and Facebook for frequent news and links.

Favourite Online Lecture

Hannah Frank's brilliant illustrated lecture from 2014 "The Traces of Their Hands: Women’s Work at American Animation Studios, 1928-1961" at the Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies event, Department of Performance Studies New York University April 11–13, 2014. 

Dr. Frank tragically died on August 28, 2017, at the age of 33. She was one of the most original, accomplished and promising scholars of her generation. She will be hugely missed but much remembered.

See Hannah Frank's Vimeo account; and her Google Scholar citations;

Also see the following tributes to Dr. Frank:

Favourite new website

"Long awaited" doesn't even get close to describing film critic and scholar extraordinaire Adrian Martin's website project to gather much of his published film criticism work and offer it up for free! But it arrived in 2017, starting with over 2000 entries to amazing pieces of writing and thinking, which are being added to every week!

Titled FILM CRITIC: ADRIAN MARTIN, the website also points to a connected 'Patreon' campaign to raise some funds to help keep it maintained and regularly updated. FSFF's author has signed up to do just that.

It's not every day that one of the world's leading writers about film gives away quite so much of his lifetime's work to the public domain. Good on ya, and thank you, Adrian!

Favourite Film and Media Studies Podcast

Film and Media Studies podcasts continued to delight us in 2017. The following three (listed in alphabetical order) tied for their place as FSFF's favourite.

Also, check out new podcast on the block:

Favourite longstanding website

January 2017 entries:
February 2017 entries:
March 2017 entries:
April 2017 entries:
May 2017 entries:
June 2017 entries:
July 2017 entries:
August 2017 entries:
September 2017 entries:
October 2017 entries:
November 2017 entries:
December 2017 entries:

Favourite Online Film Studies Journal

A tie this year between The Cine-Files, which brings some truly wonderful material online, year after year, thanks largely to the amazing talents of Editor-in-Chief Tracy Cox-Stanton, and Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, similarly run by a passionate team of academics, which introduced a brilliant new audiovisual essay section!

FSFF is very much looking forward to the publication of a new Jump Cut issue in Spring 2018 following on from the very sad loss of one of its pioneering editors, Chuck Kleinhans, to whom this blog dedicated its previous entry in tribute

Favourite Video Essay on a Film Studies Topic

This was at the the top of my top ten picks in the end of year Sight and Sound poll: "The best video essays of 2017" expertly and painstakingly gathered by Kevin B. Lee and David Verdeure.

Also check out this top 17 list curated by Jacob Oller for the ONE PERFECT SHOT (now FILM SCHOOL REJECTS) website. 

Favourite video essayist

A two-way tie between:

Cristina Alvarez López and Adrian Martin for MUBI, Filmkrant, and themselves (see also this great video interview with them by Julia Vassilieva from Monash Film and Screen Studies);

Favourite video essay publisher/curator
(ahem...after [in]Transition and Audiovisualcy....)

Best online scholarly collaboration between a filmmaker and a film scholar (who is also a filmmaker!)

Best open access eBook appearing online in 2017

Two-way split between:


Favourite online article:

Nina Menkes’s article "The Visual Language of Oppression: Harvey Wasn’t Working in a Vacuum," FILMMAKER Magazine’s most popular post in 2017. Menkes' brilliantly uses the work of Laura Mulvey.

Favourite Film Studies Related Instagram Account:

And finally...

Some very very very  honourable mentions

  • Best Facebook page for Film and Media Studies in 2017: Teaching Media 
  • For its continued brilliance and generosity: Shane Denson's medieninitiative website
  • Best historiographical video essay series: The Per una controstoria del cinema italiano/Towards a Counter History of Italian Cinema project organised by Filmidée and Chiara Grizzaffi with multiple videos and authors. Watch the trailer here.
More to follow as FSFF remembers further 2017 links of great note!


Sunday 17 December 2017

Rest in RADICAL POWER! In Warm Memory of Chuck Kleinhans, film and media scholar and activist extraordinaire

Last updated December 31, 2017
(screenshot from video embedded below)

Yesterday, the terribly sad news reached Film Studies For Free that radical film and media scholar Chuck Kleinhans had died. Along with his wonderful partner in life and work Julia Lesage, Chuck has been a monumentally good friend to this blog over the years, mostly in his capacity as co-founding co-editor of the brilliant journal JUMP CUT, and as a phenomenal advocate for open access and "small gauge" scholarly and activist publishing. 

Alongside his own foundational work in cinema and media scholarship, Chuck was a remarkable and hugely influential mentor to many very important scholars in our field. If you should need a sense of what he gave us, please just watch the opening five minutes of the first video embedded below in which his friend (and fellow inspiring scholar and activist) Alexandra Juhasz does a great job of conveying his wonderful contributions.

In this blog's humble view, we are losing Chuck just at the very moment when we need great champions of and participants in radical action like him the most. Let us continue his work as best we can, inspired by all that he did, to keep his memory much alive.

FSFF wishes to mark Chuck's passing in its customary way by this entry of links to his work (already amply available online), including to some as yet relatively uncirculated videos of two of his lectures (below) and eventually to online tributes as these appear. Please feel encouraged to leave your own tributes to him (or links to these) via the comments' thread below.

FSFF sends its condolences and warmest wishes to Julia, and Chuck's family and friends. 

Keynote presentation: ‘Imagining Change: a short history of radical film in the USA’,
Chuck Kleinhans (Co-editor, JUMP CUT: A review of contemporary media).
Chair: Alexandra Juhasz (CUNY). Filmed by Mike Wayne for Brunel FilmandTV


More Links to Tributes to Follow

Saturday 10 June 2017

Richly Resourceful! On B.Ruby Rich's Work, plus A Roundup of Recent Open Access Screen Studies Items

The above video treats the ending of Lucrecia Martel's La niña santa / The Holy Girl (2004), using insights about the film from Deborah Martin's book The Cinema of Lucrecia Martel (Manchester University Press, 2016) and Sophie Mayer's chapter 'Gutta cavat lapidem: The sonorous politics of Lucrecia Martel's swimming pools', in The Cinema of The Swimming Pool, eds. Christopher Brown and Pam Hirsch (Peter Lang, 2014). For Study Purposes Only - No Significant Spoilers.
The video is dedicated to pioneering queer and feminist film curator and critic B. Ruby Rich, one of the foremost advocates of the work of La niña santa's director, and much other queer New Argentine, and Latin American Cinema. 
Rich's career is justly being celebrated at a screening and discussion event taking place between June 21-25, 2017, at the Barbican Cinema (and other London venues) as part of its 2017 Film in Focus season. The event is entitled ‘Being Ruby Rich’ and is co-sponsored by Film London and co-curated by Club des Femmes, the queer-feminist film curating collective. La niña santa (a film championed by Rich, alongside Martel's other films) will be screened with an introduction by Sophie Mayer at the Barbican Cinema on Sunday, June 25, at 6pm.
For further information about these events, see here. 

Today, Film Studies For Free celebrates the much-awaited visit to London of B. Ruby Rich (foundational film critic, festival programmer, cultural theorist, and chronicler of social trends on screen and off), on the occasion of a magnificently merited celebration of her career at the Barbican and other venues, organised by Club des Femmes, the queer-feminist film curating collective (check out their interview about their work here).

The entry celebrates, as usual, in film studies links, beginning with a new video resource (above) on one of the films to be screened in this celebratory programme, and then lots of other rich Rich-related resources (below), followed by a roundup of recent Open Access Screen Studies Items, including numerous new journal issues online.

FSFF also wanted to share the great news that, from September 1, 2017, its author will be taking up the post of Professor of Digital Media and Screen Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, an institution with a longstanding and wonderful record of supporting open access publishing and widening educational access, in part through film curating study and practice! Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image is also co-host of one of the free events celebrating Ruby Rich's work, taking place on June 21, 2017.

By (or Featuring) B. Ruby Rich:

On Rich's work:

Other news and recent open access screen studies links:
  1. Cinephile aggregator extraordinaire David Hudson has taken his expertly unmissable daily round-ups of cinephile links, news and events (formerly of Keyframe Daily) to the Criterion Collection "Daily" website
  2. Tiago Baptista's open-access PhD thesis on the digital audiovisual essay (supervised by Laura Mulvey and externally examined by Adrian Martin)!
  3. Rob King's great new book Hokum! The Early Sound Slapstick Short and Depression-Era Mass Culture is available in open access formats at Luminosoa here:
  4. Nicholas Mirzoeff's new free e-book The Appearance of Black Lives Matter (NAME Publications) is available here:
  5. Out now: Issue 45.2 of Film/Literature Quarterly, a highly esteemed and long-established journal now available in an online open access version!!
  6. Just out: Issue 7 of MOVIE: Journal of Film Criticism, with new features on Opening Shots and audiovisual essays:
  7. Just out: Issue 12 of The Cine-Files: a special commemorative issue on Chris Marker and Jacques Rivette, featuring so many delightful and insightful pieces... including an essay by Rivette himself! and
  8. Issue 11 of FRAMES Cinema Journal - The Future of Horror is now available online at
  9. A NEW issue of #openaccess journal NECSUS on #TRUE! with a great new AV essay section curated by Kevin B. Lee!
  10. Three new contributions to "Ghetto Films and their Afterlife", in the #openaccess journal APPARATUS
  11. New issue of Film-Philosophy (21, 2, 2017) now published and fully open access: ARTICLES: Memories of the Unlived Body: Jean-Louis Schefer, Georges Bataille and Gilles Delouse by Patrick ffrench; A Body Without a Face: The Disorientation of Trauma in Phoenix (2014) and New Holocaust Cinema by Olivia Landry; Intra-Diegetic Cameras as Cinematic Actor Assemblages in Found Footage Horror Cinema by Rødje Kjetl; Fearsome Acts of Interpretation: Audiovisual Historiography, Film Theory and Gangs of New York by Mike Meneghett.
  12. New issue of Media Industries (Vol. 4, No. 1) now available. It features articles by Nora Draper, Darrell Davis and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh, Patryk Galuszka and Katarzyna Wyrzykowska, and Justin Wyatt. The issue also contains a Special Section curated by Annette Hill and Jeanette Steemers that focuses on Media Industries and Engagement, featuring a dialogue between industry and academic researchers:
  13. A new international peer-reviewed open access journal of James Bond Studies, shaken not stirred:
  15. New issue of the Journal of Lusophone Studies features a special dossier on Portuguese Cinema:
  16. A great new #openaccess practice-research publication: O A R Platform! Check out Issue 1: "Sites of Research" here:
  17. On David Lynch: a new virtual special issue of the esteemed journal Screen freely accessible until end August 2017:
  18. Laura Ivins' great video and text on Maya Deren's Film-Philosophy:
  19. New essay by Adrian, Martin for Photogénie, on 'play' in American screen comedy from the early sound era to the 50s and beyond: t
  20. Peter Labuza of the Cinephiliacs podcast interviews cinephile par excellence Girish Shambu:
  21. Further great, recent, scholarly-related cinema podcasts available at The Cinematologists:
  22. Check out 'Edit shots' - a free for personal use (or pay what you want) resource:
  23. ‪Check out Professor Ian Christie's new research blog on cinema pioneer Robert Paul, the "undersung hero of early British filmmaking":
  24. Attention Hitchcock Fans: there will be a free online, interactive course with multi-media course material, games and more from Ball State University. It is in conjunction with TCM running one of Hitchcock's greatest films every Wednesday and Friday night in July. You can enroll here:
  25. Great interview with Laura Mulvey at Issue 8 of  Four by Three Magazine, part of an amazing issue of the magazine on DEATH, with other contributions by luminaries on a wide range of essential specific topics.
  26. The international, Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Filmmaking Research Network has designed a survey to gather data about filmmaking research. The aim of this survey is to compare and contrast examples of filmmaking research through producing case studies and a register of films as research outputs. It is also intended to build capacity through networking members via research themes, curating content from the film register for international dissemination and creating a Phd examiner list. Though the survey is primarily aimed at UK and Australian academics we welcome contributions from colleagues in other countries particularly those who have films to register. Please participate by completing the online survey at: For further information about the network and to join the e-list visit:
  27. Martin Scorsese on standing up for cinema in the Times Literary Supplement
  28. Great interview with Laura Mulvey at Four by Three Magazine:
  29. The latest issue of Learning on Screen/BUFVC journal VIEWFINDER has published a conversation between Catherine Grant, Amber Jacobs and Ian Magor about the use of audiovisual essay in film and moving image studies.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

A Sweet Life in Italian Cinema: In Memory of Peter Bondanella (1943-2017)

'The most exciting aspect of Bondanella’s work is, in fact, his inextinguishable faith in the power of reason and systematization which reminds us in a nostalgic way of methods and choices inspired by respect and harmony.’ Federico Fellini 

Sad news has reached Film Studies For Free of the death of Italian cinema and culture scholar Peter Bondanella on May 28th. Bondanella was Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, Film Studies and Italian at Indiana University. He made many essential contributions to his fields during a career that spanned over four decades, most notably for our discipline, perhaps, his foundational volume Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present, first published in 1983, and his  later reworked version of that book A History of Italian Cinema (2010).

FSFF marks Bondanella's brilliant career as well as his passing by rounding up some links to online works about him (including Gino Moliterno's wonderful obituary), as well as by him (including his magnificent recent contribution to the above embedded conversation about Fellini - who earlier had very nice things to say about Bondanella's own work, unsurprisingly).

As further tributes to Bondanella go online, these will be added below.

By Peter Bondanella

About Peter Bondanella

Other tributes

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Videographic screen media criticism by female critics, scholars and artists #InternationalWomensDay

Latest update January 14, 2018
GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (remix remixed 2013) by Laura Mulvey

Happy International Women's Day! Two of the questions Film Studies For Free's author gets asked  a lot—as a female video essayist, curator and editor/publisher—are:

  1. "Why are there so few female video essayists working on film and screen media topics?"
  2. And: "Can you please recommend some female video essayists?" 
The answer to the first question is that there aren't "so few": there are loads! And some of the very first video essayists in this field were foundational women film scholars (HINT: look above!)! Their numbers are ever-increasing, and they're a very international bunch! And the answer to the second question is YES!

Indeed, the answer to both questions is: please take a look at the below list - to which FSFF will keep adding as further names (and sample works) come to light or are recommended. If you would like to recommend a video or a video maker to add to the list, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

If you enjoy cultural interventions of the "there have always been many more than you think!" variety, here's a great one for International Women's Day, also listed below: Kelly Gallagher's The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker. Also, please, please, please check out Another Gaze's totally brilliant and beautiful interview with Laura Mulvey, with some of the most amazing insights about her work.

UPDATE (March 27, 2017): At the latest issue of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, see the related new piece by FSFF's author: “Looking at To-Be-Looked-at-ness: Feminist Videographic Criticism."

Female Video Essayists of Note in Alphabetical order by surname

FSFF also strongly recommends the following essay (including a great video) which pays great attention to the work of a good proportion of the above by Ian Garwood, "The Place of Voiceover in Academic Audiovisual Film and Television Criticism," NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Autumn 2016. Thanks also to Allison de Fren, Tami Williams, Gabrielle Kelly, Marit Norway, Jason Mittell, H. Perry Horton, Adrian Martin, Adrian Garvey, Glenn Stillar, Michael Mirasol, Steve Elworth, Pablo Useros, Mark Rappaport, Deane Williams and José Sarmiento Hinojosa for their great suggestions.