Monday 24 December 2018

Ten Festive Treats from Film Studies For Free!

Sawing Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in half.
A queer experiment in cinephilic re-spatialisation

Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays from Film Studies For Free! Let's celebrate with a new video essay (above) and nine sets of treats (below) representing some of FSFF's favourite online film and moving image studies items from 2018.

2. MEDIÁTICO - Special Dossier on Alfonso Cuarón's Roma (2018) by nine world-leading scholars on Latin American Cinema

4. NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies. Autumn 2018 Issue on Mapping
Special section: #Mappingedited by Giorgio Avezzù, Teresa Castro, and Giuseppe Fidotta
  • The exact shape of the world: Mapping and the media by Giorgio Avezzù, Teresa Castro, and Giuseppe Fidotta
Festival reviews:edited by Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist
Exhibition reviews:edited by Miriam de Rosa and Leo Goldsmith
Book reviews:edited by Lavinia Brydon and Victoria Pastor-González
Audiovisual essays:edited by Miklós Kiss

5. Erika Balsom's brilliant essay on Jean-Lun Godard's latest film Le livre d'image The Image Book

6. Latest round up of profiles at the amazing Women's Film Pioneers Project
  • Travelogue filmmaker and anthropologist Kathleen Romoli(Colombia) by Isabel Arredondo
  • Director, producer, and screenwriter Louise Kolm-Fleck(Austria, Germany, China) by Claudia Walkensteiner-Preschl
  • Director, actress, producer, and screenwriter Francesca Bertini (Italy) by Monica Dall’Asta
  • Chief accountant, office manager, and production secretary Aili Kari (Finland) by Hannu Salmi
  • Producer, screenwriter, and editor Virgínia de Castro e Almeida (Portugal, France) by Tiago Baptista
  • Director, producer, screenwriter, actress, and camerawoman Angela Murray Gibson (United States) by Charles “Buckey” Grimm
  • Set designers and location scouts Frances Baker Farrell and Lettice Ramsey & actress/editor Máirín Hayes (Ireland) by Donna Casella
  • Publicist, trade journal editor and writer, and business owner Mabel Condon (United States) by Carolyn Jacobs
  • Director, actress, and film company founder Cleo de Verberena (Brazil) by Marcella Grecco de Araujo

7. The fabulous research project and resource Timeline of Historical Film Colors is now on Instagram as @timeline_filmcolors!

9.  Allison Wilmore's 'Orientalism is Alive and Well in American Cinema' (link via Girish Shambu)

Friday 24 August 2018

Celebrating Ten Years of FILM STUDIES FOR FREE, with Two New Aretha-on-Film Tributes and Tens of Other Awesome Links!

A video tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (1942-2018), and the constantly surprising cinematic performance of her 1968 song 'Think' in The Blues Brothers (US 1980). The video takes the form of an audiovisual infographic on John Landis's dynamic filming of the song scene,
starring Franklin as the irrepressible Mrs. Murphy.

(P.S. If you think I'm mapping any of the shots incorrectly, just let me know.
This is a great exercise to do with students, but it can be tricker than it looks...)

Film Studies For Free is ten years old today! Yes! It was exactly one whole decade ago that it went public online for the first time, just a few weeks before the 2008 financial crash really took off... What a truly excellent time to have become the international purveyor of links to high-quality FREE stuff for film and screen media studies!

The re-distributive, Open Access-championing, project that FSFF embraced had been conceived (of) a mere couple of weeks before, early one morning, in one of those rather dramatic lightbulb moments: "Wouldn't it be excellent if there could be a blog that directed film scholars to good, openly accessible resources for them online?" And thus it came to pass.

What a blast it has been.

Brought to you from a somewhat remote log cabin in a tiny internationalist enclave of pre-Brexit Britain (pictured for the first time online, below), its mission was equally inspired by the extremely lively and considerably less corporate atmosphere, at the time, of the cinephile Web 2.0, post-the establishment of YouTube in 2005 - a fascinating period now both scrutinised and immortalised by fellow participant-observer in that era and since (and blogger and cinephile extraordinaire) Girish Shambu in his wonderful 2016 book The New Cinephilia.

The spiritual home of FSFF
With no pomp or circumstance and—in the manner of an uncertain TV pilot episode—with very little sense of the form it would go on to take, on August 24, 2008, FSFF posted an inaugural entry on three 'very worthwhile items on the Director's Cut' (about which its scholar-author had recently been writing for a subsequently published book chapter).

The blog very soon found its processual feet in the form of producing mostly long, handily bullet-pointed lists of curated links to (mostly English-language) 'online, Open Access, film and audiovisual media studies resources of note.'

Oh, and FSFF embraced a hilarious third-person sense of humour and directed it at a virtual second-person audience... What writing larks it has had! Dear Reader, it has been a total pleasure.

What FSFF used to look like in its first years (image courtesy of the WAYBACK MACHINE)
Please permit FSFF the indulgence of one final reflection on this anniversary. The experience of fun, energy and experimentalism in producing FSFF over the last decade has had some unimaginable and unintended consequences - unimaginable and unintended ten years ago, anyhow. They have been wonderful, too.

For one, little had this blog's author thought that carrying out the research for this website would entail a shift away from her own, rather conventional, film and media scholar-modus operandi to a world of experimental, film and social media publishing proper (with the [in]Transition and REFRAME platforms, among others) as well as to that of audiovisual production. But FSFF's runaway enthusiasm for the emergent digital forms of film studies it was discovering online and linking to, such as the video essay, brought about just such a dramatic change in its author's conception of what academic work in the Humanities might be (and ought to be), these days, which is one reason why despite everything (including the ongoing downfall of Western democracies) FSFF still  the interwebs....

If you want to read more about FSFF's thoughts on the above turns, there's a 2012 article by its author, a research dissertation about this blog based on interviews with her, a very recent and excellent interview reflecting on all the above, carried out by the fabulous film scholar Sérgio Dias Branco for the online journal Aniki, and tons more thoughts in publications listed here.

This brings us back to OA business as usual: today's anniversary entry consists of the usual lists of links, below - this time to commemoratively-focused ones connected, of course, to FSFF's first decade of existence. But, FSFF also offers you, as is its wont, one video above and one below: two modest (film studies-oriented) tributes to the cinematic magic (in The Blues Bothers and Moonlight) of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, who sadly passed away on August 16, 2018.

Keep coming back, Readers (well over 5 million of you, and still counting..). Thank you!

And thank you very much, Open Access authors and publishers! Without you, FSFF really wouldn't exist... Would it?

Please follow @filmstudiesff on Twitter and the Film Studies For Free page on Facebook, where quality links are shared daily.

Finally, huge thanks to FSFF's author's partner and soulmate Joyce for supporting Film Studies For Free
(and everything else) in every single way possible for each of the last great ten years.

On a choice song in Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, USA 2016)



          For more see HERE

          For more see HERE





          For more see HERE


And don't forget Oapen Books - not a publisher but a library, where you can find vast quantities of film and screen studies research in book form.


I think I discovered [Film Studies For Free] around 2010-2011. And I'm pretty sure it was through Catherine's video essay 'True Likeness', that we republished at Transit. Cine y otros desvíos - ( Lovely piece and long life to Film Studies For Free!!!
Cristina Álvarez López, film critic and audiovisual essayist, Vilassar de Mar, Cataluña. @laughmotel

[W]ith thanks for such invaluable work and hearty congratulations on the anniversary.
José Arroyo, University of Warwick, UK. Blogger and podcaster. @JoseArroyo16

I remember when I first discovered [Film Studies For Free]-- I think I just came across it via a film-related google search, but it was a revelation. It was as if someone had given me a gift... The site was relatively new, but already, one could get deliriously, delightfully lost in it for hours.
Tracy Cox-Stanton, Savannah College of Art and Design and editor of The Cine-Files:A Scholarly Journal of Cinema Studies

Here’s my memory [...]. [Film Studies For Free] was one of my first resources when I was getting into film, especially as I started university (a Filmmaking degree) and realized that I wasn’t going to have Film History as a subject. I was also really struggling with trying to be fluent in reading and writing in English. The complex language of some of the studies pushed me into studying more, finding new words, new thoughts and it also gave me the education that I was lacking at uni. I’ve always been thankful for the access provided and I’ll always have the memories of going through link after link, reading about films that I hadn’t seen yet, going back, watching more and more, and then reading. Can’t say it made me want to write those kind of studies (I wish I had that kind of mentality and verbosity). But it surely made me write more about film and eventually, down the line, jump in and start writing in this language. Thank you for everything, Catherine, and to the people who make these studies available.
Jaime Grijalba, film critic, Santiago de Chile @jaimegrijalba

One of the best things about having good scholar-friends is when they say to you, ‘Have you read x?’, ‘Do you know about y?’, because they know you will be interested.  With Film Studies For Free  [Catherine] Grant became everyone’s favorite scholar-friend, and the site became the platform for extraordinary generosity – which, it must be noted, is more than matched her intelligence and imagination.” 
Christian Keathley, Middlebury College, co-editor of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, and editor of the Kino-Agora series at caboose books

[Film Studies For Free] honestly helped put [the Cinephiliacs] on the trajectory [it took], and I’m so excited for Catherine to celebrate this!!!
Peter Labuza, host of The Cinephiliacs podcast. @labuzamovies & @Cinephiliacs 

Felicitaciones por este excelente trabajo, una fuente de recursos increíble para conocer el universo del ensayo audiovisual, por muchos años más!!
Patricio Sanz, Buenos Aires-based PhD student and 'Cantautor, VJ y pugilista aficionado'. @patoriuss

What an absolutely invaluable and generous resource [Film Studies For Free] has been for a decade. (A thousand thanks!) This morning I dug up my very first exchanges with [its author]--going back to the time when she founded FSFF--and (gulp) I found an email in which I urged her to join Facebook and friend me lol...which she kindly did. FSFF 4EVER! 

Girish Shambu, Canisius College, blogger and author of The New Cinephilia

The generosity of the endeavour of [Film Studies For Free] in terms of the amount of scholarship it archives in topical and trending lists - and the invaluable resource it offers to film educators/researchers are what I  most about it and what I love most about [its author].
Dolores Tierney, University of Sussex, and co-editor of Mediático@Dolorestierney

[Film Studies For Free] is my go-to resource for all things cinema studies. It's the best place online to find out what's happening in the world of academic film criticism.
Joseph Tompkins, Allegheny College, editor of Film Criticism.

Sunday 20 May 2018

A Merry May Round Up of Joyous Film Links: Bergman, MAI, Jump Cut, OFFSCREEN, WIDESCREEN and lots more!

LESSON on Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata by Catherine Grant, one of a number of videos made to commemorate this year's centenary of the Swedish director's birth. Don't forget FSFF's earlier entry on Ingmar Bergman studies

Greetings -- it's been a while! Here's a speedy, northern-hemisphere, Spring round up from Film Studies For Free. See below for some especially choice and unmissable items!! More will be added to the below in the coming days.

Remember to follow @filmstudiesff on Twitter and on Facebook for your daily stream of great openly accessible items!

1. Jump Cut

Check out the HUGE new issue of JUMP CUT (58, 2018)
Tributes to Chuck Kleinhans. The future of Jump Cut. Special sections on experimental feature fiction, documentary strategies, international perspectives, U.S. slavery's legal and symbolic remains, radical activism, unruly women, porn again, and book reviews.

See also this excellent SCMS video tribute to Kleinhans here

2. MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture

Exciting launch issue of the new open access journal MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture: "A non-hierarchical journal open to multivalent feminist expression, research & critique of visual culture", featuring:
Follow @MAI_journal on Twitter here

3. CFP for The Cine-Files Special issue on Animals in Cinema

The Cine-Files, Issue 14 (Fall 2018), Call for Papers  [Download as PDF] for a Special issue on Animals in Cinema. Submission Deadline:  July 30, 2018
The Cine-Files, an online journal of cinema scholarship, is now accepting submissions for its Fall 2018 special issue on animals in the cinema that will be edited by Catherine Grant and Tracy Cox-Stanton.  
We seek submissions for scholarly essays (4000-6000 words) that explore the significance of non-human animals in moving image studies.  These essays will comprise the peer-reviewed, “featured scholarship” portion of issue 14.
Since John Berger’s 1991 essay “Why Look at Animals?” studies of animals in visual culture have steadily advanced, culminating in the 2015 anthology Animal Life and the Moving Image (BFI, Michael Lawrence and Laura McMahon, editors).  In this work, scholars employ a diversity of theoretical frameworks to extend many of the insights of animal studies into the terrain of film and media studies.  Issue 14 of The Cine-Files seeks to build on that work, inviting scholars to contemplate the significance of animals in a variety of audiovisual media.
Papers might consider, but are not limited to, the following questions:
  • How do particular films or videos convey or complicate recent scholarly work about the sentience of non-human animals? 
  • What can we learn from an analysis of films that feature animal performers? How does the non-human animal performer complicate our views of film performance?
  • How might we understand the proliferation of online animal videos within the context of anthropogenic climate change and threats of “the sixth extinction”?
  • What role did animals play in early cinema’s era of “attractions,” and how can an understanding of that era help us contextualize contemporary representations?
  • How can we better understand and historicize “the colonialist trope of animalization” (identified in Unthinking Eurocentrism)—aligning non-human animals with human “others” including racial and/or ethnic minorities, as well as women, LGBTQI and others?
  • How has CGI affected the cinematic figuration of animals? 
  • How has the depiction of animals prompted particularly innovative uses of cinematic language?
  • Is it possible to depict animals in a way that is not “anthropomorphic?” How have particular films challenged anthropomorphic representation?
Please email your essay as a MS Word doc to the editors, removing your identifying information from the essay.  On a separate page, include your name, essay title, brief biographical note, and email address. Consult the guidelines for submissions at
If you would like to submit a video essay for consideration, please contact the editors by email to discuss your idea in the first instance. July 30 will also be the date for submissions in this mode.
Catherine Grant, and Tracy Cox-Stanton,

4. Some recent video essays!