Senin, 31 Maret 2014

Film Studies For Free is under the cosh of a few deadlines right now (there are some great things to come at this here open access campaigning website in the next weeks!).

But it has temporarily cast off its work shackles to rush you tidings of two new ejournal issues: the latest Screening the Past, co-edited by Adrian Martin and Anna Dzenis, and replete with Part One of a brilliant dossier on Aesthetic Issues in World Cinema and a marvellous essay by Nicole Brenez, among other treasures (Hediger, Martin and Tofts, Phelps); and the very welcome return online of the multilingual La furia umana (whose website, and fabulous archive [soon to return fully], were devastated by a malware attack), edited by Toni DAngela and replete with dossiers on Joseph Losey and Bertrand Bonello, and a marvelous essay by Nicole Brenez, among other treasures (Ramani, Calder Williams, Small, to cite just some anglophone ones)!

Scroll down for all the wonderful contents. FSFF will be back properly soon!


Aesthetic Issues in World Cinema (Part 1)
First Release


Editorial: T.D. / La critique comme concaténation

Confidential report
NICOLE BRENEZ / La Critique comme concept, exigence et praxis


Prima linea
Histoires du cinéma
Locchio che uccide
Flaming creatures
The new world
Read More..

Minggu, 30 Maret 2014

Frame grab from Mon oncle dAmérique/My American Uncle (Alain Resnais, 1980). Read Angela Dalle Vacches article which treats this film in the latest issue of Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media
The interstice: something empty, something minute—a crevice, a chink, a narrow gap—yet, in spite of this definition of something apparently slight and inconsequential, one perhaps may make the claim that the interstice serves as a foundational element of film. The “intervening space”, as the OED defines it, in its celluloid form provided the connection between multiple images, allowing them to run together to form the illusion of movement. While this interstitial black strip that imperceptibly framed the moving image is no longer a constituent part of cinema in its current digital format, interstices continue to proliferate in screen media, perhaps to a greater extent than ever. Indeed, just as cinema originated in the interstices between theatre, painting, literature and photography, this intermediality takes on a redefined role in the digital era, with the lines between cinema, television, art, video and new media becoming increasingly difficult to define. [from Cinema in the Interstices: Editorial, Alphaville, 5, 2013, by Abigail Keating, Deborah Mellamphy and Jill Murphy (Issue Editors)]
Film Studies For Free is thrilled to announce to its readers that Issue 5 of Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, a special themed issue on Cinema in the Interstices, is now available. The full table of contents, with links to all the excellent items, is given below.

FSFF particularly enjoyed Angela Dalle Vacches essay, Laura Lee on the (digital) layering of media forms in Japanese cinema, Patrick Tarrant on Pedro Costa’s Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (Onde Jaz o Teu Sorriso, 2001), Pauline Marsh on the Australian coming-of-age film and complex issues of relations between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians, Veronika Schweigl on Henri-François Imbert’s essay film, No pasarán, album souvenir (2003) about the fate of Spanish Civil War refugees in France, Roy Daly on Jim Jarmusch, and Delphine Letort on Treme. Last but definitely not least, FSFF really appreciated Raymond Bellours lecture on "the increasingly irreversible position of cinema within multiple image and sound dispositifs" through the prism of art installations by filmmakers and artists, including Marker, Akerman, Mekas, Kiarostami, Egoyan, Farocki, Svankmajer, Rist, Oursler, Beloff, Cardiff, Birnbaum, Viola and Castorf.

That is to say, FSFF particularly enjoyed everything in this issue.
Book Reviews (Editor: Ian Murphy)
Reports (Editor: Yuanyuan Chen)
Read More..

Sabtu, 29 Maret 2014

FSFF Nyota Uhura, (Nyota meaning Star & Uhura meaning Freedom) originally played by Nichelle Nichols, is a character in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, the first six Star Trek films, and the 2009 film Star Trek.

Film Studies For Free likes to circulate calls for papers for online, Open Access, film and media studies related journals. So, heres a very worthwhile CFP for the very wonderful e-journal
Transformative Works and Cultures. All relevant details are given below.

By the way, while putting together this post, FSFF came across another great, related, website: Fandom Research - very much worth exploring.

Race and Ethnicity in Fandom

Transformative Works and Cultures, an online-only, peer-reviewed journal focusing on media and fan studies, broadly conceived, invites contributions for a special issue on race and ethnicity to be published in summer 2011. Academic scholarship on fan cultures and fan productions over the past few decades has focused primarily on gender as the sole category of analysis. There has been little published scholarship on fan cultures and productions that incorporates critical race theory or draws on the rich array of methodologies that have been developed during the past century in both activist and academic communities in order to incorporate analysis of the social constructions of race and ethnicities in fandoms.

In contrast, fan activism and fan scholarship (at cons, workshops, and on the Internet) has produced a growing body of work (personal narratives, essays, carnivals, and in recent months, a press) focusing on not only analyzing but also confronting hierarchies of race and ethnicity and their relationship to gender, sexuality, class, and disability. Submissions by academics, acafans, fan scholars, and fans are encouraged. In all categories, people of color are especially encouraged to submit.

The deadline for completed submissions is October 1, 2010.

The editors would like to encourage pre-proposal abstracts and drafts for early feedback by March 1, 2010.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

Online activism and the circulation of critical race theory and women of color feminisms in fan communities, in particular the relationship between fan online discourse and other online activist communities.

Critical analysis of the instantiation and critique of racial hierarchies in fan communities and the surrounding cultural productions.

Racist and antiracist issues in commercial transformative works (comics, film, mashups, remixes, machinima, etc.), especially recuperative race readings (e.g., Randalls The Wind Done Gone, Rhyss Wide Sargasso Sea).

Race concerns in source texts (characters of color and their fannish reception, fandoms for work by authors of color, writing fannish original characters, etc.) and fannish responses (such as the Carl Brandon Society, Verb Noire, and other panfannish and professional projects).

Intersection of race and ethnicity with gender, sexuality, class, and ability in fannish contexts in fan works and fan communities (pre-Internet, Internet, conventions, vids, fan fiction, artwork, etc.).

Complete information available in PDF form here:

US letter paper:

A4 paper:

The announcement on TWCs site is here:
Read More..

Jumat, 28 Maret 2014

Image from La Collectionneuse (Eric Rohmer, 1967)
"What Rohmer does, in essence, is precisely to give space to this elusive life of the heart, expanding the arena for those subtle and important personal choices which most of the time, for most of us, are squeezed below the surface made up of work and more conscious or pressing demands", Judith Williamson [Deadline at Dawn: Film Criticism 1980-1990, Marion Boyars, London, 1993, p. 180]
“After all I do not say, I show. I show people who move and speak. That is all I know how to do, but that is my true subject.” Eric Rohmer ["Letter to a Critic Concerning my Contes moraux"]
"Rohmer remained true to a restrained, rationalist aesthetic, close to the principles of the 18th-century thinkers whose words he frequently cited in his movies. And yet [his] work was warmed by an undercurrent of romanticism and erotic yearning, made perhaps all the more affecting for never quite breaking through the surface of his elegant, orderly films" 
Dave Kehr [The New York Times, January 11, 2010]

A shocked Film Studies For Free mourns the passing of Eric Rohmer, one of the key directors of the French New Wave and one of the most eloquent founders, audiovisually and verbally, of the discourse of modern cinema.

David Hudson of The Auteurs is busily gathering links to a fantastic range of eulogies to, and other worthwhile material about, this filmmaker. Below, FSFF offers up its own (customary) tribute in the form of a list of links to online, freely accessible, and notable scholarly resources which explore Rohmers magnificent body of cinematic work:

                • YouTube videos (part 1 and part 2): excerpts of Claire Deniss film of Serge Daney interviewing Jacques Rivette on his early interest in filmmaking, his days with Cahiers du cinéma, and his first meetings with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer (from 3 mins 30 secs). A must watch for those who havent yet seen Deniss Jacque Rivette, The Watchman.
                Read More..

                Kamis, 27 Maret 2014

                As of late on February 5th, all of the situation set out below has been resolved: Film Studies For Free has been given the all-clear.

                Dear Readers (subscribers and followers) of Film Studies For Free,
                Unfortunately, Google has reported that Part of this site [Film Studies For Free] was listed for suspicious activity 2 time(s) over the past 90 days. If you have tried to click on a link to my website in the last two days, you will most likely have come across the same warning. This has not happened before on this blog, thankfully. But it has happened now and I have acted quickly to address the problem.
                I believe that this situation has arisen because several of the links in my sidebar blogrolls were to sites recently taken over by malware/badware. I have thus deleted all relevant sidebar elements (apologies if my link to your website has disappeared as a result).
                I am now applying to Google to get the all clear, and if this happens smoothly, I will start to reconstruct what I have removed, bit by bit, on the basis of secure linking.
                If this does not immediately solve the problem, I will have to reconsider the future of this blog. In the meantime, all of the resources I have gathered together in the last 19 months are safe and seemingly uncontaminated by malware.
                In either case, I will publish another blogpost as soon as I can in order that those hundreds of you who subscribe to this blog in a reader can at least know whats happening without actually having to visit the blog properly - and thus risk the wrath of the warning message. I will not delete the blog without further warning.
                In addition, you can keep in touch with Film Studies For Frees ongoing work of sharing links to openly-accessible film studies resources by following the FSFF microblog on Twitter. You can also email me directly using this link.
                My sincere apologies for any alarm caused by this situation, and thanks very much in advance for your patience.
                Catherine Grant
                Read More..

                Rabu, 26 Maret 2014

                Teaser image, courtesy of Warner Brothers, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 out on July 15  (David Yates, 2011). Read Debora Luis paper on Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

                Today, Film Studies For Free brings you links to film and moving image related papers from the conference proceedings of the seventh annual Media in Transition conference, which will take place next week, May 13-15, 2011, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

                Heres the conferences mission statement:
                Has the digital age confirmed and exponentially increased the cultural instability and creative destruction that are often said to define advanced capitalism? Does living in a digital age mean we may live and die in what the novelist Thomas Pynchon has called “a ceaseless spectacle of transition”? The nearly limitless range of design options and communication choices available now and in the future is both exhilarating and challenging, inciting innovation and creativity but also false starts, incompatible systems, planned obsolescence. How are we coping with the instability of platforms? 
                FSFF particularly liked "“Make Any Room Your TV Room:” Media Mobility, Digital Delivery, and Family Harmony" by film and media studies scholar and blogger extraordinaire Chuck Tryon, film and television scholar and media studies blogger extraordinaire Michael Z. Newmans paper The Television Image and the Image of the Television", and "Who Told You You Were Special Edition? The Commercialization of the Aura" by Justin Mack.

                There are other great papers online connected to
                the conference theme of unstable platforms and the experience of mediatic transitions that dont treat moving image topics and you can access those here.

                Read More..

                Selasa, 25 Maret 2014

                Image from After the Rainbow (2009), a two screen video installation by Soda_Jerk, the Australian artist sisters Dom and Dan Angeloro, as discussed in The Colour of Nothing: Contemporary Video Art, SF and the Postmodern Sublime by Andrew Frost
                [C]inema is surely a paradoxical object: its medium-specific possibility seems to have been well and truly overrun by its tendency to intermediality, its fundamental impurity. That is where its true materiality-effect, today, is situated: in the palpable aura of a mise en scène that is always less than itself and more than itself, not only itself but also its contrary, ever vanishing and yet ever renewed across a thousand and one screens, platforms and dispositifs. [Adrian Martin, Turn the Page: From Mise en scène to Dispositif , Screening the Past, Issue 31, 2011]

                Below, Film Studies For Free presents the table of contents to the latest online issue of Screening the Past.

                Its a special issue on the intermediality of cinema, guest-edited by the brilliant and influential Australian film critic and scholar Adrian Martin. It begins with a marvellous contribution by him to the topic. Theres also an unmissable rerun of Nicole Brenezs remarkable essay Incomparable Bodies.

                Admirers of Martins work should also be more than excited by the news that the first issue of LOLA, a new film journal edited by him and the film writer and blogger extraordinaire Girish Shambu, is "coming soon"...

                Screening the Past, Issue 31 - Cinema Between Media 
                (Incorporating U-matic to YouTube, a selection of papers from a National Symposium celebrating three decades of Australian Indigenous Community Filmmaking edited by Therese Davis).


                Read More..

                Senin, 24 Maret 2014

                Image from Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

                Film Studies For Free has taken the trouble to gather together in one (hopefully) very easily navigable setting the twelve videos (embedded below) that recorded for posterity a really excellent symposium that took place last year on October 30 2009 at Londons Tate Modern. The symposium provided a space in which artists and film theorists insightfully discussed the work of filmmaker David Lynch in a range of theoretical and artistic contexts, including psychoanalysis, philosophy, prosthetics and photography.
                One of cinema’s most compelling and innovative directors, David Lynch remains a major influence on contemporary art, film and culture. In this landmark event, Tate Modern [brought] together leading artists, academics and writers from around the world to offer a series of new perspectives on Lynch’s films.
                [...] Speakers [included] the visual artists Gregory Crewdson, Daria Martin, and Jane and Louise Wilson, and there [were also] contributions from the writers and academics Parveen Adams, Sarah Churchwell, Simon Critchley, Roger Luckhurst, Tom McCarthy, and Jamieson Webster. A specially commissioned video interview with Lynch himself [was] screened, and an accompanying film programme [took] place at Tate Modern and the Birkbeck Cinema. 
                If you have difficulty playing the videos below, try visiting the Tate Websites gathering of them.

                PART 1: Marko Daniel: Welcome; Richard Martin: Introduction

                PART 2: The Body: Roger Luckhurst

                PART 3: The Body: Tom McCarthy

                PART 4: The Body: Q+A (chaired by Marko Daniel)

                PART 5: The Eye 1: Gregory Crewdson

                PART 6: The Eye 1: Q+A (chaired by Sarah Churchwell)

                PART 7: The Eye 2: Daria Martin

                PART 8: The Eye 2: Louise Wilson

                PART 9: The Eye 2: Q+A (chaired by Stuart Comer)

                PART 10: The Mind: Parveen Adams

                PART 11: The Mind: Q+A (chaired by Richard Martin)

                PART 12: The Ear: Chris Rodley responds to the days presentations in conversation with Sarah Churchwell. Followed by a Q+A with the symposiums speakers and the public
                Read More..

                Minggu, 23 Maret 2014

                In memoriam Dede Allen  
                (December 3, 1923 – April 17, 2010)
                The below entry was originally published the day before Dede Allen died. Allen was the highly innovative editor of such notable films as Bonnie and Clyde, The Hustler, Rachel, Rachel, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Night Moves, Slap Shot, Reds, The Breakfast Club and Henry and June

                Dissolve by Aaron Valdez (2003): "Found footage film constructed of hundreds of dissolves taken from old educational films and reassembled to create a meditation on our own impermanence". 

                Film Studies For Free presents a much requested links list today, one to openly accessible, high quality scholarly studies of film editing. Without further ado, lets jump cut straight to it:

                • The Art of Film Editing, Special Issue of P.O.V: A Danish Journal of Film Studies, edited by Richard Raskin, Number 6 December 1998 - PDF containing:
                  • Søren Kolstrup, The notion of editing   
                  • Sidsel Mundal, Notes of an editing teacher  
                  • Mark Le Fanu, On editing
                  • Vinca Wiedemann, Film editing – a hidden art?
                  • Edvin Kau, Separation or combination of fragments? Reflections on editing
                  • Lars Bo Kimersgaard, Editing in the depth of the surface. Some basic principles of graphic editing
                  • Martin Weinreich, The urban inferno. On the æsthetics of Martin Scorseses Taxi Driver
                  • Scott MacKenzie, Closing arias: Operatic montage in the closing sequences of the trilogies of Coppola and Leone
                  • Claus Christensen, A vast edifice of memories: the cyclical cinema of Terence Davies,
                  • Richard Raskin, Five explanations for the jump cuts in Godards Breathless

                  Read More..

                  Sabtu, 22 Maret 2014

                  Still image from the final shot of LAvventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)

                   Luxuriating in the view over the Sicilian coast, the Mt. Etna volcano, and the Mediterranean sea here at the Taormina Film Festival. Oh yeah, and seeing some good films too!
                  Peter Brunette,  June 15, 2010

                  Rather than viewing the narrative content of Antonionis films as symbolic, as representations of an absent meaning, [Peter] Brunette calls for an appreciation of the visual in and for itself, as meaning is made affective, through line, shape, and form (60). Meaning emerges from the image, it is made affective. Searching for authorial intent behind seemingly obvious symbols -- Brunette shows through the discrepancy between Antonionis own suggestions and the contrasting critical reception of his films -- will inevitably say more about the critical frame employed, than the film itself. What Brunette is claiming is the loss of referent for the sign, the loss of signification. This links nicely to his deconstructive concern, which is itself indicative of the flaws in the existentialist debate. The absences that characteristically mark Antonionis films (witness the vanishing Anna (Massari) in Lavventura) points not to a transcendental absence, but rather indicates the way out of the Platonic illusion of the coexisting Ideal and (vs) real. David Martin-Jones, [Review of Brunettes book on Antonioni, Film-Philosophy, Volume 3 Number 50, December 1999
                  Katherines exclamation [in Viaggio in Italia, Roberto Rossellini, 1954] is also emblematic of the death theme that permeates the film, and that culminates in the sequence so aptly described by Brunette in the following passage: "The parts begin to form themselves into a man and a woman; death has caught them making love, or at least wrapped tightly in each others arms. Suddenly, the museum, the catacombs, and the Cumaean Sybil all come together in one startling image: the physicality and rawness of the ancient world, the ubiquity of death in life, and love, however inadequate and flawed, as the only possible solution". Asbjørn Grønstad, "The Gaze of Tiresias: Joyce, Rossellini and the Iconology of "The Dead"", Nordic Journal of English Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2002, citing Peter Brunette, Roberto Rossellini, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987, 1996)
                  In Peter Brunette and David Willss much under-valued Screen/Play: Derrida and Film Theory [Princeton University Press, 1989] they discuss the form that a deconstructive mode of analysis might take. They write: From a deconstructive stand-point, analysis would no longer seek the supposed center of meaning but instead turn its attentions to the margins, where the supports of meaning are disclosed, to reading in and out of the text, examining the other texts onto which it opens itself out or from which it closes itself off. [...] [I]t strikes me that a serious discussion of Brunette and Willss book would be essential to any work purporting to discuss cinema and deconstructive politics.[...]  David Sorfa, Film-Philosophy, Vol. 2, No. 23, 1998
                  A number of the tributes to film critic and scholar Peter Brunette, who died last week at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy,  conveyed very movingly their opinion that he left this world while doing what he loved.

                  Those of us who followed Peters activities and travels, at least from the vantage point of his social media network, certainly loved his updates on them, like his final Facebook posting above. His death was a huge shock, and a great loss, notably to the two spheres -- film scholarship and theory, and film criticism -- that he managed to join up, much more successfully than most, through his own prolific practice (he gave an account of some of the issues at stake in this choice in an interview here, and Gerald Pearys obituary beautifully refers to his unusual trajectory, for an academic, here).

                  FSFFs authors acquaintance with Peter Brunette began with his director books (listed with his other work in his CV here), and in particular with his marvellous study of the films of Roberto Rossellini, now one of the best freely accessible e-books online, thanks to Peter and his publishers. Peter was a fan and an important supporter of freely accessible culture and ideas on the Web, as this article he wrote in 2000 testifies.

                  Fortunately, a very good selection of other articles and chapters (and a substantial podcast) by him may be experienced at the click of a mouse, quite aside from the virtual reams of online movie criticism under his byline. That means that the following list of links to the former work - to Peter Brunettes formal film studies - is, then, the most fitting tribute that FSFF can give to a scholar who gave so much and influenced so many in his too short (or just long enough) life.

                  Read More..