Unfolding Film and Media Studies: "Postproduction", Freeze Frames, Death, Games, Augmented Reality and Biological Media
May 7, 2012
|Framegrab from Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo/Christiane F. – We Children from Bahnhof Zoo (Uli Edel, 1981). Read Varpu Rantala‘s essay on studying this film via the link given below.|
A quick little entry today, just to alert Film Studies For Free‘s e-bookworm readers of the latest, excellent update to FSFF‘s permanent list of links to online and openly accessible ebooks:
Full contents are set out below.
- Preface 7
- ILONA HONGISTO: Documentary Fabulation: Folding the True and the False 9
- VARPU RANTALA: Samples of Christiane F.: Experimenting with Digital Postproduction in Film Studies 19
- TOMMI RÖMPÖTTI: To the Freeze-Frame and Beyond 33
- OUTI HAKOLA: Modeling Experience: Death Events and the Public Sphere 49
- MARIA KESTI: Science on Fire! A Flying Torch Articulates 63
- JUKKA SIHVONEN: Careless Saints: Notes for Research on the Aesthetics of Digital Games 69
- TERO KARPPI: Reality Bites: Subjects of Augmented Reality Applications 89
- TAPIO MÄKELÄ: Locative Games as Social Software: Playing in Object Oriented Neighbourhoods 103
- JUKKA-PEKKA PURO: Turning Inside: Towards a Phenomenology of Biological Media 123
Appendices include a plot summary, contemporary press reviews and publicity materials, and a copy of the screenplay.
The issue contains a link to the film itself (embedded above), which was shot on location in Tipperary in summer 1917.
Screening the Past, Issue 33, 2012: “Featuring the Nation: Knocknagow (1918) and the Film Company of Ireland”
- Introduction: Ireland’s Own Film by Stephen Donovan
- Knocknagow, the Film Company of Ireland, and Other Irish Historical Films, 1911–1920 by Kevin Rockett
- The Making of an Irish Nationalist: James Mark Sullivan and the Film Company of Ireland in America by Dan Schultz & Maryanne Felter
- “Pointing a Topical Moral at the Present”: Watching Knocknagow in 1918 by Denis Condon
- The Film Company of Ireland and the Irish-American Press by Gary D. Rhodes
- “For the honour of old Knock-na-gow I must win”: Representing Sport in Knocknagow (1918) by Seán Crosson
- Irish National Discourse in the Poems and Songs in Knocknagow (1918) by Christopher Natzén
AppendicesAppendix A. – Plot Summary
Appendix B. Cast of Knocknagow (1918)
Appendix C. Intertitles
Appendix D. Press cuttings
Appendix E. Publicity Materials
Appendix F. Film Company of Ireland filmography
Appendix G. Typescript of Knock-na-gow, or The Homes of Tipperary with manuscript annotations
Appendix H. Intertitle Artwork
May 4, 2012
The Railway Children (Lionel Jeffries, 1970) was a film I ardently watched countless times on television as a child, and, I have to confess, I have seen and loved it countless times since. I had certainly seen it long before I saw L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat (Lumière Bros., 1895). I noticed the resemblance between the two films only when watching Jeffries’ film again recently. But when I explored this, I was struck by the extent of their resonance, and by the uncanniness of the later film’s pastiche of the earlier one: Bernard Cribbins‘ Perks revivifies, down to his moustache, the La Ciotat station porter; an identical luggage trolley lurks in the background; the beshawled woman looks like she stepped off the earlier train, except that she’s in Technicolor.
I began to figure, to fantasize, that the uncanniness of The Railway Children‘s penultimate sequence was not only set off by its graphic and musical evocation of the uncertainty of young Bobbie (Jenny Agutter) about quite why she was standing by the rail track, but also by its palpable haunting by the Lumière’s originary scene, with its powerful, ghostly, urtext of a, much more bustling, railway platform just after the arrival of cinema. For me, of course, it will also always be the other way round: that The Railway Children, and this film’s own afterwardsness, haunt L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare…
[From the introduction to "Uncanny Arrival at a Railway Station" by Catherine Grant]
In the ‘folklore’ of cinema history there is one anecdote which seems to be perennially fascinating to layman and historian alike. It might be summarised as follows: an audience in the early days of the cinema is seated in a hall when a film of an approaching train is projected on the screen. The spectators are anxious, fearful – some of them even panic and run.
This fearful or panicky reaction has been called ‘the train effect’. It is such a common anecdote, cited by so many writers both at the time and later, that it has also been called `the founding myth of cinema’ or the cinema’s ‘myth of origin. [Stephen Bottomore, 'The Panicking Audience?: early cinema and the "train effect’", Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1999]
Rather than mistaking the image for reality, the spectator is astonished by its transformation through the new illusion of projected motion. Far from credulity, it is the incredible nature of the illusion that renders the viewer speechless. What is displayed before the audience is less the impending speed of the train than the force of the cinematic apparatus. [Tom Gunning, ‘An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator ’, in Linda Williams, ed. (1994) Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film. 114–133.]
Cinema as we know it, as an institution, as an entertainment based on the mass spectatorship of projected moving images, was born in ’95, in the Golden Age of railway travel. As the prehistory and beginnings of cinema strongly suggest, film finds an apt metaphor in railroad. The train can be seen as providing the prototypical experience of looking at a framed, moving image, and as the mechanical double of the cinematic apparatus. Both are means of transporting a passenger to a totally different place, both are highly charged vehicles of narrative events, stories, intersections of strangers, both are based on a fundamental paradox: simultaneous motion and stillness. These are two great machines of vision that give rise to similar modes of perception, and are geared to shaping the leisure time of a mass society. [Lynne Kirby, 'Male Hysteria and Early Cinema', originally in Camera Obscura May 1988 6(2 17)]
Following on from Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s now seminal account of the nineteenth-century railroad and the institution of “panoramic perception” as being emblematic of modernity, critics like Lynne Kirby and Mary Ann Doane have already explored the historic connections between film and the train’s profound re-configuration of vision, with its mechanical separation of the viewer’s body from the actual physical space of a ‘virtual’ ‘perception. [Saige Walton, '[Review of] Jeffrey Ruoff (ed), Virtual voyages: Cinema and travel. Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2006′, Screening the Past, 20, 2006]
This tiny videographic donation accompanies the links, below, to Omar Ahmed‘s truly wonderful, much more comprehensive and informative video essay series on trains in Indian cinema.
And below those links are others to further, openly accessible online scholarship that touches on the topic of railways — a very cinematic apparatus indeed — in the movies.
- Omar Ahmed, Video essays: Iconography in Indian Cinema: Trains – Part 1 of 3; Iconography in Indian Cinema: Trains – Part 2 of 3 ; Iconography in Indian Cinema: Trains – Part 3 of 3
- Douglas Bailie, ‘[Review of] Lynne Kirby. Parallel Tracks: The Railroad and Silent Cinema. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1997′, H Net, December 1997
- Nandana Bose, ‘The Darjeeling Limited: Critiquing Orientalism on the Train to Nowhere’, Mediascape, Spring 2008
- Stephen Bottomore, ‘The Panicking Audience?: early cinema and the “train effect’”, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1999
- Sue Brennan, ‘Time, Space, and National Belonging in The Namesake: Redrawing South Asian American Citizenship in the Shadow of 9/11′, Journal of Transnational American Studies, 3(1), 2011
- Charlotte Brunsdon, ‘The Poignancy of Place: London and the Cinema’, Visual Culture in Britain, Volume 5, Number 1, Summer 2004, pp. 59-73(15)
- Jessica Ann Daniel, The Participatory Potential of Early Cinema: A Reexamination of Early Projected Films, MA Thesis, Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2010
- Marcus Doel, ‘Pivotal Film History: Georges Melies as a Vanishing Mediator’, Film-Philosophy, vol. 6 no. 24, September 2002
- Greg Eamon, ‘Farmers, Phantoms and Princes. The Canadian Pacific Railway and Filmmaking from 1899- 1919′, Cinémas : revue d’études cinématographiques / Cinémas: Journal of Film Studies, vol. 6, n° 1, 1995, p. 11-32.
- Thomas Elsaesser, ‘”One train may be hiding another”: private history, memory and national identity’, Screening the Past, Issue 6, 1999
- Asif A. Ghazanfar and Stephen V. Shepherd, Monkeys at the Movies: What Evolutionary Cinematics Tells Us about Film’, Projections, Volume 5, Issue 2, Winter 2011: 1–2
- Tim Harte, ‘[Review of] Cinetrain: 6 documentaries on the Trans-Siberian Railway’, KinoKultura, 27, 2010
- Jan Holmberg, ‘Ideals of Immersion in Early Cinema’, Cinémas : revue d’études cinématographiques / Cinémas: Journal of Film Studies, vol. 14, n° 1, 2003, p. 129- 147
- Edvin Vestergaard Kau, ‘Brief Encounters in Real Dreams? Derailment and Poetic Vision’, P.O.V. No.15 – Derailment, March 2003
- Lynne Kirby, ‘Male Hysteria and Early Cinema’, originally in Camera Obscura May 1988 6(2 17)
- Emily J. May, ‘The Darjeeling Limited and The New American Traveller’, Senses of Cinema, Issue 49, 2008
- Daniel Bach Nielsen and Rasmus Stampe Hjorth,’Derailment’, P.O.V. No.15 – Derailment, March 2003 (see here for other articles on this film)
- Noelle O’Connor, Sheila Flanagan and David Gilbert, ‘The Integration of Film-inducedTourism and Destination Branding in Yorkshire, UK’, International Journal of Tourism Research, 10, 423–437 (2008)
- Hannu Salmi, ‘Cinema, Tourism and Everyday Life: From Virtual Experiences to Traveling Cultures’, published in ‘Traffic, Needs, Roads: Perspectives on the Past, Present and Future of Roads in Finland and the Baltic Area.’ Ed Tapani Mauranen. Helsinki: The Finnish National Road Administration, 1999, pp. 115-121
- Rosie Thomas, ‘Miss Frontier Mail: The Film That Mistook Its Star for a Train’, Sarai Reader 2007: Frontiers
- Saige Walton, ‘[Review of] Jeffrey Ruoff (ed), Virtual voyages: Cinema and travel. Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2006′, Screening the Past, 20, 2006
INMEDIA on Jarmusch, US ‘Britcom’ remakes, global and local cinema, contemporary Hollywood and US Independent films
May 1, 2012
|Framegrab from the Limits of Control (Jim Jarnusch, ) Read Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s essay on this film, and also a new essay on it by Céline Murillo|
The aim of InMedia is to study the media and media representations in the English-speaking world. The journal focuses on the press, photography, painting, cinema, television, video games, music, radio and the Internet among other fields of study. It provides a multidisciplinary approach and comparative perspectives. Contributions are welcome from many research areas, including history, economics, political sciences, sociology, aesthetics, anthropology or science and communication studies.
Global Film and Television Industries TodayAn Analysis of Industrial and Cultural RelationsEdited by Nolwenn Mingant and Cecilia Tirtaine
Conference and Seminar Reviews
Landscape as the Locus for Artistic Transfers Between Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain (1968 – Present Day)25 November 2010, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
7-8 April 2011, Department for Cinema Studies, Stockholm University, Stockholm
Book and Website Reviews
New York: W.W. Norton, 2009, 536 pages
Paris : Mordicus, 2010, two volumes
Paris : CNRS, 2010
Association internationale pour une politique industrielle des technologies de l’esprit / International association in favour of an industrial policy for the technologies of the mind
April 25, 2012
Film Studies For Free was very sad to learn of the death yesterday of Amos Vogel. Austrian born Vogel was best known for his bestselling book Film as a Subversive Art (1974) and also as the founder of the New York City avant-garde ciné-club Cinema 16 (1947–1963).
|Frame grab from A Star Is Born ( Frank Pierson, 1976)|
Each version of A Star Is Born may detail the rise of an unknown, but does so through extremely well-known performers, albeit ones at different stages of their careers. [...] Barbra Streisand [...] was at the height of her career in 1976. Her domination of A Star Is Born (she contributed to the writing and even, as Kris Kristofferson, her co-star, saw it, the directing [(Burke, Tom. "Kris Kristofferson Sings the Good-Life Blues." Esquire 86 (December 1976): 126–28ff), 208-9]) was another manifestation of a desire to play out aspects of her own life. The credited director has recounted at length how, during preproduction, Streisand debated the degree to which her autobiography should be reflected in Esther Hoffman ([Pierson, Frank. "My Battles with Barbra and Jon." New York 9 (November 15, 1976): 49–60], 50). If James Mason’s character in the 1954 film becomes through role reversal the “fictional counterpart of the neurotic, self-destructive person that Garland [had] become” ([Jennings, Wade. "Nova: Garland in 'A Star Is Born.'" Quarterly Review of Film Studies 4, no. 3 (summer 1979): 321–37], 333), then Streisand’s Esther Hoffman directly fulfills everything that Streisand herself has become by 1976. Richard Dyer even suggests that among the “number of cases on which the totality of a film can be laid at the door of the star” the case can be made “most persuasively” for Streisand’s A Star Is Born (Dyer, Richard. Stars. London: BFI, 1979], 175) [Jerome Delamater, '"Once More, from the Top": Musicals the Second Time Around', in Horton, Andrew, Play it again, Sam: retakes on remakes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998, p. 84]
If anyone knows of any other good items (and it is far too short and unworthy a list so far…), please leave a comment and FSFF will add them to the list.
- Zohar Altman Ravid, ‘The star as a Creation and the Star as a creator: The Case of Barbra Streisand’ in History of Stardom Reconsidered, edited by Kari Kallioniemi, Kimi Kärki, Janne Mäkelä and Hannu Salmi. Turku: International Institute for Popular Culture, 2007
- Henry Bial, ‘How Jews Became Sexy, 1968–1983′, Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen (University of Michigan, 2005)
- Jerome Delamater, ‘”Once More, from the Top”: Musicals the Second Time Around’, in Horton, Andrew, Play it again, Sam: retakes on remakes. Berkeley: University of California Press, c 1998 1998
- Brett Farmer, ‘Stage Door Jennies: Interview with Stacy Wolf about her New Book, A Problem Like Maria Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical’, Genders.org, Issue 38, 2003
- Rachel Garfield, ‘Towards a Re-Articulation of Cultural Identity: Problematising the Jewish Subject in Art’, originally in Third Text, Vol. 20, Issue 1, January, 2006, 99–108
- Stephen Godfry, ‘The Way We Were’, Pro Tem, November 29, 1973 (scroll down in PDF to p. 8)
- Evyatar Marienberg, ‘Jews Have the Best Sex: The Hollywood Adventures of a Peculiar Medieval Jewish Text on Sexuality’, Journal of Religion and Film, 14.2, 2010
- Arthur Laurents, ‘Emotional Reality: Interview by Pat McGilligan’, in McGilligan, Patrick. Backstory 2: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1940s and 1950s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991)
- Joel Rosenberg, ‘Jewish Experience on Film: An American Overview’, American Jewish Yearbook, 1996
- Jérôme Segal and Monika Kaczek, ‘Molly Picon and the Cinematic Archetype of a Jewish Woman’, CinemaScope, 14, Jan-Jul. 2010
- Greg M. Smith, ‘Streisand Shops the Museum Store: Consuming Art on Television’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 30.1 (Spring 2002) 63-68
- Jon Stratton, ‘Introduction’, Jews, Race and Popular Music (Ashgate, 2009)
- Stacy Wolf, ‘Barbra’s “Funny Girl” Body’, SandF Online, Double Issue: 3.3 & 4.1
- Stacy Ellen Wolf, ‘Introduction’, A Problem Like Maria:Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical (University of Michigan Press, 2002)
April 24, 2012
|Frame grab from Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993)|
More than ever we need access to solid knowledge about historical film color processes in order to save our beautiful filmic heritage. [Barbara Flueckiger]
Film Studies For Free urges its readers to go and check out University of Zurich Institute of Cinema Studies professor Barbara Flueckiger‘s Database of Historical Film Colors and its amazing timeline of historical color processes.
Professor Flueckiger is certainly no stranger to making her important work freely accessible online for scholars all around the world to access. FSFF has previously covered some of her phenomenal sharing in its On Digital Cinema, Visual Effects, and CGI Studies entry, in which links were given both to a free download of ‘Digital Bodies‘ (a chapter, translated into English, from Flueckiger’s 2008 German-language book Visual Effects. Filmbilder aus dem Computer), as well as to her great online database on the history of CGI, VFX, and computer animation.
As of April 2012, the latest of the resources she is making available, the Historical Film Colors database consists of 290 entries. It comes in the form of a timeline that connects historical and bibliographical information with primary resources from several hundred original papers and more than 400 scanned frames provided by archives and scholars from all over the world.
In this current form the database is a nucleus for a much more advanced project which will be elaborated in the forthcoming months. It is Flueckiger’s plan to develop a digital platform which allows experts and researchers to collaborate on a global scale.
To date, Professor Flueckiger has been solely responsible not only for gathering and analyzing all of the data, which derives from her studies of several hundred original papers and secondary sources at Harvard University in the fall term of 2011, but also for programming most of the database and organizing all the images and copyright clearances. Only to a very limited extent has she received financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation in the framework of her research project “Film History Re-mastered“. She has therefore financed a major part of this project herself.
She has thus set up a crowd-funding campaign to invite you (or your institution) to support the further development of the project, either by sharing it or by contributing financially. The goal is to raise at least $10,000 in the upcoming 90 days. There are several contribution levels, starting at $25 for buying the rights for one image and extending to $5,000 for possible co-chairs of this project.
She will be very grateful for any kind of support and will be more than willing to give proper credit for conceptual or financial contributions. Many renowned scholars and institutions have contributed already.
Film Studies For Free hopes that its readers will support this project, either by contributing themselves, or by spreading the word.