Film Studies For Free has gone and spooked itself, today, with its own scary persistence in compiling a list of links to openly accessible, online, scholarly articles, chapters and theses on international ghost film studies. Oh, and there are two related video essays lurking at the bottom to scare the scholarly bejesus out of you for good measure, too (added April 27) .
Like all the best posts at this blog (IOHO), the list below owes its hefty materiality to its connections with FSFF‘s author‘s own (hauntological) research, some of which, hopefully, will be directly shared with her fearless readers very shortly. So do please be a revenant, won’t you?
With Spring (and a spring) in its step, Film Studies For Free brings you a whole, golden, host of articles as well as little video tasters to the work of some of the world’s leading film scholars on the topic of international (and/or ‘interstitial‘, or ‘transnational‘, or ‘peripheral‘) cinema.
The videos are recordings of presentations from the Cinema at the Periphery conference held at the University of St Andrews between June 15th and June 17th 2006. While those external to that university can only see the first ten minutes of each presentation, they’re still very informative, and showcase, in miniature at least, some brilliant film studies research.
The clips can be viewed using Quicktime player 7, VLC player or similar MP4 player. Just click on the pictures to access. The clips are currently set to stream at a quality of medium (512Kbps) – they are also available to watch as low (56Kbps) or high (2Mbps).
Dina Iordanova and Keith Brown
University of St Andrews
“Introduction and welcome”
Lignan University, Hong Kong
“Homophilic Transnationalism: The ‘Advance Party’ Initiative”
Huston School of Film & Digital Media, Galway, Ireland
“Dimpsey at the Edge”
University of Auckland, New Zealand
“Small National Cinemas in an Era of Globalisation”
University of California at Davis, USA
“Emerging from Underground and the Periphery: Independent Cinema in Contemporary China”
Leeds University, UK
“Japanese Cinema and Local Modernity”
Laura U. Marks
Simon Fraser University, Canada
“Geopolitics Hides Something in the Image; Arab Cinema Unfolds Something Else”
New York University, USA
“Black Screens and Cultural Citizenship”
Yale University, USA
“Turbulent Waves, Stagnant Seas: Awash in World Cinema”
University of Glasgow, UK
“Deleuze, Quebec and Cinemas of Minor Frenchness”
University of Glasgow, UK
“The Angel’s Share: Morvern Callar and the Difficulty of Art Cinema”
University of Southampton, UK
“Out from Down Under: Baz Luhrmann and Australian Cinema”
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
“Filming Tanger: Migratory Identities in North Africa”
Rice University, USA
“Interstitial, Transnational, and National-Iranian Silent Cinema”
Audiovisual Thinking — an online video journal about “audiovisuality, communication and media” — has just launched and it looks to FSFF to be a very worthwhile venture indeed. All relevant information has been pasted in below to tempt you to the excellent AT website. There are lots of introductory videos embedded there which will inform you audiovisually about the Audiovisual Thinking ethos.
Audiovisual Thinking has issued its first call for videos for its first proper issue which will explore the “legacy and merit of the use of audiovisual material in academic thinking, research and teaching, in the past, present and in the future” (deadline: June 15, 2010; do note: according to the submission form (as of April 22) the videos should be no longer than seven minutes and a maximum of [an as yet quite tiny] 10 Mb [Update: The editors reported to FSFF that they are working on achieving a larger, automated, upload volume. If you have larger submissions, these can be uploaded manually, so just get in touch with the editors via the website’s contact page].
Audiovisual Thinkingis a pioneering forum where academics and educators can articulate, conceptualize and disseminate their research about audiovisuality and audiovisual culture through the medium of video.
International in scope and multidisciplinary in approach, the purpose of Audiovisual Thinking is to develop and promote academic thinking in and about all aspects of audiovisuality and audiovisual culture.
Advised by a board of leading academics and thinkers in the fields of audiovisuality, communication and the media, the journal seeks to set the standard for academic audiovisual essays now and in the future.
Video submissions are welcome from all fields of study and, as one would expect, the main criteria for submissions are that the discussion and thinking are conveyed through audiovisual means.
Each issue of Audiovisual Thinking will call for and then showcase academic videos around a specific theme within audiovisual culture and the media. The journal also accepts ‘opinion’ or ‘reflective’ audiovisual pieces on any area of audiovisual research or pedagogy.
Submissions are welcome from the areas of the Arts, Journalism, Media and Communication studies, as well as Education and the Social Sciences where audiovisual material is routinely used, or is gaining ground, as an academic research tool or teaching method. This first issue will explore the legacy of audiovisual content in contemporary academic research and thinking. Submit your video here.
For some time now, Film Studies For Free has been enjoying the videos that the British Film Institute has been posting at BFI Live, its online video channel exploring film and TV culture. There are lots of videos worth seeing at the site but, below, FSFF has singled out and directly linked to some which are especially deserving of the attention of film scholars.
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.
Muratova’s tight and intricate narrative is punctuated by familiar cinematic devices, red herrings, and pranks immediately identifiable—even beyond cinema production—with Muratova’s sui generic style. [F]irst, her inclusion of a “cultural intermezzo” by an amateur artist-enthusiast. […] In The Tuner, this device takes the form of a girl singer-songwriter performing on public transport and a number of other charmingly inept musicians (a clarinetist, two tuba players, random, elderly singers, and Andrei’s spontaneous “Uzbek” improvisation). This is the utopian dimension of Muratova’s creative act: irredeemably unprofessional, yet utterly complete, self-sufficient in itself, the flawless conjuration of an inner hallucination. Nancy Condee, ‘Kira Muratova, The Tuner [Nastroishchik] (2004)’, Kinocultura, Issue 7 January 2005
[Kathryn] Bigelow’s earliest works are often radical experiments with genres—combinatory, subtractive, subversive, offering a tool for crafting a mode of vital self-reflexive cinema in which the spectator becomes a thrill junkie, like the restless characters in Bigelow’s films. Ultimately, however, the raw exhilaration experienced by Bigelow’s characters must end so they can come to terms with reality and the laws—be they legal or gravitational—that anchor them to society. The later films show an interest in group dynamics as a form of politics or, perhaps, as an ideal of social living contained but not determined by politics. The turning point between these two parts of Bigelow’s career is Strange Days, whose protagonist attempts to wean himself off his addiction to spectacle in order to face the violence of his urban surroundings. This is the double bind Bigelow investigates: while thrill is ultimately an alienating form of individualism, the “real world” tends to be a trap, whether confining or merely banal. While Bigelow’s films reveal genre cinema’s promise of glossy escapism to be a dead end, they also pointedly argue that re-engagement with community is tantamount to conformity. One possible escape is offered to Bigelow’s protagonists by seeking out those extreme situations on the bohemian, criminal and physically fraught margins of society, where the rules can be broken and the self fleetingly transcended. Kathryn Bigelow, ‘Filmmaking at the Dark Edge of Exhilaration’, Harvard Film Archive, 2009
Film Studies For Free brings you a list of direct links to valuable and noteworthy scholarly material on the frequently iniquitous, and certainly far from just academic, subject of censorship and the cinema.
Panahi’s brilliant series of films from 1995’s “The White Balloon” (his first feature) onwards have steadily ramped up the contentiousness. After “Balloon” and “The Mirror,” Panahi ditched children altogether (normally the standard way of avoiding censorship) and began focusing on adults — specifically, those damaged and abused by society. “The Circle” and “Offside” focus on women (enough said), and “Crimson Gold” manages to indict an entire society through the desperation of one pizza-delivery guy. Observing from a chilly distance, Panahi gives the disenfranchised a voice in the traditional visual language of the contemporary arthouse film — until, all of a sudden, he’s in the same spot as the people he’s filming. What makes Panahi brilliant (and dangerous to the regime) is that he’s a visceral filmmaker above all, in his masterful feel for the hustle of urban Iran.
FSFF also wanted to publicise a related call by the Index on Censorship for short film submissions on ‘the subject of freedom of expression or censorship, dealing with issues or events from a unique perspective that is not often acknowledged’.
The call is on behalf of Index on Censorship, one of Britain’s leading organisations promoting freedom of expression and protection of human rights. We are currently in the process of curating a series of monthly EPIC short film nights with a focus on freedom of expression and censorship, in conjunction with English PEN at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon, London. The launch night for the event will be in mid-May, kicking off with a night of short films made by the Go Group in Georgia. You can find more information about the night here. If you do have a short film or documentary that you would like to be screened at one of these nights, email email@example.com a short 100 word summary of your film, or a link to your video online and details of any charities/organisations that you are affiliated with. As Index on Censorship is a non-profit charity, we cannot offer any payment for the artists, just a platform and opportunity for new filmmakers to screen their film to a large public audience.
Glauber said more: “We are going to make our films anyhow: with handheld cameras, in 16mm if there is no 35mm, improvising in the street to get people’s true gestures”; “..a cinema on the basis of whatever means are possible, at low cost and in a short time”; “..a political cinema that intends to inform not by logic, but by poetics.”
Making films anyhow. Not making films anyhow. In fact, filming with a hand-held camera revealing its nervous presence in the scene more than the scene itself properly speaking, was not a way of simplifying and impoverishing cinematographic writing, but a creative intervention to make it more complex and rich. Glauber’s Earth Entranced (Terra em Transe, 1967) is a good example, the scene improvised, not because it had not been thought through properly beforehand in the screenplay, but because it continued being thought through there in the shooting; the image tremulous; not because of any failure or lack of skill on the part of the photographer, but because at that time reality was being discussed like that in speech, nervous and tremulous.
In fact, this cinema, with an idea in its head and a camera in its hand, enriched the speech of itself. It helped people think of screenplays as a challenge to shooting, of shooting as a response to the challenge of the screenplay, of the camera as a challenge to the eye. It helped people think of cinema as an expression finished, on the screen and, at the same time, unfinished, just in the imagination, part of a process that does not end with the film on the screen; it helped people think of film as a work print, a not yet finished print for the spectator to clean up and bring order to; cinema as an inventor and stimulator of images.
The links list offered up today is Film Studies For Free‘s customary tribute to Glauber Rocha, a political and aesthetic leader of the Cinema Novo movement which emerged in Brazil in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Known above all for the trio of films Deus e o diabo na terra do sol (Black God, White Devil, 1964), Terra em transe (Earth Entranced/Land in Anguish, 1967), and O dragão da maldade contra o santo guerreiro (Antonio das Mortes, 1969), the latter about a legendary gunman hired to kill a group of rebelling peasants, Glauber Rocha’s work — made according to his DIY dictum ‘An idea in your head and a camera in hand…’ — has been an inspiration for much cinema in Brazil and elsewhere.