Women Film Pioneers Project at Columbia University


The Road to Digital – New AUP eBooks on Film Archives and Mobile Screens and a Video Lecture on Digital Cinematic Attractions

  • Digital Cinema Essay-Film-Lecture (for Film History and Criticism, University of Roehampton, 29 March 2012) by William Brown
    • Films mentioned in William Brown’s essay-film-lecture, above: Arabesque (John Whitney, USA, 1975); TRON (Steven Lisberger, USA, 1982); Terminator 2: Judgement Day (James Cameron, USA, 1991); Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1993); Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, USA, 1994); The Incredibles (Brad Bird, USA, 2004); A Very Long Engagement (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France/USA, 2004); Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera, Mexico/USA, 2008); Day Watch (Timur Bekmambetov, Russia, 2006); The Host (Joon-ho Bong, South Korea, 2006); Panic Attack! (Fede Alvarez, Uruguay, 2009); O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen, UK/USA, 2000); Making Of O Brother, Where Art Thou?; 300 (Zack Snyder, USA, 2006); Beowulf (Robert Zemeckis, USA, 2007); Singin’ in the Rain Golf GTI Advert (Ne-o, 2005); Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, USA, 2008); Fight Club (David Fincher, USA, 1999); War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg, USA, 2006); Spider-Man (Sam Raimi, USA, 2002); Avatar (James Cameron, USA, 2009); The Day After Tomorrow (Roland Emmerich, USA, 2004); The Matrix (Andy and Larry Wachowski, USA, 1999); Planet Terror (Robert Rodriguez, USA, 2007); The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, USA/New Zealand, 2003)
    • Academic texts mentioned in the above lecture: Bordwell, David (2002). ‘Intensified Continuity: Visual Style in Contemporary American Film’, Film Quarterly, 55:3 (Spring), pp. 16-28; Brown, William (2009). ‘Man Without a Movie Camera – Movies Without Men: Towards a Posthumanist Cinema?’ in Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies (ed. Warren Buckland), Abingdon/New York: Routledge/AFI, pp. 66-85;  Buckland, Warren (2006). Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the Contemporary Hollywood Blockbuster, London: Continuum; Elsaesser, Thomas, and Warren Buckland (2002). Studying Contemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis, London: Arnold; Gunning, Tom (1986). ‘The Cinema of Attraction, Early Film, Its Spectators and the Avant-Garde’, Wide Angle, 8:3-4, pp. 63-70; Manovich, Lev (2001). The Language of New Media, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press; Minnis, Stuart (1998). ‘Digitalisation and the Instrumentalist Approach to the Photographic Image,’ Iris, 25, pp. 49-59; Prince, Stephen (1996). ‘True Lies: Perceptual Realism, Digital Images, and Film Theory,’ Film Quarterly, 49:3 (Spring), pp. 27-37; Wood, Aylish (2002). ‘Timespaces in spectacular cinema: crossing the great divide between spectacle versus narrative,’ Screen, 43:4, pp. 370-386
Film Studies For Free presents a delightfully digital trove of film studies treasure today. Above, a fabulously illustrated, highly informative, and very wide-ranging, first year university lecture on Digital Cinema by University of Roehampton film scholar (and filmmaker) William Brown.  
And, below, links to two wonderful, openly accessible, online “digital film studies” books published by Amsterdam University Press, the best academic publisher ever, in FSFF‘s admittedly, somewhat biased view: Giovanna Fossati’s 2009 From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition; and, just published, Nanna Verhoeff’s 2012 Mobile Screens The Visual Regime of Navigation.  
Both have been added to FSFF‘s continuously updated list of openly accessible film studies books.

Film is in a state of rapid change, with the transition from analog to digital profoundly affecting not just filmmaking and distribution, but also the theoretical conceptualization of the medium of film and the practice of film archiving. New forms of digital archives are being developed that make use of participatory media to provide a more open form of access than any traditional archive has offered before. Film archives are thus faced with new questions and challenges. From Grain to Pixel attempts to bridge the fields of film archiving and academic research, by addressing the discourse on film ontology and analysing how it affects the role of film archives. Fossati proposes a new theoretization of film archival practice as the starting point for a renewed dialogue between film scholars and film archivists.

    • Table of Contents
      • Acknowledgements 9
      • Framing Film (in Transition): an Introduction    13
    • part one practice and theory of (archival) film
      • 1    Film Practice in Transition    33 
      • 2    Theorizing Archival Film    103
    • part two theorizing (archival) practice
      • 3    Film Archival Field in Transition    149
      • 4    Restoration Case Studies: Theorizing Archival Practice    211
      • A New Mindset for (Archival) Film in Transition: a Conclusion    255 
      • Notes 261 Glossary of Technical Terms    285 List of Illustrations    291 Filmography 293 Bibliography 297 Index 311

“Nanna Verhoeff’s new book is a must for anybody interested in visual culture and media theory. It offers a rich and stimulating theoretical account of the central dimension of our contemporary existence – interfacing and navigating both data and physical world through a variety of screens (game consoles, mobile phones, car interfaces, GPS devices, etc.) In the process of exploring these new screen practices, Verhoeff offers fresh perspectives on many of the key questions in media and new media studies as well as a number of new original theoretical concepts. As the first theoretical manual for the society of mobile screens, this book will become an essential reference for all future investigations of our mobile screen condition”. – Lev Manovich

    • Table of Contents
      • Acknowledgements    9
      • List of Illustrations    11
        Introduction    13
      • 1. Panoramic Complex    27 Building Visions    28 Panoramic Desire    32 Movement in the Panorama    39 Modes of Viewing    42 The Gaze in Motion    44 A Panoramic Complex    46 The Windshield as Screen    48
      • 2. Self-Reflection    51 The Point of Self-Reflection    51 Meanings of the Screen    56 Spatial Attractions and Visual Deixis    57 Navigating the Screen    65 Navigation as Narration    68 Boundary-Crossings    70
      • 3. Theoretical Consoles    73 The Status of the Gadget: The Case of Nintendo DS    73 Portrait of the Gadget as a Theoretical Console    77 Touch Screen: Dirty Windows    82 Mobile Screen: Carrying, Sharing, Transporting    89 Double Screen: Split, Insert, Map    92 Gadgetivity    95
      • 4. Urban Screens    99 Places of Transit    99 Screenspace    104 Urban Transformation    107 Screen Practices    114 Installation    116 Programming Hybridity    124 Responsive Presence    129
      • 5. Performative Cartography Mobile Dispositif Contesting Cartography Performative Cartography Cartographic Interface Tagging, Plotting, Stitching Layering in Augmented Reality Haptic Engagement
      • Epilogue: You Are Here!
      • Notes Bibliography Index of Names and Titles Index of Terms

Journal of European Television History and Culture

A new multi-media e-journal on the past and present of European television

Journal of European Television History and Culture is to be the first peer-reviewed, multi-media and open access e-journal in the field of European television history and culture. It will offer an international platform for outstanding academic research and archival reflection on television as an important part of our European cultural heritage. With its interdisciplinary profile, the journal is open to many disciplinary perspectives on European television – including television history, media studies, media sociology, cultural studies and television studies.

If only for pretty sound, nominal reasons, Film Studies For Free doesn’t usually stray too far beyond the field of free film studies. Today is an exception, however, simply because of an exceptional, new, and also free to access, online publication.

The inaugural issue of the new Journal of European Television History and Culture is devoted to ‘Making Sense of Digital Sources‘, a hugely important topic for all audiovisual forms and cultures. Its editors write,

In the past few years national broadcasting archives and audiovisual libraries have taken important steps in the digitisation of their sources. Consequently, some of their material has already become available online. But as access to television material online across national borders remains fractured and scattered, European funded projects such as Video Active (2006-2009) and EUscreen (2009-2012) try to tackle some of the main problems with transnational access:

  • the lack of interoperability between archival data-bases both at the level of metadata and semantics;
  • the non-existence of proven scenarios for the use of audiovisual material at a European level;
  • the complexity of rights issues and the lack of contextualisation of digitised sources.

     At the FIAT/IFTA conference in Paris in 2004, the European Television History Network (ETHN) was launched, aiming at promoting the need for a transnational perspective on the history and culture of television in Europe. The archival situation and the accessibility for researchers vary considerably in the different European countries. That is why ETHN acknowledged the necessity of cooperation between archives and academics on a European scale in order to bridge academic research and archival initiatives. The Journal of European Television History and Culture builds on these initiatives and is closely related to EUscreen of which the e-journal is an important feature.[from Andreas Fickers and Sonja de Leeuw. ‘Editorial’]

FSFF salutes EUScreen, ETHN, and especially, on this the occasion of its birth, the Journal of European Television History and Culture.

It can only hope that European (and, indeed, non-European) archival film culture and studies will learn much (and quickly) from the wonderful and increasingly joined up examples of its televisual counterparts.

Vol 1, No 1 (2012):Table of Contents