|Framegrab from Jeux interdits/Forbidden Games (René Clément, 1952)|
The classically idyllic, carefree world of childhood would appear to be diametrically opposed to the horrors of war and world-wide conflict. However, throughout film history, filmmakers have continually turned to the figure of the child as a prism through which to examine the devastation caused by war.
This thesis will investigate the representation of childhood experience of the Second World War across six fiction films: Roberto Rossellini’s Paisan (1946) and Germany Year Zero (1947), René Clément’s Forbidden Games (1952), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood (1962), Jan Nemec’s Diamonds of the Night (1964) and Elem Klimov’s Come and See (1985). [Pasquale Iannone, Childhood and the Second World War in the European fiction film PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2011: 11; hyperlinks added by FSFF]
Each of these works of original research has a huge amount to offer any student of cinema, and so it’s really great that their authors and their university have made them publicly available online.
FSFF hopes its readers will join it in saluting them!
- Bruns, Christina, Contemporary German documentary cinema (1999 – 2007): the rural represented, the regional defamiliarised and Heimat revived PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2010
- Iannone, Pasquale, Childhood and the Second World War in the European fiction film PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2011
- Makrygiannakis, Evangelos, Films of Theo Angelopoulos: a voyage in time PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2009
- Russell, Michael, Soviet montage cinema as propaganda and political rhetoric PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2009
- Salzberg, Ana Beyond the looking glass: the narcissistic woman reflected and embodied in classic Hollywood film 2010
- Valcke, Jennifer, Static films and moving pictures: montage in avant-garde photography and film PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2009
- Yam, Chi-Keung, Study of popular Hong Kong cinema from 2001 to 2004 as resource for a contextual approach to expressions of christian faith in the public realm after the reversion to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2008
|Call Northside 777 (Henry Hathaway, 1948). Take a look at
Hannah Gregory’s great visual essay on this film
Today, the compulsively unsecretive, positively Panoptic, Film Studies For Free focuses on ‘surveillance film studies’. Do cast a beady eye, therefore, at the unsuspiciously Open Access scholarly resources linked to further down the page.
The post has been inspired by the thrilling chronometric proximity of an interdisciplinary conference, taking place next week, on the “Cultures of Surveillance” at University College London (September 29-October 1), with keynote lectures by the very brilliant professors Tom Gunning and Simon Cole.
The full programme can be found here. Anyone interested in these topics should also check out some related and highly innovative work online by the amazing film and humanities scholars at UCL at the following four websites:
- Autopsies Research Group including the Autopsies of Surveillance Project
- The Cinetourist (aka Roland-François Lack)
- The Blow Up Moment (also by Roland-François Lack)
- The Daily Map (also by Roland-François Lack)
- Objects Under Surveillance Museum Roundtable, University College London, January 19, 2011 Videos [m4v] of the event can be viewed by clicking on the images below.
Intro. & Simon Baker / Sue Woods & Katy McGahan / Neil Paterson / Discussion
- Wesley Aelbrecht, ‘2 Into 1 (Gillian Wearing, 1997)’, Autopsies of Surveillance, 2011
- Anders Albrechtslund, ‘Surveillance and Ethics in Film: Rear Window and The Conversation’, JCJPC 15(2), 2008
- Anders Albrechtslund and Lynsey Dubbeld, ‘The Plays and Arts of Surveillance: Studying Surveillance as Entertainment’, Surveillance and Society, 3(2/3), 2005: 216-221
- Chris Darke, Letter from London [on surveillance culture]‘, Film-Philosophy, Vol. 7 No. 8, April 2003
- Deirdre Devers and Stephanie Wilson, ‘Let Me Entertain You: Designing for Surveillance and Online Gaming’, DIGRA Proceedings, 2009
- Stephanie Fuller, ‘”Your papers?”: Objects of Surveillance at the US-Mexico Border’, Autopsies of Surveillance, 2011
- Hannah Gregory, ‘Surveillance on Film: Call Northside 777‘, Autopsies of Surveillance, 2011
- Nic Groombridge, ‘Crime Control or Crime Culture TV?’, Surveillance and Society, 1(1), 2002: 30-46
- Nic Groombridge, ‘Crime Control or Crime Culture TV?’, Surveillance and Society, 1(1), 2002
- David Harper, ‘The Politics of Paranoia: Paranoid Positioning and Conspiratorial Narratives in the Surveillance Society’, Surveillance and Society, 5(1), 2008: 1-32
- Nicholas Holm, ‘Conspiracy Theorizing Surveillance: Considering Modalities of Paranoia and Conspiracy in Surveillance Studies’, Surveillance and Society 7(1): 36-48, 2009
- Andrew Hultkrans, ‘Surveillance in the cinema: here’s looking at you, kid’, Stim, 7.1, 2006
- Dietmar Kammerer, ‘Video Surveillance in Hollywood Movies’, Surveillance and Society – CCTV Special (eds. Norris, McCahill and Wood) 2(2/3), 2004: 464-473
- Thomas Y. Levin, ‘Rhetoric of the Temporal Index: Surveillant Narration and the Cinema of “Real Time”’, In CTRL[SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother, eds. Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Fronhe and Peter Weibel, 578-93. Karlsruhe, Germany: ZKM Center for Art and Media; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002
- Peter Marks, ‘Surveillance Screens and Screening in Code 46’, SCAN: Journal of Media Arts Culture, vol 5 number 1 May 2008
- Peter Marks, ‘Imagining Surveillance: Utopian Visions and Surveillance Studies’, Surveillance and Society, 3(2/3), 2005: 222-239
- G.T. Marx, ‘Seeing hazily (but not darkly) through the lens: some recent empirical studies of surveillance technologies’, Law and Social Inquiry, vol. 30, no. 2, Spring 2005
- Serafino Murri, ‘Visual Irony as Virus in Panoptic Structures: Logic of Fact and Anti-Truth in Chris Petit’s “Surveillance”’, ctrl[space, October 2, 2001
- Simon Rothon, ‘‘Through the Grapevine’? Listening Devices and Acts of Surveillance’, Autopsies of Surveillance, 2011
- Simon Rothon, ‘Objects of Surveillance: The Parabolic Microphone’, Autopsies of Surveillance, 2011
- Jessica M. Silbey, ‘Videotaped Confessions and the Genre of Documentary’, Suffolk University Law School Faculty Publications, Paper 35, 2006
- The Politics of CCTV in Europe and Beyond’, Special Issue: Surveillance and Society, Vol. 2 (2.3), 2004
- Evangelos Tziallas, ‘Surveillance, space and performance: informing interstitial subjectivities in Head On’, Jump Cut, No. 52, Summer 2010
- Evangelos Tziallas, ‘Torture porn and surveillance culture‘, Jump Cut, No. 51, Summer 2010
- Kristin Veel, ‘Surveillance Narratives – from lack to overload’, Humanity in Cybernetic Environments, Edited by Daniel Riha. Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010
- Catherine Zimmer, ‘Surveillance Cinema: Narrative between Technology and Politics’, Surveillance and Society, 8(4), 2011: 427-440
|Framegrab from El Valley Centro (James Benning, 2000). Read Elizabeth Cowie’s article on Documentary Space, Place, and Landscape which discusses Benning’s film, among others. Cowie is author of the new book Recording Reality, Desiring the Real (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011)|
Film Studies For Free brings you openly accessible brilliance from the latest issue of Media Fields Journal. It’s a really excellent issue on documentary and space – a must-read. And however hyperbolically positive (the always hyperbolically positive) FSFF is, it doesn’t always say that. So, do yourselves a big favour and click on the below links without further ado.
- Ryan Bowles and Rahul Mukherjee, ‘Documentary and Space: Introduction’, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Alexandra Juhasz, ‘A Place in the Online Feminist Documentary Cyber-closet’, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Laura Rascaroli, ‘Sonic Interstices: Essayistic Voiceover and Spectatorial Space in Robert Cambrinus’s Commentary (2009)’, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- André Jansson and Erik Gandini, ‘Gitmo Space: A Dialogue about Mediatized Warfare, Documentary Filmmaking and Heterotopic Truth‘, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Nonny de la Peña, ‘Physical World News In Virtual Spaces: Representation and Embodiment in Immersive Nonfiction‘, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Erica Stein, ‘The Road to Heaven Twists: The City, Urban Planning, and Experiential Space‘, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Christina Corfield, ‘Flexible by Nature: Video and the Cultural Production of Concrete Fact‘, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Dan Fleming, ‘The Staging of Affect and the “Elsewhens” of Documentary Space’, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Sukanya Sen, ‘Encountering Space: Documenting the Topography of the Migrant Home’, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- Maggie Hennefeld, ‘The Geopolitics of Narrative Parody in Ulrike Ottinger’s Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia‘, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
- ‘Mapping Documentary: Roundtable with Filmmaker Ido Haar and Film and Media Studies Scholar Janet Walker in Conversation with David Gray and Jade Petermon‘, Media Fields Journal, Issue 3, 2011
One of my major influences was the French film maker Robert Bresson. Bresson’s films reflected a particular brand of Christian belief called Jansenism which manifests itself in the way leading characters are acted upon and simply surrender themselves to their fate. I believe that cinema is not so much visual as temporal. But most filmmakers concentrate on the spatio-visual aspect. This has led to certain problems. What time reflects is more contemporary than the arrangement of a set of visuals. I do not want to focus on this visual aspect in my films, but want to make the temporal primary. [Mani Kaul, ‘Interview’, ARC, November 15, 2005]
[Mani Kaul] has been described as a formalist. But the term does not do justice to the intense emotional stories that [reverberate] from the images that make up his interpretations of myth, music and [architecture]—although often they are more like collaborations with those cultural pratices and forms. He defies categorisation: to call his work non-narrative does not account for the detailed and complex narration that his camera work offers within any single scene. Even to call him an Indian film maker does not seem useful since Kaul refuses to locate his work within national or cultural subjectivities. [Ian Iqbal Rashid, ‘Asian and Asian Diaspora Programme’, RUNGH, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1995, p. 36]
The Indian filmmaker Mani Kaul, who grew up artistically in India’s subsidized ‘‘parallel cinema’’ (i.e., parallel to commercial cinema) in the 1970s, has worked repeatedly with Indian song traditions, including Dhrupad (1982), which mesmerizes with the sound and image of one classical music performance style designed to facilitate spiritual meditation. Such work highlights the way in which we often take sound for granted as a convenient emotional conductor.
Pat Aufderheide, Documentary Film – A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 17
Film Studies For Free was saddened to hear, via film scholar Surbhi Goel, of the death of the great Indian filmmaker Mani Kaul. Last week, it posted a list of links to studies of the works of another legendary director from that country – Ritwik Ghatak, one of Kaul’s most important teachers at the Film and Television Institute of India. But Kaul was a genuinely pioneering and deeply unconventional film artist in his own right who also became a hugely influential teacher and writer on cinema. He will be greatly missed.
- Krishna Chaudhari, ‘Why Mani Kaul’s Films Are Different’, Krishna Kanjilal, April 21, 2009
- B.D. Garga, ‘Is Anyone Watching- Indian Documentary pt-2’, from “Cinema in India”, Vol. II, No. 2, April-June, 1988, pp. 32-36, republished at Winds from the East, January 4, 2009
- Mani Kaul, ‘Beneath the surface: Cinematography and Time’, IndianAuteur, 2009
- Mani Kaul, ‘Interview’, ARC, November 15, 2005
- Mani Kaul, ‘Interview’, UNESCO Courier, July-August 1995
- Mani Kaul at the International Film Festival of Kerala, 2006 [see two further videos of Kaul here and here – hat tip to Winds from the East]
- Anuj Malhotra, ‘The Servant’s Shirt- An encroachment of “Space”‘, Winds from the East, October 17, 2008
- Dileep Padgaonkar, ‘New Indian Cinema: Battle Lines Are Drawn’, The Times Of India, January 26, 1975
- Ashish Rajadhyaksha, ‘Duvidha‘, FilmReference.com, [date unknown]
- Nitesh Rohit, ‘Remembrance of Things Past- Duvidha‘, Winds from the East, August 29, 2008
- Srikanth Srinivasan, ‘The Films of Mani Kaul’, The Seventh Art, June 2011
- Kaul tribute at Emissions in the Dark (via @thedailymubi)
- Naditta Dutta, ‘Remembering Mani Kaul’, DearCinema.com, July 6, 2011
|Image from Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, 2007). Read Alessandro’s Zir’s article on this film for Kinema (Spring 2010)|
Film Studies For Free continues with its roundup of recent offerings from online film studies journal by catching up with the last two issues posted at Kinema: a Journal for Film and Audiovisual Media.
Lots of good stuff here, but FSFF particularly enjoyed Alessandro Zir’s essay on Paranoid Park, Antonio Sanna on the connections between the Alien series of films and Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel, and Des O’Rawe’s study of Godard’s Film Socialisme.