Lives on Film: Auto/Biographical Fiction and Documentary Film Studies


Unfolding Film and Media Studies: "Postproduction", Freeze Frames, Death, Games, Augmented Reality and Biological Media

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:

Jukka-Pekka Puro and Jukka Sihvonen (eds.), Unfolding Media Studies: Working Papers 2010 (Turku: Media Studies, University of Turku, 2011) PDF

Full contents are set out below.

  • Preface    7

    Film Studies

  • 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
  • New Media

  • 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

Repulsive Film Studies? New issue of FILM-PHILOSOPHY on Cinematic Disgust

[Tarja] Laine’s insights on disgust have important implications for thinking about the aesthetic paradox of unpleasure. In her assessment, [Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)] offers a particularly pertinent limit-case in which disgust is not readily convertible into pleasurable cognitive satisfaction. Ultimately, her reading of the film suggests that we may need to re-think theories that construct unpleasure as antithetical to aesthetic experience. In this, she joins Korsmeyer and other thinkers who have recently suggested that we may need to abandon the pleasure-unpleasure binary, in favor of thinking about disgust as ‘modifier of attention, intensifying for a host of reasons some experience that the participant would rather have continue than not’ (Korsmeyer 2011, 118). Indeed, as Laine puts it, it is possible that what we value in cinematic renderings of disgust is precisely the ‘vivid and immediate experience’ that it offers us, ‘regardless of its non-pleasurable, non-rewarding features’. [Tina Kendall in her editor’s ‘Introduction: Tarrying with Disgustfor the Film-Philosophy special issue on Disgust, discussing Tarja Laine‘s brilliant article for that issue, as well as citing Carolyn Korsmeyer’s Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)]

Many of you will already have heard about the new issue of Film-Philosophy that came out in late December, but Film Studies For Free is obsessively completist in its mission to bring you news of notable, open access, film studies, hence this, otherwise possibly superfluous, entry.

Besides, it’s a brilliantly provocative special issue which successfully takes explorations of filmic disgust well beyond the, to date, canonical or entrenched Film Studies approaches to film horror. Despite some of the attractions of these approaches, for those of us marking undergraduate essays on horror cinema and television from time to time, this greater plurality of conceptual pathways into these topics is a Very Good Thing – that is, in FSFF‘s ever so humble view.

Thanks so much for that, and more, Film-Philosophy!

Vol 15, No 2 (2011): The Disgust Issue

Guest Editor: Tina Kendall


Book Reviews

  • Dina Iordanova, David Martin-Jones and Belén Vidal (2010) Cinema at the Periphery PDF Rowena Santos Aquino
  • Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammad, eds. (2010) Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy: New Life for the Undead PDF Caroline Walters
  • Joseph Mai (2010) Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne PDF R. D. Crano
  • Boaz Hagin (2010) Death in Classical Hollywood Cinema PDF Richard Lindley Armstrong
  • Peter Lee-Wright (2010) The Documentary Handbook PDF Wes Skolits
  • William Brown, Dina Iordanova and Leshu Torchin (2010) Moving People, Moving Images: Cinema and Trafficking in the New Europe PDF Alison Frank
  • Richard Misek (2010) Chromatic Cinema PDF Robert Barry
  • Alain Badiou (2010) Cinéma PDF Manuel Ramos
  • Annie van den Oever, ed. (2010) Ostrannenie PDF Lara Alexandra Cox
  • David Martin-Jones (2010) Scotland: Global Cinema: Genres, Modes and Identities PDF John Marmysz

Documentary and Space: New issue of MEDIA FIELDS JOURNAL

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.

New JUMP CUT: Hollywood, Reframing, International Cinema, Documentary, Economics and Politics, Porn, Independent/Art/Avant-garde, Horror

Back, nicely bronzed, from its holiday, Film Studies For Free has lots of catching up to do. Let it begin with rushing you, below, the table of contents from the latest, utterly brilliant issue of Jump Cut, No. 53, summer 2011. 

There is SO much great reading here, much of it deeply politically committed, as is characteristic of this important journal. But please don’t miss its marvellous book reviews section, including a look at recent books on film sound by Michael Chanan (thanks for tipping FSFF off about this latest issue, Michael!).
International cinema
Economics and cinema
Politics of media production and distribution
  • Clips, clicks and climax: notes on the relocation and remediation of pornography by Julian Hanich
    Moving-image pornography on the Internet has facilitated and intensified the masturbatory experience due to a double tendency toward privatization and individualization. This becomes particularly obvious when compared to the time when porn films were projected in theaters and consumed with other, mostly anonymous viewers.
  • The excess of porn: response to Julian Hanich by Magnus Ullén
    Considering the relation between pornography and different media is important, yes; but it will be difficult to historicize pornography without first historicizing the mode of reading that gave rise to the concept of porn in the nineteenth century.
  • Back to the Golden Age by Thomas Waugh
    This brief intervention in the current conversation about porn contextualizes the debate within the history of porn studies and Jump Cut’s contribution since the 1970s to a materialist-feminist understanding of sexual representation.
  • Porn: it’s not just about sex anymore by Nina K. Martin
    Porn’s shift to online and mobile device mediums has de-stigmatized the term to the point of banality, linking “porn” to non-sexualized notions of excess.
  • Beyond porno chic by Jose B. Capino
    Internet porn viewing and spectatorship at adult video arcades are more similar than we imagine.
  • Pornography, technology, and masturbation: response to Julian Hanich by Peter Lehman
    Society hysterically fears the dangers of pornography and masturbation while academia represses it, and that aspect of the historically complex interaction between media, technology and porn is lost in the process.
  • Loin du Vietnam (1967), Joris Ivens and Left Bank documentary  by Thomas Waugh
    Far from Vietnam, the collective French film of 1967, produced in solidarity with the Vietnamese people under U.S. attack, is explored in relation to its historical context on three continents, to its coalitional politics and the solidarity genre in general, and to the forum it provided to one contributor, veteran communist filmmaker Joris Ivens.
  • Re-conceiving Misconception: birth as a site of filmic experimentation by Roxanne Samer
    This cultural history of Marjorie Keller’s birth film Misconception (1977) seeks to release the film from past dichotomizing interpretative binds with the hope of opening it up to further future interpretations, re-looking and better appreciation.
  • Books on film sound review by Michael Chanan
    Two books about film sound come at their subject from completely different angles.
    • Mark Kerins, Beyond Dolby (Stereo), Cinema in the Digital Sound Age
    • Andy Birtwistle, Cinesonica: Sounding Film and Video
  • Iranian film opposing regimes of voyeurism review by Jyotika Virdi
    Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema by Negar Mottahedeh
    Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema is seen as a dynamic alternative to Hollywood’s dominant voyeurism codes, while its narratives are displaced allegories that circumvent the state’s modesty laws.
  • Darwin at the movies by David Andrews and Christine Andrews
    This review of Barbara Creed’s book Darwin’s Screens also examines the use of evolutionary ideas in the field of film studies.
  • Star Trek’s allegorical monomyth review by Elspeth kydd
    David Greven in Gender and Sexuality in Star Trek: Allegories of Desire in the Television Series and Films tackles complex issues within this large and elusive monomyth.
  • Nobody’s baby review by Kirsten Pike
    Babysitter: An American History by Miriam Forman-Brunell
    The book examines girls’ domestic labor in the U.S. and also offers significant insight into the contradictory ways that girls are imagined, debated, and targeted by experts, advisors, and creators of popular culture.
  • Sexual innocence and film: a look at scholarship on virginity review by Susan Ericsson
    Virgin Territory: Representing Sexual Inexperience in Film, edited by Tamar Jeffers McDonald
    How can virginity be depicted in fiction film and television beyond dialogue or narrative moments when the condition of virginity ends?
  • Documentary studies: news from the front line review by Russell Campbell
    Sociopolitical documentary comes under intensive scrutiny in a cluster of new books.
    Documentary: Witness and Self-Revelation by John Ellis
    Recording Reality, Desiring the Real by Elizabeth Cowie
    The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture by Belinda Smaill
    Intelligence Work: The Politics of American Documentary by Jonathan Kahana
    The Right to Play Oneself: Looking Back on Documentary Film by Thomas Waugh
  • Documentary: intelligence and/or emotion? review by Chuck Kleinhans
    The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture by Belinda Smaill
    Intelligence Work: The Politics of American Documentary by Jonathan Kahana
The last word
  • Crisis politics On crises and drastic neoliberal economic makeovers by the editors