30+ articles from the Journal of Aesthetics and Culture

Frame grab from The Wind (Victor Sjöström, 1928). Read Bo Florin’s article on this film

[Traditionally, aesthetics] has been based on national perspectives and contexts, as well as contained within the limits of specific disciplines. However, the changing society has made this focus all too narrow. Due to globalization, media and territories merge and move in new ways, where regional, national, international, and global perspectives increasingly integrate. New contexts and new aesthetic strategies are also created, and traditional boundaries and hierarchies become transgressed, for example, between high brow and popular culture, or between art and technology. Aesthetics as well as culture thus need to be discussed and interpreted across the disciplines, through different media, over territorial borders. Finally, this is also a strong argument for Open Access publishing: to constitute a global platform and an interface for interdisciplinary discourse—free for anybody to read. [from first JAC Editorial by Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Lars Gustaf Andersson and John Sundholm]

Film Studies For Free had been meaning to post something about the Journal of Aesthetics and Culture for quite a while. It’s an online open access journal, hence one very much after this blog’s’s heart, with a high percentage of very good quality film-studies related articles that FSFF has frequently linked to on Twitter.

Today, JAC published an excellent dossier on Transnational Cultural Memory, an event which provided a wonderful prompt to gather together, in one place, links to everything that JAC has published to date. And below, that is just what you will find.

FSFF has also added JAC to its permanent listing of excellent, Open Access film and moving image studies journals

Vol. 1 (2009)

Vol. 2 (2010)

Vol 3 (2011)

>Film Studies and Aesthetics video and audio resources from the University of Kent


Image of a domestic interior in A Star is Born (George Cukor, 1954). Listen to John David Rhodes‘s talk on the encounter between cinema and modernist American domestic architecture, in relation to this film and others.

Today, Film Studies For Free brings you glad tidings of the very high quality, audio and video, Film Studies research resources that have been generously shared through the University of Kent website.  

As FSFF‘s author well knows, having been fortunate enough to work there for a decade, Kent is one of the largest and best university centres in Europe dedicated to Film Studies. Film research there, in both theory and practice (faculty include the world-leading scholars Murray Smith and Elizabeth Cowie, as well as the award-winning film-makers Clio Barnard and  Sarah Turner), is currently centred in four broad areas: national cinemas – form and history: North American, European, Latin American, Asian; the digital in film; the  documentary film; and, especially, film aesthetics, the latter often in collaboration with the interdisciplinary ‘Aesthetics Research Group’.

Some of these interests, and plenty more besides, are beautifully reflected in the amazing wealth of recordings of conferences, symposia and seminars directly linked to below. Just feast your eyes and ears on them.

Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image

Audio Resources

  • “The Art of Not Playing to Pictures’ in British Cinemas, 1908-1914” Dr Jon Burrows (University of Warwick) Recent scholarship on musical practices in the silent era argues that by the end of the 1900s and throughout the 1910s the typical cinema musician was a lone pianist who occupied a subordinate position in relation to the projected image and provided forms of accompaniment which ignored traditional musical logic and obediently responded instead to the dictates of narrative logic. Using a variety of evidential sources available in the UK (cinema licensing records, police inspection files, trade paper debates) my paper will argue the contrary: that miniature orchestras were extremely common in British cinemas before the First World War, and that, well into the feature film era, careful synchronisation of music and image was probably the exception rather than the rule. Listen to the lecture here (mp3)
  • “Theory and Practice in British Film Schools” Prof Duncan Petrie (University of York) Film and media education in the UK has long been characterised by a fundamental polarisation between theory and practice. This is most clearly manifest in the widespread separation between academic study and hands-on production training within University and College departments and programmes…Listen to the lecture here (mp3)
  • “Easy Living: The Modernist House and Cinematic Space“ Dr John David Rhodes (University of Sussex) In this paper I will look at a series of encounters—both real and imaginary—between cinema and modernist American domestic architecture. The paper moves from the sets of A Star is Born (Cukor, 1954), to the short experimental film House (1954)…Listen to the lecture here (mp3)
  • “World Cinema and the Ethics of Realism” Prof Lucia Nagib (University of Leeds) This paper will address world cinema through an unusual theoretical model, based on an ethics of realism. The juxtaposition of the terms ‘world cinema’, ‘ethics’ and ‘realism’ creates a tension intended to offer a productive alternative to traditional oppositional binaries such as popular vs art cinemas, fiction vs documentary films, Hollywood vs world cinema… Listen to the lecture here (mp3)
University of Kent Aesthetics Research Group
Audio and video resources:

Kendall Walton and The Aesthetics of Photography and Film (2007)

Jerrold Levinson: Key Concepts in Aesthetics (2008-09)

Research Seminars (ongoing)

Art, Aesthetics and the Sexual (2009)

>Bazinian, Neo-Bazinian, and Post-Bazinian Film Studies


Film Studies For Free decided to round up some classy links today to studies either by the hugely influential film critic André Bazin (1918-1958), co-founder of the film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, or by those who use or comment upon his work in their own contributions to film studies. As the below, openly accessible works more than amply show, even in this the digital film age, Bazin is an earlier generation film theorist who keeps on giving to the discipline that he, as much as anyone else, helped to found.
Online Baziniana: 

    >Seeing the join: on film editing


    In memoriam Dede Allen  
    (December 3, 1923 – April 17, 2010)
    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

    Dissolve by Aaron Valdez (2003): “Found footage film constructed of hundreds of dissolves taken from old educational films and reassembled to create a meditation on our own impermanence”. 

    Film Studies For Free presents a much requested links list today, one to openly accessible, high quality scholarly studies of film editing. Without further ado, let’s jump cut straight to it:

    • ‘The Art of Film Editing’, Special Issue of P.O.V: A Danish Journal of Film Studies, edited by Richard Raskin, Number 6 December 1998 – PDF containing:
      • Søren Kolstrup, ‘The notion of editing’   
      • Sidsel Mundal, ‘Notes of an editing teacher’  
      • Mark Le Fanu, ‘On editing’
      • Vinca Wiedemann, ‘Film editing – a hidden art?’
      • Edvin Kau, ‘Separation or combination of fragments? Reflections on editing’
      • Lars Bo Kimersgaard, ‘Editing in the depth of the surface. Some basic principles of graphic editing’
      • Martin Weinreich, ‘The urban inferno. On the æsthetics of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver
      • Scott MacKenzie, ‘Closing arias: Operatic montage in the closing sequences of the trilogies of Coppola and Leone’
      • Claus Christensen, ‘A vast edifice of memories: the cyclical cinema of Terence Davies’,
      • Richard Raskin, ‘Five explanations for the jump cuts in Godard’s Breathless