Performing/Representing Male Bonds: Issue 2 of INMEDIA


Animation Studies: Three Fabulous Online Resources

Updated with a call for papers on November 15
Lignes verticales/Lines Vertical (Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, 1960). Read Aimee Mollaghan’s article on McLaren’s Line Films here.

Animation has an unlimited potential to visually represent events, scenarios and forms that have little or no relation to our experience of the ‘real’ world. Implemented in many ways, in many disciplines, it is increasingly influencing our perception and experience of the world we live in. This timely and groundbreaking international conference unites speakers from a wide range of research agendas and creative practices. It facilitates much-needed dialogue centred on the ubiquitous and interdisciplinary nature of animation, its potentially radical future development, and its ethical responsibilities for spatial politics in moving image culture. The conference’s contributors include Norman Klein, Michael Snow, Vivian Sobchack, Tom Gunning, Anthony McCall, George Griffin, Suzanne Buchan, Beatriz Colomina, Edwin Carels, Siegfried Zielinski, Lisa Cartwright, Johnny Hardstaff and Esther Leslie. Especially since the digital shift, the uses of animation are no longer exclusive to cinema, and animation’s origins in pre-cinematic optical experiments through avant-garde experimental film continue to evolve in fascinating ways. Artists increasingly incorporate animation in installations and exhibitions, architects use computer animation software to create narratives of space in time, and scientists use it to interpret abstract concepts for a breadth of industries ranging from biomedicine to nanoworlds. Pervasive Animation provides a dynamic international forum to explore animation’s myriad forms and applications across a wide band of creative and professional practice. Organised by Suzanne Buchan, Reader in Animation Studies and Director of the Animation Research Centre at the University College for the Creative Arts, and Stuart Comer, Curator of Film at Tate.

Film Studies For Free animatedly highlights three fabulous Animation Studies resources today. First up, through the second of the two videos embedded above, you can access the entire, recorded proceedings of a very high quality conference on animation held in 2007 at London’s Tate Modern.

FSFF heard about those videos through the fantastic Experimental Animation website which houses, and links to, many more animation treasures, like Lignes verticales/Lines VerticalNorman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart‘s brilliant 1960 opus embedded at the top of this post.

Finally, the third amazing resource du jour are the below contents of the volumes of Animation Studies, the online, Open Access and peer-reviewed Journal of the Society for Animation Studies (also on Twitter as @anistudies). See also the Society’s Call for Papers for an upcoming conference at the foot of this post.

“Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

Animation Studies – the Journal of the Society for Animation Studies

Call for Papers:
‘The Animation Machine’ – The 24th Society for Animation Studies Conference

Date: June 25-27, 2012

Hosted by: RMIT University
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Keynote speakers include:

•         Thomas Lamarre (McGill University, Canada)

•         Tomotaka Takahashi (The University of Tokyo, Japan)

The Society for Animation Studies (SAS) invites submissions of proposals for individual papers and panels for its 24th Annual Conference, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia at RMIT University, 25-27 June 2012.

Animation production and consumption has continued to grow as animation itself has become ever more prevalent and visible in recent years. In parallel, the field of animation studies has expanded excitingly and dramatically, bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines.

The theme of this year’s conference, ‘The Animation Machine’, reflects the wide range of processes, technologies, histories and structures in animation. As movement is an essential aspect of animation, whatever creates that movement may constitute an animation machine and one could conceive that animation is itself a machine. The animation machine can be considered from both the production process and the end product. Therefore, it refers to the machines of animation presentation, be these pre-20th century animation devices, movie or video screens, or even automata. The animation machine also relates to the multitude of animation production processes – from animating technologies (animation stands, cameras, computers), through to the animator’s individual creative practice. Ultimately, the animation machine can be described quite broadly and we welcome your own interpretations.

With the centenary of Australian animation approaching, the 2012 conference will also provide an opportunity to highlight some of Australia’s animation heritage. The conference will coincide with the Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) and a number of crossover events are planned.

We invite proposals on a wide range of animation topics on all aspects of animation history, theory and criticism for 20-minute conference presentations. Proposals may include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

•         Australian Animation

•         Animation and the Asia-Pacific Region

•         Animation Histories

•         Future Forms of Animation

•         Industrial Methods and Changes

•         Materiality of Animation

•         Algorithmic Animation (including Games)

•         Philosophy and Animation

•         Motion Graphics

•         Scientific Visualisation

•         Contemporary Art and Animation

•         Architecture and Animation

•         Drawing and Animation

•         Web Animation

•         Narrative and Non-Narrative Animation

•         Obsolescence and Questions of Materiality

•         Augmented Reality and Vision

•         Automata (including Robotics)

•         Animation and Pedagogy

•         Documentary and Animation

•         Animation Fringes and Counter-Cultures

•         Sound and Animation

Please include with your individual submission the following:

•         Title and abstract of no more than 250 words (suitable for publication).

•         A brief biographical statement (suitable for publication).

•         Complete contact information, including name, institutional affiliation (if any), postal address, e-mail address and telephone number.

•         A head shot photo of yourself that will be suitable for publication (optional).

For panel proposals of 3-4 presenters, the chair of the panel should submit the following:

•         Overall panel title/theme, plus a 100-word description suitable for publication.

•         Name and contact information for the panel chair.

•         Titles and abstracts for each paper (as noted above).

•         Biography statement for each member (as noted above).

•         Name and contact information for each member (as noted above).

•         Photo of each presenter suitable for publication (optional).

Submit abstracts to:
Submission deadline: December 12, 2011
Conference website:
Conference Chair: Dr Dan Torre, RMIT University

    Journal articles on masculinity in popular cinema, and much more

    Image of John Travolta as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977). You can read Stelios Cristodoulou’s great article on this film here

    Today, Film Studies For Free brings you more excellent contents from Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN, the periodical brought to you by the postgraduate network of the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association.

    The links below channel the latest two issues of the journal, including a great selection of articles on masculinity and popular culture, with some very worthwhile studies of popular cinema.

    And if you like these very worthy items, you might also like to check out a previous FSFF post listing some further, great articles from this journal.

    Networking Knowledge, Vol 4, No 1 (2011) on Masculinity and Popular Culture  

    • ‘”A straight heterosexual film”: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Saturday Night Fever‘ by Stelios Christodoulou Abstract PDF 
    • ‘Tough Guy in Drag? How the external, critical discourses surrounding Kathryn Bigelow demonstrate the wider problems of the gender question’ by Rona Murray Abstract PDF
    • Interrogating Masculinity through the Child Figure in Bombay Cinema’ by Siddarth Pandey Abstract PDF 
    • Deviating from the Deviant: The Masculinity of Brando in Julius Caesar (1953)’ by Rachael Kelly Abstract PDF
    • ‘“Please Baby, take me Back”: Homo-social Bonds in the Contemporary British Biopic’ by Matthew Robinson Abstract PDF
    • ‘”Tell me all about your new man”: (Re)Constructing Masculinity in Contemporary Chick Texts’ by Amy Burns Abstract PDF
    • ‘Mohamed “el-Limby” Saad and the Popularization of a Masculine Code’ by Koen Van Eynde Abstract PDF
    • ‘Metal, Machismo and Musical Mode: How the ‘Feminine’ Phrygian Second has been Appropriated and Transformed’ by Sarha Moore Abstract PDF
    • ‘The Role of Lucha Libre in the Construction of Mexican Male Identity’ by Javier Pereda, Patricia Murrieta-Flores Abstract PDF
    • ‘Masculinity and Institutional Identity in South Cyprus – the case of I do not forget‘ by Stratis Andreas Efthymiou Abstract PDF

    Networking Knowledge, Vol 3, No 2 (2010)  MeCCSA-PGN Conference Edition

    • ‘Screen Acting and Performance Choices’ by Trevor Rawlins Abstract PDF
    • ‘Family Photography as a phatic construction’ by Patricia Prieto Blanco Abstract PDF
    • ‘UTV, The Network relationship and Reporting the “Troubles”’ by Orla Lafferty Abstract PDF
    • ‘Representations of the Irish in American Vaudeville and Early Film’ by Jennifer Mooney Abstract PDF

    Short Papers

    • ‘Public Service Broadcasting and the Public Sphere: Normative Arguments from Habermasian Theory’ by Phil Ramsey Abstract PDF
    • ‘Postdramatic Musicality in The Black Rider‘ by Markee Rambo-Hood Abstract PDF

    >New Issue of Scope! Gollum/LOTR, Egyptian cinema, Fight Club, Snuff-Fiction


    As usual, Film Studies For Free is delighted to bring you news of the latest issue of Scope; an Online Journal of Film and TV Studies. The full table of contents is given below. 

    In addition to an excellent selection of main articles, there is an astonishing array of book and film reviews and conference reports, the latter sections in particular flagging up the enormous, but highly worthwhile, collective editorial effort that goes into producing a very good quality Open Access journal.

    Thank you, Scope!

    Scope, Issue 19, February 2011


    Book Reviews

    Film Reviews

    • Kaminey Reviewer: Sagnik Banerjee

    Conference Reports

    >The Working-Class Hero in International Cinema: in Memory of Pete Postlethwaite


    The bottom line for Danny [Pete Postlethwaite] is [his son] Phil’s emblematic loss of ‘the will to live’. He addresses the Albert Hall audience for all the world as if he were the holy ghost of Scargill and the militant miners of 1984, telling the punters, the press and us that, ‘I thought that music mattered. But does it bollocks; not compared to what people matter’. Charging the government with destroying an industry, a community and its people, he refuses the prize, calculating, as the flash bulbs pop, that ‘then it becomes news. And I won’t be talking just to myself, will I?’ In this scene the shot-reverse-shots of father and son, Danny and media, band and Grimley fans, and band and approving urban audience (its cosmopolitanism symbolised by two black faces) works as much as Danny’s polemic to argue that the old-fashioned working-class values, the local, British loyalties of community, family and labour -contrasted satirically by Danny to the fashionable liberal campaigns to save ‘seals or whales’ – can cut through Tory brutalism and reconstruct progressive priorities – to be the bearer of new national hopes. [Cora Kaplan, ‘The Death of the Working-Class Hero’, New Formations, 52 (Summer, 2004)]

    Film Studies For Free was shocked and saddened to hear of the death yesterday of much loved British actor Pete Postlethwaite. David Hudson’s set of links to tributes to Postlethwaite may be found here. 
    Postlethwaite was a highly versatile actor, far from limited either in his life by his English working-class background, or in his career by his talent for the working-class dramatic roles in which he was so often cast. But it is the case that some of his most memorable roles were, like that of Danny in Brassed Off, ones that set themselves in the kind of tightly-knit, but, under political attack, all too easily undone, northern English communities he came from.
    FSFF‘s tribute, below, focuses on this aspect of Postlethwaite’s work: his class act, that was not just an act. It’s a rich and hopefully rewarding set of links to online and openly accessible scholarly discussions of the (usually, but not exclusively, male) “working-class hero” film character – quite a transnational cinematic trope, as it turns out.

                          >PhD Theses on Hal Hartley, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, and Spanish cinema studies


                          Javier Bardem as Raúl and Penélope Cruz as Silvia in Jamón Jamón (Bigas Luna, 1992) as discussed in Rebecca Naughten’s work Spain Made Flesh: Reflections and projections of the national in contemporary Spanish stardom, 1992-2007

                          Film Studies For Free was delighted when Spanish cinema scholar Rebecca Naughten responded to its request for information about online PhD theses. Not only did Rebecca let FSFF know that her own really excellent thesis has recently been made available online, but she also did the hard work of trawling through the online repository at the University of Newcastle, where her work is stored, to find four other very good theses archived there. ¡Muchísimas gracias, Rebecca!

                          These works have just been added to FSFF‘s permanent list of Online Film and Moving Image Studies PhD Theses (see the link in the table of contents in the right-hand sidebar for future reference) which now makes more than 130 theses accessible to you at the click of your mouse.

                          Do please let FSFF know if your online PhD thesis, or others you know of, is not yet in this list.

                          >Immaturity Abides! On Teen, "Gross Out" and Dumbass Comedy


                          Jonah Hill and Michael Cera in Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007)

                          Film Studies For Free is two years old today. You go, blog!

                          In honour of its tentative entry into digital post-toddlerdom (and hopefully not the terrible twos), it wanted to celebrate online and openly accessible studies of what FSFF likes to think of (in its über-scholarly way) as those liminal film genres and cycles of comic immaturity, awkwardness, stupidity, and tastelessness — that is to say, all varieties of the teen (or arrested development) comedy (including the “teen sex comedy”, the “gross-out” comedy, comic “dude flicks” and “bromances“), as well as studies of related issues.

                          Today’s scattershot links list is partly an offshoot of FSFF‘s recent entry on the romantic comedy, and partly its first experiment in “crowdsourcing” via its blossoming Facebook page. Thanks so much to those who suggested items there.

                          If anyone else has any bright ideas for further additions, do please ‘fess up. FSFF earnestly promises that you won’t be ritually humiliated, or mercilessly laughed at, at all  :o)




                                                >Lots of Film Studies PhD Theses Online


                                                Masculine ‘musculinity’ (almost) all grown up –  Sylvester Stallone, in The Expendables ( Stallone, 2010). (See Yvonne Tasker’s PhD on masculinity and action movies)

                                                It was time for one of Film Studies For Free‘s regular visits to a research repository search-engine to see which PhD theses have been made openly accessible online since this blog last took a look.

                                                A few of the below PDF files have been linked to before by FSFF but the vast majority have not come up in earlier searches. And there are some fabulous items here: such as Yvonne Tasker’s paradigm shifting thesis on gender and action cinema, and Donato Totaro on time and the long take in the cinema. And what a truly astounding variety of topics!

                                                In fond memory of Patrick Swayze

                                                The power behind Film Studies For Free‘s e-throne is a ‘person of a certain age‘, making her (chrono) logically susceptible to a good number of the many charms and talents of actor Patrick Swayze. She is, thus, saddened by the news of his untimely death.

                                                Swayze was an actor of surprisingly slight physical stature, but one who loomed very large and very beautifully, not only in Hollywood and independent cinema, and, of course, in the estimation of his many fans and admirers, but also in the musings of quite a few Film Studies scholars. In particular relation to the latter, he helped to inspire — FSFF is sure — many worthwhile studies of (post-)modern gender and sexuality, ‘looking relations‘, and acting in film.

                                                In fond memory of his work for the screen, a few links to openly-accessible items of some of that scholarship are given below:

                                                Yvonne Tasker, Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre, and the Action Cinema (London: Routledge, 1993)

                                                Christina Lane, Feminist Hollwyood: From Born in Flames to Point Break (Wayne State University Press, 2000)

                                                John Izod, Myth, Mind, and the Screen: Understanding the Heroes of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)