New issue of SCOPE: Nicole Holofcener, Realism, Self-Transformation Narratives, Károly Makk, the Feature Film as "Short Story" and More


Studies of Long-Form Television, Part 1: THE WIRE

Big Update April 6, 2012 – please scroll right down

Erlend Lavik on ‘Style in The Wire’, April 2012

Jason Mittell, ‘Serial Boxes: The Cultural Value of Long-Form American Television’ [a Presentation given at the ‘Serial Forms’ conference in Zurich, June 2009] Also read Mittell’s text about this presentation

Film Studies For Free begins a little series of entries that … is… not … on … Film Studies … as it is … most narrowly … defined. GASP! Choke. [Recovers characteristic composure].
It was inspired not only by that great, film and media studies, disciplinary leveller that is the DVD, but also, and especially, by Jason Mittell‘s hugely ground-breaking, open peer-reviewed, online, ‘book-in-progress’: Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling, as well as by the publication today of Erlend Lavik‘s first online video essay, above, on the American television drama series The Wire. These are both, in their own ways, impressive and very in-depth studies that merit a wide viewership/readership, as do the other excellent resources listed below on this legendary television series.
If FSFF is missing any important, openly accessible studies, do please leave a comment to that effect with a link. Many thanks.

    Huge Update provided by Steve Bennison (thank you, Steve!)

    Will sort into FSFF order and format asap…

    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


    Memory Screens: New Issue of IMAGE AND NARRATIVE

    Frame grab from 1975 (Shaun Wilson, version 1 (2005), DV as single channel DVD, colour, sound, 5mins). Visit Shaun Wilson‘s website here and read his article about ‘home movies’ here

    The concept of memory screens is an overarching term exploring the relationship between forms of media, viewers, practitioners and memory. The notion of memory screens alludes to the ways in which memories become remembered, layered, forgotten and transformed. The range of articles in this volume reflects the relationship between memory and history, both public and personal. [‘Thematic Cluster: Introduction’ by Teresa Forde]

    Film Studies For Free continues to be impressed by the excellence of the online journal Image and Narrative which has recently published a special issue entitled Memory Screens.

    FSFF particularly appreciated film and video artist Shaun Wilson’s essay on the art of vintage home movies, Jenny Chamarette’s study of the dynamics of the ‘spectre’ or ‘spectral body’ of the auteurist figure of Agnès Varda, Peter Kravanja’s exploration of narrative contingencies in Rohmer and Akerman and Teresa Forde and Erin Bell‘s discussions of memory and British television. But this is a very high quality issue throughout and, as always at I and N, particularly characterised by the thoughtful integration of close analysis and film and moving image theory.

    Image and Narrative, Vol 12, No 2 (2011): Memory Screens

    Table of Contents

    • ‘Thematic Cluster: Introduction’ by Teresa Forde ABSTRACT PDF
    • ‘Remixing Memory through Home Movies’ by Shaun Wilson ABSTRACT PDF
    • ‘Video Installation, Memory and Storytelling: the viewer as narrator’ by Diane Charleson ABSTRACT PDF
    • ‘Spectral bodies, temporalised spaces: Agnès Varda’s motile gestures of mourning and memorial’ by Jenny Chamarette ABSTRACT PDF
    • ‘Television and memory: history programming and contemporary identities’ by Erin Bell ABSTRACTPDF
    • ‘Television Dramas as Memory Screens’ by Teresa Forde ABSTRACT PDF
    • ‘The Lives of Others: re-remembering the German Democratic Republic’  by Margaret Montgomerie and Anne- Kathrin Reck ABSTRACT PDF
    • ‘Nostalgic [re]remembering: film fan cultures and the affective reiteration of popular film histories’ by Nathan Hunt ABSTRACT PDF

    Various Articles

    • ‘Cinema, Contingencies, Metaphysics’ by Peter Kravanja ABSTRACT PDF

    Review Articles

    • Hillary Chute’s Ambivalent Idiom of Witness’ by Charlotte Pylyser  ABSTRACT PDF
    • ‘Naissances de la bande dessinée de William Hogarth à Winsor McCay’ by Pascal Lefèvre ABSTRACT PDF

    >Journal of the Moving Image: Indian and South Asian cinema and media studies


    Image from Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (Anil Sharma, 2001). 
    Film Studies For Free just came across a really good e-journal that it hadn’t bumped into before: Journal of the Moving Image, an annual publication of the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. 

    It was launched in print format in 1999, but its print and online versions now co-exist. As its mission statement puts it,

    JMI seeks to represent critical work on the state of contemporary screen cultures. There are many regions in the world with large viewing populations, often with vast production infrastructures for film and television; but corresponding institutions or forums for critical engagement with such audio-visual regimes are still highly inadequate. JMI seeks to address a broad set of issues ranging from formal properties of the moving image to the social foundation of its production, transmission and reception. There will be a special focus on India and South Asia, and on issues of transnational media transactions, but we would like to offer a wider range of discussion on film and television from various parts of the world made from different perspectives.
    FSFF wanted to share its contents with you promptly, so direct links to all items so far online are pasted in below, with the most recent issue first. The first three issues of JMI are also being prepared for online publication. 

    There are some excellent items here (you might try out Ravi Vasudevan’s The Meanings of ‘Bollywood’ just for starters). So FSFF heartily recommends that you subscribe to JMI ready for its next issue in December. 

    (Also, please check out, if you haven’t yet, FSFF‘s own related entry: “Bollywood” for Beginners and Beyond: Introductions to Popular Hindi Cinema Studies)

    >Kinocultura: on Russian, Russo-Soviet, Eastern European, & Central Asian cinemas & television


    Excerpt from the beginning of Nastroishchik/The Tuner (Kira Muratova, Russia/Ukraine, 2004)
    Muratova’s tight and intricate narrative is punctuated by familiar cinematic devices, red herrings, and pranks immediately identifiable—even beyond cinema production—with Muratova’s sui generic style. [F]irst, her inclusion of a “cultural intermezzo” by an amateur artist-enthusiast.  […]  In The Tuner, this device takes the form of a girl singer-songwriter performing on public transport and a number of other charmingly inept musicians (a clarinetist, two tuba players, random, elderly singers, and Andrei’s spontaneous “Uzbek” improvisation).  This is the utopian dimension of Muratova’s creative act: irredeemably unprofessional, yet utterly complete, self-sufficient in itself, the flawless conjuration of an inner hallucination. Nancy Condee, ‘Kira Muratova, The Tuner [Nastroishchik] (2004)’, Kinocultura, Issue 7  January 2005

    Film Studies For Free was alerted yesterday by David Hudson at The Auteurs Daily that the April 2010 issue of Kinocultura, the Open Access journal of New Russian Cinema, had just been published online.  

    This journal has been appearing since July 2003, and that simple fact makes for a true wealth of freely accessible scholarly resources. With its editorial board of leading scholars in this field, Kinocultura is quite simply one of the best film studies e-journals, with its incredibly wide-ranging scholarly articles alongside wonderful film and book reviews and dossiers/reports/roundtable discussions/videos.  

    Below, FSFF has copied and pasted in the index of all full-length articles and interviews published by the journal to date. Here also is a list of Kinocultura’s special issues on particular countries:#1 Central Asia (2004); #2 Poland (2005); #3 Slovakia (2005); #4 Czech Rep. (2006); #5 Bulgaria (2006); #6 Romania (2007); #7 Hungary (2008); #8 Serbia (2009); #9 Ukraine (2009); #10 Estonia (2010). Note that there are forthcoming issues on Kazakhstan and Croatia.
    Those of you interested in Russian and Soviet film studies should also know about the following great, online bibliography, too: University of Pittsburgh Russian and Soviet Cinema.

    Kinocultura – Issue 28: April 2010

    Festival Report

    Issue 27: January 2010

    Festival Reports

    AAASS 2009 Roundtable on Young Kazakh Cinema

    Issue 26: October 2009

    Festival Reports

    Issue 25: July 2009

    Issue 24: April 2009

    Festival Report:

    Issue 23: January 2009

    Festival Reports:

    Issue 22: October 2008

    Issue 21: July 2008
    Pittsburgh Russian Film Symposium 2008 — The Ideological Occult: Russian Cinema under Putin:

    Issue 20: April 2008

    Issue 19: January 2008

    Issue 18: October 2007

    • Tom Birchenough: “Vladivostok 2007“: The lnternational Pacific Meridian Festival

    Issue 17: July 2007
    Melodrama and Kino-Ideology: Pittsburgh Russian Film Symposium Roundtable:

    Issue 16: April 2007

    Issue 15: January 2007

    Issue 14: October 2006

    Issue 13: July 2006

    Issue 12: April 2006

    Russian TV-Serials: AAASS Roundtable 2005: “Russian TV: Past Issues of Present Concern”

    Issue 11: January 2006

    Issue 10: October 2005

    Issue 9: July 2005

    Issue 8: April 2005

    Issue 7: January 2005

    Issue 6: October 2004
    “National Cinema”: Pittsburgh Film Colloquium roundtable featuring:  

    Moscow International Film Festival 2004 : Susan Larsen: At the Intersection of Art, Commerce, and National Pride  

    Issue 5:  July 2004

    Issue 4:  April 2004

    Issue 3:  January 2004

    Issue 1:  July 2003

    On Avatar & Boss-zilla: a new issue of FlowTV

    Film Studies For Free brings you glad tidings of the new issue of ever wonderful online journal Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. In this latest offering there are some great film related items: Charles R. Acland on Avatar and the media language of revolutionary change; and Hannah Hamad on the film and media popularity of female characters as terrorizing figures. Links to all articles are given below:

    Glasgow’s Finest: work by Caughie, Geraghty, and great e-theses, too

    Image from The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972), a film studied in Philip Drake’s PhD thesis on Hollywood performance

    It’s been a busy month here at Film Studies For Free, but let’s end it on a high note. Today’s little film and media studies links list is of salient items from Enlighten, the e-prints archive at the University of Glasgow, an institution of which FSFF‘s author is personally very fond, given its wonderful department of Theatre, Film & Television Studies.

    This research repository houses some true Open-Access treasures by very important authorities in these disciplines, such as a recent item on film authorship by John Caughie, editor (and author of much) of Theories of Authorship, and four articles by Christine Geraghty, one of the most significant figures in British cinema and television studies. There are also some further excellent items by great, younger scholars, like Philip Drake (now a lecturer in the Film, Media, and Journalism Department at the University of Stirling).

    John Ellis: Film and TV Studies Resources Online

    In yet another daring raid on a university research repository – this time, one based at Royal Holloway, University of London, home to a wonderful department of Media ArtsFilm Studies For Free discovered three openly accessible articles by John Ellis, author of Visible Fictions: Cinema, Television, Video (1992), TV producer, and one of the most influential academics in the history of media theory and British cinema studies.

    FSFF then extended its search for other online research items by Ellis and found the following:

    FSFF also wanted to share a related, and truly excellent article by a different esteemed author, which makes much good use of Ellis’s work: