Showing posts from November, 2010

Cass Timberlane

1. Literature
From the opening credits, Cass Timberlane (MGM, George Sidney) foregrounds its status as adaptation. We can consider this both as marketing strategy (MGM exploits its pre-sold property) and middlebrow culture (the earlier ideal-type of prestige in my categorization). What I still need to research and explore is the culture status of Sinclair Lewis's work circa 1947. I receive him as a second-tier author in the American literature canon, but Hollywood also gave the glowing book-cover treatment to authors no longer canonized. The title touting its serialization in Cosmopolitan magazine highlights its in-between status: both mass-market and literary.

2. Melodrama
To a casual (modern) eye, the film will seem less prestigious or literary than melodramatic. Not only do major traumatic events (stillborn childbirth, infidelity, car accident) happen with relative suddenness in the narrative development, the overall pathos of the narrative is of social conflict that is inexorabl…

CFP: Velvet Light Trap on CGI, Animation, and Effects

Call for Papers
The Velvet Light Trap
Issue #69, Spring 2012
Recontextualizing CGI, Animation, and Visual Effects

Submission Deadline: January 30, 2011

Has animation overtaken "live-action" as the dominant form of production practice?

As contemporary film and television increasingly relies on digital imagery, CGI, animation and visual effects have been seamlessly integrated into "live-action." The recent popularity of films such as 300, Avatar, Inception and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World suggests an atmosphere in which audiences may expect to find more digital, visual effects and animation in live-action media. At the same time, as animation has become a staple in the corporate bottom line, they also constitute their own major category of film and television products. It seems that animation, visual effects, and cgi have been significant to the way that all films are made. It is therefore important that we recontextualize animation studies to rethink what we mean when we s…

CFP: Visible Evidence 18 (NYC)

Visible Evidence 18
New York City
August 11-14, 2011

Call for Proposals

Visible Evidence, an international conference on documentary film and media, now in its 18th year, will convene August 11-14, 2011 in New York City, at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and other locations around the city. Visible Evidence 18 will feature the history, theory, and practice of documentary and non-fiction cinema, television, video, audio recording, digital media, photography, and performance, in a wide range of panels, workshops, plenary sessions, screenings, and special events. Proposals for panels and presentations are invited, according to the following suggestions and guidelines:

Threads and Themes

As in previous editions of the conference, proposed panels and presentations may address any aspect of documentary and non-fiction film, media, and performance, or any theoretical or historical approach to documentary. At the same time, Visible Evidence 18 will draw upon both the location of the…

Blaze of Noon

Blaze of Noon (Paramount, John Farrow) is proof that the surface genre of many of Hollywood's films differs from its ultimate genre - or, in Rick Altman's terminology, that their genre syntax is at odds with their genre semantics. Semantically speaking, Blaze of Noon is a flying adventure film, much in the mold of Only Angels Have Wings. The plot focuses on four brothers MacDonald who trade in barnstorming for a growing industry of air mail delivery.

But, in the context of Paramount's 1947 releases, the film has less in common with Calcutta than it does Dear Ruth. Ultimately, the adventure gives way to romantic comedy between Colin MacDonald (William Holden) and his love interest (Anne Baxter), with some detours in melodrama. It's a genre hybrid that suggests that hybridity was often more the norm in the classical period than genre consistency (a point Altman has made).
The hybridity was probably a strategy noticeable in Paramount's output. I've increasingly be…

CFP: Music and the Moving Image conference

Conference: Music & The Moving Image May 20-22, 2011 NYU | Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development (conference website)
The annual conference, Music and the Moving Image, encourages submissions from scholars and practitioners that explore the relationship between music, sound, and the entire universe of moving images (film, television, video games, iPod, computer, and interactive performances) through paper presentations.

In addition, this year’s conference will include a special session on teaching students about soundtracks. We invite those who teach within film, media, and/or music curricula to submit abstracts about applying particular theoretical approaches to the practice of teaching soundtracks. (For this special session, the faculty member should include with their abstract submission the courses they teach, their departmental affiliation, and the majors represented by their students.) The keynote address will be presented by Philip Tagg (Ko…