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Showing posts from 2014

CFP: Visible Evidence XXII

CALL FOR PAPERS

Visible Evidence XXII conference
Toronto

August 19-23, 2015
proposals due February 7 & 15

Visible Evidence, the international conference on documentary film and media, now in its 22nd year, will convene August 19-23rd, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by the Institute of Cinema Studies, University of Toronto; the School of Image Arts, Ryerson University and the Department of Cinema and Media Arts, York University, Visible Evidence 22 will address 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 pre-constituted panels, individual papers, workshops, and screenings are invited according to the following guidelines.

Themes
While proposals may address any aspect of documentary screen cultures, histories and practices, potential presenters should be aware that the confe…

CFP: Emerging Documentary Practices symposium

CALL FOR PAPERS

Emerging Documentary Practices

Symposium and Exhibition

Temple University, Philadelphia
Friday April 3, 2014

An interdisciplinary one-day symposium and exhibition about how emerging technologies are transforming nonfiction image-making practices in cinema, art and ethnography.

Deadline For Proposals: January 12, 2014.

The Department of Film and Media Arts (FMA) at Temple University is delighted to host a one-day interdisciplinary symposium on Emerging Documentary Practices. The symposium is particularly focused on documentary forms that use interactivity, locative and mobile technologies in innovative ways to transform the concepts and practices of documentary cinema and media arts.

The symposium welcomes documentary practitioners from across fields of social sciences, humanities and arts, from ethnographers to eco-poets. Interweaving choices of content and of form, a new generation of practitioners is reaching across creative and scholarly disciplines. This symposium e…

Conferences Winter 2014 edition

Here is my current list of English-language conferences of interest to those in film studies (and some for TV and media studies). Upcoming conferences are listed in order by date or, for open calls, by abstract due date. Please let me know if I should add anything.  I will update this post throughout Winter 2015 and will do an update post in Spring or Summer 2015.

(updated February 7)

Closed calls:
“Film Festival Cartographies” Symposium - Modena, Italy, Nov 20-21, 2014 [website]
Visible Evidence XXI - New Delhi, Dec 11-14, 2014 [website]
MLA -  Vancouver, Jan 8-11, 2015 [website]
CAA - Chicago, Feb 12-15, 2014 [website]
SMCS - Montreal Mar 25-29, 2015  [website]
The Colour Fantastic: Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema - EYE/University of Amsterdam, March, 29-31 2015 [call] Console-ing Passions - Dublin, Ireland, June 18-20, 2015 [website] BAFTSS 2014 conference Manchester Metropolitan University, Apr 16-18 2015 [call] PCA (Popular Culture Association) - New Orleans, April 1-4, 2015 [website] ICA…

CFP: Screen Conference 2015

CALL FOR PAPERS

25th Annual Screen Studies Conference
26-28 June 2015
University of Glasgow, Scotland

proposal due date: 11 January 2015

The theme of the forthcoming Screen Studies Conference, organised by the journal Screen and programmed by Screen editor Karen Lury, will be “Screening Animals and the Inhuman”.

Chiming with the increasing interest in the representation and agency of animals and non-human others in film, television and other audio-visual texts, we invite papers that address questions, representations and the performativity of the animal and of the ‘inhuman’ on and with screen based media.  Presentations and papers on wider aspects of film and television will also be considered. Panel submissions will be considered but not prioritised.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Michael Lawrence (University of Sussex), Susan McHugh (University of New England) and Anat Pick (Queen Mary, University of London).

This year we would also like to invite poster presentations. Selected poste…

Joshua Malitsky Interview

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I would like to thank Joshua Malitsky for agreeing to talk about his work and his book, Post-Revolution Nonfiction Film: Building the Soviet and Cuban Nations, out recently from Indiana University Press. I've found it a valuable book, not only for its examination of both canonical and non-canonical films but also for its willingness to think beyond the documentary/newsreel divide that often structures the field of documentary studies. I asked him about the book and its methodology.

Could you talk a little about the genesis of the book? How did you land on the topic and choose these national cinemas?

This book began as my dissertation project at Northwestern.  It came out of two projects on which I’d been working.  I had been looking into nonfiction films made in Ghana during the period of Kwame Nkrumah’s rule—during and immediately following independence.  I’d been in contact with a filmmaker who worked closely with Nkrumah who told me that he had stashed in London a lot of the fi…

CFP: Music in European Postwar Cinema

Music in European Postwar Cinema
Call-for-papers for an essay collection

Over the last few decades a well-established theoretical framework for Hollywood and post-Hollywood cinema has emerged, while music in the European cinema has not been given the same scholarly attention. Except for a small number of disparate and unrelated articles, several monographs and one anthology, there is no published scholarly study available which puts forward a theory for music in European cinema. One reason why the void exists is because of the varied and diverse aesthetic approaches to film music in Europe over the last century, as well as the different genres and different production formats, from experimental and art, to mainstream and commercial cinema. The objective of the book project is to bring together the numerous threads and create a theoretical model for the music in European cinema within a well-defined historical period, the postwar years up to the fall of the Berlin wall (1946–1989). The…

CFP: Orson Welles: A Centennial Celebration and Symposium

Orson Welles: A Centennial Celebration and Symposium
Indiana University
April 29-May 2, 2015

proposal due date: November 15, 2014

Indiana University plans an academic symposium welcoming scholars, archivists, filmmakers, and others interested in celebrating the centennial of Orson Welles’s birth. The event will be held April 29-May 2, 2015 on the beautiful Bloomington, Indiana campus and hosted by Indiana University’s newly established Media School; the Indiana University Libraries (including the Lilly Library, home of the Orson Welles Papers, and the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive); and Indiana University Cinema, which has earned an international reputation for the high quality of its facilities and programming.

Accompanying the symposium will be a series of Welles films and an exhibition featuring rare and unique items from the Welles collection. Renowned Wellesian scholars such as James Naremore, Joseph McBride, Patrick McGilligan, and Jonathan Rosenbaum, along with filmmakers w…

CFP: NECSUS journal on Vintage

NECSUS, The European Journal of Media Studies, has announced the next topic, "Vintage," for its Autumn 2015 edition

Abstracts of 300 words, 3-5 bibliographic references, and a short biography of 100 words due by 10 October 2014.   On the basis of selected abstracts writers will be invited to submit full manuscripts (5000-7000 words) which will subsequently go through a blind peer review process.


Few issues are as pertinent today as the relationship between old and new, past and present, obsolescence and progress. Paradoxically, as the obsession with the new in contemporary society intensifies, so too does our interest in older technologies, styles, and artefacts. Advertising and marketing in particular have tapped into the selling potential of nostalgia and references to the past permeate just about every cultural domain from film, television, art, and music, to fashion, food, tourism, and interior design. Terms such as ‘retro’ and ‘vintage’ have become commonplace, both fre…

CFP: Film Festival Origins and Trajectories

Special issue of the peer-reviewed journal New Review of Film and Television Studies
Guest-edited by Lydia Papadimitriou and Jeffrey Ruoff

Oct. 1, 2014 deadline for submission of proposals
(For accepted proposals, the deadline for completed 6,000-9,000 word essays is December 15, 2014.)

This special issue of NRFTS explores the genesis of festivals, in different countries, to trace the distances festivals have travelled from their origins, how changes are sometimes intentional and at other times the results of socio-political and economic transformations. The guest editors are interested in proposals that break new historical, methodological, and theoretical grounds and, with certain regions already represented in the issue, are especially interested in proposals about festivals in Latin America, underrepresented areas of Asia, as well as North Africa and the Middle East.

Email an abstract of 100-200 words and a 50-word bio to L.Papadimitriou-AT-ljmu.ac.uk  and Jeffrey.k.ruoff-AT-dartm…

Documentary Aestheticization

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There's a broader debate to be had with the aestheticization of documentary subjects, but I would like to visit the documentaries that signal themselves as aestheticizing, poetic, or otherwise formally rigorous approaches to nonfiction. These, I feel, invite the critique, often on the ground that aestheticized documentary not only resists documentary's Griersonian mission but actively perverts it.

Tom Rosten, for instance, remarks of Oxyana:
The problem arises largely because Oxyana is depicting serious social problems (poverty, drug addiction). And the aestheticization of real social issues can feel like documentary voyeurism or slumming. Some of the more wretched cases (a guy with clear mental impairment) reminded me of fetishistic quality that I’ve seen in the films of Harmony Korine and Larry Clark. I've not yet seen Oxyana, so let me the example of Detropia. In some ways the film is purposive in its aestheticizing treatment, since one response to postindustrial declin…

Conferences late 2014 edition

Here is my current list of English-language conferences of interest to those in film studies (and some for TV and media studies). Upcoming conferences are listed in order by date or, for open calls, by abstract due date. Please let me know if I should add anything, and I will update this post. Also, I plan to do an update post in winter 2015.

Closed calls:
Vocal Projections: Documentary and the Voice - University of Surrey, Sept 19, 2014
Flow 2014 - Austin, TX, Sept 11-13, 2014 [website]
Literature/Film Association Conference - University of Montana (Missoula), Oct 2-4, 2014 [website]
Screenwriting Research Conference - Potsdam, Germany, Oct 16-18, 2014 [website]
Film and History conference - Madison, Wisconsin, Oct 29 - Nov 2, 2014 [website]
ASA (American Studies Association) - Los Angeles, Nov 6-9, 2014 [website]
World Picture Conference - ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Nov 7-8, 2014 [website]
“Film Festival Cartographies” Symposium - Modena, Italy, Nov 20-21, 2014 [website]
Visib…

Cinematography essay

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As regular readers of this blog will now, I've had a long-running interest in Hollywood cinematography, an interest that has grown from my 1947 project and has culminated in what will be a chapter in my book. Happily, too, I've been able to write a wide-view essay about cinematography during the (sound) studio era.

This essay appears in an edited volume on Hollywood cinematography titled simply enough Cinematography. It's one the first volumes in Rutger's Behind the Silver Screen series, a collection of volumes each tackling a different trade in Hollywood filmmaking. It's an overdue idea, in my view, and I'm thrilled to be in such good company.

Thanks to Patrick Keating for including me and for his editorial input. I can definitely say his guidance improved the final essay. Moreover, I've been gaining a lot of insight from my fellow contributors. Hopefully the volume will help make scholars more aware of cinematography as art and practice and will equip th…

Nicholas Ray volume

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I have a couple of items coming out in book form this summer. I'm a little late in noting it, but my essay on Knock on Any Door appears in Steven Rybin and Will Scheibel's edited collection on Nicholas, Lonely Places, Dangerous Ground: Nicholas Ray in American Cinema. It's out from SUNY Press.

The book compiles a series of essay on Ray's work, more or less one essay for each film in his career. The result is an interesting kaleidoscope of critical approaches. Though it was never coordinated, it's interesting to me to see how those writing on Ray's lesser known films make the case for their centrality despite the neat fit with the auteur persona critics have identifies in Ray. For instance, Alexander Doty gives a queer reading of Born to Be Bad and A Woman's Secret. And Tony Williams argues that Ray is doing something more interesting with color in Flying Leathernecks than critics have given credit for.

As for my essay, it's a reading of the discourse of…

Interview with Felipe Pruneda Sentíes

At last year's SCMS conference, one of the best panels I attended was on Film Theory Beyond the Euro-American Canon, a two-part panel that argued for the inclusion of national film theory traditions lost in the focus on France, Germany, and (occasionally) Italy.  In this it dovetailed with some work being done under the auspices of the The Permanent Seminar on Histories of Film Theories' Translation Project.

I suggested on Twitter would be a welcome regular part of SCMS, so I wanted to talk to one of the panel organizers, Felipe Pruneda Sentíes, about the issues the panels raised. He graciously agreed.

What was your goal in organizing or participating in the "Film Theory and Criticism beyond the Euro-American Canon" panels?

On a very basic level, to draw attention to the very presence of non-canonical approaches to theories of film ontology (some present in criticism) and to interrogate if the field has some linguistic and geographic limitations. Even before we get to…

CFP: Velvet Light Trap issue on technological change

Call for Papers: VLT Issue #76 - Case Studies in Technological Change

Submission deadline: August 17, 2014

Submit to: thevelvetlighttrap-AT-gmail.com

To paraphrase Robert Allen and Douglas Gomery in Film History: Theory and Practice, media depends on machines. Technology contextualizes industrial and stylistic change, reveals and obscures sites of cultural negotiation and meaning, and enables new modes of media production, circulation, and reception. The significance of technology to media studies has only become more acute with the proliferation of digital technologies, which have changed the methods and tools of our scholarship—to say nothing of the object of that study.

Too often, however, scholarship relegates technology to the background, rendering it less an object of study in and of itself than a cause of, or context for, broader situations. While useful and often necessary, this tendency can have unintended consequences. It risks the assumption that technological changes autom…

Musicals, Frankfurt School edition

An analysis from Leo Lowenthal, as quoted by Martin Jay (Dialectic of Enlightenment 214):
Mass culture is a total conspiracy against love as well as sex. I think you [Horkheimer] have hit the nail on the head by your observation that spectators are continuously betrayed and robbed of real pleasure by sadistic tricks. This sadism has the special function to prevent psychologically and physiologically "Vorlust." Take for example, the ballet scene in Holiday Inn, on of the newest pictures, where a couple starts dancing a minuet, but as soon as this minuet develops to a more amorous situation and one could very well imagine that the dancing partners will end by kissing each other, the sweet and melodious music is suddenly stopped and replaced by jazz which almost verbally castrates the dancers.  This would be interesting to teach with Dyer's "Entertainment and Utopia" essay.

SCMS2015 calls for papers

Summer is the time for forming SCMS panels, as August 31 is the submission deadline for the 2015 conference in Montreal. Since not everyone in the field (especially abroad) is a current SCMS member or uses the website, I thought I would round up the current calls for papers there. There are too many to include the actual call, but if a topic interests you and you cannot access the website, leave me a comment within the next couple of days and I will post the full call. Deadlines for many are coming up very soon - late July and early August - and some may have even passed already.

PANELS

African American Film History and Literary Adaptations
Animation and Politics
Animation Theory and Cognition
Approaching the WWE Universe
Asian Comics and Graphic Novels
Authorship in Contemporary Documentary
Autobiography and Writing the Self in Cinema
Between the Lines: On Film Festivals and the Politics of Language
Cinema and Literary Modernism
Cities in the Sky: Public Housing in Global Cinema and …

The Film History Textbook, 2014 update

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Unlike the intro textbooks, the film history textbooks have not changed editions since I last reviewed them. However, their prices have gone up, and I have discovered a couple of new books, meriting an update.  Most of all, though, I want to revisit my reviews because of my dissatisfaction using my previous textbook. While I admire the Thompson/Bordwell textbook in many ways, it's just been ungainly from a pedagogical perspective - too much completist coverage and way too little emphasis on which ideas are most important for a student to know and learn. In the fall, I'll be switching to the Oxford History of World Cinema.


A History of Narrative Film, by David Cook. 4th edition. Norton. $113.75.

This book for years was standard and even today is possibly the most commonly used textbook for the history survey. From my understanding, previous editions slanted more to the masterwork approach – this fourth edition has a better balance between masterwork and industrial/contextual his…

Textbook Inflation 2014 edition

I am overdue updating my reviews of intro-to-film textbooks. But I thought I’d take a look at textbook prices. I knew textbook prices have gone up, but seeing the extend of the rise is surprising. Below I’ve listed the traditional textbooks in ascending order of 2014 costs. I’ve listed the nominal inflation since 2006. That figure can’t be taken at face value, since prices have risen almost 20% since then. Some are close to general price-level inflation, but most are considerably higher.

Anatomy of a Film (Bernard F. Dick)
5th edition $41
6th edition $56
37% inflation

Looking at Movies: an Introduction to Film (Richard Barsam)
2nd edition $50
4th edition $92.50
85% inflation

The Film Experience (Tim Corrigan and Patricia White)
1st edition $72
3rd edition $99
25% inflation

Film: An Introduction (William H. Phillips)
3rd edition $72
4th $99
25% inflation

Movies and Meaning: An Introduction to Film (Stephen Prince)
4th edition $80
6th edition $127.80
60% inflation

Understanding Movies (…

CFP: Book on Classical Hollywood and Transnational Representations

CALL FOR PAPERS

Edited Volume:
Projecting the World: Classical Hollywood, the ‘Foreign’, and Transnational Representations

The book brings together scholarship that examines classical Hollywood’s representations of foreign spaces and peoples from roughly 1930 to 1965, a period when America was not only at the zenith of its world power but when its vision of power helped secure the uneven transformation of Western colonialism into modern, neoliberal globalization.  Analyzing primarily the film text rather than extra-textual issues such as distribution or production conditions, this book helps expand our understanding of “global Hollywood” by asking how the films themselves represented U.S. global power and America’s role in the world.

We will explore how, just as Said shows of the 19th century British novel, the mid-20th-century Hollywood film must be read as a privileged site for understanding the American metropole’s cultural imaginary of itself and of its neocolonial others. Far fr…

NECS conference thoughts

This prior weekend, I attended for the first time the NECS conference (Network for European Cinema and Media Scholars). It was an enjoyable and productive time, and I would certainly recommend the conference for any film scholar, European or not. (Next year’s NECS will be in Lodz, Poland.) There was in fact a good contingent or US- and Canada-based scholars.

I find it valuable to hear how scholars in other national contexts approach their object of study. And one mission of professional organizations like SCMS should be to continually develop bridges to those working outside their national boundaries. Based on my limited sampling of papers, the difference, with some exceptions, is less a separate set of theories and approaches than different emphases.

What SCMS could learn from NECS

- Beginning, Middle, and Ends. It’s partly a matter of size, but SCMS has given up on the idea that there’s any structure to the conference experience and instead has embraced the expectation that attendees…