Showing posts from June, 2014

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…

CFP: Film Festivals and The “Creative Turn” in Documentary (SCMS 2015)

Film Festivals and The “Creative Turn” in Documentary

Proposed Panel for SCMS 2015 (Montreal)
Organizers: Chris Cagle (Temple Univ.) and Meta Mazaj (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

One of the biggest critical challenges in documentary studies is how to make sense of a rapidly evolving documentary culture. Hybrid and poetic forms are now mainstays of film festivals; they and genres like animated docs, essay films, and found footage films increasingly challenge our notion of what documentary can be. Filmmaker and critic Robert Greene has complained, “Two worlds have emerged: on one side we have an explosion of films, filmmakers and micro-movements that are pushing nonfiction cinematic form, creating immersive, expressive, genre-bending films that bristle with ideas and energy. On the other side, we have a film critic culture, well-versed in fictional narrative art cinema, completely missing the boat.” His complaints have been echoed by Anthony Kaufman's question: “ When will …