Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sam Rohdie's Passion(s): A Coda

Publicity for the Queen's University Belfast Study Day event held in memory of Sam Rohdie

Film Studies For Free is delighted to publish four additional tributes to the late film scholar Sam Rohdie (1939-2015). These join the ones published by this blog on April 14, 2015. Link here. Many thanks to Des O'Rawe and his Queen's University Belfast colleagues for their work in gathering them. Coming up next at FSFF we have a big round up to coincide with Thanksgiving weekend. See you then!

On Friday, 9 October 2015, Film Studies at Queen's held a study-day to mark the recent passing of former colleague, Sam Rohdie. The event focused on the work of Jean-Luc Godard, and included presentations by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith and Rod Stoneman. It also included a screening of Une femme est une femme, and some extracts from Godard's more recent work. The study-day was well-attended, with an audience that included many of Sam's former students and colleagues from Queen's, as well as some of the friends he and Margaret had made while living in Belfast.
As a coda to this event, we are publishing Geoffrey Nowell-Smith's reflection on Sam's life and work, as well two pieces about Sam by former colleagues at Queen's, David Johnston and Des O'Rawe, and a tribute written by another close friend and collaborator, Stefania Parigi (Università degli Studi Roma Tre).

1. My Friend Sam Rohdie by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Sam Rohdie is – or was – the only person I know of who taught film studies in four continents – Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. (He also did some teaching in Africa when he was a graduate student doing his anthropology fieldwork, but not film studies.) I was a friend of his, more or less continuously but with certain gaps due to his being on a different continent so much of the time, for forty-five years. And over that lengthy period we never had a row that couldn’t be patched up. People who knew him will recognise how unusual that is.

He was combative, abrasive, and bore grudges. Sometimes his temperament stood him in good stead, particularly in the early 1970s when he left Sheffield, where I first knew him, to become General Secretary of a small London-based organisation attached to the British Film Institute called the Society for Education in Film And Television (SEFT). At the time of his appointment both SEFT and its sponsor the Education Department of the BFI were in crisis. Sam played an important role in saving SEFT and turning it into a vanguard organisation not only for film studies but in wider intellectual life in the UK. He succeeded partly because he earned the respect of Sir Denis Forman, a former Director of the BFI and at the time Managing Director of Granada Television, who had been brought back to the BFI as Chairman to sort out the crisis. Denis was tough, imaginative, generous, instinctively progressive, and not easily put off by young whippersnappers who stood up to him, even aggressively. He had shown these qualities at Granada and was to do so again on his return to the BFI. Sam was to be a beneficiary.

But having turned SEFT and its magazine Screen into the voice of a new cultural avant-garde, Sam’s singlemindedness, his aggressivity and his inability – unlike Denis – to listen to criticism, meant that he fell foul of his former allies and was acrimoniously sacked from his post as General Secretary of SEFT and Editor of Screen.

Jobless in the UK, he went back to New York, where he came from originally. He taught there for a while, then went to La Trobe University in Melbourne, where the Aussies rather took to him, abrasiveness and all. He acquired – and lost – a new wife. More importantly, he became properly himself intellectually. No longer enslaved to the Screen dogma he had done a lot to foster, he developed new tastes, a new sensitivity to the richness of film language, and a new writing style with which to communicate his discoveries. The upshot was his book on Antonioni, which remains the best – certainly the subtlest – account of what is so special about that director’s films.

His break with “Screen” theory did not align him with any of the other tendencies in vogue in the world of film studies in the 1970s and 80s. He recognised the existence of a “classical” film language but his focus turned away from generalities to the ways in which this language was subverted and disrupted in the work of particular artists – besides Antonioni, his examples included Renoir, Pasolini, Godard, Nicholas Ray. This focus on the disruptive was in part a continuation of the other side of Screen legacy, its championing of a cinema that “bared the device” and broke with the comforting illusions of classical Hollywood and its avatars. But Sam’s interest was not in “baring the device” as such – another generality paralleling that of the idea of classical cinema itself. Rather he looked at the many and various ways, both overt and covert, in which certain film-makers destabilise the world they portray and the relationship the spectator has to it. This was to differentiate him not only from “Screen” theory but from “mise en scène” criticism which, while interested in the particular, remained locked in to the norms of the classical aesthetic.

From Melbourne Sam went to Hong Kong, where he acquired a new wife (his third), this time for keeps. He spent time in Paris and Rome, developing his interest in Godard, Pasolini and Bertolucci. He mostly stayed away from London, and his return to the UK was to Belfast. Forcibly retired at the age of 65 (which was the rule at the time: exceptions could be made but Queen’s for whatever reason did not wish to make an exception in his case) he then finished his scholarly career back in the United States.

He died last April, leaving his last book in proof.

The presiding genius behind this last book, Film Modernism, is Godard. The over-riding thesis of the book, developing ideas expressed in his earlier work, is that in 1960 Godard, together with Antonioni, Pasolini, Bertolucci and a few others, revolutionised the cinema and for the first time in history aligned it with the modernism that had taken the artistic world by storm fifty years earlier but to which the cinema up to then had been resistant. But while the early Godard of Breathless (1960) and Une femme est une femme 1961) had taken the first steps towards creating a truly modern cinema, it was the later Godard, particularly that of the monumental Histoire(s) de cinéma (1988-1998), which most fascinated Sam and, in a sense, defeated him. He made several attempts to write a book just on Godard, focusing on Histoire(s) but could never bring it together. Much of what he wanted to write about Godard is folded into the pages of Film Modernism, and is his legacy.

He is survived by his first wife, Jean McCrindle, and their daughter Claire, and by his second and third wives, Annie Langusch and Margaret Lam.

2. Remembering Sam by David Johnston

Sam Rohdie was the first Professor of Film at Queen’s University. I was Head of School at the time, and was on his appointment panel. The first signal he gave of his enduring willingness to come at you from left field was in his interview. Other candidates answered stock questions in stock ways, but to one query as to why he had moved from Australia to Hong Kong, Sam smiled and drawled with disarming honesty ‘Love’. That one-word (but in his voice two-syllable) answer got him the job, in my book anyway. It marked him out as a maverick, and in an institution – and indeed a whole sector - increasingly prone to the deadening sameness of a compliancy culture, to be human and different and unexpected was a breath of fresh air. He was a maverick but, at the same time, he was a great film critic and an intellectual of stature; to be a maverick and still be regarded by your students and peers as one of the best in the field anywhere, requires extraordinary finesse. He was a contrarian, of course, but an endlessly intelligent and creative one. Like many Americans he rose early, and would regularly send at least six impossible emails before breakfast. I would open them with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, but they would always make eloquent representation for the ideal programme in Film Studies that Sam had in his mind. Never once did he use the word ‘vision’. But he had a glorious sense of what Film at Queen’s might become. And I came to share that sense. That’s how I remember Sam: a colleague who challenged because he cared, not least about language itself. A colleague who became a friend.

3. Travels with Sam by Stefania Parigi

Sam for me was always the man from another planet: Africa, Australia, Hong Kong ...

An unstoppable traveller. All his books read to me like travel diaries, performances of an individual wandering through nature, cinema, the imagination.

As time went on his thoughts led him increasingly to reject any form of organicity or system and took form more as fragments of an adventure, where knowledge was sparked off by pleasure. Montages, cross-cuttings, as suggested in the titles of the books which brought together his pieces of writing, jotted down at any time of day or night, between a swim and a wander through images of the cinema and of the world. Of a world that becomes cinema and a cinema that never ceases to be a fantasy of the world.

His pages shine as if covered in droplets, like his swimmer’s body.

This is my first memory of him: athletic arm movements in a little swimming pool, in a small hotel on the Adriatic coast, courtesy of the International Festival of New Cinema at Pesaro. It would have been in 1987 or perhaps 1988.

We got to know each other thanks to a captivating laugh. Out of control, childish, quite out of scale with his giant’s body. He was very handsome, women flocked to him.

Maybe Sam and I talked more about love than about cinema. But it was all the same. Don’t get me wrong. We told each other stories of our loves as if we were eternal adolescents who could not tell life from representations of it.

Sam seemed to move all the time inside a kind of fairy tale, in which ancient and modern images were mixed together, and where horizons merged with each other in a wandering flow.

He combined certain refinements of thought with a taste for the continuous discovery of the most basic forms of pleasures, which he found in every nook and cranny of life. He was a solitary and he was a communitarian. His cooking was a performance very like the performance of his writing, each caught up in the same display of impulsive vitality.

There is no doubt that he had nothing to do with the academy, at least as we understand it in Italy. He cultivated independence with a boyish pride and could be as cutting in his negative judgements as he was warm and constructive in his appreciation. He was very generous with me and offered to translate some of my writings on the Italian cinema for an English publisher.

Together we had the privilege of enjoying a free run across the field of aesthetics, with no protocols to respect or formulae to box us in. I mean aesthetic here also in its original sense of perception; aesthetics as pleasure and pain, as a form of knowing, an extricable twining together of thinking and the senses, in brief a field of flesh and blood, of dreams, of projections outward towards the other and plunges deep into the interior of the self. But also as an inexhaustible field in which to play.

Moreover, writing for Sam was above all a way of capturing the oscillations, the light and shade of the internal and external world, as if one were for ever in an gigantic rotating merry-go-round.

And his laugh. So subversive, so exhilarating, shaking and embracing you at the same time, it made me feel that he was indestructible, like one of those fantasies that move in and out of the screen, challenging us with their uncertainty. And now I have nothing left to say but this: Sam so far away, Sam so close.

4. Sam/Belfast by Des O'Rawe

My first encounter with Sam was at a BFI study day at the Queen's Film Theatre (QFT). He had arrived only recently to Belfast, and was still finding his feet. His talk had an edgy eloquence, culminating in a ferocious denunciation of BFI Education and its policies. Belfast can often seem at one remove from the metropolis, and I suspect much of what Sam said that afternoon meant little to the assembled gathering (especially, given that most of us probably knew little about his history with the BFI.)

At that time, I was teaching an undergraduate module on Irish film and visual culture with Colin Graham and Eamonn Hughes. Shortly after Sam's appointment, we met with him and I remember a good-humoured meeting, at which The Big Sleep (and 'Rusty' Regan) was discussed at length. I happened to mention to Sam that I was also teaching film courses in the local further education college, and I was surprised at his genuine interest in extra-mural and outreach film education, and so - half mischievously - I invited him to call in on one of these classes. A week or so later, true to his word, he paid a visit. In the classroom, he was courteous but didn't pay much heed to me, preferring to sit enigmatically at the back, sporting a pair of dinky designer sunglasses. We were about to screen F.W. Murnau's Tabu that morning, and Sam was delighted on hearing this news. (This choice of film was fortuitous: I had ordered up NosferatuTabu arrived instead, and I decided just to go with the flow.) After the film, Sam talked to us about cinematography, anthropology, vampires, exoticism, the sea, the moon, Tabu as a documentary, Tabu as a painting, Tabu as a dream, Tabu as NosferatuTabu as everything the cinema should be, and still can be. He listened carefully to whatever the students had to say. He was inquisitive but encouraging, witty but also self-deprecating - and completely unrecognisable from the volcanic eccentric who had erupted at the QFT a month or so previously. Once I got to know Sam, I realised that this kind of teaching situation was his métier - relaxed, unfettered, unscripted, free - sitting among students talking about a film, encouraging them to explore new ideas and possibilities, and also wanting to learn with them.

Of course, a part of Sam relished the challenge of wooing an audience, and he could be very good at that. (A couple of years ago, I bumped into a former reluctant student of ours who told me the only thing he remembered about his entire first year at university was 'that Sam Rohdie lecture on Rules of the Game'). However, I think Sam's best and most influential teaching at Queen's was done with smaller seminar groups, in situations where he could persuade students to think for themselves, to embrace difficulty, to lose their bearing before discovering a space where the cinema alone could work its magic.

With the benefit of hindsight, and all things considered, it was only a matter of time before Sam and Margaret moved on from Belfast but he certainly made a lasting impression, influencing the lives of many of us, in all sorts of ways. A critic with a distinctive vision, a teacher with a method, and a professor with something to profess, Sam will be much missed - not least by his more intelligent critics.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

NO HOME MOVIE: In Warm Memory of Chantal Akerman (1950-2015)

Last updated October 8, 2015

Akerman’s search for images that represent nothing, and mean nothing else (except perhaps themselves – and even this is difficult enough) while she focuses her camera on observing the minutiae of women’s lives, is expressed in the first instance by her style: distant, clean, sober, looking at the image outside of the image. Rootless, detached images. Images in the Diaspora. Is it possible to return home, to where the image can exist, outside of the commandment? Is such an image even possible? (Dana Linssen on Akerman's filmmaking)
Despite their apparent simplicity, Akerman’s assured framing and narrative, built out of blocks of real time intercut by radical ellipses, are not easily replicated. Rather, the film’s impact is indirectly evident in the emergence of a new phenomenological sensibility and approach to observation and the weight of time... (Ivonne Margulies on Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles)

Unbelievable, unbearable news, but just confirmed by Libération.

Chantal Akerman has died.

Links to online, freely accessible studies of her work and to tributes to it will continue to be added below in the next days (as they will, undoubtedly, at KeyFrame Daily | Fandor, and elswehere). It's the only way that Film Studies For Free can process this news.... Incroyable....

By / With Chantal Akerman

Studies of Akerman's work

Tributes to Akerman

BERLIN: Testimony of a City by Andy Moore and Ian Magor
Using Chantal Akerman's News from Home [1977] here the city of Berlin is the stage for another journey through another city. Reflective and reversing timelines encourage the visual to interact with the spoken testimony.

The portrayal of desire on the cinema screen is necessarily problematic. Too often it is an assertion of masculine power, sometimes an idealised notion of romance, rarely the reality of sagging mattresses and aching muscles. Chantal Akerman's Je, tu, il, elle is set alongside two typical Hollywood portrayals of sexual passion.

The personal and the public. Private letters and open spaces. Home, exile. Chantal Akerman’s News From Home is often torn between personal introspection and visual ethnography. Here, its slow composure is put in to conversation with the chaos of Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi. Whilst the former tackles the personal and transcends towards the universal, the latter uses the universal to invoke a self-observating experience. If Koyaanisqatsi signals a life out of balance, News From Home tries to rectify that balance - in pace, in space and in the everyday. - Jessica McGoff

Belgian director Chantal Akerman gained world success with her masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) and consolidated her reputation with films like Toute une Nuit, Les années 80 and Le Marteau. In the early nineties Akerman shifted her career from strictly film into the arts. She participated, amongst other exhibitions, at dOCUMENTA 10 and 11. It dated from 1995 since Akerman exhibited in her native country with a massive retrospective. In Too Far, Too Close the M HKA presented an overview from Akermans oeuvre starting with the 1968 production Saute ma Ville and ending with her most recent work, Maniac Summer.

Monday, 14 September 2015


A new score for Georges Méliès's Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902). Written for The New Music Players and Orchestra of Sound and Light for concerts in London and Sussex, UK, with funding support from the RVW Trust and Arts Council England. (Music © University of York Music Press, 2015). More information here.

Hello there! It's been a rather busy few months, so Film Studies For Free had to take a little break from its long-form advocacy activities at this website, although its bountiful open-access recommendations continued to issue forth as usual on Twitter and Facebook. But the extended version of FSFF returns now with news of a number of fabulous online publications for your autumnal (Northern Hemisphere) or Spring (Southern Hemisphere) viewing and reading pleasure. Do scroll down for all the contents listed in the title. Oh and one more thing: don't miss Sight and Sound's ongoing "Women on Film" coverage.

[in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, 2.3, 2015
P.S. Please note [in]Transition's call for submissions for a special issue on Latin American cinema at

Some Recent Theme weeks:

  • Monday, August 24, 2015 - Shohini Chaudhuri (University of Essex) presents: Gaza and the Trope of Encirclement
  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - Sara Saljoughi (University of Toronto) presents: Nostalgic Returns
  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - Michelle Baroody (University of Minnesota) presents: "A River Runs Through It": Visualizing Fluency
  • Thursday, August 27, 2015 - Aisha Jamal (Sheridan College) presents: The ‘Afghan girl" Sherbat Gula’s popularity with Afghans
  • Friday, August 28, 2015 -Negar Mottahedeh (Duke University) presents: A revolutionary meme
  • Monday, August 10, 2015 - Shani Heckman (College of Marin) presents: Celebrity Skinned: Patty Schemel Lesbian Hero featured in film Hit So Hard
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - Landon Palmer (Indiana University) presents: Rocking the Transmission: Vulgar Spontaneity in Live Television Music
  • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - Jesse Scholtterbeck (Denison University) presents: Performance and the Pursuit of Stardom in Anvil: The Story of Anvil
  • Thursday, August 13, 2015 - Michael Bass (Georgia State University) presents: Filth, Fury, and Fiction: Creating a Mythology in The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle
  • Friday, August 14, 2015 - Laura Mayne (University of York) presents: Seeking the variety of live performance in The Rolling Stones’ Rock n Roll Circus (1968)
  • Monday, August 17, 2015 - Shane Denson (Duke University) presents: VHS Found Footage and the Material Horrors of Post-Cinematic Images
  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - Laura Wilson (University of Manchester) presents: Affective Horror of the Found Footage Anthology
  • Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - Anthony C. Bleach (Kutztown University) presents: Video Aesthetics and Nostalgia Deployed in Better Call Saul
  • Thursday, August 20, 2015 - Rebecca Jackson (Johnston Community College) presents: JOLT! And The Glitch Aesthetic
  • Friday, August 21, 2015 - Leo Goldsmith (New York University) presents: The All-Consuming: Scratch Video’s Ambivalent Bodies
  • Monday, June 29, 2015 - Maria San Filippo (University of the Arts Philadelphia) presents: Captive Viewers: Learning In/humanity through Film in ‘Dogtooth’ and ‘The Wolfpack’
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - Emily Carman (Chapman University) presents: Illicit Achive: Sony Hack as Access for Media Industry Studies
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - Catherine Grant (University of Sussex) presents: Scholarly Striptease. Or, The Unintended Consequences of Film Studies For Free
  • Thursday, July 2, 2015 - Zoe Shacklock (University of Warwick) presents: Kathryn Alexandre and the Performance of the Body
  • Friday, July 3, 2015 - Kevin L. Ferguson (Queen’s College) presents: Pee-Wee’s Daddy

VIEW 4.7, 2015: Archaeologies of Tele-Visions and -Realities
Table of Contents

DELETION The Open Access Forum in Science Fiction Studies
Episode 10: The Science Fiction Blockbuster
Previous Episodes

FILM QUARTERLY Vol. 68 No. 4, Summer 2015 for free until September 30th, 2015:

Table of Contents

  • Black Media Matters: Remembering The Bombing of Osage Avenue by Karen Beckman
  • China Unraveled: Violence, Sin, and Art in Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin by Jiwei Xiao
  • Mickey Horror: Escape from Tomorrow and the Gothic Attack on Disney by Aviva Briefel
  • Attention Duras by William Caroline
  • Maximum Emotions, Minimum Words: Interview with Eugène Green by Megan Ratner
  • Crónica de castas (Chronicle of Castes) and Sangre bárbara (Barbarous Blood) by Paul Julian Smith
  • The Vulnerable Spectator: On the Contagion of Vulnerability by Amelie Hastie
  • Marking Time: The Long form Documentary at IDFA 2014 by Deirdre Boyle
  • Sundance 2015, The Crystal Ball by B. Ruby Rich
  • Remembering Resnais: An Encounter on the First Anniversary (Approximately) of His Death by Paul Thomas
  • Bernie Cook Reflects on Katrina Media at the Ten-Year Mark in FLOOD OF IMAGES: Media, Memory, and Hurricane Katrina by Regina Longo
  • Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Technology, and the Emergence of 1970s Blockbuster Aesthetics by Julie A. Turnock DANA POLAN
  • Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter by Richard Barrios CARRIE RICKEY
  • Army Film and the Avant Garde: Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military by Alice Lovejoy TANYA GOLDMAN
  • L.A. Plays Itself / Boys in the Sand (Queer Film Classics series) by Cindy Patton GREG YOUMANS
  • Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywoodby Kaveh Askari
  • Film Rhythm after Sound: Technology, Music, and Performance by Lea Jacobs MASHA SHPOLBERG is an annotated online archive of Indian film. It is intended to serve as a shared resource for film scholars and enthusiasts in India and beyond. has been initiated by, and is operated in collaboration with a number of organisations and film studies institutions. These include:

The initial set of films and metadata is based on Ashish Rajadhyaksha's and Paul Willemen's Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, and the Wiki. The website was built with, and launched in February 2013 at Jaaga in Bangalore, with support from the Bohen Foundation, The Foundation for Arts Initiatives, and the Goethe Institute.

At present, is being utilized as a backbone structure for several research projects on Indian film, including a project for an 'Annotated Repository on the Art Cinemas of India" being conducted by the University of Chicago Center in Delhi, a project on the Left and the early Malayalam cinema being overseen by Prof. Satish Poduval of the English & Foreign University, a repository for precious historical print holdings on the history of Tamil and Telugu cinemas being assembled by Samyuktha P.C. (Chennai) and Dr. S.V. Srinivas (Bangalore), and a project on early Bengali films at the Media Lab, Jadavpur. A general focus at the moment is on out-of-copyright films, currently pre-1954.

  • Three Bombay Talkies Films from the 1930s Debashree Mukherjee, as a part of a film histories fellowship, selected and annotated a trio of major Franz Osten Bombay Talkies films. Debashree writes about her selection and annotation strategy and presents an interview with Peter Dietze, grandson of Himanshu Rai with rare images from his Melbourne collection.
  • A Filmi Twist of Fate: An Interview with Peter Dietze, Grandson of Himansu Rai Debashree Mukherjee's interview with Peter Dietze, grandson of Himanshu Rai with rare images from his from his Melbourne collection. In her own words, 'the only extant and accessible collection of studio papers from any Indian talkie studio of this time'.
  • A Second Bibliography Around John Abraham Jenson Joseph is researching Malayalam cinema around the key figure of filmmaker John Abraham. This is part of the Annotated Repositories of the Art Cinemas of India project supported by the University of Chicago's Delhi Centre. This is a first Visual Bibliography of his researches, and includes previously inaccessible material around the Odessa Film Collective and other material on and by Abraham.
  • A Second Select Bibliography on the Cinema of Mrinal Sen This is the first set of materials assembled as a part of the Annotated Repository of the Art Cinemas of India project supported by the University of Chicago Delhi Centre. It includes key texts around the work of Mrinal Sen, and includes publicity materials around Sen's films, the reception of the films when they were first released, on the making of the films, and reviews.
  • A Second Select Bibliography on the Cinema of Jahnu Barua This is the first set of materials assembled as a part of the Annotated Repository of the Art Cinemas of India project supported by the University of Chicago Delhi Centre. It includes reviews and writings on the cinema of Jahnu Barua.
  • Signifying Nativity: ‘Documentary reels’ in early South Indian films By Jenson Joseph
  • The Complete ICC Reports Five complete volumes of the Indian Cinematograph Committee evidence (1927-28).

Thursday, 11 June 2015

New Issues of NECSUS on 'Animals', Godard, Sobchack, Mulvey, Musicals, Documentary, Feminisms, and PARTICIPATIONS on film festivals, internet, television, Twitter, film and theatre audiences

A concise video primer by Catherine Grant on phenomenological film theory as well as a tribute to the works of René Clément, Henri Decae, Vivian Sobchack, Steven Shaviro and Claude Lévi-Strauss. Published in NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Spring, 2015, where you can also read an accompanying text: "Film studies in the groove? Rhythmising perception in Carnal Locomotive."

Today, Film Studies For Free brings very glad tidings of two newly published, open access journal issues, from NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies (still rolling out, and which, alongside its regular features and sections, offers a special dossier on 'animals') and PARTICIPATIONS: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies. All the contents are listed and linked to below.

If you're attending the annual gathering of the Network of European Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) in Łódź, Poland, have fun! It's a great conference. This year, FSFF's author is presenting instead at the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities-funded workshop on Scholarship in Sound and Image, taking place from next week at Middleburg College in Vermont, U.S.A. from which some wonderful (and certainly open access) things will soon come.

NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Spring 2015

Audiovisual essays:

Special section: Animals (rolling out shortly)
  • Animals, anthropocentrism, media by Barbara Creed and Maarten Reesink
  • Why not look at animals? by Anat Pick
  • When Lulu met the Centaur: Photographic traces of creaturely love by Dominic Pettman
  • Tasmanian tigers and polar bears: The documentary moving image and (species) loss by Belinda Smaill
  • Cinematic slowness, political paralysis?: Animal life in ‘Bovines’, with Deleuze and Guattari by Laura McMahon
  • Horseplay: Equine performance and creaturely acts in cinema by Stella Hockenhull
  • Cows, clicks, ciphers, and satire by Tom Tyler

Book reviews:

(edited by Lavinia Brydon and Alena Strohmaier [NECS Publication Committee])

  • Television studies reloaded: From history to text review by Massimo Scaglioni
  • The documentary film book review by Malin Wahlberg 
  • Storytelling in the media convergence age: Exploring screen narratives review by Emre Caglayan
  • Education in the school of dreams: Travelogues and non-fiction films review by Adam Freeman

Festival reviews:

(edited by Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist [Film Festival Research Network])
  • Dossier: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015 edited by Marijke de Valck
  • Dispatches from the dark: A conversation with Neil Young at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015 by Daniel Steinhart
  • Hollywood legacies and Russian laughter: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto / Pordenone Silent Film Festival 2014 review by Gert Jan Harkema
  • We can haz film fest!: Internet Cat Video Festival goes viral review by Diane Burgess

Exhibition reviews:

(edited by Miriam De Rosa and Malin Wahlberg [NECS Publication Committee])
  • Too much world: A Hito Steyerl retrospective review by Paula Albuquerque
  • McMansion of media excess: Ryan Trecartin’s and Lizzie Fitch’s SITE VISIT review by Lisa Åkervall
  • Reaching out!: Activating space in the art of Olafur Eliasson review by Olivia Eriksson
  • David Reeb: Traces of Things to Come review by Leshu Torchin

PARTICIPATIONS 12. 1, May 2015

All the below contents are linked to here

Editorial: Barker, Martin (Editor): 'Thinking differently about "censorship"''


Themed Section 1: 'Theatre Audiences' (Guest editors: Matthew Reason and Kirsty Sedgman)

Themed Section 2: 'Tweeting the Olympics: International broadcasting soft power and social media' (Guest editors: Marie Gillespie and Ben O'Loughlin)

Themed Section 3: 'EIFAC 2014' (Guest editors: Lesley-Ann Dickson)


Monday, 1 June 2015

THE CINE-FILES on Film Sound (Chion, Flinn, Beck) & FRAMES CINEMA JOURNAL on "Conflicting Images, Contested Realities"

Screenshot from Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006). You can read Mack Hagood's article “The Tinnitus Trope: Acoustic Trauma in Narrative Film”, which refers to this film)

Film Studies For Free is thrilled to rapidly relay news to its readers of two new open access film journal issues: The Cine-Files (8, 2015) on Film Sound and Frames Cinema JournalConflicting Images,Contested Realities (7, 2015). Both volumes boast truly magnificent contents, but the Sound Dossier and Issue at The Cine-Files is something really special, with contributions from the likes of Michel Chion, Caryl Flinn, Jay Beck and Kate Lacey among many other luminaries.

FSFF's author also contributed to this excellent issue - on the emergent focus on film sound, music and listening in audiovisual essays.

Frames Cinema JournalIssue 7, June 2015 on Conflicting Images,Contested Realities, (click here to access all the below contents)

  • Conflicting Images, Contested Realities: An Introduction to Frames 7 by Eileen Rositzka and Amber Shields
Feature Articles
  • "Goya on his Shoulders: Tim Hetherington, Genre Memory, and the Body at Risk" by Robert Burgoyne and Eileen Rositzka
  • "New Ethical Questions and Social Media: Young People’s Construction of Holocaust Memory Online" by Victoria Grace Walden
  • "The War Tapes and the Poetics of Affect of the Hollywood War Film Genre" by Cilli Pogodda and Danny Gronmaier
  • "A Revolution for Memory: Reproductions of a Communist Utopia through Tsui Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain and Posters from the Cultural Revolution" by Nathan To
  • "The Long Life of Belgian WWI Documentaries in the Interwar Period" by Natalia Stachura
  • "'Choirs of Wailing Shells': Poetic and Musical Engagements in Derek Jarman’s War Requiem –between Documentary and Fiction" by Caroline Perret
Point of View
  • "Matricídio, or Queerness Explained to My Mother" by Diego Costa
  • "Bollywood Bodies: Turning the Gaze from Babes to Boys and Back Again in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year" by Amber Shields
  • "Civil War Photography and the Contemporary War Film" by John Trafton
  • "Argentine Documentaries on the Malvinas (Falklands) War: Between Testimony and Televisual Archive" by Mirta Varela
  • "The British Docudramas of the Falklands War" by Georges Fournier
Book Reviews
  • In Contrast: Croatian Film Today by Ana Grgić