Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Videographic screen media criticism by female critics, scholars and artists #InternationalWomensDay

GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (remix remixed 2013) by Laura Mulvey

Happy International Women's Day! Two of the questions Film Studies For Free's author gets asked  a lot—as a female video essayist, curator and editor/publisher—are:

  1. "Why are there so few female video essayists working on film and screen media topics?"
  2. And: "Can you please recommend some female video essayists?" 
The answer to the first question is that there aren't "so few": there are loads! And some of the very first video essayists in this field were foundational women film scholars (HINT: look above!)! Their numbers are ever-increasing, and they're a very international bunch! And the answer to the second question is YES!

Indeed, the answer to both questions is: please take a look at the below list - to which FSFF will keep adding as further names (and sample works) come to light or are recommended. If you would like to recommend a video or a video maker to add to the list, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

If you enjoy cultural interventions of the "there have always been many more than you think!" variety, here's a great one for International Women's Day, also listed below: Kelly Gallagher's The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker. Also, please, please, please check out Another Gaze's totally brilliant and beautiful interview with Laura Mulvey, with some of the most amazing insights about her work.

UPDATE (March 27, 2017): At the latest issue of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, see the related new piece by FSFF's author: “Looking at To-Be-Looked-at-ness: Feminist Videographic Criticism."

Female Video Essayists of Note in Alphabetical order by surname

FSFF also strongly recommends the following essay (including a great video) which pays great attention to the work of a good proportion of the above by Ian Garwood, "The Place of Voiceover in Academic Audiovisual Film and Television Criticism," NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Autumn 2016. Thanks also to Allison de Fren, Tami Williams, Gabrielle Kelly, Marit Norway, Jason Mittell, H. Perry Horton, Adrian Martin, Adrian Garvey, Glenn Stillar, Michael Mirasol, Steve Elworth, Pablo Useros, Mark Rappaport, Deane Williams and José Sarmiento Hinojosa for their great suggestions.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

New ALPHAVILLE on The New Old: Archaisms and Anachronisms across Media!

Vicky McClure as Lol in This Is England 86 (Shane Meadows et al, 2009) as discussed by Louis Bayman in his article "Retro Quality and Historical Consciousness in Contemporary European Television"

Film Studies For Free today links to another recent issue of a sterling open access screen media studies journal: ALPHAVILLE, Issue 12, guest edited by Stefano Baschiera and Elena Caoduro. It is devoted
to the presence of archaisms and anachronisms in the contemporary mediascape and contributes to the current interdisciplinary debates around the nostalgia phenomena. Over the past decade, the digitalisation of culture has revolutionised the way we experience and consume the arts and the mass media, deeply affecting how these are perceived in their materiality. The tangibility of cultural objects, now caught in a constant process of remediation, has slightly waned: books, photographs, films, comic books, music, maps etc. are increasingly present in our life in their digital form. At the same time, the digital disruption of media industries has contributed to the emergence of a postmodern “nostalgia for the analogue” with the rapid increase of faux-vintage and retro phenomena in different aspects of media culture. [Baschiera and Caoduro]

Book Reviews Editor: Loretta Goff

Reports Editor: Caroline Schroeter


Screenshot from Trois Couleurs: Rouge/Three Colors: Red (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1994) a film discussed by Eddy Troy in his article "Deleuze and Kieślowski: On the Cinema of Exhaustion"

Film Studies For Free returns to bring you glad tidings! There is a new issue of the excellent open-access journal  Film-Philosophy out now!! More soon from FSFF!

FILM-PHILOSOPHY, Vol 21, Issue 1 [2017]



  • Cartesianism and Intersubjectivity in Paranormal Activity and the Philosophy of Mind by Steve Jones
  • ‘Do I feel lucky?’: Moral Luck, Bluffing and the Ethics of Eastwood's Outlaw-Lawman in Coogan's Bluff and the Dirty Harry Films by Joel Deshaye
  • Deleuze and Kieślowski: On the Cinema of Exhaustion by Eddy Troy
  • A World in the Making: Contingency and Time in James Benning's BNSF by Samuel Adelaar
  • Thrilling Objects: The Scales of Corruption in Political Thrillers by Brian Daniel Willems
  • Nietzsche on Film by Mark Steven
  • Stanley Cavell on the Magic of the Movies by Daniel Shaw


  • John Ó Maoilearca (2015) All Thoughts Are Equal: Laruelle and Nonhuman Philosophy, review by William Brown
  • Daniel Varndell (2014) Hollywood Remakes, Deleuze and the Grandfather Paradox, review by María Victoria Gomez Vila
  • Patricia White (2015) Women's Cinema, World Cinema: Projecting Contemporary Feminisms, review by Judith Rifeser
  • Victor Fan (2015) Cinema Approaching Reality: Locating Chinese Film Theory, review by David H. Fleming
  • Daniel Yacavone (2015) Film Worlds: A Philosophical Aesthetics of Cinema, review by Seagate Chakravorty
  • Response to Review of Film Worlds: A Philosophical Aesthetics of Cinema by Seagate Chakravorty, by Daniel Yacavone

Saturday, 31 December 2016

We'll Tak' a Cup o' Kindness Yet: Awesome Open Access Film Studies Links to See Out 2016!

 A major open access eBook: Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film
Edited by Shane Denson and Julia Leyda (Falmer: REFRAME Books, 2016).

In this end of year post, Film Studies For Free reflects on and links to some of its very favourite 2016 open access resources selected from the ones that this blog's author had a hand in producing, contributing to, or publishing. 

It has been a (deadly) funny old year, to be sure, one that began with tributes aplenty to David Bowie and has concluded with ones to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (see also here, here and here). David Hudson rounds up some of the cinematic losses here. And some of FSFF's own tributes are linked to below, alongside blog entries, amazing free ebooks, and wonderful journal issue contents.

FSFF wishes all its readers and supporters a happy, healthy 2017. And it looks forward to producing and purveying plenty more open access film studies resources in the year ahead.

LOS OLVIDADOS / LAZARUS (Bowie meets Buñuel) by Catherine Grant

As last year, Kevin B. Lee polled "esteemed video essay creators, scholars, programmers, and devoted followers of the form to highlight the best video essays of the year. Each year it becomes more necessary to crowdsource this task, for in the words of notable video essayist David Verdeure / Filmscalpel, 'It has become impossible to keep up with all video essays that are made, with the form proliferating in both academic and film fan circles.' These poll results might offer some help in sorting out the standouts of the genre. Videos mentioned most frequently in this poll are embedded below, along with the individual lists."

  • Open Access Film Studies eBooks x 2!
major scholarly collection edited by Shane Denson and Julia Leyda, and published by REFRAME’s open access ebook imprint
If cinema and television, as the dominant media of the 20th century, shaped and reflected our cultural sensibilities, how do new digital media in the 21st century help to shape and reflect new forms of sensibility? In this collection, Denson and Leyda have gathered a range of essays that approach this question by way of a critical engagement with the notion of “post-cinema.” Contributors explore key experiential, technological, political, historical, and ecological aspects of the transition from a cinematic to a post-cinematic media regime and articulate both continuities and disjunctures between film’s first and second centuries.
Download: PDF 13mb and PDF 9mb
Perspectives on Post-Cinema: An IntroductionShane Denson and Julia Leyda
1. Parameters for Post-Cinema 1.1  What is Digital Cinema?Lev Manovich 1.2  Post-Continuity: An IntroductionSteven Shaviro 1.3  DVDs, Video Games, and the Cinema of InteractionsRichard Grusin
2. Experiences of Post-Cinema 2.1  The Scene of the Screen: Envisioning Photographic, Cinematic, and Electronic “Presence”Vivian Sobchack 2.2  Post-Cinematic AffectSteven Shaviro 2.3  Flash-Forward: The Future is NowPatricia Pisters 2.4  Towards a Non-Time Image: Notes on Deleuze in the Digital EraSergi Sánchez 2.5  Crazy Cameras, Discorrelated Images, and the Post-Perceptual Mediation of Post-Cinematic Affect – Shane Denson 2.6  The Error-Image: On the Technics of MemoryDavid Rambo
3. Techniques and Technologies of Post-Cinema 3.1  Cinema Designed: Visual Effects Software and the Emergence of the Engineered SpectacleLeon Gurevitch 3.2  Bullet Time and the Mediation of Post-Cinematic TemporalityAndreas Sudmann 3.3  The Chora Line: RealD IncorporatedCaetlin Benson-Allott 3.4  Splitting the Atom: Post-Cinematic Articulations of Sound and VisionSteven Shaviro
4. Politics of Post-Cinema 4.1  Demon Debt: Paranormal Activity as Recessionary Post-Cinematic AllegoryJulia Leyda 4.2  On the Political Economy of the Contemporary (Superhero) Blockbuster SeriesFelix Brinker 4.3  Reality Effects: The Ideology of the Long Take in the Cinema of Alfonso CuarónBruce Isaacs 4.4  Metamorphosis and Modulation: Darren Aronofsky’s Black SwanSteen Christiansen 4.5  Biopolitical Violence and Affective Force: Michael Haneke’s Code UnknownElena del Río
5. Archaeologies of Post-Cinema 5.1  The Relocation of CinemaFrancesco Casetti 5.2  Early/Post-Cinema: The Short Form, 1900/2000Ruth Mayer 5.3  Post-Cinematic AtavismRichard Grusin 5.4  Ride into the Danger Zone: Top Gun (1986) and the Emergence of the Post-CinematicMichael Loren Siegel 5.5  Life in Those Shadows! Kara Walker’s Post-Cinematic SilhouettesAlessandra Raengo
 6. Ecologies of Post-Cinema 6.1  The Art of Morphogenesis: Cinema in and beyond the CapitaloceneAdrian Ivakhiv 6.2  Anthropocenema: Cinema in the Age of Mass ExtinctionsSelmin Kara 6.3  Algorithmic Sensibility: Reflections on the Post-Perceptual ImageMark B. N. Hansen 6.4  The Post-Cinematic Venue: Towards an Infrastructuralist PoeticsBilly Stevenson
7. Dialogues on Post-Cinema 7.1  The Post-Cinematic in Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 Therese Grisham, Julia Leyda, Nicholas Rombes, and Steven Shaviro 7.2  Post-Cinematic Affect: A Conversation in Five PartsPaul Bowman, Kristopher L. Cannon, Elena del Río, Shane Denson, Adrian Ivakhiv, Patricia MacCormack, Michael O’Rourke, Karin Sellberg, and Steven Shaviro 7.3  Post-Continuity, the Irrational Camera, Thoughts on 3DShane Denson, Therese Grisham, and Julia Leyda 7.4  Post-Cinema, Digitality, Politics Julia Leyda, Rosalind Galt, and Kylie Jarrett


“A Guide to the Arclight Guidebook” by Eric Hoyt, Kit Hughes, and Charles R. Acland

PART I: Searching and Mapping 1) “The Quick Search and Slow Scholarship: Researching Film Formats” by Haidee Wasson; 2) “Search and Re-search: Digital Print Archives and the History of Multi-sited Cinema” by Gregory A. Waller; 3) “Using Digital Maps to Investigate Cinema History” by Laura Horak; 4) “Field Sketches with Arclight: Mapping the Industrial Film Sector” by Kit Hughes

PART II: Approaching the Database 5) “Low-Tech Digital” by Charles R. Acland; 6) “Excavating Film History with Metadata Analysis: Building and Searching the ECHO Early Cinema Credits Database” by Derek Long; 7) “Show Me the History! Big Data Goes to the Movies” by Deb Verhoeven; 8) “How Is a Digital Project Like a Film?” by Miriam Posner

PART III: Analyzing Images, Sounds, Words 9) “Coding and Visualizing the Beauty in Hating Michelle Phan: Exploratory Experiments with YouTube, Images, and Discussion Boards” by Tony Tran; 10) “Looking for Bachelors in American Silent Film: Experiments with Digital Methods” by Lisa Spiro; 11) “Terminological Traffic in the Movie Business” by Charles R. Acland & Fenwick McKelvey; 12) “Digital Tools for Film Analysis: Small Data” by Lea Jacobs & Kaitlin Fyfe; 13) “The Slices of Cinema: Digital Surrealism as Research Strategy” by Kevin L. Ferguson

PART IV: Process, Product, and Publics 14) “Digital Tools for Television Historiography: Researching and Writing the History of US Daytime Soap Opera” by Elana H. Levine; 15) “When Worlds Collide: Sharing Historical Advertising Research on Tumblr” by Cynthia B. Meyers; 16) “Networking Moving Image History: Archives, Scholars, and the Media Ecology Project” by Mark Williams; 17) “Curating, Coding, Writing: Expanded Forms of Scholarly Production” by Eric Hoyt; “Keywords and Online Resources” by Robert Hunt and Tony Tran

  • Open Access Film and Media Studies Journal Issues x 4: 
NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Autumn 2016_#Home

NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Spring 2016_’Small data’

  • New website:
The website collects materials relevant to Chinese Film Festival Studies, including reports on network events, bibliographies, lists of and reports on film festivals, and much more.

  • Other Open Access Resources 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My Year’s Work in Audiovisual Essays and Videographic Film Studies

There is a bumper entry still to come here at Film Studies For Free before the global annus horribilis of 2016 is out, you mark this blog's words.

But in the meantime, below is a handy list of links to the thirteen free film-studies videos its author has made and formally published in the last twelve months (see here for more information). There are a few unlisted ones that were also made this year and await publication, including yet another videographic work on Brief Encounter... These should see the light of online day in the next calendar year.

  • SPARKLE: A tiny video-remix comparison of some glimmering audio/visual moments from Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975), The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999) and The Falling (Carol Morley, 2014).
  • THE PERSISTENCE OF VISION: A video tribute to the work of film scholar Elizabeth Cowie, featuring Morocco, Now, Voyager and Let There Be Light, as well as the voices and choices of Andrew Klevan, Christine Evans, Coral Houtman and Sarah Wood
  • MATCHES - featuring Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954) Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios / Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988)