‘Leviathan’: From sensory ethnography to gallery film

Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook? (Job 41) I entered the doors of the Whitney Biennial (7 March – 25 May 2014) with the specific aim of attending the 2pm screening […]

A spiritual journey in Bill Viola’s art

Exhibition: Bill Viola (Paris, Grand Palais, Galeries nationales, 5 March – 21 July 2014) Catalogue: Bill Viola (Paris: Éditions de la Rèunion des musées nationaux, 2014), sous la direction de Jérôme Neutres, http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/bill-viola From 5 March to 21 July 2014 the Grand Palais in Paris presented the largest retrospective ever dedicated to the American artist […]

Appropriation / Collaboration: Christian Marclay / Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

On the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s (UMMA) website students have been spotted hugging a sculpture, conversing with a lifelike piece of clothing, or holding an inspirational banner encouraging others to love art. These uploads came out of a participatory art project the museum launched to promote and mirror its recent exhibition on new […]

River-to-River Florence Indian Film Festival: The Italian response to Bollywood cinema

Indie Indian films have gained exponential attention from the academic community since 2011 when Delhi Belly (Abhinay Deo, 2011), a thought-provoking film produced by the Bollywood star Aamir Khan, was screened at the London Indian Film Festival. Prior to this upsurge the River-to-River Florence Indian Film Festival has strenuously promoted the value of ‘other’ Indian […]

Progressive spaces and lines of battle: Bristol Radical Film Festival 2014

Introduction The ethos of the Bristol Radical Film Festival (BRFF), now in its fourth year, appears to be the provision of a space for the screening of films with a strong emphasis on discussion and debate. The festival represents a shift away from merely exhibiting a range of works and onto an examination of the […]

Cinema, postmedia, and resolutions

Resolutions 3: Global Networks of Video edited by Ming-Yuen S. Ma and Erika Suderburg (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012) and Cinema and Postmedia: Contemporary Film Territories / Cinema e postmedia: I territory del filmico nel contemporaneo by Miriam De Rosa (Milano: Postmedia Press, 2013) provide two complementary perspectives on the moving image in the […]

Film festival management and programming

St Andrews Film Studies publishes the book series Films Need Festivals, Festivals Need Films under the editorship of Dina Iordanova. The series is now in its 6th edition in as many years, with the two newest being Coming Soon to a Festival Near You: Programming Film Festivals edited by Jeffrey Ruoff (St Andrews Film Studies, […]

Female celebrity and ageing in the limelight and under the microscope

Female celebrity is policed, under surveillance, and interrogated within contemporary culture, illuminating the gendering of not only celebrity but fame in general. There are political, historical, and social implications to this gendering of fame which are explored within celebrity studies – an area of film and media studies which continues to expand in new directions. […]

Haunted by participatory culture

Mirko Tobias Schäfer’s Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011) and José van Dijck’s The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) both approach online services and practices that emerged in the 2000s. The technological and business sides of these phenomena are […]

Kilts, tanks, and aeroplanes: Scotland, cinema, and the First World War

by David Archibald & Maria Velez-Serna The relationship between the First World War and early cinema in Britain is both highly complex and far from predictable. In 1914 the visual styles, narrative conventions, exhibition practices, and social roles of moving pictures were still in flux and wartime upheaval inevitably defined the context in which the […]

Shell shock cinema: A discussion with Anton Kaes on the First World War, cinema, and the culture of trauma

by Francesco Pitassio Anton Kaes is the Class of 1939 Professor of German and Film & Media at the University of California, Berkeley. He has authored a number of fascinating books, placing films and related discourses within a broader frame: the confrontation of German literati with cinema in the early 20th century, the contradictory relationship […]

Photographed by the Earth: War and media in light of nuclear events

by Thomas Pringle Double exposure, radiation, and imperceptible violence In a rare photo taken on set of the 1956 film The Conqueror (Dick Powell), we see the late John Wayne posing with his two sons while they contemplate a dusty metal box.[1] The location shoot for the film occurred just outside St. George, Utah, and […]

The din of gunfire: Rethinking the role of sound in World War II newsreels

by Masha Shpolberg Introduction French film historian Laurent Véray has famously called World War I ‘the first media war of the twentieth century’.[1] The centenary has brought global attention to the vast media resources available to scholars interested in rethinking the legacy of that conflict, and, by extension, of the one that sprung from its […]

The light of God: Notes on the visual economy of drones

by Pasi Väliaho[1] The frontispiece to the Jesuit priest Guilielmus Gumppenberg’s book Atlas marianus, first published in 1657, illustrates a story of the miraculous transport of the Virgin Mary’s house in Nazareth to Loreto, Italy.[2] Originating from the latter half of the 15th century, the story tells how some 200 years earlier, after the retreat […]

Serious games

by Harun Farocki In the summer of 2008 my collaborator Matthias Rajmann sent me a newspaper clipping. Traumatised U.S. troops returning from combat are treated with video games. In therapy they watch virtual scenarios that simulate some of the situations they experienced in Iraq. The idea is that the virtual images will help the soldiers […]