Festivals, Books, Conferences, Exhibitions

TV Socialism / Broadcasting Modernity

The study of television is often viewed as a crucial window into a given society’s popular culture. Dominant codes of meaning contained within the programming, and the ways in which various cultural groups decode those meanings – even the very broadcast technology itself – can reveal much about a society’s values, politics, and cultural traditions. […]

20 Years of Ícaro spreading its wings: Ícaro International Film Festival

The global imaginary of Central America, encompassing Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama,[1] often relates to the subcontinent’s turbulent history and strategic geopolitical positioning. From succumbing to European imperial forces in the 15th century to the end of the Cold War and its aftermath, the southernmost isthmus of North America that connects […]

We need to talk about Indian Panorama: A report from the International Film Festival of India 2017

The enduring image from the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held from 20 to 28 November 2017, is of the actor Kannan Nayar angry, and waiting impatiently, outside the Inox multiplex complex in Panjim, Goa. He could be seen agitatedly talking to a group of people, to the media, and […]

Mobile cinema as an archive in motion: A Wall is a Screen and urban memories

Hundreds of people following a person with a megaphone through deserted city centres at night. A political demonstration? A secret society? No, this is A Wall is a Screen (AWIAS),[1] a mobile outdoor cinema, cinematic city walk, and pop-up film festival all in one, which – as its name suggests – uses walls of buildings […]

We have never been (post)modern: Photography’s late encounters with film

The discussions on the relationship between photography and film have for a long time been centred on stillness and duration. The two oldest of the so-called new media seemed settled in binary oppositions, as it was either the photograph’s death portrait or the motion picture’s vital progression. Ice or fire, as Peter Wollen aptly proclaimed.[1] […]

Engaging new audiences with old and new experimental film: The E*Cinema Academy film series at EYE Filmmuseum

In 2012 EYE, the former Nederlands Filmmuseum, moved to its new building, gaining two additional theatres and an ex­­­­­hibition venue. This allowed increasing the frequency of exhibitions, their variety, and the flow of visitors, in line with the expectations of current cultural and fund polices. In a couple of years, EYE shifted from mainly a […]

Sergei Eisenstein: The Anthropology of Rhythm, a conversation with curators Marie Rebecchi and Elena Vogman

The exhibition Sergei Eisenstein: The Anthropology of Rhythm (Nomas Foundation, Rome, 20 September 2017 – 19 January 2018) explores the intersecting artistic, anthropological, and political dimensions of the unfinished film projects of Sergei Eisenstein: Que viva Mexico! (1931-1932), Bezhin Meadow (1935-1937), and Fergana Canal (1939). Curated by art and film historians Marie Rebecchi (Paris) and […]

First Comes Love / Presumed Intimacy

Celebrity studies is now a burgeoning subfield within film and media studies, with its own journal (Celebrity Studies [founded in 2010]), international conferences, and a raft of publications that have defined its parameters, notably work by Graeme Turner (2014), Chris Rojek (2001, 2012), P. David Marshall (2014), Su Holmes and Sean Redmond (2006), Su Holmes […]

Inhuman Networks / Controversies in Digital Ethics

Talking about the rise of the internet is at once as trivial as it is banal. If I asked a friend a speculative question, how do I make my own sourdough culture, they would sarcastically respond, there is this new thing where you can type in these questions without asking me – it is called […]

Marx at the Movies / Cartographies of the Absolute

It is difficult to separate the history of cinema, a form of art so embedded within the twentieth century, from the history of Communism. Perhaps it is not only because of the coincidence of the two dates of birth but, rather, there is something more profound and more structural in regards to their common heritage […]

Social Media – New Masses / Updating to Remain the Same

Do we still live in a mass society? Does that foul spectre of the long and dark 20th century – the masses – extend into the 21st? We would perhaps like to believe that it does not. Or should we say they do not? Part of the anxiety over this strange socio-logical category can already […]

A new era of Maghrebi-French cinema: Two perspectives

From Tunis to Casablanca and further afield in the diaspora, Maghrebi-French filmmakers have articulated the historical transformations of their societies, including their changing place in the world. All the major events and historical moments that have shaped the Maghreb have been put on camera, with original and critical portrayals detailing the social, political, and economic […]

Whose perspective is this? A few thoughts on Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s Studies on the Ecology of Drama

Since the early 1990s, Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila has been considered a master of the split-screen installation form. Her large-scale, multi-channel cinematic works create specific perceptual situations, while investigating the construction of audiovisual discourses and testing potentialities and limits of cinematic narration. In her works, Ahtila challenges cinema’s conventions of single-channel storytelling, using multiple screens […]

Urban Now: City Life in Congo

The exhibition Urban Now: City Life in Congo took place at WIELS (Brussels) from 8 May – 14 August 2016 and was co-organised by Congolese artist Sammy Baloji and Belgian anthropologist Filip de Boeck. Baloji currently divides his time between Lubumbashi and Brussels and has exhibited his work in manifold exhibitions, such as Hunting and […]

Promenade through the theatre of illusion: Dioramas in Palais de Tokyo

The exhibition Dioramas, curated by Claire Garnier, Laurent Le Bon, and Florence Ostende at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, proposes the first extensive cross-media survey of one of the most fascinating theatres of illusion and apparatuses of display – the diorama. The survey covers a period spanning from the beginning of the nineteenth century to […]