A geography of resistance: Locating US underground film and TV cultures

The latest collection from David E. James[1] and Adam Hyman (filmmaker and former executive director of the Los Angeles Filmforum) offers a historical and critical representation of the emergence and organisation of the US West Coast postwar experimental cinema scene. The book, titled Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 (New Barnet: John Libbey […]

Dreaming of Cinema / Slow Cinema

Adam Lowenstein’s Dreaming of Cinema: Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015) and Slow Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), a collection of essays edited by Tiago de Luca and Nuno Barradas Jorge, are attempts to come to grips with some of the different ways that digital technology […]

New media configurations and socio-cultural dynamics in Asia and the Arab world

Today more than ever new media and digital technologies are embedded in everyday life and socio-cultural structures. In fact, the evolving nature of media platforms, the migratory feature of content across various media sites, and the adoption of a participatory culture have tremendously altered the social dynamics not only within the nation-state setting but also […]

Complex series and struggling cable guys

Both Jason Mittell’s Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (New York: New York University Press, 2015) and Amanda Lotz’s Cable Guys: Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century (New York: New York University Press, 2014) significantly contribute to filling the gap in research on recent television series. Over the past two decades a […]

Cinema of the Swimming Pool / Cinema as Weather

In the introduction to their excellent edited collection on film location, Taking Place,[1] Elena Gorfinkel and John David Rhodes make a very sharp point about the fact that local specificity is not an alternative to ‘generalizing thought’ but a vital constituent of it. As they explain, ‘place, in its specific concreteness, does not act as […]

The Lumière Galaxy

At the outset of one of the more celebrated American novels of the second half of the 20th century, the main character and storyteller declares: [t]he fact is I am quite happy in a movie, even a bad movie. Other people, so I have read, treasure memorable moments in their lives: the time one climbed […]

Beautiful Data / The Democratic Surround

As the future approaches, equally digital and messy, it appears that there is considerable need for a thorough re-thinking of the postwar period which to a large extent determined the course of the current conditions. Such a broadly-conceived Foucauldian ‘history of the present’ attempts to shed new light on contemporary phenomena by rethinking their genealogy […]

Education in the School of Dreams: Travelogues and early nonfiction film

The relationship between travel and the moving image is as old as cinema itself, beginning with the famous Lumière film screenings at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris in 1895. Today the travelogue still has an enduring appeal to audiences, ensuring the survival of the form and its continued evolution. The persistence of the […]

Storytelling in the media convergence age: Exploring screen narratives

The early 21st century has been witnessing extraordinary changes in digital media technologies that transformed the means of production and reception of screen narratives. Industrial shifts and an increasing use of the Internet enabled media companies to circulate their content globally and across a range of channels and platforms. This in turn gave more control […]

The documentary film book

Despite its confident title The Documentary Film Book (London: BFI & Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), edited by Brian Winston, opens with a modest disclaimer: ‘[t]his volume is not an encyclopedia, dictionary or guidebook, much less a handbook, thesis or (hopefully) tract.’ Rather, it presents an overview of ‘the present agenda of concerns in the emergent field […]

Television studies reloaded: From history to text

Two recent books constitute essential reference points in television studies, both presenting innovative research directions. The first is a collection of essays edited by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell titled How to Watch Television (New York-London: New York University Press, 2013). The second, an important decade-long study by Jérôme Bourdon prepared by the Institut National […]

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 […]