Festivals, Books, Conferences, Exhibitions

Confronting the screen. Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest at the New Museum

Today, with computers, TVs, and mobile phones, everything is flat and put behind glass – our feelings, histories, longings. We’re all separated from each other, for the human being that we are in contact with is always behind glass… But with art, we can jump out of our loneliness. – Pipilotti Rist Pipilotti Rist: Pixel […]

William Kentridge: Thick Time

William Kentridge: Thick Time, curated by Iwona Blazwick at Whitechapel Gallery (London), is a travelling survey exhibition by a major South African artist that brings together six large-scale multimedia installations produced between 2003 and 2016.[1] Images and sounds propel me visually, sonically, and spatially across time and continents. I walk through the exhibition for the […]

Romanian and Hungarian film cultures at the Transilvania International Film Festival

An arguably late arrival in the film festival circuit (first organised in 2002), the Transilvania International Film Festival[1] has been a significant date on the FIAPF calendar since 2011. The medium-sized and competitive Romanian film festival has its focus on first and second feature films by filmmakers from virtually all around the globe while also […]

A place between desire and experience: Afterthoughts on Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting

‘I want the evocation of space, a place between desire and experience.’ This calls forth from a screen suspended in the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg on the occasion of the exhibition Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting. Playing onscreen is the footage of Carolee Schneemann’s performance Meat Joy (1964), in which Schneemann’s declaration forms part of the […]

‘Pierdom’ by Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts is a British photographer whose work centres on questions of people and place, particularly in regard to the construction and promotion of national identity. From 2011-2013 these interests fuelled a project titled Pierdom (http://pierdom.com), for which Roberts toured the British coastline capturing the country’s 58 surviving pleasure piers as well as a few […]

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 […]

Films from Asia, attention around the world: 18th Far East Film Festival, Udine

Debuting in 1999, Udine’s Far East Film Festival is the only film festival in Europe dedicated to East Asian popular cinema. Over the course of its 18-year existence the festival has been recognised as one of the most prestigious for Asian cinema worldwide, renowned for showcasing a broad range of East Asian films, organising retrospectives, […]

Virtual futures and cinematic pasts at the 65th Melbourne International Film Festival

The annual Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) ranks among the oldest film festivals in the world. Launched in 1952 by enthusiasts seeking to watch films that were otherwise unavailable in Australia, MIFF emerged as one of the earliest examples of audience-driven film festivals in the world. From a modest program of 8 feature films and […]

How do film festivals work?: A conversation with Joshua Oppenheimer

Few documentary filmmakers have been as widely discussed in recent years as Joshua Oppenheimer. He burst onto the scene in 2012 with The Act of Killing, one of the more powerful feature-length debuts of any genre in recent memory. The documentary is about politically-motivated, state-sponsored killings in the 1960s in Indonesia and the residue of […]

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 […]

Rediscovering Frantz Fanon at Scotland’s Africa in Motion film festival

The Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival was founded in 2006 by Lizelle Bisschoff as a solution to the marginalisation and under-representation of African films in the UK. Between 2006 and 2015 AiM screened over 5,000 films to a combined audience of 30,000 people in the UK.[1] Since 2006 AiM has been organised and managed […]

Human rights, film, and social change: Screening Rights Film Festival, Birmingham Centre for Film Studies

The inaugural Birmingham Screening Rights film festival screened its programme of 7 films in July 2015 over three days under the auspices of human rights in a region that houses some of England’s greatest ethnic diversity. The small number of films screened over such a short time might suggest that this did not constitute a […]

Of calendars and industries: IDFA and CPH:DOX

This article focuses on the strategies developed by two Northern European documentary film festivals – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) – to position themselves in the international festival ecosystem and develop a differentiated identity.[1] Over the past ten years I have been conducting research at documentary film […]