Archive for the 'Film Studies For Free' Category

On March 17th, 2015, U.S. filmmaker and critic Kevin B. Lee gave a Masterclass on his work at the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex, UK. This podcast offers the audio recording of the whole of his talk (video versions of sections of it are available here:; and here
Lee is a renowned pioneer of the online video essay form (creative, critical digital remixes of footage from the audiovisual works they treat), with well over 200 such works to his name. 
Recently, he and others at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have developed a form of filmmaking they call Desktop Documentary, which uses screen capture technology to treat the computer screen as both a camera lens and a canvas. Desktop documentary seeks both to depict and question the ways we explore the world through the computer screen. 
The Masterclass straddled a screening of TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE (2014), Lee’s innovative essay film in this idiom. The ‘Premake’ produced and studied viral fan footage of the making of Michael Bay’s blockbuster TRANSFORMERS 4: THE AGE OF EXTINCTION and examined the ways in which this operated as a public publicity vehicle for the film.
In this talk Kevin discusses (and plays an excerpt from) the following video: "What Makes a Video Essay Great?" which can be accessed online here:
LENGTH: 1:10:42

On March 24, 2014, Catherine Grant interviewed Dr Austin Fisher, Senior Lecturer in Media Arts at the University of Bedfordshire, UK, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema and editor of the forthcoming volume Spaghetti Westerns at the Crossroads: Studies in Relocation, Transition and Appropriation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), among other publications.

The interview took place in Seattle, USA, shortly after the close of the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, where Austin was contributing to a number of workshops and panels as co-chair (with Iain Robert Smith) of the SCMS Scholarly Interest Group in Transnational Cinemas. Austin talks about this topic in the interview and connects it to his longstanding interest in Italian cinema and the spaghetti western. He was also in the US as an invited speaker (with Sir Christopher Frayling) at an event at Texas Tech, in Lubbock, Texas, to celebrate 50 years since the release of A Fistful of Dollars.

Austin is also author of a video essay on The Searchers (see below), and in the interview he talks about the experience of making this work, a topic of particular interest at the SCMS conference where [in]Transition, a new journal (supported by mediaCommons and CInema Journal) devoted to publishing videographic film and moving image studies, was launched.

Also see 'Video Essay on Editing in The Searchers'
For more information about the SCMS conference together with related material please visit Film Studies For Free.

Dr Andrew Klevan, Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Oxford, UK, discusses the rationale behind his recent book on Hollywood film star Barbara Stanwyck (London: BFI/Palgrave, 2013) with Film Studies For Free. He also talks about some of the issues that arise when film performance is the object of study, around intention and attribution of agency and value.

Stanwyck's illustrious career began in the 1920s and spanned sixty years. During that period she starred in major films of many genres and worked with some of the most distinguished Hollywood directors. Devoting each chapter of his monograph to a significant quality of Stanwyck's performances, Klevan foregrounds crucial scenes from her exemplary films, including Stella Dallas (1937), The Lady Eve (1941), and Double Indemnity (1944). Through the lens of her achievement, Klevan examines the wider concerns of these films while revisiting classic topics from Film Studies - psychoanalysis, medium reflexivity, and the representation of female roles such as the 'sacrificial mother' and the 'femme fatale'. In paying close attention to the various aspects of Stanwyck's skilfully executed performances, this book enhances familiar understandings and aims to provide fresh illumination.

Read the accompanying entry "Magnifying Mirror: On Barbara Stanwyck and Film Performance Studies" at Film Studies For Free. And watch a short video essay on Stanwyck's performance in the mirror sequence of Stella Dallas here.

In October 2013, Dr Catherine Grant of Film Studies For Free talked to Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Reader in Film Studies at the University of Kent, UK, about her new book Doris Day Confidential: Hollywood Sex and Stardom (London: I B Tauris, 2013).This book poses as a central question, amongst others, “Why do we assume Doris Day always plays a virgin?” In previous work (the edited collection Virgin Territory, 2010, and an article on Rock Hudson from 2007 - see details here) Jeffers McDonald has examined what ‘playing a virgin’ might mean and consist of; now she turns her attention to how this dominant idea has been circulated, through studying the film fan periodicals which advanced and then froze Day’s stardom, a methodology she explores in detail in this interview. Please visit the Film Studies For Free full website entry on Studying Movie Magazines and Fan Culture! Online Research and Methodology Resources for further information about this interview.

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Welcome to the podcast channel for the Film Studies For Free website. Founded in August 2008, FSFF is a pluralist, pro bono, and purely positive web-archive of examples of, links to, and comment on, online, Open Access, film and moving image studies resources of note. FSFF is lovingly tended (in a personal capacity) by Catherine Grant, of Film Studies at the University of Sussex.