Annabelle (2014). Reviewed by Lydia Marley-Lawson

annabelle 1Annabelle (2014) — the highly anticipated prequel to James Wann’s The Conjuring (2013) — graced the big screen on October 3 and arguably met the high expectations set by its predecessor. The film is based on true events that occurred early in the controversial career of Ed (played by Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (played by Vera Farmiga) as demonologists, whose most famous cases include the one chronicled in Amityville Horror (1979). The Warrens were urgently called to help two roommates, whose “Annabelle” doll had been the trigger object of severe paranormal activity in their home, causing disturbances from knocking at the door to defacing the house.
Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Call for Book Reviews

Film Matters is seeking current undergraduate students to review some recent academic titles for us.  The available books are listed below:

  • Beyond the Looking Glass: Narcissism and Female Stardom in Studio-Era Hollywood, by Ana Salzberg (Berghahn Books). — TAKEN
  • Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film, Photographs by Matt Lankes (University of Texas Press). — TAKEN
  • The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez, by Frederick Luis Aldama (University of Texas Press). — TAKEN
  • Parallel Lines: Post-9/11 American Cinema, by Guy Westwell (Wallflower Press). — TAKEN
  • The Philosophy of Michael Mann, edited by Steven Sanders, Aeon J. Skoble, and R. Barton Palmer (University Press of Kentucky). — TAKEN
  • A Pocket Guide to Analyzing Films, by Robert Spadoni (University of California Press). — TAKEN
  • Terence Davies, by Michael Koresky (University of Illinois Press).

Students interested in this opportunity should send a statement of interest (taking care to indicate any relevant qualifications for reviewing a specific title, like past course work, etc.) to:  futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com

Priority will be given to emails received before January 15, 2015.

Students who are selected for this opportunity will receive a review copy of the book, which they can keep with our (and the publisher’s) compliments in exchange for the written review. This is an excellent way to build experience and CVs!

Posted in Calls for Papers | Comments Off

FM 4.4 Is Out!

Film Matters is pleased to announce the release of FM 4.4 (2013) — a special issue on 1960s cinema guest edited by Christopher Sieving and his students from the University of Georgia. This issue includes the following feature articles:

  • Walking the Tightrope with Dylan: Cultural Performance in Dont Look Back by Sam Hagerman 
  • Metzger’s Women: Gender Representations and Visual Abstraction in ‘60s Sexploitation by Matthew Jones 
  • Midnights at the Charles: Exhibiting Underground Cinema in the Age of the Art-House by Daniel LoPilato
  • Reading Myth in Sweetback: Middling Strategies Between the Ideal and the Exploitative by Chris Lott
  • Defining Warhol: An Interview with J. J. Murphy, Avant-Garde Filmmaker and Author by Sara Porch
  • “She Doesn’t Speak English, Does She?”: Displaced Female Protagonists in Rosemary’s Baby and Repulsion by Grafton Tanner

Reviews of sixties cinema by: Adam Carlson, Dafna Kaufman, Meredith McKay, and Molly Beth Roland.

These featurettes:

  • Alfred Hitchcock and Beyond: An Interview with Film Scholar Dr. Richard Allen by Steven T. Gamble 
  • The Iconic Wurlitzer: Transforming Early Film Exhibition by Morgan A. Grogg 

As well as film, DVD, and book reviews by: William RepassJaime Carlos MenjivarIvy BurridgeLaura CasteelStephen GlawsonStephen MurphyLevi Vasquez, and Jen Withrow.

It’s a great issue with a great cover!  For more information about it, please visit: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=2762/

And become a Film Matters author yourself — think about submitting to one of of current CFPs:

Posted in News | Comments Off

CFP 7.2 (2016): Theoretical Perspectives on Filmic Adaptation

Film Matters is excited to announce a new call for papers for issue 7.2 (2016) — on the theme of filmic adapatation — guest edited by Greg Chan and students (Kwantlen Polytechnic University).

The deadline for submission is February 15, 2015 — so please consider submitting papers related to this theme today! The guest editors are also actively seeking book reviews on this same topic; interested reviewers should contact them to propose a book to review or to obtain a list of suggested titles.

For more information about this call, please download the official document (in Word):

Submissions and questions should be emailed to Greg Chan, with the subject line “7.2 CFP” at:

  • greg.chan AT kpu.ca

We look forward to receiving your papers!

Posted in Calls for Papers | Comments Off

Announcing Open Call for Papers 7.1

Film Matters is officially announcing our open call for papers for consideration in issue 7.1 (2016) — the deadline is February 1, 2015.  Undergraduates and recent graduates, please submit your film-related research papers today!

For more information, please download the official document (in Word):

Submissions and questions should be directed to:

  • futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com

We look forward to receiving your papers!

Posted in Calls for Papers | Comments Off

Last Call: Deadline for CFP 6.2 Is October 15th!

The deadline for call 6.2 (for issue 6.2, 2015) is October 15, 2014. The Ohio State University guest editors are particularly interested in papers on national cinema, auteurism, and/or genre, but will accept papers on other film topics, too. For more information, please see the original post:

Questions and submissions should be directed to Margaret C. Flinn:

flinn.62 AT osu.edu

We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Calls for Papers | Comments Off

Reminder: CFP 6.2 (2015) Still Accepting Submissions

A quick reminder that Film Matters is still accepting submissions for CFP 6.2 (2015) — this call closes on October 15, 2014. The guest editors will accept papers on any topic, but are particularly interested in those on national cinema, auteurism, and/or genre. Submissions for this call should be sent to Margaret C. Flinn (flinn.62 AT osu.edu). For more information about the process and eligibility guidelines, please see the original announcement:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Calls for Papers | Comments Off

Vyer Films: A Measured Vastness. By Claire Williams

When We Leave

When We Leave

Streaming services nowadays provide audiences with such a vast amount of content that it makes it nearly impossible to decide what to watch. We spend more time browsing catalogues than we do watching films or television series. And so many contemporary subscription services only offer Hollywood clichés and box office regulars, making it even harder to see anything worth watching.

Well, not anymore. Vyer Films is the latest: a Brooklyn-based subscription service with a difference. Instead of infinite amounts of films and television series, Vyer Films prides itself on being a curatorial service, and does the hard work for you. They’re dedicated to providing an exclusive collection of films for people who are looking to steer away from the mainstream and watch critically curated films that tell unique, powerful, and engaging stories. Vyer Films helps “people to spend their time seeing things not looking for things to see.” So to find out more about this cutting-edge service, I sat down with founder K.C. McLeod from Vyer Films.
Continue reading

Posted in Interviews | Comments Off

FM 4.3 Is Out!

Film Matters is excited to announce the release of FM 4.3 (2013) — on the heels of FM 4.2 — which features an engaging guest-edited dossier on the New Directors/New Films festival by Kristi McKim and her students at Hendrix College.  The dossier includes film reviews by:

  • Vincent Gammill
  • Catelyn Gibbs
  • Rane Peerson
  • William Repass
  • Adelia Shiffraw
  • Emily Smith
  • Lance St. Laurent 

FM 4.3 also includes the following peer-reviewed feature articles:

  • Flipping Your Fins Can Get You Far: How the Walt Disney Company Has Ensured the Longevity of The Little Mermaid Through Franchise Management by Kayleigh Bonner
  • The Surrealist Aesthetic: From Breton to Almodóvar by Diana M. Fraser
  • The Ideological Effects of Intensified Continuity by Zachary Klaver
  • The “Unfilmable” Lightness of Being?: Essayistic Devices in Kaufman’s Adaptation of The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Brandon Konecny
  • I’ve Got Nothing: The Poorly Executed Ideas of a Rich Industry by Guy Madjar
  • The Impossibility of Memory: Anamnesis and Reflexive Documentary by Erin Nunoda
  • Intertitle Humor and the Representation of Heterosexual Marriage in Why Change Your Wife? by Erica Tortolani 

The latest “Mapping Contemporary Cinema” column:

  • Hurricane Katrina, Race and Gender in The Princess and the Frog
    by Sophie Engel 

These featurettes:

  • Local Liaison: Interview with Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director, Johnny Griffin by Ivy Burridge
  • Find the Animals: An Interview with Scott Myers of Go into the Story by Laura Casteel
  • A Disc-Less Future: The Rise and Fall of Physical Media by Matthew D. C. Stamm

Book reviews by:   Steven T. Gamble and  Jaime Carlos Menjivar

As well as a “Film Bytes” column on Holy Motors (Carax, 2012).

For more information about this new issue, please visit: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=2720/

And think about becoming a Film Matters author yourself — submit a paper to CFP 6.2 today!:  http://www.filmmattersmagazine.com/2014/04/28/cfp-6-2-2015-national-cinema-auteurism-and-genre/

Posted in News | Comments Off

Interview with Film Matters Author, Brenna Williams. By Kailyn N. Warpole

The female leads. From left to right: Clementine (Kate Winslet) of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) of (500) Days of Summer

The female leads. From left to right: Clementine (Kate Winslet) of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Focus Features, 2004) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) of (500) Days of Summer (Fox Searchlight, 2009)

Kailyn Warpole: How did you first hear about Film Matters and what inspired you to submit your article?

Brenna Williams: I heard about Film Matters through my department’s listserv. They sent out the call for papers. I had always thought about getting published and I thought my paper was a good mix of classic film theory focusing on something fun and contemporary. I thought other young media scholars might find it interesting since I know I so often tend to focus on whatever I think seems most traditionally academic.
Continue reading

Posted in Interviews | Comments Off