The Start of an Ending is a side-by-side comparison of the opening and closing shots of 75 films. It’s based on similar videos by Jacob T Swinney, which inspired me to create my own using new films. It’s a very visual homage to filmmaking, cinematography and editing, because it provides a peek at what is possible when filmmakers devote themselves to visual storytelling. Moving images are incredibly powerful and convey a very wide range of meanings and emotions, but what is even much more powerful is the relationship between several moving images (or frames). This is the reason why editing is one of the most important aspects of cinema, because it is through the comparison of various images that we understand what a movie is trying to say. In my video, some frames are incredibly similar, some are very different, some show progress, others decline, but all of them teach us something about this great art that is cinema. Finally, I’d like to point out that the selection is not based on the value of the movies per se (although many of them are great masterpieces, and almost all of them are great films) but on the power of the comparison between the first and last frames.
Miguel Faus is a 23 year-old business graduate from Barcelona; he divides his time between his internship as a copywriter at an ad agency and his undergraduate program in Humanities. He’s passionate about films and is a contributing author at Jot Down Magazine, where he tries to figure out why he loves the films he loves.
Film Matters is officially announcing our open call for papers for consideration in issue 8.1 (2017) — the deadline is February 1, 2016. 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!
Film Matters is excited to announce the release of issue 6.1 (2015) — a special issue dedicated to the 2014 SCMS-U Conference! For more information about SCMS-U, please visit: http://www.cmstudies.org/?page=undergraduate
Guest editors and 2014 conference organizers, Man-Fung Yip and Victoria Sturtevant, provide an excellent editorial overview, reflecting on the conference, undergraduate scholarship, and the contents of issue 6.1. Please check it out!
Additionally, in this issue, you will find the following feature articles:
- Government Feature Film Production during the Great War: Examining Pershing’s Crusaders by Adam Dziesinski
- Ontology of the Cinematic Lamella by Jon Hendricks
- Image-Making Practices in Cynical Self-Surveillance: A Case Study of Hasan Elahi’s “Tracking Transcience” by Gary Kafer
- The Visual Psychology of Frederick Wiseman’s Domestic Violence by Isadora Kosofky
- The Globalization of Encoded Authorship: Copycat Programming in Post-Soviet Era Russia by Julia Petuhova
- Samurai with Afros: Political and Cultural Connotations of African American Depictions in Japanese-Style Animation by Keevan Robertson
- The “Golden Age” of Spanish-Language Theaters in Los Angeles: The Formation of a Transnational Cinema Audience by Carlos Sanchez
- Lizzie in Real Life: Social and Narrative Immersion Through Transmedia in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries by Allegra Tepper
As well as DVD/Blu-ray and book reviews by: Gregory Boyd, Sara Grasberg, Jonah Jeng, Kristi Kouchakji, Bryan Norton, Laurie Polisky, Chika Okuyama, and Joseph Sherry.
For more information about issue 6.1, please visit Intellect’s website: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=2943/
Film Matters is really pleased (and proud) to be a part of the SCMS-U experience! Undergraduates, you can participate, too, by submitting to SCMS-U and Film Matters today!
Matthew Jones wrote the article “Metzger’s Women: Gender Representations and Visual Abstraction in ‘60s Sexploitation,” featured in issue 4.4 of Film Matters, soon after graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in film. He has since gone on to work in various areas of production and is presently working on casting for an upcoming project. Additionally, he is still researching about the visual representation of women and is currently writing an essay about the portrayal of lesbianism throughout film’s history.
Meredith Bryant: This article you wrote is specifically about Radley Metzger’s films. Was this sexploitation that you speak about relevant for the majority of films in this era?
Matthew Jones: No, sexploitation was almost entirely relegated to independent, low-budget filmmakers, who used sex and nudity to attract audiences. Using sexual themes and nudity generally made up for the lack of production value and/or the filmmakers’ inability to market the films. However, with the changing times of the 1960s, even many mainstream films from Hollywood began incorporating sexual themes and imagery (such as many James Bond films, like Dr. No and Goldfinger). There were also many different directors (besides Radley Metzger) who specialized in making these kinds of films, including Doris Wishman, Russ Meyer, and Armando Bó, among others.
Filmmaker Evan Vetter during the production of Daylight Come
John Gelardi’s article, “Documentary Filmmaking: From Concept to Distribution,” was published in the spring 2014 issue of Film Matters. The article focused on Evan Vetter’s documentary Daylight Come: Life After Rape in Congo as it pertains to the conceptual creation, rigorous funding, spontaneous filming, and assorted distribution of documentary productions. Gelardi studied film and business at University of North Carolina Wilmington. The following interview with Gelardi brings attention to his personal views on documentary film as a genre and an art form.
Karsu Nalbantoglu: What made you interested in publishing your article in Film Matters magazine?
John Gelardi: To validate my writing ability was the main goal in getting published in Film Matters. I always enjoyed writing and the idea of becoming published was an appealing prospect. So it was pretty much that I was put into a position to be published by being in that class and I wanted to make it happen.
Dustin Fleischmann is a Film Studies and Creative Writing double major, the projection manager for Lumina Theater, and the vice president of membership for the Association of Campus Entertainment at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Dustin has had two pieces published in Film Matters, one in issue 5.2 and the other in issue 5.3. The article I decided to interview Dustin on was his review of the movie Her (2013) in issue 5.3 of Film Matters.
Chance Saller: Have you listened to the Her soundtrack? If so, what did you think about it? When I was listening to it I got a sense of pain, but therein I felt hope, like when you are torn up inside yet you feel that someday you’ll be back to normal. Do you get that impression or is my interpretation of this soundtrack simply just “my own”?
Dustin Fleishmann: Interestingly enough, I’m listening to it right now—I like to listen to the score when I study and write. Arcade Fire did an outstanding job translating the tone of the film into an aural space, and I find myself revisiting the score for simple enjoyment from time to time. I think it’s interesting that you wonder if your interpretation is “your own,” because it seems to suggest that you’re unsure whether you’ve aligned the intention of the film’s score (or for that matter, the moral of the film itself) to the director’s vision—and you’re not alone in this skepticism. I remember listening to an interview on NPR in which Audie Cornish talks about her takeaways from the film and asks Jonze if her personal experience aligns with his intentions. He says something to the effect that the film is what you make of it and how it’s interesting that there’s a vast variety of reactions to the movie: Is it romantic? Sad? Cynical? Creepy? He says there’s no real, simple answer and that he likes hearing what it means to so many people. Speaking solely of the music’s score, I find the overall score self-reflective. Consider “Photograph” as the embodiment of this idea: when Samantha plays this song for Theodore on the beach, she says that the song is like a photo that captures that moment. Each song reminds me of little moments or “photographs” in my life: the good times (“Dimensions”; the latter half of “Morning Talk/Supersymmetry”), the somber times (“Loneliness #4”; “We’re All Leaving”), and the little in-betweens (I think “Milk & Honey” and “Sleepwalker” are good examples of this, but feel free to disagree). And it’s not just for the past moments: I sometimes think about how the songs may fit into my future.
Silvio Carta completed his PhD in Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham. His articles and reviews have appeared in Visual Anthropology, Visual Anthropology Review, Visual Studies, Visual Ethnography, and Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, among other publications. To find out more about his book Visual Anthropology in Sardinia, Film Matters conducted a Q & A with Carta via email correspondence (June-July 2015).
Please tell us a little more about your book.
Visual Anthropology in Sardinia is a book about the advantages of the medium of film over written academic texts. It focuses on the construction of different experiences and identities in Sardinian documentaries and ethnographic films, and includes a discussion of theoretical developments in the area of visual anthropology. The book offers a survey of the somewhat peculiar filmic ethnographic discourse established in relation to Sardinia, which has often been constructed as a repository of all sorts of stereotypes about the Italian South.
Film Matters is very pleased to report that we have found our three judges for the first Masoud Yazdani Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Film Scholarship. Many thanks to all who offered! And we look forward to announcing the winner toward the end of 2015 — watch this space!
As a film scholar, it is no easy task to take on researching a culturally and institutionally enriching topic that has been largely overlooked by other academics. Author Silvio Carta, however, proves he is up to the challenge with his well-constructed book, Visual Anthropology in Sardinia (2015). Carta’s book takes readers on an enlightening exploration through Sardinian documentary filmmaking—from fascist-era propaganda films to more modern depictions of shepherds and pastoral life—to call attention to this neglected genre within Italian cinema. Providing detailed analyses of several film plots and their stylistic arrangements within an ethnographic framework, Carta strives to make a complex area of study both relevant and interesting for his readers.
Now that volume 5 (2014) is completely out, Film Matters is searching for three judges to determine the winner of the 2015 Masoud Yazdani Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Film Scholarship. For more information about this new award, please see the initial announcement (http://www.filmmattersmagazine.com/2014/09/02/announcing-the-masoud-yazdani-award-for-excellence-in-undergraduate-film-scholarship/).
If you are a current instructor of film (graduate student, tenured/tenure-track professor, adjunct, etc.) at an institution of higher education, then please think about providing this valuable service to Film Matters and recognizing the dedicated work of an emerging film scholar, as well as his/her mentor and academic department.
All authors whose articles were published in 5.1, 5.2, or 5.3 of Film Matters as the result of a peer-review process automatically qualify for consideration. Twenty authors from volume 5 are eligible and represent the following institutions:
- City College of New York
- Concordia University
- Cornell University
- Grinnell College
- Nanyang Technological University
- Nottingham Trent University
- University of Alberta
- University of Hartford
- University of Hong Kong (3)
- University of North Carolina Wilmington (2)
- University of Texas at El Paso
- University of the West of England
- Vassar College
- Washington University in St Louis
- Wilfrid Laurier University (3)
Please email Liza Palmer (futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com) as soon as possible, indicating your interest in serving as a judge. Materials and policies/procedures will be provided to the judging board once it is populated. And the board, as a group, will decide whether they want to work anonymously or not.
Thanks, in advance, for your support and promotion of this award, which celebrates not only young film scholars, but also Masoud Yazdani of Intellect.