A Field in England (2013). Reviewed by Tyler Thier

 

A Field in England (Film4, 2013)

A Field in England (Film4, 2013)

“Open up and let the Devil in,” says an antagonist unaware of the fact that he just summed up his own story in one brooding line…

Upon the lukewarm tides of Ben Wheatley’s recent outing, High-Rise (2015), let’s return to his earlier intoxicant, A Field in England (2013). Anchored by a haunting duality between its main characters and a powerful aesthetic appeal in its black-and-white cinematography and much more, this overlooked pleasure has a lot to offer.
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The Witch (2015). Reviewed by Chris Dymond

The Witch (A24, 2015)

The Witch (A24, 2015)

The Witch is not so much horrifying in its visual content as it is in its evocative ability to convincingly bring forth a historic space in which the ideology of the American frontier percolates so violently with the Western concept of the religious sublime. Steeped in its historical parlance and rigor, The Witch brings one to the epistemic environment of intense anxiety in which such terrifying potentialities could have been brought into common existence. Because of this, The Witch is unflinching, albeit heavy-handed, in its desire to posit such an encounter of rampant ideologies as the root cause of the horrific intracultural and intra-familial violence that took place amongst the early moments of North America’s colonization. It is firstly sincere, therefore, in its attention to historic detail. However, progressively, this sincerity extends to the emotional, corporeal, and moral anxieties that beset such a historical period.
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The Giants of Shorts: Interview with Cindy Birch. By Lydia Plantamura

tsfalogoThe development of the internet over the last couple of decades has created a world where information can be spread farther and farther, faster and faster. While the debate on shortening attention spans continues, one positive result is the rise of the short film. Although short films have been a part of cinema since its birth, the feature has long dominated the field. Dedicated to honoring the underdog of film, The Short Film Awards, known as The SOFIES, will hold its third annual event December 9, 10, and 11, 2016 at Symphony Space, Broadway, NY. Film Matters’s intern, Lydia Plantamura interviews SOFIE founder, Cindy Birch, about the award ceremony and the importance of recognizing “giants” among short subject works.
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Calling All Instructors: Cinema Guild Reviews

Film Matters is pleased to be working with Cinema Guild (http://www.cinemaguild.com/) to help promote their exciting lineup of films and DVDs.  We currently have a few Cinema Guild titles needing to be reviewed.  If you are a current instructor of film (graduate student, tenured/tenure-track professor, adjunct, etc.) at an institution of higher education, then this is an applied learning opportunity to consider bringing to your students!

By claiming one of these Cinema Guild DVDs, you are committing to produce a review for a future print issue of Film Matters.  The only stipulation is that undergraduate students must be involved in the writing of the review.  Creativity, as always, is encouraged!  But strategies include:  coauthoring with students, making the review a classroom exercise (i.e. each student contributes a paragraph, analyzing a frame or sequence), working with a student film society to secure a review, etc.  Once the review has been successfully submitted, instructors may keep the Cinema Guild DVD to use as they see fit.

The Cinema Guild DVDs are (if a title has TAKEN by it, it has already been claimed):

  • About Elly (Farhadi, 2009) — TAKEN
  • Handmade with Love in France (Bernard, 2014) — TAKEN
  • Here Come the Videofreex (Nealon & Raskin, 2015) — TAKEN
  • The Princess of France (Piñeiro, 2014) — TAKEN
  • She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (Dore, 2014) — TAKEN

To apply, please email a brief proposal to Liza (futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com), detailing your preferred selection, as well as your name, affiliation, course information, and plans for: (1) how you will incorporate this Cinema Guild product into your classroom; and (2) how you will produce a review of the Cinema Guild product, involving undergraduate authors, to be published in a future print issue of Film Matters.

The DVDs will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.  Deadlines for reviews to be submitted to Liza will be January 15, 2017.

Please email Liza with any questions (futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com).  Otherwise, we look forward to working with you!

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Last Call: Deadline for CFP 8.3 Is September 1!

Final reminder that the deadline for call 8.3 (for issue 8.3, 2017) is September 1, 2016. For more information, please see the original post:

Questions and submissions should be directed to Liza: futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Reminder: Open Call 8.3 Papers Due on September 1

Undergraduates, think about submitting those film-related research papers to open call 8.3 today — the deadline is upon us!  For more information, please see the original announcement:

Email Liza Palmer (futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com) today, with questions or submissions — thanks!

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Announcing a New Film Matters Venture: Open Call for Undergraduate Videographic Film Scholarship

Inspired by the groundbreaking work of Jason Mittell and Christian Keathley, among others, of inTransition (http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/intransition/), Film Matters is excited to announce our first call for videographic film scholarship by undergraduate students — an initiative managed by Allison De Fren and Adam Hart.

For more information about this opportunity, including specific instructions for formatting submissions, please download the official document:

The deadline is October 1, 2016.

Questions and submissions should be directed to Allison De Fren and Adam Hart at: VideographicFM AT gmail.com

And for a recent example of videographic criticism, published by Film Matters, please consult the following from Jennifer Fleeger and Jordan Scharaga:

Scoring Night and the City. By Jennifer Fleeger and Jordan Scharaga

We look forward to receiving your video submissions!

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The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). Reviewed by Harsh Mahaseth

The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony Pictures, 2006)

The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony Pictures, 2006)

Can a man face a plethora of hardships both personally and professionally to pursue a bit of happiness, especially when the only happiness he knows of is the word “happyness” written on a wall? The answer would be this movie, which is based on a true story written by Steven Conrad and is directed by Gabriele Muccino. This movie was an immediate success with audiences and has been critically acclaimed as “an inspirational and often emotionally wrenching story.”[1]
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Announcing Call for Papers on Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema

Film Matters is pleased to announce a CFP for a dossier on Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema — guest edited by Fabrizio Cilento, Messiah College — slated for FM 8.3 (2017).

A range of formats is welcome — reviews of recent science fiction films, reviews of recent scholarly books on the science fiction genre, or interviews with relevant scholars in the field — in addition to essays.

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

The deadline for submissions is: December 1, 2016.

And questions and submissions should be directed to Fabrizio Cilento (fcilento AT messiah.edu).

Please consider submitting today!

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Judging for the 2016 Masoud Yazdani Award Is Underway

Film Matters is pleased to announce that the judging for the 2016 Masoud Yazdani Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Film Scholarship has begun.

Nineteen candidates – feature article authors from volume 6 issues – are automatically being considered for the annual book prize, given in honor of Masoud Yazdani, late chairman (and all-around visionary) of Intellect. Our award candidates represent the following academic institutions:

  • Carleton College
  • Edge Hill University
  • Harvard College
  • Institute of Art Design and Technology
  • King’s College London
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Calgary
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (x3)
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Rochester
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Southern California
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Yale University

We are fortunate to be working with the following judges and thank them for their service to Film Matters, as well as the discipline of film and media studies:

Frederic Leveziel is a French native with a PhD in Spanish living in Tampa, Florida. He teaches French and Spanish film, language, and culture. Leveziel is currently writing a book chapter on the Spanish and Portuguese diasporas in France, and is also working on an article on The River by Jean Renoir. He will be doing research on Renoir at the University of California, Los Angeles in August in preparation for his manuscript.

Tom Ue is the Frederick Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the English Department at the University of Toronto and an Honorary Research Associate at University College London. He has published on Canadian cinema, Studio Ghibli, and representations of Toronto. Ue is currently at work on a book chapter about Quentin Tarantino and the western, and his long-term project is a monograph about the White Messiah. He teaches courses in film and literature at the University of Toronto.

Johnny Walker is Lecturer in Media at Northumbria University in the UK, author of Contemporary British Horror Cinema: Industry, Genre and Society (Edinburgh UP, 2015) and the co-editor of the following: Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media (2016) and Grindhouse: Cultural Exchange on 42nd Street, and Beyond (2016). He is the founding editor of the Global Exploitation Cinemas book series published by Bloomsbury, and is currently writing a book on the infancy of video rental culture in Britain for the University of Exeter Press.

Film Matters looks forward to announcing the 2016 winner later in the year. Please watch this space for updates.

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