Announcing Film Matters’ New Contest

Film Matters is pleased to officially announce our new contest format — the caption contest.  Roughly each month, we will post a new frame to our Facebook page and invite our readers, fans, and friends alike to caption the frame.  The winning caption will be chosen by our editorial board.  Each month’s winner will receive a $5 Amazon gift card (perfect for downloading some new music!) and a free copy of a Film Matters issue of his/her choice.  For more information, please see our rules and instructions:

Our first frame is up — from The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, 2002).  So click on the link to our Facebook feed, find the frame, and follow the instructions (1. Like the Film Matters page, 2. Comment with your caption, 3. Share the frame):

This first contest ends on April 21, 2014.  Thanks and good luck!


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Interview with Eli Hershko, Director of Carl(a) (2011). By Junyang ZHAO

An image from Carl(a)

An image from Carl(a)

Junyang ZHAO: First off, can you tell us about Carl(a)?

Eli Hershko: Carl(a) is the story of a young transgender woman named Carla, a web-cam girl, aspiring shoe designer, who meets a man through her job, and falls in love with him (and he with her). But when she finally gets the financial means to complete her transition, it turns out this new love does not want her to change.

Carl(a) is a story about change, about not wanting to be where we are, but finding ourselves for whatever reason stuck in place. While the struggles of the transgender community are very specific to that community, there are universal themes in wanting to change, in wanting to be our true selves, whatever that may be. So I think/hope Carl(a) is able to transcend the “surface” part of the story – the story of Carla wanting to complete her transition – and reach a wider audience.
Continue reading

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Carl(a) (2011). Reviewed by Junyang ZHAO

carla_1Carl(a) (Hershko, 2011) is about a transgendered woman, named Carla, who struggles with her sexual identity. Carla is clear about what she is, but she is faced with obstructions both from her family and her love life. She works as a web-cam girl but she is both talented and interested in working in shoe designing. Earning little, Carla has never been able to make the final step in transitioning to a woman, which is the operation to remove her penis. After she finally acquires the financial means to do so, she finds out that her new love does not want her to change. Having been wanting to change herself from what she is not to what she truly is, Carla is faced with the choice of either sacrificing her dream for love, or completing her transition.

Continue reading

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Remembering Masoud Yazdani

It is with great sadness that Film Matters announces the death of Masoud Yazdani, chairman of Intellect – our publisher and dear friend.  It’s never easy to begin referring to someone in the past tense – particularly someone so full of vigor and charm as Masoud.  As we struggle to process his passing, we take comfort in reflecting on the overwhelming impact his life has had on others and, by extension, the world of publishing.  Film Matters certainly wouldn’t exist today, if he hadn’t been willing to take a chance on the project.  Indeed, Masoud gave voice to many people over the years – often saying that his customers were his authors, not his readers – including our undergraduate authors.  These voices will chorus his consequence for years to come.  Film Matters is proud to be a member of the Intellect family, proud to have known Masoud, and proud to be a part of his legacy.  And we will work hard to insure that each issue of Film Matters honors Masoud’s vision and celebrates his enthusiasm for publishing.

Tim & Liza Palmer

To read more about Masoud, please visit:,id=67565/view/

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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:

  • 3D Cinema and Beyond edited by Dan Adler et al. (Intellect)
  • The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov: Figures of Paradox by Jeremi Szaniawski (Wallflower P) — TAKEN
  • The Cinema of Michael Winterbottom: Borders, Intimacy, Terror by Bruce Bennett (Wallflower P) — TAKEN
  • Two Bicycles: The Work of Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville by Jerry White (Wilfrid Laurier P) — TAKEN
  • World Film Locations: Hong Kong edited by Linda Chiu-han Lai et al. (Intellect)

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

Priority will be given to emails received by March 1, 2014.

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!

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The Lego Movie (2014). Reviewed by Thomas Morgan

lego 1Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2009) return to computer animation in this vibrant and vivid adventure which sees ordinary average Joe, Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), become a true hero in the Lego universe. Mistaken for “The Special,” a master builder who finds the “Piece of Resistance,” Emmet teams up with Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), Benny (Charlie Day) and Batman (Will Arnett) to take down evil businessman and president of the Octan Corporation, Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Continue reading

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Announcing Open Call for Papers 6.1

Film Matters is officially announcing our open call for papers for consideration in issue 6.1 (2015) — the deadline is September 1, 2014.  So 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

We look forward to receiving your papers!

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Guest-Editing Opportunities!

Film Matters is always on the lookout for guest editors — film instructors, bring the Film Matters experience to your undergraduates!  The editors-in-chief will mentor you through the process, sharing syllabi and assignments as needed.  And the end result is a unique applied-learning experience for your students, and a hard-copy artifact to highlight your department/university and share with stakeholders and prospective students.  For more information, contact Liza today:  futurefilmscholars AT

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Last Vegas (2013). Reviewed by Thomas Morgan

last vegas 2A buddy movie is a film that tells the story of a close relationship between two men, often with a light-hearted tone. In more recent years, there has been an increase in the output of buddy movies, showing the relationship between four men who have been brought together by a particular event. In American Reunion (2012), it’s a high school reunion; in Grown Ups (2010), it’s the death of a basketball coach; but in Jon Turteltaub’s Last Vegas (2013), it’s the wedding of big-shot bachelor, Billy (Michael Douglas). Continue reading

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Last Call: Deadline for 5.3 (2014) Is February 1st

The deadline for open call 5.3 (2014) is February 1, 2014. Undergraduates, send in those fall 2013 essays for consideration today! For more information, including eligibility and submission guidelines, please see the original post:

Questions and submissions can be directed to Liza:  futurefilmscholars AT

We look forward to hearing from you!

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