Documenting History: From Iran: A Separation. Reviewed by Mina Radovic

From Iran: A Separation (Noori Pictures, 2013)

From Iran: A Separation (Noori Pictures, 2013)

Cinema Guild’s latest release of the documentary From Iran: A Separation (2013) explores the intimate significance of Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning A Separation (2011) for the people of Iran: its reception, how its accolades confirmed Iran’s presence in contemporary world cinema, and perhaps most significantly what the Oscar win meant, in a time when there existed the threat of nuclear war between Iran and the United States. By mixing lively talking heads, archival footage, innovative animation techniques, and personal firsthand interviews with local audiences, directors Kourosh Ataee and Azadeh Moussavi explore the importance of A Separation for Iranian people and how its international reception determined representations of a whole nation on the global level.
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Reminder: Deadline for Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema CFP Is December 1

Undergraduate authors, Fabrizio Cilento and students at Messiah College are seeking your scholarly work on contemporary science fiction cinema.  Please see the original announcement for more details:

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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FM 7.6 (2016) Is Out!

Film Matters is pleased to officially announce the release of issue 7.1, our first issue for 2016!

In this issue, you’ll find the following peer-reviewed feature articles:

    • The Act of Piracy: Accessing The Act of Killing in Indonesia by Kristi Kouchakji
    • Liberated Sexualities?: The Conflation of Power and Sexuality in the Postfeminist Discourse by Emma Mary Blauciak
    • Draw It Out First: Early Animation as an Influence of Avant-Garde Cinema and Experimental Film by Madeleine M. Rodriguez
    • Alterity, Mise-en-Scène, and Episodic Narrative in the Crime Serials of Louis Feuillade by Archie Wolfman
    • Derogatory Disguise: A Matter of Identity in the Cinematic Era of Minstrel Shows by Austin Hunt
    • Francisco Franco and the Nuevo Cine Espagnol: The Boundaries of Censorship in 1960s Spanish Cinema by Basil Swartzfager
    • All Ate Up With Maggots: Transcendent Decay in Korine’s Gummo by Jack Forey
    • The Masala Complex: Rape-Revenge Cinema, Grassroots Feminism, and the Conflicting Gaze in Mardaani by Mekiya Walters

This “Mapping Contemporary Cinema” article:

  • A Female Homme-Com?: Genre, Gender, and Sex in Bridesmaids (2011) by Emily Eyre

This featurette:

  • Q & A with Gaming in Color Director Philip Jones by Kailyn N. Warpole

As well as book and film/DVD/Blu-ray reviews by:  Abigail Anundson, Sam Archer, John Bennett, Paige Blankenship, Reed Brewer, Thomas Brint, Joseph Bye, Leila Estes, Jackson R. Gentry, Adam Getz, Ty Johnson, Travis Richard Merchant, Karsu Nalbantoglu, Brianna Okamoto, Taylor K. O’Steen, Lydia Plantamura, Chance Saller, Chic Scaparo, Rachel Wassil, and John Garland Winn.

For more information about issue 7.1, please visit Intellect’s website: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=3185/

Film Matters is always looking for new authors and guest editors.  Please get in touch with us today!

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Calling All Instructors: Criterion Reviews

Film Matters has some Criterion Blu-rays 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 Criterion products, 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 Criterion to use as they see fit.

The Criterion Blu-rays are (if a title has TAKEN by it, it has already been claimed):

  • Boyhood (Linklater, 2014) — TAKEN
  • Pan’s Labyrinth (del Toro, 2006) — TAKEN
  • Punch-Drunk Love (Anderson, 2002)
  • The Squid and the Whale (Baumbach, 2005)

To apply, please email a brief proposal to Liza (futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com), detailing your preferred selection, as well as your name, affiliation, and plans for how you will produce a review of the Criterion product, involving undergraduate authors, to be published in a future print issue of Film Matters.

(And please make sure you have access to the proper hardware to view Blu-rays!)

The Criterions 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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Third Annual Short Film Awards Announces Nominees

“The Sofies” Honor The Giants Of Short Film

NEW YORK-The Third Annual Short Film Awards has announced the 2016 Sofie Award Nominees in 20 categories. Screenings of the films will be held Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10, 2016 and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, on Sunday, December 11, 2016 – all taking place at The Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway.  Actor Rico E. Anderson will hostFor a complete list of categories, nominees, descriptions, credits, visit http://www.theshortfilmawards.com. For ticketing information, visit http://www.symphonyspace.org/events/month/12/2016.
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Stagecoach (1939). Reviewed by Film Matters Fall 2016 Editorial Board

Contributors: Benjamin J. Alexander, Sarah Baylor, Paul Cirigliano, Kelsey Davis, Garrett Farrington, Christian Fulton, R. F. Karmi, Madison Landau, Tyler Linden, Brittany Lowe, and Connor Allen Lummert.

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Pharaoh (1966). Reviewed by Truman Hopper

Pharaoh (Zespól Filmowy "Kadr," 1966)

Pharaoh (Zespól Filmowy “Kadr,” 1966)

The 1960s brought one of the largest film productions for Polish cinema. Pharaoh (Faraon, 1966), masterfully directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, revolves around the figure of young Ramses XIII (portrayed by Jerzy Zelnik), who is prepared for and eventually succeeds his father to the throne of Egypt, where he encounters the powerful opposition of the holy priests. These men were of vital importance to Egyptian society, where a greater part of life was dedicated to religion. And soon, they clash with the young pharaoh, whose wishes are to become the greatest and most powerful pharaoh in Egyptian history. And in order to accomplish such position, he has to reduce the power held by the holy caste. Therefore, establishing the film’s main theme: Power.
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Announcing Open Call for Papers 9.1

Film Matters is officially announcing our open call for papers for consideration in issue 9.1 (2018) — the deadline is February 1, 2017.  Undergraduates and recent graduates, please submit your film-related research papers today!

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

Submissions and questions should be directed to:

  • futurefilmscholars AT gmail.com

Please note that Film Matters does not accept submissions that are currently under review by other journals or magazines.

We look forward to receiving your papers!

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The Neon Demon (2016). Reviewed by Patrick Dunham

The Neon Demon (Amazon Studios, 2016)

The Neon Demon (Amazon Studios, 2016)

A recurring criticism for the films of Nicolas Winding Refn is that they elevate style over substance. It is resoundingly clear from their neon-drenched aesthetic, minimal dialogue, and meticulously calculated staging that he is a scrupulous perfectionist, sparing nothing in achieving absolute artistic fulfillment. In The Neon Demon (2016), this obsessive attention to detail results in a beautifully haunting narrative revolving singularly around the societal worshipping of beauty and its supreme worth: as such, is the bankable, sole value for women in the modeling industry. The film’s narrative centers on an incredibly young, greenhorn starlet new in town who is bound to make it big no matter what it takes. Her innocence and embodiment of untainted, wholly natural beauty ruffle some feathers with some of the more physically modified models in her realm.
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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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