Interview with Film Matters Author, Brandon Konecny. By Steven T. Gamble

gamble BKphoto (2) (1024x843)Steven T. Gamble: How did you first hear about Film Matters and what inspired you to submit your article?

Brandon Konecny: It’s hard to pin down a precise moment. Being a former UNCW [University of North Carolina Wilmington] film student, Film Matters is well advertised around the department, so I’d imagine I heard about it that way. What inspired me to submit to it? It probably just came from loving cinema. Cliché answer, right? Well, it’s true: we get into this field because we’re movie-lovers, and as such we like communicating with other fellow cinephiles, talking about our likes and dislikes, espousing cinematic gems and berating cinematic flops. We do this in person, of course. So why not do it via written expression? The only difference is that essays, I think, allow you to fortify your points with impressive polysyllabic film jargon—like “polysyllabic.”
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Interview with Film Matters Author, Christina Marie Newland. By Zach Boylston

Photo on 29-07-2013 at 11.07 #2Zach Boylston: How did you first hear about Film Matters and what inspired you to submit your article?

Christina Marie Newland: I think I found Film Matters because I was fascinated with some of the big scholarly film journals – coming fresh from university, I started looking for opportunities for young film scholarship. I was so excited to find out that Film Matters existed and that it was such a quality platform, as well. In terms of my article, on Raging Bull ["Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull, Italian American Masculinity, and the American Dream," FM 4.1, 2013], it was my favorite chapter of my final year dissertation at Nottingham Trent University. My professors encouraged me to get it published outside of school, so I went for it.
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Interview with Philip Formby, Director of The Ocularist (2013). By Junyang ZHAO

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 17.43.37 (800x447)Junyang ZHAO: First off, can you tell us about The Ocularist?

Philip Formby: The profession of ocularistry is one that is little known to the majority but essential to a wide-ranging minority. The Ocularist follows John Pacey Lowrie in his journey to improve the life of his patients with his unique perspective and dedication to the advancement of ocular prosthetics.
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Interview with Film Matters Mentor, Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park, University of Hong Kong. By Emily Anderson

mentorEmily Anderson: How did you first hear about Film Matters and how did you decide to get involved?

Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park: I learned about Film Matters in a serendipitous manner. On his own initiative, Javi Altor Zubizarreta – one of my top students at the University of Notre Dame – submitted his revised freshman seminar research paper to Film Matters. When Film Matters accepted his submission for publication, he shared this good news with me. Upon receiving my complimentary copy of 1.2, I realized what a marvelous endeavor Film Matters is, and decided to enhance my pedagogy so that my top students would all benefit by also having a chance to get published in Film Matters. After Javi’s success with “Action Stars Who Don’t Get Any Action: Hong Kong Actors in U.S. Roles,” I have had a steady string of my students from the University of Notre Dame publish in this journal. This list includes Eleanor Huntington (1.4), Kathleen Bracke (3.1), Eric Hinrichsen (3.2), Grayson Nowak (4.1), and Rona Vaselaar (4.2).
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The Ocularist (2013). Reviewed by Junyang ZHAO

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 17.43.11The Ocularist (Formby, 2013) is about the profession of ocularistry. The film is made in a documentary style featuring an ocularist by the name of John Pacey Lowrie. The profession of ocularistry is not as well known as some other medical areas; it aims to provide custom-made ocular (eye)prosthetics to patients who need them. For these people, ocularistry is a very big part of their lives.As an ocularist, John improves the lives of his patients with his unique perspective, dedication, and high professional skills. Ocularistry is not only a profession or passion of John’s; he was in need of similar help when he was young. The film interviews many former and present patients of John to talk about their experience with him. From their responses, the viewers can see how much John’s work has helped them with their challenges. The relationship between the patients and John is also transformed from a pure professional one to a deeper and personal one. They do not only see him as their ocularist, but also a friend, or maybe even family.
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Announcing the April 2014 Caption Contest Winner!

Film Matters is pleased to announce that Francesca Alberigi is the winner of our April 2014 Caption Contest, analyzing a key moment from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (New Line Cinema, 2002) — congratulations, Francesca!

Francesca’s winning analysis will be published in FM 5.2 (2014).

We will be announcing our next Caption Contest soon — please keep your eyes out for it!

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Muppets Most Wanted (2014). Reviewed by Jonathan Cziborr

muppets constantineThe Muppets do it all again, again, in their latest feature-length film Muppets Most Wanted (2014). The gang of felt-filled misfits return and continue their adventures from the precise moment the last film left off. Packed with many catchy songs and speckled with allusions to popular films like Silence of the Lambs (1991), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and Apocalypse Now (1979), Muppets finds a way of entertaining both children and adults alike. In their newest adventure, Kermit is replaced by an evil doppelganger and sent to a Gulag in Siberia. His malicious replacement Constantine—the number one criminal in the world—uses his guise as Kermit to manipulate the Muppets, and their desperate drive to succeed in show business, for his own gain. Under false pretences the Muppets tour some of Europe’s biggest venues where the audiences have been bribed to watch the shows and give standing ovations every night.
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CFP 6.2 (2015): Focus on National Cinema, Auteurism, and Genre

Film Matters is excited to announce a new call for papers with a focus on national cinema, auteurism, and genre (but open to other topics) for a special issue guest edited by Margaret C. Flinn and students (The Ohio State University).

The deadline for submission is October 15, 2014 — so please consider submitting papers (relating to this theme or otherwise — the editorial board welcomes papers on other topics, as well) today!

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

Submissions and questions should be directed to the attention of Margaret C. Flinn:

  • flinn.62 AT

We look forward to receiving your papers!

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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.
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