Interview with Film Matters Author, A. Randal Johnson. By Jackson Gentry

An issue of Famous Monsters magazine, which Mr. Johnson referred to as material he read as a child and what initially grabbed his interest in the subject matter

An issue of Famous Monsters magazine, which Mr. Johnson referred to as material he read as a child and what initially grabbed his interest in the subject matter

I recently spoke with A. Randal Johnson, who is a past author for Film Matters magazine, about one of his particular articles he wrote for the magazine. Mr. Johnson was a part of the guest editorial board for the magazine in the spring of 2012, while he was attending the University of Kansas. He went on to write the article “Monster Kids Spawned in the Atomic Age,” which made issue 3.3 of Film Matters. After reading this, I learned that this was an intimate piece of writing by Mr. Johnson, as it related to his personal interests as a child and how he grew up in the subject matter. I contacted A. Randal Johnson to get a better understanding of his writing style and form and how he incorporated his personal references to create a strong featurette.

Jackson Gentry: I noticed in your article how you used several personal experiences; do you believe that by doing this you are able to relate more with the reader?

A. Randal Johnson: Not particularly, this article just happened to be from my personal point of view. The point of the article was to show “How I became a Monster Kid” by the zeitgeist I was born into, by osmosis of the popular culture.
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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:

  • TAKEN Bollywood’s India: A Public Fantasy, by Priya Joshi (Columbia UP)
  • TAKEN Critical Approaches to the Films of Robert Rodriguez, edited by Frederick Luis Aldama (U of Texas P)
  • TAKEN Documenting Cityscapes: Urban Change in Contemporary Non-Fiction Film, by Ivan Villarmea Alvarez (Wallflower)
  • TAKEN Documents of Utopia: The Politics of Experimental Documentary, by Paolo Magagnoli (Wallflower)
  • TAKEN The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film, second edition, edited by Barry Keith Grant (U of Texas P)
  • TAKEN The Encyclopedia of Film Composers, by Thomas S. Hischak (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • TAKEN Guerrilla Film Scoring: Practical Advice from Hollywood Composers, by Jeremy Borum (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • TAKEN Hollywood and Hitler 1933-1939, by Thomas Doherty (Columbia UP)
  • TAKEN Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora, by Noah A. Tsika (Indiana UP)
  • TAKEN The Oxford Handbook of Film Music Studies, edited by David Neumeyer (Oxford UP)
  • TAKEN Studying the British Crime Film, by Paul Elliott (Auteur)

Students interested in this opportunity should send a 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 before May 15, 2015.

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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Interview with Film Matters Author, Craig Manning. By Lydia Plantamura

Casino Royale (Columbia Pictures, 2006)

Casino Royale (Columbia Pictures, 2006)

In the summer of 2013, Film Matters published, “License to Joke: Parody and Camp in and Around the James Bond Series,” an essay focused on the longevity of the Bond franchise. Editorial board member, Lydia Plantamura, interviews author Craig Manning about his writing career and fondness for agent 007.

Lydia Plantamura: Where did you first hear about Film Matters magazine?

Craig Manning: I found out about Film Matters through a simple Google search. I wasn’t a film studies major, but an English major, so I wasn’t familiar with the various undergraduate journals for film. I was actually taking a really cool English class about parody, and for the major assignment of the semester, our professor gave us a lot of freedom to decide what we wanted to write about. Basically, he wanted us to take the definitions and elements of parody that we’d learned about over the semester, find an example (or several examples) to analyze, and then write an essay. What made the assignment unique was that he wanted us to write as if we were planning on submitting to an undergraduate journal. Actually submitting to the journal wasn’t a requirement, since the peer review process is lengthy and would extend past the end of the semester, but I figured it would be a good experience to have. Knowing that I wanted to focus on Bond, I searched for undergraduate film journals, and Film Matters was the first that came up.
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Interview with Film Matters Author, Lance St. Laurent. By Brianna Okamoto



Lance St. Laurent’s review of A Hijacking, which was directed by Tobias Lindholm in 2012, was published in Film Matters issue 4.3 in the fall of 2013.  He is a freelance critic from Alma, AR. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in critical studies at the University of Southern California. His areas of study include contemporary comedy auteurism and the history of the New Hollywood.

Brianna Okamoto: In your article you said that the “audience is left ignorant to the actions of the hijackers”; how do you think that affects the film style?

Lance St. Laurent: The film maintains a very handheld, vérité sort of style about it, which really heightens the tension and sense of immediacy throughout. It’s a style firmly rooted in the point of view of the protagonists both on the boat and in the board room. The advantage of this is a strong feeling of authenticity and emotional rawness to the film. The troubling downside, though, is that it renders the hijackers themselves as this hostile, faceless “other” in the film.
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Interview with Film Matters Author, Megan E. Jackson. By Rachel Wassil

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon Animation Studios, 2005-2008)

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon Animation Studios, 2005-2008)

Megan E. Jackson is a social media strategist for and will be attending NYU in the fall to start coursework for an MPA. She also runs the YouTube channel College Uncomplicated. As an undergraduate she wrote her senior thesis on gender representation in the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was published in issue 4.2 of Film Matters in 2013. In the following interview, Megan discusses the beginnings of her article, gender representation, and works she has done outside the publication.

Rachel Wassil: How did you hear about Film Matters magazine? Why did you want to publish your work in it?

Megan E. Jackson: I had heard about Film Matters during my sophomore year of undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin. My instructor and mentor Anne Helen Petersen, who now does long-form articles for BuzzFeed, was teaching film history with a star studies twist. For one of our main papers, we had to do a case study of a celebrity who was in her/his prime before the 1980s. Naturally, I wrote my paper on the amazing Robert Redford, and after grading it, Annie suggested I submit it to Film Matters. That was the first time I had submitted a paper for possible publication, and I was excited to make it to the last round of reviews, but unfortunately it didn’t make the final cut. So when I started developing my senior thesis, which then became “(Gender)Bending in the Animated Series Avatar: The Last Airbender,” I knew I wanted to try to submit to the magazine again while I still had the chance!
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Announcing Open Call for Papers 7.3

Film Matters is officially announcing our open call for papers for consideration in issue 7.3 (2016) — the deadline is September 1, 2015.  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

We look forward to receiving your papers!

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FM 5.1 Is Out!

Film Matters is pleased to announce the release of FM 5.1 (2014). This issue includes the following peer-reviewed feature articles:

  • The Cabin on the Screen: Defining the “Cabin Horror” Film by Matthew Grant
  • Heavy Metal Monsters!: Rudctio ad Ridiculum and the 1980s Heavy Metal Horror Cycle by Brandon Konecny 
  • Crossing a Man-Altered Landscape: Driving and the Vehicle in the Road Movies of Jim Jarmusch by Katerina Korola
  • Exploring Archetypal Images in Roeg’s Walkabout by Ryan Larkin
  • Archetypes of the Southern Gothic: The Night of the Hunter and Killer Joe by Christina Marie Newland
  • Falling Victim to Consumer Culture: The Commodification of Bodies in “Smart” Films by Katie Jane Parkes 
  • Under the Skin: How Filmmakers Affectively Reduce the Space Between the Film and the Viewer by Joanna Scholefield 

A dossier, “Life After Film School,” with the following featurettes:

  • Life After Film School: As Told by UNCW Students and Alumni by Rika Dharmesh Bhakta
  • The “Reel” Struggle: An Argument on the Benefits of Film School and a Liberal Arts Education by Ellie Cooper 
  • Documentary Filmmaking: From Concept to Distribution by John Gelardi 
  • Global Institutions’ Approach to Film Study and Production by Kysaundra Dawn Phillips
  • Cucalorus: The Rise and Success of an Independent Film Festival Bolstered by a Zealous Community by Kailyn N. Warpole 

The next “Mapping Contemporary Cinema” installment from Queen Mary, University of London:

  • Climate Change, Capitalism, 9/11, and The Day After Tomorrow by Sophie Livesey 

A stand-alone featurette on Quentin Tarantino:

  • The Auteur Theory: Tarantino’s Blood by Robert Conley 

As well as DVD/Blu-ray and book reviews by:  Johnathan AdamsStuart Collier, Dylan Ebbs, and  Jason Zim.

For more information about this first volume 5 issue, please visit:,id=2801/

And become a Film Matters author yourself — respond to a call for papers or inquire about reviewing today!

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Last Call: Deadline for CFP 7.2 Is February 15th!

The deadline for themed call 7.2 (for issue 7.2, 2016) is February 15, 2015. This is a special issue on filmic adaptation. For more information, please see the original post:

Submissions and questions should be emailed to Greg Chan, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, with the subject line “7.2 CFP” (greg.chan AT

Kwantlen Polytechnic University looks forward to hearing from you!

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Last Call: Deadline for CFP 7.1 Is February 1st!

The deadline for open call 7.1 (for issue 7.1, 2016) is February 1, 2015. Undergraduates and recent graduates, dust off those essays from last semester for consideration today! For more information, including eligibility and submission guidelines, please see the original post:

Questions and submissions should be directed to Liza: futurefilmscholars AT

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Reminder: Current CFPs for Film Matters

Happy 2015! Just a quick reminder that Film Matters has two active calls for papers:

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

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