A queer experiment in cinephilic re-spatialisation
Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays from Film Studies For Free! Let's celebrate with a new video essay (above) and nine sets of treats (below) representing some of FSFF's favourite online film and moving image studies items from 2018.
2. MEDIÁTICO - Special Dossier on Alfonso Cuarón's Roma (2018) by nine world-leading scholars on Latin American Cinema
A video tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (1942-2018), and the constantly surprising cinematic performance of her 1968 song 'Think' in The Blues Brothers (US 1980). The video takes the form of a audiovisual infographic on John Landis's dynamic filming of the song scene, starring Aretha.
(P.S. If you think I'm mapping any of the shots incorrectly, just let me know.
This is a great exercise to do with students, but it can be tricker than it looks...)
Film Studies For Free is ten years old today! Yes! It was exactly one whole decade ago that it went public online for the first time, just a few weeks before the 2008 financial crash... What a truly excellent time to have become the international purveyor of links to high-quality FREE stuff for critical film and screen studies!
The re-distributive, Open Access-championing, project that FSFF embraced had been conceived (of) a mere couple of weeks before, early one morning, in one of those rather dramatic lightbulb moments: "Wouldn't it be good if there could be a blog that directed film scholars to good, openly accessible resources for them online?" And thus it came to pass.
What a blast it has been.
Brought to you from a somewhat remote log cabin in a tiny internationalist enclave of pre-Brexit Britain (pictured for the first time online, below), its mission was equally inspired by the extremely lively and considerably less corporate atmosphere, at the time, of the cinephile Web 2.0, post-the establishment of YouTube in 2005 - a fascinating period now both scrutinised and immortalised by fellow participant-observer in that era and since (and blogger and cinephile extraordinaire) Girish Shambu in his wonderful 2016 book The New Cinephilia.
With no pomp or circumstance and—in the manner of an uncertain TV pilot episode—with very little sense of the form it would go on to take, on August 24, 2008, FSFF posted an inaugural entry on three 'very worthwhile items on the Director's Cut' (about which its scholar-author had recently been writing for a subsequently published book chapter).
The blog very soon found its processual feet in the form of producing mostly long, handily bullet-pointed lists of curated links to (mostly English-language) 'online, Open Access, film and audiovisual media studies resources of note.'
Oh, and FSFF embraced a hilarious third-person sense of humour directed towards a virtual second-person... What writing larks it has had! Dear Reader, it has been a total pleasure.
Please permit FSFF the indulgence of one final reflection on this anniversary. The experience of fun, energy and experimentalism in producing FSFF over the last decade has had some unimaginable and unintended consequences - unimaginable and unintended ten years ago, anyhow. They have been wonderful, too.
For one, little had this blog's author thought that carrying out the research for this website would both entail and lead to a shift away from her rather conventional film and media scholar-modus operandi to a world of experimental, film and social media publishing proper (with the [in]Transition and REFRAME platforms, among others) as well as to that of audiovisual production. But FSFF's runaway enthusiasm for the emergent digital forms of film studies it was discovering online and linking to, such as the video essay, brought about a dramatic change in its author's conception of what academic work in the Humanities might be (and ought to be), these days, which is one reason why despite everything (including the ongoing downfall of Western democracies) FSFF still the interwebs....
This brings us back to OA business: today's anniversary entry consists of the usual lists of links - below, this time to commemoratively-focus ones connected, of course, to FSFF's first decade of existence. But, FSFF also offers you, as is its wont, a video above and one below, two modest (film studies-oriented) tributes to the cinematic magic (in The Blues Bothers and Moonlight)of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, who sadly passed away on August 16, 2018.
Keep coming back, Readers (well over 5 million visitors and counting..). Thank you!