Join us for our annual Film Studies MA Showcase on 19 June at 4 PM in the Hitchcock Cinema. Current MA students will be giving work-in-progress presentations on their dissertations and inviting feedback to help shape their research. Presenters will include:
Christian Dymond: ‘A View of Things to Come: Contemporary Experimental Cinema and Non-anthropocentrism’
Christopher Iles: ‘Adorno, Chaplin and the utopian impulse of farce’
Samantha Landau: ‘The Evolution of Battle Realism in War Films from WWI to Contemporary Times’
‘The first part of this presentation is a brief condensation of the main ideas raised in the introduction to my thesis. ‘The oneiric imagination’ encapsulates the intimate, holistic relationship between waking and dreaming phenomena—the dreamlike nature of the imagination. In order the set up my ideas, I take a look at a few examples of how the film–dream analogy has been imagined in the past, and how certain theorists have tended to view the relationship between film and the inner processes of the mind. My own research posits a close interrelationship between what is considered ‘dreamlike’ and what is considered ‘poetic’, a harmony which is enacted not only in subjective experience but also in filmic expression. In the second part of this presentation, I will look at how Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light illuminates the qualities of the oneiric imagination. The film employs dreamlike and poetic motifs that embolden its core political message.’
The presentation will be followed by a discussion with Dr. Adam Plummer about the viva process.
Wednesday, 20 March, 5:15 pm, ArtsOne G34
‘The towering genre of musical film during the classical Hollywood years was a space dedicated to telling white stories. While this is true of all genres of the era, the musical liberally utilised music and choreography from non-white communities, making the erasure of marginalised peoples from the screen all the more egregious. In the modern era, there has been a focus on increasing the representation of minorities with awareness campaigns such as #OscarsSoWhite. However, contemporary musical films outside of biopics have been resistant to embracing diverse stories, aligning themselves with the entrenched white history of the genre by spotlighting white stories through black music while using minority people as background dressing. While the musical film remains conservatively tied to a bygone era, the genre on television has been quietly championing diversity for decades. From the multiracial casts of the Disney produced made-for-TV musicals in the 1990s to minority actors performing central roles in musical series like Smash (2012-2013) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019), television has become a space for non-white stories to thrive. This paper will examine the musical genre across the two mediums, considering why there exists such a gap in minority representation between film and television.’
Wednesday, 13 February, 5:15 pm, ArtsOne, Hitchcock Cinema
Join us for end-of-the semester festivities! Dr. Ashvin Devasundaram will be presenting ‘New Indian Indies: Reverberations of a Cinematic Revolution’. We will continue the merrymaking afterwards with the department holiday party.
Thursday, 13 December, 6 pm, ArtsOne, Hitchcock Cinema.
‘Between 1943 and 1947 the British studio Gainsborough Pictures produced a series of films that found commercial success in departing from the social realist subject matter that had, in the main, characterised British cinema during the early year of the war. The Gainsborough melodramas employed glamorous stars, elaborate costumes and sets, and escapist romantic storylines, to appeal to their predominately female audiences, and they paid unusual attention to female desire and female subjectivity.
Madonna of the Seven Moons, released early in 1945, occupies a central position in this series of films. In this paper, I explore how the film appropriates elements of contemporary psychoanalytic discourse that surrounded ideas of childhood trauma and schizophrenia. I examine how the film mobilizes these discourses as a means of interrogating and categorizing as pathological the transgressive and problematic sexuality of its main character, Maddalena, as how it therefore seeks to establish an ordering mechanism for its polarized ideological world-view.’
Thursday, 22 November, 6:00 pm, ArtsOne, Hitchcock Cinema.
Tuesday, 23rd October, 5:15 pm, ArtsOne, Hitchcock Cinema.
‘The musical has a rich and varied history on television, where full length musicals, Broadway performances on variety shows, and musical episodes of non-musical programmes have all experienced cycles of success over the years. However, adapting the genre for serialised storytelling has been an immense challenge until the current decade. Prior to the unexpected success of Glee (2009-2015), musical television series were always cancelled a few episodes into their first season [see Cop Rock (1990), Hull High (1990), Viva Laughlin (2007)]. In examining the trend of non-musical shows containing one-off musical episodes at the turn of the new millennium, Kelly Kessler observes that these series “capitalized on millennial television trends as they embraced generic tropes of stage and the big screen that reconfigure the musical as something intertextual, self-conscious, and somewhat suspicious of its own historical idealism” (2015). Post-network era television and twenty-first century musicals share an increasing slant towards meta-narrative and generic hybridity, causing them to be a better suited match than in past decades. This paper will examine the traditional challenges of applying the musical genre to a serialised format and the factors that led to recent musical programmes like Smash (2012-2013), Galavant (2015-2016), and particularly Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015- ), succeeding in outliving the midseason cancellation curse through the use of self-reflexive texts that are both faithful to established genre rules and also intentionally deconstruct the musical.’
Wednesday, 18 April, 5:15 pm, ArtsOne, Hitchcock Cinema (G19)
Refreshments to follow.