Monday, 17 June 2013

Study of a Single Film: Todd Haynes' [SAFE] (1995)

Video Essay on Todd Haynes's [SAFE] (1995) by Amber Jacobs and Catherine Grant. You can read more about this work in 'Un[Contained]? On Todd Haynes's [SAFE]', Filmanalytical, June 17, 2013

Today, Film Studies For Free brings you one of its regular 'studies of a single film' entries. This one is dedicated to gathering direct links to freely accessible, high-quality studies of Todd Haynes's remarkable film [SAFE] (1995).

The resources are headed (above) by a new video by FSFF's author which was completely inspired by Amber Jacobs's magnificent commentary. This audiovisual essay foregrounds the film's treatment of mothering.

FSFF is also truly delighted and grateful to offer free access (below) to a wonderful, related excerpt from Rob White's recently published book on the cinema of Todd Haynes.

Below the embedded excerpt, readers can find FSFF's customary listing of open access resources on the featured film, and, below that, further offline, bibliographies related to this film.

Embedded excerpts from Rob White, ' The Misery the World Is Made Of: The Cinema of Todd Haynes', TODD HAYNES (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013). © 2013 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Reproduced here at Film Studies For Free by kind permission of the author and University of Illinois Press. FSFF's thanks go to the author and publisher, and also to Steven Fast.

Notes on Contributors:
  • Amber Jacobs works on feminist  theories and philosophies, film and visual culture, ancient Greek myth, tragedy and philosophy and post-Lacanian psychoanalytic theories. Her Book On Matricide: Myth, Psychoanalysis and the Law of the Mother came out in 2008 with Columbia University Press. She currently works as a lecturer in the department of psychosocial studies, Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Rob White spent ten years as commissioning editor of BFI Publishing (and series editor of the Classics volumes) before becoming, in 2006, editor of Film Quarterly (until 2013). He has been a columnist for Sight and Sound and is author of The Third Man (BFI Film Classics, 2003) and Freud’s Memory: Psychoanalysis, Mourning and the Foreign Body (Palgrave, 2008). His book on Todd Haynes has been published in the University of Illinois Press series, Contemporary Film Directors.

Open Access Resources on [SAFE]

Film Studies For Free entries on Todd Haynes

Other Resources Mentioned in the Video Essay Bibliography
  • Danielle Bouchard and Jigna Desai, '"There's Nothing More Debilitating than Travel“: Locating US Empire in Todd Haynes' Safe', Quarterly Review of Film and Video 22(4), 2005: 359–370
  • Laura Christian, 'Of Housewives and Saints: Abjection, Transgression, and Impossible Mourning in Poison and Safe', Camera Obscura (2004) 19(3 57): 93-123
  • Glyn Davis], 'Health and Safety in the Home: Todd Haynes's clinical white world', in David Alderson and Linda R. Anderson (eds), Territories of Desire: Refiguring Contemporary Boundaries (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
  • Mary Ann Doane, 'Pathos and Pathology: The Cinema of Todd Haynes', Camera Obscura (2004) 19(3 57): 1-21
  • Roy Grundmann, 'How Clean Was My Valley? Todd Haynes' Safe', Cineaste 21:4, 1995: 22-5
  • Lisa Lynch, 'The Epidemiology of "Regrettable Kinship": Gender, Epidemic, and Community in Todd Haynes' [Safe] and Richard Powers' Gain', Journal of Medical Humanities vol. 23, nos. 3-4 (Winter, 2002): 203-19
  • José Esteban Muñoz, 'Notes on the Whiteness of New Queer Cinema: Safe', GLQ (1998) 4:1: 126-37
  • Gaye Naismith, 'Tales from the Crypt: Contamination and Quarantine in Todd Haynes's [Safe],' In P. Treichler, L. Cartwright, & C. Penley (eds), The Visible Woman: Imagine Technologies, Gender and Science (New York: New York University Press, 1998)
  • Roddey Reid, 'Un[Safe] at Any Distance: Todd Haynes's Visual Culture of Health and Risk', Film Quarterly (Spring, 1998): 32-44
  • John David Rhodes, 'Allegory, mise-en-scène, AIDS: interpreting Safe', in James Morrison (ed.), The Cinema of Todd Haynes (London: Wallflower Press, 2007)
  • Rob White, Todd Haynes (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2013) online excerpt

Further Offline Resources
  • Andrew Burke, '"Do you smell fumes?": Health, Hygiene, and Suburban Life', English Studies in Canada, Winter 2006, Vol. 32 Issue 4, pp. 147-168
  • Matthew Gandy, 'Allergy and Allegory in Todd Haynes' [Safe]', In: Screening the city edited by Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice (London and New York: Verso, 2003)
  • Todd Haynes, Julianne Moore and Christine Vachon, '"...and all is well in our world" - making Safe', In: Film-makers on film-making edited by John Boorman and Walter Donohue (London: Faber and Faber, 1996)
  • Susan Kollin, 'Toxic Subjectivity: Gender and the Ecologies of Whiteness in Todd Haynes's Safe', Isle: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 121-39, Winter 2002
  • Christopher McQuain, 'Safe Man: Are Todd Haynes' Films Gay Enough?', Film Journal, vol. 1, no. 3, 2002
  • Arij Ouweneel, 'Carol's Predicament" The Body in [Safe] (1995) and Jennifer's Body (2009)', Freudian Fadeout: The Failings of Psychoanalysis in Film Criticism (London: McFarland, 2012)
  • Dorian Stuber, 'Patient Zero? Illness and Vulnerability in Todd Haynes's [Safe]." Parallax Volume 11, Number 2 / April-June 2005  
Front cover of Rob White, Todd Haynes (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013).

Thursday, 13 June 2013

10th Anniversary Issue of PARTICIPATIONS on Fan Studies, and Audience Interaction and Participation

Read more here:
Screenshot extract from 'Ten years old - and ready to try new things, an editorial by Martin Barker and Sue Turnbull in the the tenth anniversary issue of Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception  Studies

Film Studies For Free today wishes a very happy 10th year in online existence to the remarkable open access venture that is Participations. What a great achievement! The journal is stronger and more impressive than ever, as the below, very high quality (and enormous), latest issue -- on fan studies, and audience interaction and participation -- testifies

FSFF somewhat cheekily embeds the above screenshot from the opening part of this issue's editorial, for its readers, as in it joint editors Martin Barker and Sue Turnbull raise some important matters concerning the long term viability and success of a journal like this. The editors are choosing to respond to these by 'recasting the journal' in a number of interesting ways - you can read about these at greater length here.

If you are working in this area, now would be a really good time to consider what you would want from Participations in the years ahead. Feel free to post comments here, or contact the editors here.

Here's to the next ten years, Participations! And thank you.

Participations, Volume 10, Issue 1, (May 2013)
Special Section: The Fan Studies Network - new connections, new research
FSN Forum Discussion
Special Section: COST - audience interaction & participation

Saturday, 8 June 2013

CINEPHILE 8.1 on the Voice-Over in Cinema

Frame grab from Borom Sarret/The Wagoner (Ousmane Sembène,1963). Read Alexander Fisher's article on Sembène's use of voice-over in this film in the latest issue of Cinephile
While it is true that film has been historically considered an image-centred medium, the fact that hearing plays as much a role in perceiving the motion picture as seeing does, transcends it beyond a mere visual art. Furthermore, as noted sound theorist Michel Chion asserts in The Voice in Cinema, “the presence of a human voice structures the sonic space that contains it.” Therefore, studying parts of the cinema in which the voice gains particular significance is not only justified, but necessary. This issue of Cinephile revolves around diverse applications and functions of the voices in fiction films, whose sources are absent from the image frame.

Theoretical approaches to the filmic voice were only developed in the 1980s, and as the works cited in the articles here indicate, at least in the case of off-screen voices and voice-over, they have not been properly updated. One goal of this collection has been to explore various demonstrations of voice-over both in a more contemporary scope and on a more international scale. The main concern of each of the following five articles is the voice-over, showing how concentrating on this under-appreciated technique can lead to bigger conclusions about films and filmmakers. [Editorial Introduction, Cinephile, 8.1, 2013]

Today, Film Studies For Free hails the online publication (earlier this year) of volume 8.1 of Cinephile, the University of British Columbia's on and offline film journal. The special topic on this occasion is the cinematic voice-over and there are marvellous essays on it by Sarah Kozloff (author of the classic studies of VOs and film sound Invisible Storytellers: Voice-Over Narration in American Fiction Film [1988] and Overhearing Film Dialogue [2000]), Stephen Teo, Carl Laamanen, Laura Beadling and Alexander Fisher.

You can download a large PDF of this beautifully illustrated issue from this webpage. The featured contents are as follows
  • 'About a Clueless Boy and Girl: Voice-Over in Romantic Comedy Today' by Sarah Kozloff
  • 'What Does God Hear? Terrence Malick, Voice-Over, and The Tree of Life' by Carl Laamanen
  • 'Native American Filmmakers Reclaiming Voices: Innovative Voice-Overs in Chris Eyre’s Skins' by Laura Beadling
  • 'The Voice-Over as an Integrating Tool of Word and Image' by Stephen Teo
  • 'Voice-Over, Narrative Agency, and Oral Culture: Ousmane Sembène’s Borom Sarret' by Alexander Fisher

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Cine-Files' special issue on mise-en-scene: Laura Mulvey, Kristin Thompson, V.F. Perkins, Lesley Stern, Adrian Martin, Christian Keathley, Jean Ma, Girish Shambu, John Gibbs and Jesse Green

Scene from the Iranian film Zir-e poost-e shahr/Under the Skin of the City (Rakhshan Bani-E'temad, 2001). Read a study of this film by Laura Mulvey in the new issue of The Cine-Files. Professor Mulvey has recently launched the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) which organises London-based film studies events, many of them with free entry and recorded for global online access. Upcoming BIMI events include some excellent ones on 3D

Film Studies For Free was thrilled to learn of the publication of Issue 4 of The Cine-Files. It, in turn, is delighted to feature ten guest scholars (ranging from the top notch to the legendary!) who offer either analysis of a cinematic “moment” or responses to questions about mise-en-scène and the significance of “close reading.” There are two further excellent articles in the issue by Warwick Mules and Mark Balderston. Thank you to The Cine-Files!

Guest contributions: 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Frame grab from Shrek 2 (Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon, 2004). Read Brady Hammond's article in the new issue of NECSUS, which explores 'green skin' in contemporary Hollywood cinema

Things have been a little busy in Film Studies For Free's offline universe and so rather quiet in its online one. But it's back with an ecologically sound bang, in the form of some updates about excellent, recent, open access journal issues.

First up is Issue 3 of NECSUS, the European Journal of Media Studies. Its last issue touched on 'Tangibility’. This time round its focus is on ‘"Greenness" in a broader pallet of media-related issues, from sustainable media production to the use of the colour green in a variety of films.'

NECSUS #3_Spring 2013_’Green’


Special Section: Green

Book Reviews:

edited by the NECS Publication Committee

Festival Reviews:

edited by Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist of the Film Festival Research Network

Exhibition + Website + Conference Reviews: