Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, January 24, 2016

February 18: Graduate student panel on science fiction and Soviet documentary style

Please join the Chicago Film Seminar on ThursdayFebruary 18th, at 6:30pm, for a graduate student panel on science fiction and Soviet documentary style. Our panelists will be Stephen Babish (Northwestern University) and Zdenko Mandušić (University of Chicago). A response will be provided by Joshua Malitsky (Indiana University). 

In his paper, “Empty Spaces: Large-Scale Plans and Urban Dystopia in A Clockwork Orange and THX 1138," Babish traces two case studies, on the filming of A Clockwork Orange in the Southeast London development of Thamesmead and the filming of THX 1138 in the San Francisco Bay Area's unopened BART system, and analyzes the way in which these films exploited notoriously incomplete and over-budget construction projects to critique both their forms and the ideologies underlying them. 

In his paper “The Documentary Style in Soviet Cinema of the 1960s,” Mandušić will interrogate the audio-visual means that informed both positive and negative ascriptions of “documentary-ness” in Soviet Cinema of the 1960s and how they informed the development of a documentary style in Andrei Konchalovskii’s early films.

Stephen Babish has recently defended his dissertation, "Concrete Futures: Science Fiction Cinema and Modernist Architecture at the Dawn of Postmodernity," under the direction of Lynn Spigel in the department of Screen Cultures at Northwestern University. His work focuses on the relationship between place and cinema, particularly on the ability of cinema to function as an architectural or urban critique through location shooting. His dissertation puts dystopian science fiction films from the 1970s into conversation with discourses of utopian futurism that informed the development and construction of their shooting locations in order to frame sci-fi cinema as integral to the Lefebvrian production of modernist architectural spaces.

Zdenko Mandušić is a joint-Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago in the departments of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Cinema and Media Studies. He is currently finishing his dissertation on Soviet film style of the 1950s and 1960s, which examines how new visual strategies altered the relationship between viewers and the screen. His research interests included East European national cinemas, theories of affect and spectatorship, and history of film styles.

Joshua Malitsky is Associate Professor in Cinema and Media Studies and Director of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice at Indiana University. He works on a range of topics related to documentary/nonfiction media genres, focusing his research on the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Cuba. He is the author of Post-Revolution Nonfiction Film: Building the Soviet and Cuban Nations (Indiana University Press, 2013), He is currently engaged in two book projects: (Supra)national Geographical Imaginaries: The Birth and Growth of Yugoslav Nonfiction Film, 1944-1958 and A Companion to Documentary Film History (Wiley-Blackwell).  His work has been published in journals such as ​Cinema Journal; Journal of Visual Culture; Culture, Theory, and Critique; and Studies in Documentary Film.

The Chicago Film Seminar is held at DePaul’s Loop Campus in the Daley Building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room LL 102, using the State St. entrance located at 247 S. State.

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 13: "Why Film History?: Discipline, Institution, and the Archive in Spanish Cinema Studies"

Please join the Chicago Film Seminar on Wednesday, January 13th, at 6:30pm, for an exciting roundtable discussion, titled “Why Film History?: Discipline, Institution, and the Archive in Spanish Cinema Studies.”

Roundtable participants, Professors Vicente Sánchez-Biosca and Steven Marsh, describe the event as follows:

This discussion seeks to address approaches to the cinema of Spain. While Film History as a sub-discipline of cinema and media studies is an important institutional component of almost all media and cinema studies departments, in Spain—uniquely—it is the dominant field in such departments. Indeed, Film History is so dominant that anyone – absolutely anyone – writing on film is considered to be a film historian. 

History has a particular resonance in Spain, one doubtlessly connected not only to the trauma but also to the telos of the country’s Civil War (about which Vicente Sánchez Biosca has written extensively). This discussion aims to interrogate historiography and historical discourse as they apply to film. It is envisaged that we will focus on questions of the national, on heritage, on trauma and event.   Likewise, we will address the overlap and possible aporia that emerges between history and memory, the way affect and nostalgia shape (or contradict) historical methodologies.

Vicente Sánchez-Biosca is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Valencia and has been a Visiting Professor at New York University, Princeton University, University of Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), University of São Paulo, University of Montréal, among other schools. He was the editor of the journal Archivos de la Filmoteca from 1992 to 2012, and is the author of several books in film theory and history. Among them are Sombras de Weimar. Contribucíon a la historia del cine alemán 1918-1933 (Verdoux, 1990); Teoría del montaje cinematográfico (Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana, 1991); NO-DO. El tiempo y la memoria (Cátedra/Filmoteca Española, 2006) and El pasado es el destino. Propaganda y cine del bando nacional en la guerra civil (both with R. Tranche, Cátedra, 2011); Cine y vanguardias artisticas. Conflictos, encuentros, fronteras (Paidós, 2004); Cine de historia, cine de memoria: La representacíon y sus límites  (Cátedra, 2006); Cine y Guerra civil española (Alianza, 2006). His current research is focused on the production and circulation of images of atrocity in twentieth and twenty-first century cinema, photography, illustrated press, and other media.

Steven Marsh is an associate professor of Spanish Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is co-editor of Gender and Spanish Cinema (Berg 2004) and author of Popular Film Under Franco: Comedy and the Weakening of the State. He is one of the co-authors on the international collaborative project Cinema and the Mediation of Everyday Life: An Oral History of Filmgoing in 1940s and 1950s Spain. He recently edited a special issue of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies on Spanish film and spectrality. He is currently finalizing a new monograph provisionally titled Spanish Cinema, a Counter-History: Cosmopolitanism, Experimentation, Militancy. He is on the editorial board and one of the founding editors of the Journal of Hispanic Cinemas and he is a member of the editorial collective of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies.    

The Chicago Film Seminar is held at DePaul’s Loop Campus in the Daley Building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room LL 102, using the State St. entrance located at 247 S. State.