My Year’s Work in Audiovisual Essays and Videographic Film Studies

Below is a list of the thirteen videos I have made and formally published in the last twelve months. There are a few unlisted ones that I made and haven’t yet published: these should see the light of online day in the next calendar year.

It’s actually been quite a slow year for me on the production front as I had a lot of teaching as well as editorial and curatorial work at [in]TransitionREFRAME, and elsewhere. In 2017 I hope to make more research-related videos, and also to work on some longer pieces, as I am fortunate to have a six-month long paid study leave (the second such period in my twenty-five years as an academic). #newyearsresolutions.

  • SPARKLE: A tiny video-remix comparison of some glimmering audio/visual moments from Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975), The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999) and The Falling (Carol Morley, 2014).
  • THE PERSISTENCE OF VISION: A video tribute to the work of film scholar Elizabeth Cowie, featuring Morocco, Now, Voyager and Let There Be Light, as well as the voices and choices of Andrew Klevan, Christine Evans, Coral Houtman and Sarah Wood
  • MATCHES – featuring Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954) Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios / Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988)



Artists and Filmmakers’ Favourite Films: frieze magazine

Screenshots from films by Clio Barnard

GreenCine Daily, Film Studies For Free‘s favourite site for ‘Film on the Web’ news, today brings word of an article (link to it HERE), in the latest, online issue of art magazine frieze, by filmmaker Clio Barnard (a former colleague of this blogger at the University of Kent). The article is part of an ongoing series in which frieze asks artists and filmmakers to list the movies that have influenced their practice.

Barnard is an artist/filmmaker, whose work has shown in cinemas, international film festivals and galleries, including Tate Modern and Tate Britain. She was one of the winners of the 2005 Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists and in 2007 was awarded a major commission from the Art Angel, which will involve an ambitious live performance and feature-length film.

FSFF already links to an online film by Barnard – the wonderful Dark Glass (1 min. 16 seconds, 2006; direct link to MP4 HERE; and to QuickTime HERE), part of the SingleShot series of ‘newly commissioned film and video works — shot in one single take — by artists and new talent’.

As the Tate Modern website describes it,

Shot on a mobile phone, Clio Barnard’s Dark Glass is a taut micro-drama that visually recreates a spoken description of family photographs recalled under hypnosis. Although the recollection appears incredibly compelling, it also possesses an inherent instability, so that we are never quite sure what we’re hearing or seeing, something further emphasised by the unsteady nature of the image itself, which lends an apparitional quality to this apparent act of truth-telling.

HERE‘s a link to a good article about the SingleShot films by Aaron Callow for aestheticamagazine, with a few paragraphs dedicated to Dark Glass.

Below are direct links to the other frieze articles about films that have influenced particular artists and filmmakers’ work; most are illustrated with video clips from the films:

Issue 101 September 2006:The Otolith Group
Issue 102 October 2006:David Noonan
Issue 103 November-December 2006: Rebecca Warren
Issue 105 March 2007: Runa Islam
Issue 106 April 2007: Jia Zhangke
Issue 107 May 2007: Luke Fowler
Issue 108 Jun-Aug 2007: Hamish Fulton
Issue 109 September 2007: Steve McQueen
Issue 110 October 2007: Rosemarie Trockel
Issue 111 Nov-Dec 2007: James Benning
Issue 113 March 2008: Peter Doig
Issue 114 April 2008: Hito Steyerl
Issue 115 May 2008: Mark Leckey
Issue 116 June – Aug 2008: Raqs Media Collective
Issue 117 September 2008: Babette Mangolte
Issue 118 October 2008: Duncan Campbell
Issue 119 Nov-Dec 2008: Clio Barnard

One final frieze-related Film Studies For Free tip: check out the frieze podcasts. There are interesting ones on: The Expanded Gallery: Mass Forms for Private Consumption; The Expanded Gallery: I Am Not a Flopper Or… (Allan Smithee-related!); and Art, Politics and Popularity (with Jacques Rancière).

More on artists’ film and video: an e-book, and ‘vodcast’ links

From Ecology, directed by Sarah Turner, 2007. Photo: Matthew Walter/Sarah Turner

A few more links have been added to Film Studies For Free‘s list of film-scholarly podcasts and videocasts, most notably one to a page on the LUXONLINE site, a brilliant web resource for exploring British based artists’ film and video in-depth (offering critical writing, stills, streaming video clips, and other contextual resources).

The link I’ve just added is to LUXONLINE‘s offering of ‘vodcasts’ of interviews with leading British film artists and curators (link HERE, please note, though, that you need to be registered first with iTunes in order to access almost all of the vodcasts). There are video interviews with Andrew Kötting, Angela Kingston (independent curator), Tina Keane, Ruth Novaczek, Chris Welsby, Alia Syed, Stephen Dwoskin, and Harold Offeh. The latest vodcast is with Sarah Pucill (there’s currently no need for an iTunes account for this one: there’s a direct link HERE)

The LUXONLINE site also has a lot of original artists’ films, or clips from artists’ films, available for viewing in streaming video, so it is well worth taking the time to explore the site properly. You can start your searches for resources by particular artists HERE and for particular streamed films/clips HERE.

There’s another organisation which has even more user-friendly listings to assist with tracking down British-based artists’ film available for viewing more generally on the web (links HERE and HERE). The British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection is a research project led by David Curtis and Steven Ball and based at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London. It focuses in particular on the history of artists’ film and video in Britain.

Like LUXONLINE, the British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection also provides a good collection of freely accessible research papers on artists’ film or by film artists (link HERE), including ones by Malcolm Le Grice and Michael Mazière. There’s also a paper by my friend and former colleague in Film Studies at the University of Kent, Sarah Turner, which sets out some of the conceptual background to her 2007 film Ecology (read a BBC interview HERE), which premiered at last year’s Cambridge Film Festival.

Finally, there’s also a link now in Film Studies For Free‘s ‘Film Open Access e-books’ listing to Gene Youngblood‘s hugely influential and prescient Expanded Cinema, a 444 page book, originally published in 1970 (downloadable in a single .pdf via; and also accessible HERE in separate sections via Expanded Cinema, as the very useful Wikipedia article on it argues, was

the first book to consider video as an art form, [and] was influential in establishing the field of media arts. In the book [Youngblood] argues that a new, expanded cinema is required for a new consciousness. He describes various types of filmmaking utilising new technology, including film special effects, computer art, video art, multi-media environments and holography.

Expanded Cinema and Unspoken Cinema: ‘Film practice as research’ links

I have just placed a new link in Film Studies For Free’s blogroll to the useful Expanded Cinema weblog, an ‘online platform for experimental film, early video, and sound-based, durational work.’ All of the material is being curated by Joao Ribas from available media online, ’emphasizing an overlooked facet of the archival function of new media.’ Ribas has another good blog, commenting on art/film curatorial matters, among others, too: Notes and Queries. On Expanded Cinema, not all of the video embeds or links are permanently stored (one presumes, for technical reasons), but there’s still a lot of good stuff there and it’s well worth exploring.

I also posted a blog link to Unspoken Cinema (by HarryTuttle et al), a great resource for practitioners and scholars of what the blog-blurb calls

Contemporary Contemplative Cinema (C.C.C.): the kind that rejects conventional narration to develop almost essentially through minimalistic visual language and atmosphere alone, without the help of music, dialogue, melodrama, action-montage, and the star system.

Phew. The legendary HarryTuttle is also the blog author of SCREENVILLE, which, among other great features, has lists of cinema webcasts and online video. I have added his custom video search page to FSFF‘s list of resources aimed at those engaged in Film or Screen Media ‘Practice as Research’ (or ‘Research by Practice’).

Film Practice as Research (basically, higher-education-based film and video practice that can give a ‘reflexive account of itself [its form, especially] as research’) is a lively, but still ’emerging’ research area, perhaps primarily in the UK. As the meagre sources of funding for artists’ (and non-commercial) film and video in this country have almost completely dried up in recent years, outside the academy, many more filmmakers than before have turned to teaching to (part-)fund their work, not only in practical filmmaking college departments and art schools, but also in Film and Media Studies University departments, too. In this latter context, the academic requirement to be ‘research active’ and ‘excellent’ (and measurably so…) has led to the growth in this discourse of ‘practice as research’. The Wikipedia page on this matter, that I’ve linked to, covers the sometimes controversial issues raised by these new ways of working, around the ‘articulation as research’ of practice-based work, as well as peer-review and dissemination, etc., quite well.