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Individual Authors’ Online Writing Of Note – an explanation of FSFF’s list

Film Studies For Free proudly presents, in the post below this one, its current listing of ‘Individual Authors’ Online (and Open Access) Writing Of Note’ (in the English language). List entries come in two forms: weblinks to particular articles or e-books (or online theses) by the named authors; and weblinks to the authors’ own live links lists to their collected works online. These links, like all the others on FSFF, are permanently accessible via the numerous and copious lists to be found on the right-hand side of the blog – just scroll (almost) endlessly down to find the various categories.

The taxonomy of authorship is always a funny business. Academics often try to work in a spirit of disinterested enquiry and so a system of credit on the basis of names and reputations can have obvious drawbacks. Nonetheless, name recognition functions as effectively in academia as it does elsewhere; and lists of work organised by author name have very obvious uses, beyond that of propping up academic star systems.

Film Studies For Free‘s author list, like all its other selections, is inevitably partial. Many of those named in the post below are personally known to this blog’s author, or associated with academic departments with which she is familiar (though, to be fair, there are many such departments and many such academics as she has been around rather a long time). Other name entries reflect, on occasion, this third-person‘s own (broad) research interests. But the list also represents a pretty good cross-section of the kinds of Open Access, academic, film and moving image studies work online at the moment, and is fairly international in focus, to boot. So, FSFF offers it up in its usual ‘treasure-trove’ spirit and hopes you find it useful and spreadable, too.

Any recommendations (by commenting or by email) for additions to the list — especially for authors’ ‘collected online works’ listings — will be ever so gratefully received, as will notifications of any corrections or dead links. And the list in the post will be updated as necessary whenever new items come to FSFF‘s notice. So please keep your undoubtedly beady, Film and Moving Image Studies’ eyes on it, from time to time. Thank you.

Online and Open-Access Film and Moving-Image Studies Writing Of Note (by Individual Named Authors)

[Last updated: January 11, 2009; see just added label for latest entries; the list is organised A-Z by author forename]

Please read Film Studies For Free‘s accompanying explanation of this listing HERE. The list in this post will be frequently updated, so please bookmark it. Comments are closed on this post but please feel free to comment HERE or email FSFF with suggestions for addition HERE.

Documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law: free e-book and short films

The above great little comic book can currently be downloaded for free in a new and expanded edition from the Duke University Press website.

Bound by Law?: Tales from the Public Domain, by Keith Aoki, James Boyle, and Jennifer Jenkins takes a humorous look at copyright and fair use issues in relation to filmmaking. The book has a new foreword by Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (Director of An Inconvenient Truth) and a new introduction by award-winning novelist and copyright activist Cory Doctorow.

Here’s the blurb about the book (which was available, in its earlier, shorter edition, through Google Books) from the Duke University Press website:

A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the Rocky theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? Eyes on the Prize, the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the inspiration for this comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? What’s “fair use”? Bound by Law? reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property, and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture.

The book is the fruit of the pioneering Duke Law School Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Do check out their fabulous website which, among many other resources (webcasts and online articles about fair use), has the following downloadable short films (via RealPlayer):

If you are a budding documentary filmmaker, or if you are teaching the next generation of budding documentarians, Film Studies For Free thinks that you should definitely check out all of the above resources.

Free (and legal) Online Films

Film Studies For Free knows from tireless study of its visitor statistics that one of the internet search phrases that most often brings readers to this site is ‘free online films’. So, for those (evidently numerous) folks who haven’t yet discovered the very best gateway to and repository of thousands of free and legal online films, including many important feature-length films (like Fritz Lang‘s 1931 M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder – see still images above; please click HERE for the online film with English subtitles), here is the link to the website of your search engine dreams: the Moving Images section at the Internet Archive (a site you should explore for lots of other reasons, too). All Internet Archive material is in the Public Domain, so it’s a must-promote resource for an Open-Access advocacy website like Film Studies For Free.

So you can see the full scope of its rich offerings, below are the subsections that make up the Internet Archive Moving Images website area:

Animation & Cartoons Arts & Music Computers & Technology Cultural & Academic Films Ephemeral Films Movies News & Public Affairs Non-English Videos Open Source Movies Prelinger Archives Spirituality & Religion Sports Videos Video Games Vlogs Youth Media

Just click on the Internet Archive mantra below to link to its general search tool:

Miriam Makeba and South African Cinema


Film Studies For Free was very sad to hear news of the death of Miriam Makeba.

As part of her monumental singing career she appeared in person and on the soundtrack of many films (including: Soul Power (2008); Bobby (2006); Transamerica (2005); Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2002); Sacred Sounds (2000); When We Were Kings (1996) Sarafina! (1992); Have You Seen Drum Recently? (1988); Amok (1982); and Come Back, Africa (1960), as discussed by Ntongela Masilela in a great 1991 article for Jump Cut).

She so often embodied the sound of global, cinematic South-Africanicity. And, thanks in part to all her film performances, she will sing on for us.

In memory of Makeba, some good (mainly South) African cinema web-links follow:

The Week’s Links

Film Studies For Free was all too easily distracted/mesmerised this week by momentous events, but came across, nonetheless, the following, freely-accessible, online items of note, and offers them up for your delectation, delight, and varied film/moving image education:

Please go in two by two! Sally Potter’s Fabulous Ark

Film Studies For Free has recently set up a small, but growing, new links list to ‘Filmmakers’ Websites Of Note’ (just scroll down on the right-hand side of the site). The list currently contains links to the following sites: Alejandro Jodorowsky; Fernando Trueba; Gonzalo Suárez; Carlos Saura; Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón; Tomás Gutiérrez Alea; Isabel Coixet; Bigas Luna; Alejandro Amenábar; Pedro Almodóvar’s blog; Aardman Animations; Álex de la Iglesia; Atom Egoyan; Bill Melendez; The Coppola Family; The Makhmalbaf Filmhouse; and Werner Herzog (please ‘excuse’ the abundance of Spanish and Latin filmmakers, but that was the cohort within which FSFF began its search). Any suggestions for additions to the listing are very gratefully received indeed. And, if auteur(ist)-resources are your bag, please keep an eye on it as FSFF is sure it will rapidly expand.

A new link to by far the most innovative and promising of any filmmakers’ websites ever surfed by this blogger has just been added to the list: Sally Potter‘s Archive SP-ARK! (Potter also has an occasional blog; and a more conventional company website, too). Potter is, as FSFF readers will know, director of radically innovative films such as Thriller, The Gold Diggers, Orlando (the principal ‘object’ of the SP-ARK archive), The Man Who Cried, The Tango Lesson, and more recently, Yes.

SP-ARK is currently in prototype (beta-test) form; it describes its amazing project as follows:

SP-ARK is a web-based open source educational project based on the multi-media archive of film-maker Sally Potter. SP-ARK is designed as a unique educational resource, tailored to the radically new learning preferences of students everywhere, which can be used as a model for innovative teaching and research in all disciplines and at every level. At this stage only a tiny fraction of the materials available in the Sally Potter archive has been uploaded to the site’s database. During the next phase the complete ORLANDO archive will be made available, followed by materials relating to all of Potter’s films and her work in dance, music and theatre. You are welcome to browse through the sample materials already available on the site, currently over 600 items. If you would like to access SP-ARK ‘s unique interactive features and become a trial user participating in the testing and future development of this prototype then please email us at beta [at] sp-ark.org with some information about yourself and your interest in SP-ARK. We will send you a username and password.

(Please note that you don’t have to email or register in order to browse – just visit!)

Film Studies For Free l o v e s the ethos of SP-ARK, and greatly appreciates what’s up and running on the site already; it very much looks forward to following its development. It also hopes that other living filmmakers (or the heirs of filmmakers from earlier generations) are inspired to build on Sally Potter’s generous example.

As for the educational implications of projects like these, the ‘Cloud‘s’ the limit, if you know what FSFF means. As Chris Berry, Professor of Film and Television Studies at London’s Goldsmiths College, brilliantly puts it in his endorsement of this archive:

The SP-ARK vision of social learning gives us a glimmer of the future today. Instead of locking archive materials away and restricting availability, it promises ready access to SP-ARK to anybody anywhere with a computer and the internet. Furthermore, the solitary archive user is transformed into a producer and a member of a community by the ability to build pathways of connections and commentary through the material. In the process, the cinema is extended from a fixed object to be viewed into a dynamic, interactive, and growing network of digital debate and active learning.

Some other, good, Sally Potter, online links follow: