Screening Europe 2018

Our Screening Europe season returns to Filmhouse at the end of January and begins with The Cremator (the theme is, of course, humour and irony). David Sorfa will be joined by Pasquale Iannone and Eszter Simor to introduce these films:

The Cremator (Juraj Herz, Czechoslovakia, 1969): 30 January 2018 @ 6pm

Surviving Life (Jan Švankmajer, Czech Republic, 2010): 6 February 2018 @ 6pm

Kills on Wheels (Tiszta Szívvel, Hungary, 2016): 13 February 2018 @ 6pm

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, 1989): 20 February 2018 @ 6pm

Pulp (Michael Hodges, UK, 1972): 27 February 2018 @ 6pm

Britannia Hospital (Lindsay Anderson, UK, 1982): 6 March 2018 @ 6pm

In Conversation with Oliver Stone

Oliver StoneThe University of Edinburgh is delighted to welcome three-time Academy Award-winner Oliver Stone to Scotland. The celebrated writer, producer and director will disucss his illustrious career with University of Edinburgh experts at an event in Edinburgh’s Filmhouse on Wednesday 9th March.

Oliver Stone has written and directed more than 20 full-length feature films, among them Platoon (1986), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), JFK (1991), Nixon (1995) and the documentaries W (2008) and Untold History of the United States (2012).

Following an introduction by LLC’s Dr David Sorfa, Edinburgh College of Art academic Dr Jonny Murray will join Oliver Stone on stage to gain insight on his artistic and political motivations, and thoughts on how the film industry has changed throughout his thirty-year career. He will also talk about his current project, the highly anticipated political thriller, Snowden, ahead of its nation-wide release later this year. The film is directed by Oliver Stone, and co-written with Kieran Fitzgerald.

The event has been organised by Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Filmhouse

Tickets for In Conversation with Oliver Stone cost £10 (£8 concessions) and go on sale at 10am on Thursday 18th February via the Filmhouse website: www.filmhousecinema.com

Screening Europe at Filmhouse

Screening Europe at Filmhouse

Screening Europe is a new season of films curated by Film at the University of Edinburgh. We will bring a varied selection of past and contemporary European films to the Filmhouse to celebrate and interrogate the history and aesthetics of cinema in Europe. We invite members of the public as well as students to join us for an exciting series of introduced screenings that will chart the development of film across Europe.

Throughout this semester, we will be screening one European film per week at the Filmhouse on Tuesdays at 6pm.

http://www.filmhousecinema.com/seasons/screening-europe-jan16/

Tuesdays: January – March 2016 at 6pm

Tue 26 January: The Tempest (Derek Jarman, UK, 1979)

Tue 2 February: Macbeth (Justin Kurzel, UK, 2015)

Tue 9 February: The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, France/Poland/Norway, 1991)

Tue 16 February: The Last Mistress (Catherine Breillat, France/Italy, 2007)

Tue 23 February: The Draughtsman’s Contract (Peter Greenaway, UK, 1982)

Tue 1 March: Eisenstein in Guanajuato (Peter Greenaway, Netherlands/Mexico/Finland/Belgium, 2015)

Tue 8 March: Jamón Jamón (Bigas Luna, Spain, 1992)

Tue 15 March: Bastards / Les salauds (Claire Denis, France/Germany, 2013)

Tue 22 March: Young Soul Rebels (Isaac Julien, UK/France/Germany/Spain, 1991)

Tue 29 March: Northern Soul (Elain Constantine, UK, 2014)

Our first programme of ten films looks back to the 1991 Screening Europe conference and subsequent book edited by Duncan Petrie, published by the BFI. The London conference focussed on the possible consequences for cinema of Europe’s movement into a post-communist era. The conference was preceded by a small film festival at the National Film Theatre examining “new forms of European and old forms of national identity”. In our season we screen as many of these films as possible alongside recent productions that speak to each original film in terms of theme, style, nationality or director. We will explore the ways in which European cinema, if not European identity, has changed over the last twenty-five years and more.

All films will be introduced by Dr David Sorfa, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Film Seminar 2015-16 (Semester 1)

The Edinburgh Film Seminar hosts talks by academics throughout the teaching year. The seminars are open to all staff and students at the University of Edinburgh and to members of the public. There is no charge and no need to book to attend.

We are also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/edinburghfilmseminar

Past Seminars

Thursday 24 September 2015: 5:30pm
50 George Square – Lecture Theatre G.03

Professor Richard I. Suchenski (Bard College, New York)
“Also like Life: the Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien”

Hou Hsiao-hsien is the most important Taiwanese filmmaker and his sensuous, richly nuanced work is at the heart of everything that is vigorous and genuine in contemporary film culture. An heir to the great modernist legacy – with its use of elegantly staged long takes, the performance of many non-actors, and a radically, even vertiginously, elliptical mode of storytelling – Hou’s cinema does place unusual demands on the viewer, but its sophistication is understated and its formal innovations are irreducibly bound up with the sympathetic observation of everyday experience. This presentation will explore Hou’s stylistic development, his treatment of point-of-view, and his unique approach to space and time.

http://www.bard.edu/academics/faculty/details/?id=2864

Richard I. Suchenski is the Founder and Director of the Center for Moving Image Arts and Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at Bard College. His work focuses on the development of cinematic modernism internationally and on the relationship between film and the other arts. He is the author of Projections of Memory: Romanticism, Modernism, and the Aesthetics of Film (Oxford University Press, 2016), the editor of Hou Hsiao-hsien (Austrian Filmmuseum/Columbia University Press, 2014), and the organizer of the internationally touring retrospective “Also like Life: the Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien.”


8 October 2015: 5:30pm 12028662_713614185437800_850183916310504920_o
Appleton Tower – Lecture Theatre 1

Professor Lisa Downing (University of Birmingham)
“Selfish Cinema: Questions of Gender and Control in Adaptations of Ayn Rand for the Screen”

This lecture examines onscreen representations of the work and legacy of influential, pro-capitalist writer and philosopher Ayn Rand, infamous for her theory of selfishness as a virtue. It explores two films: King Vidor’s The Fountainhead (1949), based on Rand’s 1943 novel, for which she was screen writer, and Chris Menaul’s The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999), an adaptation of Barbara Branden’s biography of Rand, starring Helen Mirren. The Fountainhead tells the story of Rand’s ideal heroic man, Howard Roark (played by Gary Cooper), an individualistic architect whose single-minded desire is to design and execute his vision of what a building should be: formally, functionally, and aesthetically. In her collaboration with Vidor, Rand demanded – and obtained – a degree of control over the film that was almost unprecedented for a writer in Hollywood at the time, made all the more extraordinary by the fact that she was a woman in a very male-dominated industry. In the film, Roark functions as Rand’s onscreen representative and his literal, architectural edifices convey in physical form the audacity of Rand’s philosophical one. The Passion of Ayn Rand, by contrast, paints an intimate portrait of Rand’s personal life and details the emotional control and manipulation she exerted over her husband, lover, friends and followers. In Menaul’s film, stripped of a heroic (male) onscreen representative or alter ego, the Randian character as a female selfish subject is rendered both vulnerable and monstrous in ways that I argue are specifically gendered. More broadly, then, the two filmic examples enable me to explore the gender politics of film adaptation and biographical representation, as well as of the philosophy of selfishness.

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/french/downing-lisa.aspx

Lisa Downing is Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is the author of numerous books, articles, and chapters on sexuality and gender studies, film, and critical theory. Recent authored books include: The Cambridge Introduction to Michel Foucault (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Film and Ethics: Foreclosed Encounters (co-authored with Libby Saxton, Routledge, 2010), The Subject of Murder: Gender, Exceptionality, and the Modern Killer (University of Chicago Press, 2013), and Fuckology: Critical Essays on John Money’s Diagnostic Concepts (co-authored with Iain Morland and Nikki Sullivan, University of Chicago Press, 2015). She is currently editing a volume entitled After Foucault for Cambridge University Press, and writing a monograph on female selfishness, of which the seminar paper at Edinburgh is a part.


 

23 October 2015: 2pm-5pm12039243_716026481863237_4150734712150686880_n
LG.11, David Hume Tower

Professor Emma Wilson (University of Cambridge)
“Agnès Varda’s paintings: The Madonna del parto”

[Part of the Department of European Languages “Film and the other Arts” research strand]

In speaking about her inspiration for her film _Cléo de 5 à 7_ (1962) Varda offers insight into a broader issue in her filmmaking: her interest in and return to the visual arts, and painting above all. She says: ‘The force of painting is to provide works which can offer perpetual inspiration and rêverie’. Painting is, for her, a resource for holding and proposing affect, unspoken feelings. Varda’s visual archive, still images, paintings from museums, offer a repository of feeling, sensation and memory. They intimate and make visible something beyond what we see in the films themselves. I close in here on one masterwork, a painting in her private collection. This painting is Piero della Francesca’s _Madonna del Parto_ (painted sometime after 1475) and on display in Monterchi. This painting, I argue, is an important point of reference in Varda’s first feature film, _La Pointe Courte_ (1954).

http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/french/staff/efw1000/

Emma Wilson is Professor of French Literature and the Visual Arts at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. Her books include _Cinema’s Missing Children_(2003), _Alain Resnais_ (2006), _Atom Egoyan_ (2009) and _Love, Mortality and the Moving Image_ (2012). She is currently working on a project about women filmmakers and photographers working in Paris.


 

5 November 2015: 5:30pm11143169_713615615437657_7176403219773172638_o
50 George Square – Lecture Theatre G.03

Dr. Richard Baxstrom (University of Edinburgh)
“Realizing the Witch: Science, Cinema, and the Mastery of the Invisible”

In Realizing the Witch, Baxstrom and Meyers show how Häxan opens a window onto wider debates in the 1920s regarding the relationship of film to scientific evidence, the evolving study of religion from historical and anthropological perspectives, and the complex relations between popular culture, artistic expression, and concepts in medicine and psychology. Häxan is a film that travels along the winding path of art and science rather than between the narrow division of “documentary” and “fiction.” Baxstrom and Meyers reveal how Christensen’s attempt to tame the irrationality of “the witch” risked validating the very “nonsense” that such an effort sought to master and dispel. Häxan is a notorious, genre-bending, excessive cinematic account of the witch in early modern Europe. Realizing the Witch not only illustrates the underrated importance of the film within the canons of classic cinema, it lays bare the relation of the invisible to that which we cannot prove but nevertheless “know” to be there.’- http://fordhampress.com/index.php/series-imprints/series/forms-of-living/reaizing-the-witch-paperback.html

Richard Baxstrom is Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh, and co-editor of the journal Visual Culture in Britain.

http://www.san.ed.ac.uk/people/faculty/baxstrom_richard

 

The Alison House Film Club

The Alison House Film Club (Music Department)

“Putting some Popcorn into Popular Music Studies!”

—The Alison House Film Club – Spring Programme —

31 March: Europe in 8 Bits (2013)

7 April:   Pavement: Slow Century (2002)

14 April: Backstreet Boys: Show’ Em What You’re Made Of (2015)

21 April: Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (2009)

28 April: The Last Angel of History (Afrofuturism) + Downtown 81 (1996/1981)

5 May:   Rokk í Reykjavík (Rock in Reykjavik) (1982)

12 May: Classic Albums Series: Steely Dan – Aja + Simply Red – Stars (1999/2004)

19 May: Sound it Out (2011) & Re-vinylized (2012)

26 May: Nick Cave: 20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

 

Next Tuesday (31 March) we’ll be showing the much lauded Europe in 8 bits and with that, the 1st block of this spring programme is over and done with. The programmers have sweated over the 2nd block for the last few weeks in the hope that we can continue to deliver thought provoking music documentaries of all sorts, as we promised in our initial manifesto.

You will find the programme for the 2nd block at the bottom of this letter along with synopsis for each film. As you can see, variety is the name of the game; indie-believers get their fix, those who are interested in exotic places will have the chance to see a documentary on the Icelandic punk scene at the beginning of the 80s and the “real” popular music studies will be served by documentaries on The Backstreet Boys and Simply Red. We are also proud to be able to show the brilliant 20.000 Days on Earth, a pseudo-autobiographical documentary on Nick Cave.

A new block also means a new screening room. From now on (including Europe in 8 bits) we’ll be operating in Lecture Room B, rather than the Common room. We’re still in Alison House though…

Here’s info on Europe in 8 bits, and many thanks to our very own Yati Durant for making this possible but Yati is the programme director for MSc in Composition for Screen among other things:

Europe in 8 bits is a documentary that explores the world of chip music, a new musical trend that is growing exponentially throughout Europe. The stars of this musical movement reveal to us how to reuse old videogames hardware like Nintendo’s GameBoy, NES, Atari ST, Amiga and the Commodore 64 to turn them into a tool capable of creating a new sound, a modern tempo and an innovative musical style. This is a new way of interpreting music performed by a great many artists who show their skills in turning these “limited” machines designed for leisure in the 80’s into surprising musical instruments and graphical tools. It will leave nobody indifferent.

The Alison House Film Club is devoted to thought provoking music documentaries of all sorts. Each screening will be preceded by a short introduction, where the films will be put into musicological context and afterwards the room will be open for discussion.

Screenings will take place in Lecture Room B which is located on the 2nd floor of the Alison House (a.k.a the Edinburgh University Music Department), which is in Nicolson Square, beside the Elephants & Bagels coffee shop. It takes place on a weekly basis from 4 – 6 pm on Tuesdays, and admission is free.

Kieran Curran and Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen, programmers.

…and with info:

 

7 April:   Pavement: Slow Century (2002)

A 90-minute documentary directed by Lance Bangs (who did the Slint documentary) on this seminal underground rock band. Extensive interviews with the band members (as well as their friend Thurston Moore) and considerable live concert footage from across their career. The film concludes with the encore from their final live show, held in London in 1999. Interspersed throughout are brief clips from home movies, television appearances and behind-the-scenes footage

14 April: Backstreet Boys: Show’ Em What You’re Made Of (2015)

An emotionally open and honest film portrait, this documentary explores the highs and lows from boyhood to manhood that  led the former boyband megastars to a London studio in 2012 to write a new album, make a film and plan their 20th anniversary re-launch. The reunion renewed friendships, but dynamic shifts reveal new and old tensions that need confronting and resolving. This is a surprising and rewarding journey filmed over two years that delves into the extremes of fame and fortune, betrayal and renewal.

21 April: Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (2009)

Glenn Gould was one of the most celebrated and controversial classical musicians of the 20th century. His obsessive quest for perfectionism while rejecting the influence of the audience led him to abandon live performances in favor of recording in 1964. While Gould’s very public eccentricities have been nearly as well documented as his talents, filmmakers Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont pose a very provocative question in their documentary Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould: Was Gould truly as strange as he was believed to be, or were his quirks part of a facade the artist carefully constructed to intrigue and challenge the listening audience?

28 April: The Last Angel of History (Afrofuturism) + Downtown 81 (1996/2001)

The Last Angel of History deals with concepts of Afrofuturism as a metaphor for the displacement of black culture and roots. Documentary segments include traditional talking-head clips from musicians, writers, and social critics, as well as archival video footage and photographs. Described as “A truly masterful film essay about Black aesthetics that traces the deployments of science fiction within pan-African culture”.

Downtown 81 is a feature film starring the legendary American artist Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Basquiat was a 19 year old painter, graffiti artist, poet and musician when he played the lead in this film, which vividly depicts the explosive downtown New York art and music scene of 1980-81.

5 May:   Rokk í Reykjavík (Rock in Reykjavik) (1982)

Rokk í Reykjavík has a legendary status in Iceland today and is generally considered to be the most influential music documentary made in the country. This watershed of a movie was filmed during the winter of 1981-1982 and released for the local television in April, 1982. It showcases the alternative music scene through several performances, taken from different concerts and accompanied by short interviews with the musicians. A very young Björk and several future Sugarcubes all make an appearance.

12 May: Classic Albums Series: Steely Dan – Aja + Simply Red – Stars (1999/2004)

Pioneering pop/jazz band Steely Dan, formed by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker in the early seventies, had already secured five Top 40 albums before the release of Aja in 1977. Aja, however, was to prove to be the biggest selling album of Steely Dan’s illustrious career. Becker and Fagen, renowned for their relentless perfectionism in the recording studio, recall the history of an album that was a year in the making. Contains a surprising amount of hilarious banter and cynical jokes (well, the latter was not that surprising).

One of Britain’s most successful pop bands of the 80s and 90s, Simply Red formed in 1985 and released the number one album, ‘Stars’ in 1991, which topped the charts for 19 weeks. We learn of Mick Hucknall’s musical vision and the inspiration behind the songs he wrote and recorded for what is considered to be the classic Simply Red album. The Alison House Film Club’s humble contribution to the fledgling “real” popular music studies.

19 May: Sound it Out (2011) and Re-vinylized (2012)

A documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Stockton-on-Tees, in the North East of England. Starring Tom, Kelly, David, Daniel, 70,000 records and the good people of Teesside. A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, obsession and the irreplaceable role music plays in our lives. High Fidelity with a Northern Accent. Got any Makina?

From Stockton to Chicago, our second screening on this day is Revinylized, a shorter documentary offering a particular snapshot of the contemporary record shop in a city indelibly stamped by popular music culture.

26 May: Nick Cave: 20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international cultural icon Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, the film examines what makes us who we are, and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit.

Note: All movie info lifted from www.rottentomatoes.comwww.imdb.com and/or www.wikipedia.org with inspired editing at times from the programmers.

There is Nothing Outside the Real: Recent Reappraisals of André Bazin in Film Theory

10806484_1551209681780978_4978727273551804441_nCrag Seminar
Lecture Theatre G.03
50 George Square
25 March 2014 5.30 pm

David Sorfa
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies
david.sorfa@ed.ac.uk

There is Nothing Outside the Real: Recent Reappraisals of André Bazin in Film Theory

https://www.facebook.com/events/819904321386722/

André Bazin’s critical work on film is often reduced to the clichés that he favoured long takes and championed realism as opposed to montage and artifice in the cinema. This position on Bazin has been the subject of recent critiques by Richard Rushton and Robert Sinnerbrink, building on Daniel Morgan’s “Rethinking Bazin” (2006). In this presentation, I will outline the terms of this new development and show that this “absolute realist” phase of understanding cinema is a return of sorts to Jacques Derrida’s analysis of textuality in the 1960s. For the New Bazinians, fiction film is as much as part of reality as anything else and I will develop this thought in the context of analytic philosophy’s understanding of “fictionalism”. I will discuss the films of Preston Sturges in this context. This is part of a broader project in which I explore the work of Derrida in relation to cinema.

Bio:

Dr David Sorfa is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and editor of the journal Film-Philosophy. He has written on Michael Haneke, Jan Švankmajer and Czech cinema as well as a broad range of other film subjects. He has particular interests in film-philosophy, phenomenology, the work of Jacques Derrida and film adaptation. He thinks that Freud is still worth reading.

20 Years After Aum: In Discussion with Director Mori Tatsuya

The department of Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh is excited to host acclaimed Japanese documentarian Mori Tatsuya, who is best known for his work on the Japanese religious group Aum Shinrikyō.A Documentary

Screening of ‘A’ (1998) 18.00-20.00
Discussion with director 20.00-21.00
Room G.05, 50 George Square

Aum’s 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo subway system was a pivotal moment for Japan.  And at a time when the Japanese media made every effort to demonise Aum and its members, Mori Tatsuya’s documentaries offered a distinctly different perspective.

The Aum incident and Mori’s documentaries raise a number of challenging questions about both Japanese society and documentary filmmaking. What motivated the group to carry out such an attack? Why did young Japanese join the group in the first place?  How did media coverage of the event contribute to the attack’s legacy?  What is the role of the documentary maker in times of national crisis?

To discuss these questions, and to mark the twenty-year anniversary of the Aum incident, please join us for a screening of Mori’s seminal documentary ‘A’ followed by drinks and a Q&A panel session with the director himself.

Sign up for the event here: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/twenty-years-after-aum-in-discussion-with-director-mori-tatsuya-tickets-15943156410

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/850410788346496/

Symposium 2015: Short Film (and) Criticism

TFpremake.jpgGlasgow Short Film Festival and University of Glasgow School of Culture & Creative Arts

in association with University of Edinburgh: MSc Film, Exhibition & Curation and Scottish Media and Communications Association

present a one day symposium:

Short Film (and) Criticism
Saturday 14 March 2015
CCA Theatre

Each year, Glasgow Short Film Festival stages a one day inclusive cross-disciplinary event, intended to bring together academics, critics, curators, filmmakers and a wider general audience to explore a specific aspect of short film in more detail. The symposia typically follow a structure of two or three panel discussions, a workshop or extended presentation, and a screening.

The 2015 symposium is devoted to film criticism in the context of short film: critical writing on short film, short film curation as a form of criticism, and short filmmaking as criticism.

The symposium will examine how short film’s distribution in the digital sphere both invites different approaches to criticism and presents challenges to more traditional forms of criticism. With the exception of writing on avant-garde and artists’ moving image work, there is currently limited long-form criticism of short film. However there are plenty of examples of short critical responses existing alongside films online. The very nature of short film allows a critic to easily compile, compare and contrast films online, just as a curator can quickly demonstrate an argument in putting together a programme of short films.

The symposium will also examine the growing trend amongst critics and academics for video essays – short filmmaking itself as a new form of criticism – analysing visual style, editing, sound or other aspects of a single film or body of work in ways that the written word cannot. We are delighted that two pioneers in this field, Kevin B Lee and Dr Catherine Grant (University of Sussex), will attend the symposium.

Schedule (more speakers to be added)

10.30-10.45 Welcome

10.45-12.15 Criticism on Short Film
Chair: Dr David Archibald, University of Glasgow
Speakers to include Professor Richard Raskin, Aarhus University

12.30-14.00 Short Film Curation as Criticism
Chair: Susan Kemp, University of Edinburgh
Speakers to include Isla Leaver-Yap, LUX Scotland
Discussion will draw on the programme curated and presented by University of Edinburgh MSc Film, Exhibition and Curation students, Anatomy of a Film Programme (Friday 13 March)

14.00-15.00 Lunch

15.10-16.45 Short Film as Criticism
Chair: Dr Ian Garwood, University of Glasgow
Speakers: Dr Catherine Grant, University of Sussex, Kevin B Lee

17.00-17.45 Screening: Transformers: The Premake
Introduced by Kevin B Lee

18.00-19.30 Drinks

The symposium is free to attend. To register for a place please email shorts@glasgowfilm.org.

Iranian Film Season 2015

The 2015 Iranian Film Season is curated by Dr Nacim Pak-Shiraz and sponsored by The Sutton Gallery, Arts & Business Scotland, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies of University of Edinburgh and the Filmhouse Cinema. The film season will include 8 feature films, one each night, starting from Sunday 8th Feb 2015, including a number of UK/Scottish Premiers. The Filmhouse Cinema is the venue for all screenings. Please contact the cinema directly to book your tickets.

Continue reading “Iranian Film Season 2015”