Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

I saw Gravity this weekend, and like many viewers and critics, I loved it. And as a sign of that enjoyment, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. As I always do when I encounter a piece of culture that I love, I’ve been reading about it, looking for critics who can explore […]


Wednesday was one of the more interesting days on Twitter I’ve ever seen, from the snarking about the new Pope (same as the old Pope), to the anger over Google mothballing Reader, to the more local disappointment of Wes Welker signing with the Broncos. But nothing generated more interest, excitement, and conversation amongst the TVitterati […]


In my 18 years in academia, I’ve never been to the MLA convention – until now. For those who don’t know, the Modern Language Association is the largest humanities organization, and their annual convention is an iconic event, known as a massive academic job meat market and an object of mockery in the press for […]


Lately I’ve become more and more intrigued by Digital Humanities as a subfield/movement/trend/etc. within academia, in large part because the people who are actively driving much of DH are super engaging & welcoming via social networks like Twitter and various blogs. As I am committed to open access publishing, public-facing scholarship, and innovative modes of […]


Summer is over (even though it remains in the 80s in Vermont this week), which means my sabbatical is completely over. It was a great one, with a wonderful fellowship in Germany, a lot of writing, travel for lectures & conferences, and lots of quality family time. But yesterday, I returned to the Middlebury classroom […]


One of the reasons I most enjoy studying the fan culture side of media studies is that fans can come up with some fascinating stuff, a boggling array of creativity discovered through the contraints provided by the source texts. I document some of the most interesting examples I’ve found in my chapter on “Orienting Paratexts,” […]


Recently there has been a debate raging within the film world around The Artist‘s appropriation of Bernard Hermann’s score to Vertigo (which itself appropriates Wagner), and Kim Novak’s poorly-worded attack on this act of cultural borrowing. The best response is to borrow more, as exemplified by Kevin Lee and Matt Zoller Seitz’s video remix contest at […]


On the eve of the Oscars, one of many award ceremonies that I’ve grown tired of watching, Inside Higher Ed posted an interesting little feature asking film scholars to weigh in on Best Picture. While I varyingly agreed, disagreed, and laughed at their points, I was shocked that none of the seven academics mentioned the […]


I’m writing from the grading bunker, which seems like a fine place to contemplate the purpose of assignments we give our students. Usually, my assignments are fairly conventional in both form and goal, looking to synthesize specific ideas from the course in a way that allows students to apply them to an object or topic […]


Yesterday, David Bordwell blogged about television watching, and the reasons why he generally doesn’t do it (at least made-for-television fiction – he obviously watches many films on his television screen). Soon, my Twitter feed was all atwitter with anxiety about how Bordwell (one of the major figures in film studies, if you don’t know) was […]


Warning: meandering think piece ahead with minimal coherence or argumentation. Proceed at own risk. One topic that has been on my mind lately is the role of criticism in a digital media environment. My open browser tabs have mimicked this mind set. Some are simply examples, especially in the ritual of reading weekly Lost reviews and conversations. […]


The internets have been blazing over the last two days about the reported feature film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that would not involve Joss Whedon. While I try to not to place this blog in the maelstrom of rumor mongering and fan panic, I’m inspired to take a break from grading to share […]


Best of 2008

31Dec08

One of the great gifts of having a blog is the opportunity to spout off opinions as if they are truth. And the end of the year is the time for bold opinions that quantify the previous year, often in multiples of ten. I thought about offering a TV Top Ten for the year, but […]


On Wednesday, I’m heading to Madison, WI – I lived there for 6 years, but haven’t been back since 2000. Beyond looking forward to some of the fineries of Madison, especially on the Union Terrace, I’ll be attending the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image conference. SCSMI is foreign terrain for me, both […]


I’ve written some about vidding before – it’s an area of fan culture that I’m not too familiar with, but I’m interested when I find examples that speak to me. So I found this video, via Jason Sperb’s blog, quite interesting. It’s a vid of Punch Drunk Love set to Radiohead’s “No Surprises,” done by […]



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