Crisis? What Crisis? Fantasies of Masculine Identity in Contemporary Cinema

From the Me Too movement to the Incel movement, from the click-bait soundbites of Jordan Peterson to the tearful performance of Brett Kavanaugh, there is a sense in the air that masculinity is facing some sort of crisis. When in Totem and Taboo, Freud sought to offer a myth to account for the origins of society, he placed the alpha-father at the centre, wittingly or not, linking society inextricably with patriarchy. This Lacan in Scotland event will begin with a brief presentation by Calum Neill which will explore Lacan’s distillation and recuperation of Freud’s myth and the ways in which it might help us to interrogate something of what is going on in current male identity. Key to this will be the distinction between myth and fantasy. Considering the latter in terms of contemporary cinema, we will be watching clips from and discussing a selection of popular movies, including George Stevens’ Shane, James Mangold’s Logan, Xavier Legrand’s Jusqu’ à la Garde (Custody) and the Russo brothers’ Avengers: Infinity War.

Following the presentation, David Sorfa will problematise and extend the ideas explored with further clips and will chair an audience led discussion.

Date: 5 December 2018
Time: 18:30-20:00
Venue: Screening Room (G.04), 50 George Square
University of Edinburgh

**FREE AND OPEN TO ALL**

Calum Neill is Associate Professor of Psychoanalysis & Cultural Theory at Edinburgh Napier University and Director of Lacan in Scotland. David Sorfa is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and Editor-in-Chief, Film-Philosophy.

News From Home Film Festival Closing Night – On Body and Soul (2017)

News From Home Film Festival
(Free Film Festival in November with drinks reception)

The only thing worth globalizing is dissent” – Arundhati Roy

The News from Home Film Festival is an initiative created by four PhD students to explore contemporary films depicting the marginalization of cultures and individuals in the face of globalization. The festival takes place across four Thursdays in November. Each screening is free (for both students and non-students) and is followed by a drinks reception.

The fourth screening is the Hungarian film On Body and Soul (2017) by Ildikó Enyedi, which tells the story of Mária and Endre, who work at a slaughterhouse. In their everyday lives they struggle with social relationships, but they make a very exciting discovery regarding their dreams. The film juxtaposes the brutal claustrophobia of the slaughterhouse cattle, who live in narrow cages, with the unrestrained beauty of deer; as if the majestic wild animals were the ideal dream versions of the cattle kept only for being slaughtered. On Body and Soulinvestigates the relationship between dream and reality and the possibility of a dream becoming reality.

Introduction by Dr David Sorfa (Senior Lecturer in Film Studies) 
and Eszter Simor (PhD Candidate in Film Studies)

Skype interview with director Ildikó Enyedi

Date: Thursday 29th November 2018

Time: 6 pm

Location: The Screening Room G.04, 50 George Square

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Supported by Innovative Initiative Grant and the LLC Student Led Initiative Grant

Organized by Chantal Bertalanffy, Eszter Simor, François Giraud, Richard Elliott

News From Home Film Festival Screening – Jeune Femme (2017)

News From Home Film Festival
(Free Film Festival in November with drinks reception)

The only thing worth globalizing is dissent” – Arundhati Roy

The News from Home Film Festival is an initiative created by four PhD students to explore contemporary films depicting the marginalization of cultures and individuals in the face of globalization. The festival takes place across four Thursdays in November. Each screening is free (for both students and non-students) and is followed by a drinks reception.

The third screening is the French film Jeune Femme (2017) by Léonor Serraille, which tells the story of Paula, in her early thirties, who comes back to Paris after a long absence. Broke and alone, she is struggling to settle in this bustling capital. In search of an identity, she’ll do everything to get back on her feet.

“It’s a superbly sympathetic and spikily comedic portrait of a young woman on the verge (or “under the influence”), struggling with the recently fractured shards of her personality”. ★★★★★ The Guardian

Introduction by François Giraud (PhD in French Studies)
Post-screening discussion with one of the film’s assistant directors, Jeanne Paravert

Date: Thursday 22nd November 2018

Time: 6 pm

Location: The Screening Room G.04, 50 George Square

We will also show the following film the upcoming Thursday:

On Body and Soul (2017, Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary) – 29 November, 18:00

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Supported by Innovative Initiative Grant and the LLC Student Led Initiative Grant

Organized by Chantal Bertalanffy, Eszter Simor, François Giraud, Richard Elliott

News From Home Film Festival Screening – Pilgrim Hill (2013)

Pilgrim Hill will be introduced by Richard Elliott, PhD in English Literature

Date: Thursday 15th November 2018

Time: 6 pm

Location: The Screening Room G.04, 50 George Square

News From Home Film Festival (Free Film Festival in November with drinks reception)

The only thing worth globalizing is dissent” – Arundhati Roy

The News from Home Film Festival is an initiative created by four PhD students to explore contemporary films depicting the marginalization of cultures and individuals in the face of globalization. The festival takes place across four Thursdays in November. Each screening is free (for both students and non-students) and is followed by a drinks reception.

The second screening is the Irish film Pilgrim Hill (2013) by Gerard Barrett, which tells the story of Jimmy Walsh, a middle-aged farmer in rural Ireland. Jimmy has, without complaint, accepted the traditions that deem it his responsibility to ensure the survival of the family farm. But he is completely unprepared when forces beyond his control threaten the only way of life he knows. Pilgrim Hill takes an unflinching look at what happens to the individuals and communities for whom the modern world can find no place.

We will also show the following films the upcoming two Thursdays:
Jeune Femme (2017, Léonor Serraille, France) – 22 November, 18:00
On Body and Soul (2017, Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary) – 29 November, 18:00

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Supported by Innovative Initiative Grant and LLC Student Led Initiative Grant

Organized by Chantal Bertalanffy, Eszter Simor, François Giraud, Richard Elliott

First News From Home Film Festival Screening – Kotoko (2011)

Kotoko will be introduced by Dr. Chris Perkins and will be followed by a discussion with Chantal Bertalanffy, PhD in Japanese Studies

Date: Thursday 8th November 2018

Time: 6 pm

Location: The Screening Room G.04, 50 George Square

News From Home Film Festival (Free Film Festival in November with drinks reception)

The only thing worth globalizing is dissent” – Arundhati Roy

The News from Home Film Festival is an initiative created by four PhD students to explore contemporary films depicting the marginalization of cultures and individuals in the face of globalization. The festival takes place across four Thursdays in November beginning on Thursday 8th. Each screening is free (for both students and non-students) and is followed by a drinks reception.

The first screening is the Japanese film Kotoko (2011) by Shinya Tsukamoto, which tells the story of a single mother who struggles to raise her baby while suffering from a mysterious trauma. Dr. Chris Perkins from Japanese Studies will introduce the film, and Chantal Bertalanffy, PhD candidate in Japanese Studies, will hold the post-screening discussion. Please join us for a night of provocative cinema and stimulating conversation.

We will also show the following films the upcoming three Thursdays:

Pilgrim Hill (2013, Gerard Barrett, Ireland) – 15 November, 18:00
Jeune Femme (2017, Léonor Serraille, France) – 22 November, 18:00
On Body and Soul (2017, Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary) – 29 November, 18:00

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Supported by Innovative Initiative Grant and LLC Student Led Initiative Grant

Organized by Chantal Bertalanffy, Eszter Simor, François Giraud, Richard Elliott

Edinburgh Film Seminar: Semester 1 2018-19

We are glad to announce the Edinburgh Film Seminars for Semester 1 in the 2018-19 academic year.

Dr James MacDowell (University of Warwick)
On the Nature of Irony in Films
6 November 2018
17:00-18:30
LG.06, David Hume Tower

Dr Miriam Ross (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ)
Virtual Reality’s Disappearing Screen: The Ultimate Total Cinema?
13 November 2018
16:30-18:00
LH.09, David Hume Tower

Professor D.N. Rodowick (University of Chicago)
Powers of the Virtual in Contemporary Art
27 November 2018
18:00-19:30
G.03 (Large Lecture Theatre), 50 George Square

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

Spring Breakers @ Gallery 23

Screening of Spring Breakers with introduction by Dr David Sorfa (Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Edinburgh)

Venue: Gallery 23 (English Speaking Union)
Date: Friday 22 September 2017
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Address: 23 Atholl Crescent

Admission: £5 on the door (includes 2 free alcoholic drinks)

Come and enjoy Harmony Korine’s 2012 film which has already attained cult film status in a few short years. Dr David Sorfa will be delivering an introduction to this vastly strange yet entertaining movie. Not to be missed, Spring Breakers offers a commentary on modern-day superficiality and the younger generation’s obsession with highly stylised pop culture media.

Shakespeare on Film

2091678577_hamlet_1-scaledIn association with the University of Edinburgh, Filmhouse is proud to present a varied programme of Shakespeare adaptations by great filmmakers. Pushing across boundaries of language, genre and culture, the programme emphasises the diversity of approaches filmmakers have taken in responding to Shakespeare’s plays, going far beyond conventional renditions of the text.

http://www.filmhousecinema.com/seasons/shakespeare-on-film/

Screenings will be introduced by academics from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.
  • Thursday 29 September (5:40pm): Hamlet (Laurence Olivier, 1948) – Introduction by Dr Dermot Cavanagh, English
  • Sunday 2 October (4pm): Public lecture by Dr David Sorfa, “Double, Double: Reflecting Shakespeare in Cinema”
  • Tuesday 4 October (6pm): Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957) – Dr Chris Perkins, Japanese
  • Wednesday 5 October (6pm): To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942) – Dr Jonny Murray, Edinburgh College of Art
  • Monday 17 October (6pm): A Double Life (George Cukor, 1947) – Dr David Sorfa, Film
  • Sunday 23 October (6.10pm): Romeo, Juliet and Darkness (Jiri Weiss, 1960) – Dr David Sorfa, Film
  • Thursday 27 October (8:30pm): Prospero’s Books (Peter Greenaway, 1991) – Dr Suzanne Trill, English
  • Monday 31 October (6:05pm): Kiss Me Kate (in 3D) (George Sidney, 1953) – Dr Annette Davison, Music
  • Wednesday 2 November (6:15pm): Makibefo (Alexander Abela, 2001) – Africa in Motion Film Festival
  • Monday 7 November (8:50pm): A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (Woody Allen, 1982) – Dr Andrew Taylor, English
  • Tuesday 8 November (5:45 pm): Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, 1989) – Dr Dermot Cavanagh, English
  • Monday 21 November (6pm): Forbidden Planet (Fred M Wilcox, 1956) – Professor James Loxley, English
  • Wednesday 23 November (6pm): Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1965) – Dr Daniel Yacavone, Film

Edinburgh Film Seminar 2016-17 (Semester 1)

We are happy to announce the Edinburgh Film Seminars for Semester 1 of 2016-17. All welcome.


 

Wednesday 26 October 2016
Time: 16:30 – 18:30
Venue: G.03, 50 George Square

Dr William Brown
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies
University of Roehampton, London
http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/staff/William-Brown/

Schrödinger’s Cinema: The Matter of Life and Death

In this paper, I shall discuss the way in which cinema regularly dissolves the boundary between life and death. This happens not just on a narrative level as characters return from the dead in films like Heaven Can Wait (1943 and 1978), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Always (1989), Ghost (1990) and Truly Madly Deeply (1990). It also happens with regard to the mise-en-scène of films, in particular through the figure of the supposedly dead body that is visibly breathing, as well as through cinema’s considerable array of ‘undead’ entities (zombies, vampires, ghosts, ghouls and more). If for Gilles Deleuze, the people are missing from cinema, then cinema also has a history of missing people, whose status as dead or alive is unsure. Indeed, these dead/alive missing people bring to mind Ernst Schrödinger’s famous experiment, in which a cat in a box is determined as both dead and alive. I should like to propose, therefore, cinema as Schrödinger’s cat, or Schrödinger’s cinema, through which lens we can read cinema’s bent towards narrative and the ‘hero’s quest’ as a means to resolve this seeming contradiction of states. While most (narrative) films try to resolve this contradiction (to determine whether dead or alive, often through the act of killing), various films nonetheless take us inside the box of life and death (The Vanishing, 1988; Kill Bill, 2003; Buried, 2010), with cinema thus revealing to us on a philosophical level that the distinction between death and life is illusory. This is most clearly discussed, and becomes a key thematic element, in the recent Girl With All The Gifts (2016) – where destiny of the human is indeed revealed to be matter of both life and death.

Bio: William Brown is a Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Roehampton, London. Among other things, he is the author of Non-Cinema: Global Digital Filmmaking and the Multitude (Bloomsbury, 2018) and Supercinema: Film-Philosophy for the Digital Age (Berghahn, 2013). He is also the director of various zero-budget feature films, including En Attendant Godard (2009), Selfie (2014), The New Hope (2015), Ur: The End of Civilization in 90 Tableaux (2015), Circle/Line (2016), Letters to Ariadne (2016) and The Benefit of Doubt (2016).


 

Tuesday 22 November 2016
Time: 17:30 – 19:30
Venue: Project Room 1.06, 50 George Square

Dr Mattias Frey
Reader in Film Studies
University of Kent
https://www.kent.ac.uk/arts/staff-profiles/film/frey.html

The Crises of Film Criticism and the Promises of Film Studies

For a discipline in its relative adolescence, film studies has experienced a whole host of trends in its methodologies, emphases and even subject matter. This talk argues against a zero-sum scenario and for a more comprehensive and broad-church attitude to film and media research, using the example of a research project on the future of film criticism in the age of the internet. Plunging print circulations, immaterial online advertising revenues and the sacking of prominent critics have put the profession and institution under intense journalistic and increasing scholarly scrutiny. This talk anatomises the contours of the debate and offers historical and institutional approaches (among others) in order to relativise and tentatively resolve these ‘teeth-baring and wound-licking moments of “crisis”’ (Nick James).

Bio: Mattias Frey is Reader in Film at the University of Kent. He is an Editor of the journal Film Studies (Manchester UP) and his books include Postwall German Cinema: History, Film History, and Cinephilia (Berghahn, 2013); Cine-Ethics: Ethical Dimensions of Film Theory, Practice, and Spectatorship (Routledge, 2014; coedited with Jinhee Choi); The Permanent Crisis of Film Criticism: The Anxiety of Authority (Amsterdam UP, 2015); Film Criticism in the Digital Age (Rutgers UP, 2015; coedited with Cecilia Sayad); and Extreme Cinema: The Transgressive Rhetoric of Today’s Art Film Culture (Rutgers UP, 2016).

 

 

 

 

Ex Machina: Screening and Discussion

As part of the Artificial Intelligence strand at the Festival of Politics, Dr David Sorfa will chair a discussion after a screening of Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2013) at the Scottish Parliament.

http://festivalofpolitics.scot/events/ex-machina/

Ex Machina (15)
Date: Friday 19 August
Time: 18:30 to 21:00
Cost: £6.00/£4.00
Location: Members’ Room
Chairs: Dr David Sorfa
Tags: artificial intelligence, Film and TV

There will be a special screening of the film Ex Machina followed by a short panel discussion chaired by Dr David Sorfa, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and editor of the journal Film-Philosophy.

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