Austin, Texas is one of the world’s top festival cities with a thriving arts scene that includes the SXSW film /music /multimedia festivals, the Austin Film Festival and the Austin City Limits Music Festival - from the longest-running concert music program on American television. Austin's vibrant live music scene has more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city.
Rich Newman blogs about films, filmmaking, and the people who work within the local film industry in the Austin Film Guerilla. The AFG presents festival coverage and interviews as well as local screenwriter news and the latest cast and crew calls in Austin. Rich also writes a film column for Austin Wide Open magazine, is a member of the Austin Film Society, founder of the Memphis Film Society and is a contributor to both Gaming Trend and The Onion writing on the cinematic elements of game development
Cartoon Brew sets the standard for animation blogs. Brewmaster Jerry Beck is recognized as one of the world’s leading animation historians. Among the best known of the twelve books on animation he has authored are: The Animated Movie Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide and The 50 Greatest Cartoons. Formerly a studio exec with Nickelodeon and Disney, Beck is currently a consulting producer to Warner Bros., Universal and Disney for their classic animation dvd compilations. He has programmed retrospectives for the Annecy and Ottawa Animation Festivals, The Museum of Modern Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He has taught animation history at NYU, SVA, the AFI and UCLA and he is also the host/producer of the annual “Worst Cartoons Ever” screening at the Comic-Con International in San Diego. CartoonBrewFilms.com is his online animation distribution site.
Cartoon Brew, written in collaboration with Brewmaster Amid Amidi, presents such category filters as: Advertising, Animators, Anime, Cartoon Culture, CGI, Classic, Comics, Disney, Feature Film, Illustration, Internet Blogs, Music Videos, Old Brew, Shorts, and TV. Beck has recently partnered with writer and performer Frank Conniff on a new section of the site called Cartoon Dump. You can watch it online or download episodes.
Do you love great animation? Are you a fan of quality cartoons? Well, if so, you will be appalled and horrified by Cartoon Dump, our weekly web series based on a live comedy show presented monthly at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, CA. Cartoon Dump is the unholy alliance of noted author, producer and cartoon scholar Jerry Beck and writer/producer/comedian Frank Conniff (”TV’s Frank” from Mystery Science Theater 300).
During his many years of cartoon research, Jerry Beck has collected and assembled some of the most disturbing and incompetently made “animated” TV shows from the Fifties and Sixties, considered by many pop culture pundits to be the golden age of Saturday Morning Cartoon Crap. Long forgotten titles like Mighty Mr. Titan, Big World of Little Adam, Bucky and Pepito, Spunky and Tadpole, and Sir Gee Whiz, which have never been seen since their original release, mainly because nobody in their right mind would ever want to see them again.
The writing of film critic Chris Fujiwara can be accessed at insanemute.com. Fujiwara is the author of Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, with a foreword by Martin Scorsese. His critical biography of Otto Preminger will be published by Faber & Faber in February 2008. Chris Fujiwara is a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, Film Comment, Cineaste, Osian's Cinemaya, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, The Chicago Reader, and Senses of Cinema. He has contributed to anthologies, including The X List: The National Society of Film Critics' Guide to the Movies that Turn Us On (Da Capo Press), The Science Fiction Reader (Limelight Editions), Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics (Duke University Press), and Ozu 2003 (Asahi Shimbun Press).
Chris Fujiwara has taught and lectured on film studies at Yale University, Emerson College, and Rhode Island School of Design and has served on juries at numerous international film festivals. He is a member of FIPRESCI, the National Society of Film Critics (USA), and the Boston Society of Film Critics. Fujiwara is both the editor and a contributor to the FIPRESCI Undercurrent journal. The April 2006 Undercurrent included a panel on How Film Critics Work from a forum presented by the AFTRS as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival. Check it out here.
…I study films as works of art, treating them as designed to elicit effects from audiences and as exploring what the medium is capable of. I study Hollywood cinema, from the beginning to the present, as well as cinemas of Europe (especially Scandinavia) and Asia (especially Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan). I'm interested in the history of film, particularly film technology and technique. I also try to build theories of how people make sense of movies, especially theories with some grounding in empirical research in perception, story comprehension, and comparable domains (ie, "cognitive" theories). I try to bring into my research relevant studies in adjacent arts, particularly literature, music, and the visual arts...
from David Bordwell, Faculty Profile, University of Wisconsin-Madison
David Bordwell is the Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies, Emeritus, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor Bordwell may be best known for his book Film Art: An Introduction written in collaboration with Kristin Thompson. In a British Film Institute poll Film Art was voted one of the top five books on cinema published since 1980. It’s also the world’s best selling book on film criticism, now in an eighth edition and available across the world in many translations. David Bordwell’s most recent (and fourteenth) book is The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies. Professor Bordwell is considered the founder of cognitive film theory and widely recognized as one of the world’s leading film scholars.
David Bordwell’s website on cinema offers the extraordinary range of Bordwell’s work organized into books, essays, articles, and book reviews. The site features a blog with entries by both Professor Bordwell and Professor Kristin Thompson (his wife and collaborator) which can be filtered into the following ten categories: Animation, Asian cinema, Experimental film, Festivals, Film and other media, FILM ART (the book), Film comments, Film industry, Film technique, and The Frodo Franchise. We filtered the blog for Festivals and enjoyed some of the best film festival commentary we’d seen anywhere accompanied by a collection of photos that would be right at home in Conde Nast Traveler. This is a blog where you may surrender, as did we, to also reading the archives.
Film Art: An Introduction. Written with Kristin Thompson. Eighth edition, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. Translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Hungarian, French, and Persian.
The Films of Carl-Theodor Dreyer. Berkeley: University of California Press, l98l.
The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960. Written in collaboration with Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul; New York: Columbia University Press, l985. Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1985.Translated into Spanish.
Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press; London: Methuen, l985. Translated into Spanish, Hungarian, Chinese, and Persian.
Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema. London: British Film Institute; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988. Translated into Japanese.
Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989. Translated into Chinese and Spanish.
The Cinema of Eisenstein. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993. Winner of 1993 Theatre Library Association Award for the outstanding book in film, broadcasting, or recorded performance. Translated into Chinese and Spanish.
Film History: An Introduction. Textbook written with Kristin Thompson (first-named author). 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, 2002. Translated into Italian, Chinese, and Korean.
On the History of Film Style. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997. Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1998.
Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000.
Figures Traced in Light: On Cinematic Staging. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies. Berkeley: University of California Press, spring 2006.
Among the best known of documentary film bloggers is Sarah Jo Marks. Sarah Jo has extensive experience in the world of non-fiction films. She worked as Senior VP of Acquisitions and Development for Seventh Art Releasing and also worked at the International Documentary Association where she programmed that organization’s largest events including the DOCtober Film Festival (now DocuWeek) and the IDA Awards. Currently Sarah Jo is a contributing editor for International Documentary Magazine and has her own company, At Risk Films, a film sales company that blends the activities of distribution and representation to find the largest possible audience for the films it represents.
When you read the Documentary Insider and visit At Risk Films.com you get insights into the film business and into the current film festival scene for non-fiction films from a professional film distribution consultant, producer's rep, and film producer, who is also a former film festival programmer, and frequent festival panelist and juror. That’s a great insider’s view to access in a single visit.
In March 2005 Guardian Unlimited included Matthew Clayfield’s weblog, The Esoteric Rabbit, in their Blogwatch roundup noting that “some of the best blogging around comes from short film-makers detailing their latest productions or venting their spleen about development hell.” At the time Clayfield was a film and television student at Bond University in Queensland, Australia.
To date Matthew Clayfield has written, produced and directed about a dozen short films. He has written for Senses of Cinema, Metro Magazine, ReelTime, Post Identity, and Melbourne Stage Online. You can access his articles, essays and his blog at The EsotericRabbit.com. Clayfield’s blog has category filters for: Criticism, Videoblogging, Festivals, Filmmaking, Food & Wine, Theatre, Cooking, Blogging, Politics and The Week in Review. While we did not read about spleen being served, we did enjoy Clayfield’s Melbourne restaurant reviews. We sense there may be a lifestyle zine coming soon for the Esoteric Rabbit.
GeraldPeary.com is the online residence of one of the world’s leading film critics. Like any great home it’s a pleasure to visit and Peary sets a fine table.
For more than twenty-five years Gerald Peary’s writing has appeared in newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe, and in film periodicals around the world, including Film Comment, Cineaste, Sight and Sound, and Positif. Since 1996, he has been a weekly film critic and columnist for the Boston Phoenix.
He is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics, and FIPRESCI and has served on critics' juries at many film festivals including at Locarno, Stockholm, and Berlin and has been president of critics’ juries at many festivals including Karlovy Vary, Rotterdam, Turin, Bangkok, Mara Del Plata, and Vienna. He has taught film studies and screenwriting classes at Rutgers, Boston University, Tufts, Concordia and others. Currently, he heads the film program at Suffolk University, Boston, where he is a Professor of Communications.
Gerald Peary’s nine books include co-editing the anthologies, The Classic American Novel and the Movies, The American Animated Cartoon, and Women and the Cinema: a Critical Anthology. John Ford: Interviews and Quentin Tarantino: Interviews, both edited by Gerald Peary are published by University Press of Mississippi.
When you visit GeraldPeary.com click the link to Gerald Peary’s film project , a documentary titled: FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES, “the first feature documentary to tell the rich, colorful, and undeniably controversial story of the American film critic…with an insider’s expertise this documentary unveils the amusing, fractious, amazingly articulate subculture of those who spend much of their working lives in movie theatres, scribbling review notes in the dark…
Here’s an intimate movie which puts faces and voices to the bylines of America’s foremost film critics…What do film critics really think and feel? What do they feel about other critics? From the silent era before bylines, to the legendary Kael-Sarris quarrels, to the contemporary moment, when populist reviewing explodes on the internet and challenges the film critic print establishment, FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES spills all.”
If Godard is not your cup of tea, Bunuel draws a blank, Fellini seems more like a verb than a person, and Kubrick is Stanley who, then you might consider skipping the stylish, erudite, and film art candy store of a blog written by Girish Shambu. If on the other hand you have been known to refer to the movies as cinema and retrospective is within your perspective then we highly recommend a visit to Girish.
Girish is Girish Shambu, Associate Professor at the Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius College in New York – quite a distinguished Fellow on the academic side of manufacturing plant operations and management and for some years now known to the film blogosphere as a regular contributor to Senses of Cinema and as the author of a well-respected weblog. Visiting Girish is like being at the table of an online panel, a virtual roundtable of leading sources assembled by Girish for a thoughtful discussion of films, filmmakers and film festivals programs. Enjoy!
Harry Kloman is the journalism program coordinator, faculty advisor to the student newspaper and a journalism instructor at the University of Pittsburgh. He’s also a film critic for Pittsburgh’s City Paper, and from 1987-2001 was film critic for the Pittsburgh Weekly. Kloman was the Managing Editor of the scholarly journal Film Criticism from 1982-88 and is presently its book review editor.
At Harry’s page you are presented with his extensive Movie Review Index, a Movie Feature Index, the Pulitzer Prize Thumbnail Project, and his famous Gore Vidal Index. For a few surprises check out Vidal's movie and TV career which has spanned 60 years. Also at Harry’s page you can read this week's film reviews at the City Paper, you can get Harry’s movie pick of the week, and read his list of the best movies of the year.
At Just TV Jason Mittell blogs about popular culture and the media landscape it thrives in. His specific interests include: television history & criticism, animation & children's media, race & gender studies, and new media studies & technological convergence. Jason is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College. He is the author of Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture (Routledge, 2004)
Professor Mittal’s formal essays have been published in Television: The Critical View, 7th Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); in Prime Time Animation: Television Animation and American Culture, (New York: Routledge Press, 2003); in The Television Studies Reader, (New York: Routledge Press, 2003); in The Television History Book (London: British Film Institute, 2003); among others. Online his essays appear frequently in many journals including: The Velvet Light, Cinema Journal, Television and New Media, and Flow. Mittell is a frequent panelist and presenter at events organized by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and is a Founding Member of its Public Policy Committee.
For an e-ticket into the world of animation read Michael Barrier. Equally adroit at taking us backstage in the lead up to the latest Pixar release, back in history to Walt Disney’s 1928 release of Steamboat Willy and then connecting the dots, Michael Barrier is a journalist, a masterful storyteller and a renowned scholar who’s published work includes: A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics (Smithsonian/Abrams, 1982), and Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age (Oxford University Press, 2003).
Michael Barrier’s latest book The Animated Man (University of California Press, 2007) chronicles the life and work of Walt Disney - businessman, pioneering artist and visionary who grasped television's true potential earlier than his Hollywood peers and went on to remake the amusement park concept in his creation of theme parks where fantasy could be enjoyed and promoted in a world of its own. Barrier has detailed how Disney’s transformation of the amusement park, through Disneyland, grew out of his triumphs and frustrations as a filmmaker. MichaelBarrier.com is comprised of many sections including: the “What’s New” blog; a section containing Michael’s film reviews and commentaries; and a section of profiles of the blogs he reads and references in his online writing.
Andy Horbal whose weblog No More Marriages! was a staple of the film blogosphere has recently launched a new site called Mirror-Stage. Among several goals for Mirror/Stage is to explore the changing landscape of film criticism, emphasizing how it affects both average moviegoers and devoted cinephiles. Here’s an excerpt from a recent post where Andy writes:
…These are new times, and they call for a new criticism; I believe that we are entering the age of the “termite critic.” …the critics of tomorrow will devote themselves to some small part of the Cinema and nibble away at it until sated …they are individuals, yes, but they are also part of a larger whole, a “colony” if you will, and their strength lies in the ability to draw on their collective expertise …. Film history is their canvas, and they paint with it; it is their wood, their stone, their brick & mortar, and they build with it. They bridge the gap between academia and journalism, between amateur and professional, between those who make films and those who watch them.
By day, Andy Horbal is the Media Acquisitions Coordinator for the Media Resource Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library. By night, he’s a student in the Masters of Library and Information Science program at Pitt’s School of Information Sciences.
At pullquote the cinetrix cooks up the tastiest, wittiest, most trenchant film reviews and cinema scene commentary you’ll get anywhere. She has with pullquote shaped a unique form of gonzo blogging in the literary traditions of Hunter S. Thompson and the legendary Dorothy Parker, who once said about a book: This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
What makes pullquote different than most film blogs is that it’s really fun to read—not just well written, not just rich in tasty tidbits of news, not just the product of a superbly educated mind—though it is all of the above; what makes the cinetrix so remarkable is that what she writes and how she writes is really fun to read.
Truly independent filmmakers dare to explore things that really matter. They aren't worried about what worked last year, or trying to cash in on a successful formula, or thinking about what will play in Peoria, or what will make a lot of money. They do what artists in any other medium do - pose real questions about who we are, what matters in life, where are we headed, what our culture is doing to us. In short, they ask the same questions we ask ourselves. And then, amazingly, they do something we don't always do: try to answer them.
Crazy? Narcissistic? Pigheaded? Wildly ambitious? Flawed? Foolish? Indie films can be all those things. But they're attempting to give us the news that really matters. The emotional news. News about what it is to be alive today. To quote Ezra Pound, the news that stays news.
-Ray Carney as quoted by David Sterritt
Film critic of The Christian Science Monitor from the January 28, 2005 edition
Ray Carney is Professor of Film and American Studies at Boston University. He is the world's leading expert on the life and work of actor-writer-director John Cassavetes, often named as the father of the American independent film movement. Carney’s twelve books include: The Films of Mike Leigh: Embracing the World (Cambridge University Press, 2000). American Vision: The Films of Frank Capra (Wesleyan University Press, 1996). Speaking the Language of Desire: The Films of Carl Dreyer (Cambridge University Press, 1989) and five books on the life and work of Cassavetes including his landmark work, Cassavetes on Cassavetes (Faber and Faber, 2001).Professor Carney has been a tireless advocate for cinema made outside the Hollywood system.
Carney is also the General Editor of The Cambridge Film Classics. He has served as a consultant on film and American art for the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and National Public Radio. He is a charter member of the advisory board of the Boston Film Festival and is the founding presenter of the festival's annual "Independent Filmmaker" award. He has advised, programmed films for, and lectured at many dozens of national and international film festivals, including those at: Berlin, Rotterdam, San Francisco, San Sebastian, Sydney and at Sundance.
New visitors seeking a quick introduction to Ray Carney’s truly extraordinary website are recommended to go to the Mailbag. The Mailbag pages include comments about recent films and filmmakers, suggestions for dealing with filmmaking and distribution problems, and updates and reflections on a range of recent issues.
It was Fall, 2000. Paul Harrill had just finished editing his 20-minute film Gina, An Actress. Age 29, and had submitted it to the Clermont-Ferrand, Rotterdam and Sundance festivals. With great odds against its acceptance at any one of them, Gina became the only short film that year to be accepted and to screen at all three. At Sundance Gina won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking. That year Filmmaker Magazine named Paul Harrill as one of its “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”
Harrill created the weblog Self-Reliant Film “to talk about and to encourage the practice of making high-quality films at a low cost and/or with small labor systems.” SRF has become the virtual home office for DIY filmmakers. Read more about the concept here.
Harrill's latest film is Quick Feet, Soft Hands, a co-production of his company, Lovell Films, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Quick Feet, Soft Hands follows a young couple trying to pursue the American Dream. Lisa, a young woman whose hopes of moving up are tied to Jim, a minor league baseball player. As Jim falls deeper into a batting slump, the couple must cope with the day-to-day realities of being young and poor. And they must confront the prospect that they may never make it to the big leagues. Quick Feet, Soft Hands will have its World Premiere in competition at the Nashville Film Festival in April 2008.
While a student in the MFA Program at Temple University Harrill taught screenwriting at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. After earning an MFA in film and media arts from Temple in 1999 he returned to his native Knoxville to teach at the University of Tennessee and to make films where his stories were set. In 2006 Harrill joined the Department of Communications faculty at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. He has said about his work “part of the promise with independent filmmaking is the promise of being able to tell stories in your own backyard, in your region, and that’s really important.”
In The Chutry Experiment Chuck Tryon regularly brings the worlds of blogging, academia, popular culture, and politics together in new ways. He is an assistant professor of film and media studies at Fayetteville State University who garnered international attention for his innovative 2003 blog-based writing course “Writing to the Moment.” Tryon has published articles in Flow, Film Criticism, Rhizomes.net, Post-Identity and New Critics and has a forthcoming essay in the book collection, The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader, He is currently working on a book on networked film publics.
For a jumpstart into the daily blogosphere convergence of film, new media and politics start the day with The Chutry Experiment. Chuck Tryon comments on and networks you into some of the most interesting film, pop culture, political talk and media happenings up to the moment To reach back in time The Chutry Experiment can be filtered by the following tags: Blogging, cultural studies, documentary, fiction, film promotion, film theory, media studies, movie review, music, politics, technology, Television, theory of time, and viral videos.