Post-Cinema (Book Trailer)

Here is a short “book trailer” for the open-access collection Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, edited by Shane Denson and Julia Leyda (REFRAME Books, 2016).

Also, don’t forget that we’ll be having a book launch party at Pro qm Books in Berlin this coming Friday, June 24. See here for more info and a flyer.

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Post-Cinema Book Launch Party

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On June 24, 2016, Julia Leyda and I will be celebrating the launch of our co-edited book Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film at Pro qm Books in Berlin. Several contributors will be on hand as well for a short book presentation, Q&A, and wine!

See the flyer above for details, and come out if you’re in the neighborhood!

Out Now — Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film

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I am happy to announce, at long last, the publication of Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, edited by Shane Denson and Julia Leyda, which is out today as a completely free and open-access volume with REFRAME Books.

If cinema and television, as the dominant media of the 20th century, shaped and reflected our cultural sensibilities, how do new digital media in the 21st century help to shape and reflect new forms of sensibility? In this collection, editors Shane Denson and Julia Leyda have gathered a range of essays that approach this question by way of a critical engagement with the notion of “post-cinema.” Contributors explore key experiential, technological, political, historical, and ecological aspects of the transition from a cinematic to a post-cinematic media regime and articulate both continuities and disjunctures between film’s first and second centuries.

The book will appear in several digital formats: the web-based version is online today, and several ebook formats will be appearing soon.

The book brings together foundational texts by some of the key voices in the discussion of post-cinema and places them next to a range of brand-new chapters, as well as a series of roundtable discussions.

The long list of contributors includes:

Caitlin Benson-Allott, Paul Bowman, Felix Brinker, Kristopher L. Cannon, Francesco Casetti, Steen Christiansen, Elena del Río, Shane Denson, Rosalind Galt, Therese Grisham, Richard Grusin, Leon Gurevitch, Mark B. N. Hansen, Bruce Isaacs, Adrian Ivakhiv, Kylie Jarrett, Selmin Kara, ​Julia Leyda, Patricia MacCormack, Lev Manovich, Ruth Mayer, Michael O’Rourke, Patricia Pisters, Alessandra Raengo, David Rambo, Nicholas Rombes, Sergi Sánchez, Karin Sellberg, Steven Shaviro, Michael Loren Siegel, Vivian Sobchack, Billy Stevenson, Andreas Sudmann

Here is the table of contents:

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A brief “press release” with a description of the book and the complete table of contents is available here (opens as a PDF): POST-CINEMA-Press-Release

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Coming Soon: Post-Cinema, edited by Shane Denson and Julia Leyda

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UPDATE APRIL 11, 2016: THE BOOK IS OUT NOW! See here for more info.

Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film is the working title of a collection of essays that Julia Leyda and I have proposed to REFRAME Books, a new branch of Catherine Grant’s open-access publishing ventures (you may know Catherine Grant, of Film Studies at the University of Sussex, from her excellent blog Film Studies For Free, while REFRAME includes the innovative journal Sequence and a variety of other great publications and platforms).

Our proposal has been well received by REFRAME’s reviewers, so if all goes well (i.e. pending review of the completed chapters) the collection should be appearing sometime in the near future. We are particularly excited to be working with REFRAME on this project, as this means that the book will appear in a variety of open-access formats (PDF, epub, Mobi), free of charge and freely distributable! Ours will be among the first full-length edited collections to appear with REFRAME, whose publications are sure to make waves in scholarly publishing in the coming years. We are very proud to be in on the ground floor!

While there is still quite a bit of work ahead of us on this project, and though not all of the details have been finalized yet, we couldn’t wait to announce the collection; we are very excited about the group of contributors we have assembled (more info soon), and we are confident that the volume will make an important contribution to the still emerging discussion of post-cinema.

According to an anonymous reviewer for REFRAME:

“The proposed collection promises to be a landmark publication by bringing together some of the most important critical essays that have discussed recent developments in film and media cultures and a number of original essays that develop in innovative ways the perspectives and provocations of those earlier interventions.”

We will do our best to live up to these high expectations, and we will be sure to provide further details about the project in due time!

Post-Cinematic: Video Essays

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For their final projects in my 21st-century film class, three of my students chose to make video essays, which they have now made available on a blog that they set up especially for this purpose. Over at 21stcenturycinema.wordpress.com, you will find Jesko Thiel’s exploration of transmedia storytelling, Christopher Schramm’s analysis of editing techniques in videogame-based “fragmovies,” and Andreas Merokis’s look at violence as narrative and/or spectacle in contemporary cinema. Take a look and leave them a comment!

Demon Debt

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I am pleased to announce that on Friday, January 17, 2014 (12:00 pm in room 609, Conti-Hochhaus), Prof. Julia Leyda from Sophia University in Tokyo will be giving a talk on “Demon Debt: Paranormal Activity as Recessionary Post-Cinematic Allegory.” The lecture will take place in the context of my seminar on 21st-century film, but attendance is open to all.

Julia Leyda has participated in the two roundtable discussions on “post-cinematic affect” that have appeared to date in the pages of La Furia Umana, and she served as respondent at SCMS 2013 on a panel that included papers by Steven Shaviro, Therese Grisham, and myself. Among other projects, she is currently collaborating with me on the preparation of an edited collection on “post-cinematic theory” that we hope to see published in 2014! (More details soon…)

Here is the abstract for her talk in January:

Demon Debt: Paranormal Activity as Recessionary Post-Cinematic Allegory

Julia Leyda

The Paranormal Activity film franchise serves as a case study in twenty-first-century neoliberal post-cinema. The demon in the Paranormal films comes to claim a debt resulting from a contract with an ancestor, who has in a sense “mortgaged” her future offspring in exchange for power and wealth; the demon here is an allegory of debt under capitalism, invisible, conveyed through digital media, and inescapable. Set entirely inside feminine spaces of the home — bedroom, kitchen, and nursery — the films construct a post-feminist narrative that reconfigures the gender politics of horror cinema. But the post-cinematic moment also demands analysis of form in addition to a thematic reading. Digital data constitutes the “film” itself in the form of video footage, like transnational finance capital and the intangible systems of consumer credit, and like the unseen and immaterial demon. The incursion of debtor capitalism and financialization into the home in these films has turned deadly. Finally, like the demonic home invasion, the financialization of private life drafts the immaterial labor of the audience into the branding of the film.