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The University of Southampton
Centre for International Film Research

First CIFR research seminar series completed

Published: 5 January 2017Origin: Film

The launch by the Film Department in 2016 of the University of Southampton's Centre for International Film Research (CIFR) was confirmed with a series of invited speakers throughout the Autumn semester, chosen to showcase the variety of new research happening in Film Studies, as well as its interdisciplinary relevance across the Humanities. CIFR is pleased to make public two of the visiting speakers' presentations, which exemplify the international scope and methodological innovations hosted during the series.

The first is Professor Richard Dyer (St Andrews University), speaking on "The Coming of La dolce vita". Professor Dyer's research is the latest in a remarkably distinguished career, which has seen him produce pioneering work on areas as diverse as gays on film, stars, whiteness in cinema, popular European cinema, the film music of Nino Rota, pastiche and serial killer cinema. His paper is taken from the forthcoming publication from the BFI Classics series on La dolce vita, and sees him develop his recent study of Italian cinema whilst returning to some of the themes of pleasure and entertainment with which he began his career.

We were also very pleased to welcome Professor Richard Allen, who is Dean of the School of Creative Media at the City University, Hong Kong. Professor Allen provided us with a reading of his paper "The Passion of Christ and the Melodramatic Imagination." In a wide ranging analysis that covered religious iconography, art history and theology alongside film history and aesthetics, Professor Allen challenges conventional theories of melodrama by tracing its emergence in a "mise-en-scène of suffering" developed across religious art in Europe from the late Middle Ages. His paper is being published as part of a major ground-breaking new collection on melodrama and the cinema, Melodrama Unbound, edited by Christine Gledhill and Linda Williams and scheduled for publication by Columbia University Press in 2017.

The seminar series also featured fascinating research by Sophie Mayer (Independent Scholar and writer for Sight and Sound), who delivered her talk “Pocahontas No More: 21st Century Indigenous Girlhoods Onscreen” and Richard Rushton (University of Lancaster), who spoke on “Immersion and Specularity in the Cinema: on Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida”. Finally, two of the centre’s own colleagues presented their brand new research. PhD student Kate Rogers (University of Southampton) spoke about “Shooting Archaeologists: Uncovering the Relationship Between Archaeology and Documentary Filmmaking” and Dr Kevin Donnelly (University of Southampton) presented his talk: “Radical Film Interpretation and The Shining”.

In the Spring semester the CIFR seminar series will return with a new exciting line-up, including prominent guest speakers Professor Christine Geraghty (University of Glasgow)‬, Dr William Brown (University of Roehampton)‬, Professor Mette Hjort (University of Copenhagen)‬ and Professor John Hill (Royal Holloway, University of London)‬, as well as talks by CIFR members Dr Mike Hammond, PhD student Elliott Nikdel and Lecturer Anne Hogan.


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