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The University of Southampton
Centre for International Film Research

"Border Crossings" Event

10:30 - 16:30
2 July 2016
The Cinema Museum Dugard Way London SE11 4TH

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Sofia Bull at .

Event details

You are warmly invited to join the University of Southampton’s Film Department at the Cinema Museum, London for “Border Crossings” the inaugural event of our Centre for International Film Research (CIFR).

This event will explore the ways film entails a range of “Border Crossings”, whether geographical, political, industrial, metaphorical, or aesthetic. Globalisation and transnational flows are pressing political contemporary concerns, and film throughout its history has been both a product of, and a stimulus for, international exchange. From its intermedial origins to present-day digital convergence film has been caught up amidst a range of intersectingborders. By bringing together key scholars in the field, the papers, screenings, and debates of this event will open up new perspectives on this critical domain.

“Border Crossings” is the inaugural event of the Centre for International Film Research based at the University of Southampton. Providing an interdisciplinary forum for research into film, CIFR showcases the university’s research excellence while engaging wider communities through public events, visiting speakers, and research initiatives.

This event is free and open to all.

Draft Schedule

10:30-11:00 Registration and Welcome

11:00-12:30 Journeys In, Out, and Through Film: Physical, Political, Metaphorical

Research talks by members of the Centre for International Film Research

Dr Louis Bayman " Sic transit : Travel in serial killer films"

Dr Ruby Cheung "The Border-crossing Effects of Film Policies: Contemporary East Asian Film Business Network"

Dr Corey Schultz "A Need for Roots? The Floating Populations & Precarious Migration in Jia Zhangke's Films"

Talk abstracts can be found below this schedule

12:30-13:30 Lunch Break

13:30-14:30 Screening of a Selection of Len Lye Films from the BFI National Archive

The following films will be introduced by Dr Malcolm Cook :

Tusalava (1929) with live accompaniment by Dr Mike Hammond and Alex Hammond of the Dodge Brothers

Experimental Amination/Peanut Vendor (1933)

A Colour Box (1935)

Trade Tattoo (1937)

Rainbow Dance (1936)

14:30-15:00 Tea Break

15:00-16:30 Round-table Discussion on the Theme of "Border Crossings" with Leading Scholars

Professor Lucy Mazdon (Chair) University of Southampton

Professor Dina Iordanova University of St Andrews

Professor Paul McDonald King's College London

Professor Lúcia Nagib University of Reading

Professor Laura Rascaroli University College Cork

Dr Karl Schoonover University of Warwick

Abstracts for Research Talks

Title: Sic transit: Travel in serial killer films

Speaker: Dr Louis Bayman (University of Southampton)

This presentation proposes to investigate journeying as a motif in serial killer films. It will position this motif in relation to debates on mobility and serial killing, for which travel not only enables criminals to go undetected, but furthermore belongs to the transience of a modernity which may be what creates serial killers in the first place. Journeying helps define two cultural archetypes commonly related to serial killing: the lone anti-hero and the outlaw couple. These distinct archetypes will be explored in a comparison of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (USA, 1987) and Sightseers (UK, 2012). While the former presents an arthouse vision of remorseless alienation in a postmodern environment, the latter revels in the gleeful abandon of the outlaw couple, inflected by British comedic traditions of social satire and mild absurdism. Despite their differences, both films represent serial killing as a disturbing balance between monstrosity and normality, and as a condition which is put in motion by the journey itself. I will then seek to explain the cultural construction of the serial killer in relation to Georg Simmel’s anthropological distinctions between stranger, wanderer and outsider, who function to represent a society’s essence by embodying an existence at its boundaries.

Title: The Border-crossing Effects of Film Policies: Contemporary East Asian Film Business Network

Speaker: Dr Ruby Cheung (University of Southampton)

Cross-border film business activities in East Asia have a history almost as long as the film itself. These activities were discussed primarily in terms of the nation-states involved, while the activities per se were spearheaded by individual personalities and/or film studios. With the latest thrust of regionalisation in East Asia’s political-economic scene after the Asian Financial Crisis, there is an urgent need to study the newest round of development of the film business activities among several major filmmaking hubs in East Asia.

Drawing on ideas from Political Economy and East Asian Studies, in this paper I argue for a shift in our theoretical focus from the usual local/national/global to the East Asian regional, in order to highlight the tightly knitted film network that several bridgeheads have formed together. They are, in alphabetical order, Beijing, Busan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Taipei. Although not all of them are capital cities of their respective countries/territories, they all stand firmly as media capitals in Michael Curtin’s sense. Most importantly, they are all backed by the most recent film-related policies of their respective federal/central governments to engage proactively in the regional film sector in the twenty-first century. I further argue that there is in fact no absolute winner in this nexus of regional film business. What these regional bridgeheads divulge are their complicated, multi-layering and multi-directional relationships.

Title: A Need for Roots? The Floating Population & Precarious Migration in Jia Zhangke's Films

Speaker: Dr Corey Schultz (University of Southampton)


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