Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Honorary Professorship

Image result for carleton universityI have just been awarded the honorary position of Adjunct Research Professor in Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University (Ottawa). 

I am currently supervising a PhD student at Carleton who is writing on the legal and social implications of snuff fiction.

The role has no bearing on my position at Northumbria University, where I will continue as Head of Subject for Media.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Publications in Slovenian

I am part of a REF impact case study focusing on film festivals, which is led by my Northumbria colleague Dr Russ Hunter. The project entails delivering our research in public spaces. In 2019, I will return to Offscreen Festival in Brussels and Kurja Polt Festival in Ljubljana to deliver public lectures.

As a result of our work with Kurja Polt, some of my research work has been translated into Slovenian and published in Kino! journal

‘Tvoja zgodba je resnična in ljudje to čutijo’: mučenje v kontekstu” (Kino! 31/32), which is a translation of a chapter from my monograph Torture Porn Popular Horror after Saw (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013).

Kartezijanstvo in intersubjektivnost v filmski seriji Paranormalno ter v filozofiji duha” (Kino! 36), which is a translation of the article “Cartesianism and Intersubjectivity in Paranormal Activity and the Philosophy of Mind”, which was originally published in Film-Philosophy (21:1, 2017).

Abertoir 2018

In November, I was invited back to Abertoir film festival where I delivered a public lecture on the slasher film. It was a pleasure to return to Aberystwyth. Thanks to Gaz, Nia and the Abertoir crew for having me back.

A review of the festival (including some very kind words about my talk) is available on Love Horror here

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Various updates

It has been a while since I posted anything, so here are some updates

I thrilled to have been invited to be a member of Porn Studies’ editorial board. Check out the journal here 

I am now supervising two new PhD students. Ami Nisa has joined us at Northumbria and is writing on found footage horror from a socio-technological perspective. Meg Lonergan is at Carleton University (Ottawa) and is writing on snuff films, focusing on cultural fears about technology, sex, and violence. I’m really looking forward to seeing how these projects develop.

I'm continuing as Head of Subject for Media this year. Check out our website if you haven't already. 

I've been working with Necrostorm films on their upcoming releases Hotel Inferno III and Little Necro Red. Click on the links to access the crowdfunding pages.

I'll be speaking on the slasher film at this year's Abertoir Film Festival in Aberystwyth, and I also have some new publications in the pipeline. I will post an update on those soon.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Kurja Polt 2018

Last week I was at the fabulous Kurja Polt Film Festival (Slovenia) for the second year running with my Northumbria colleague Russ Hunter. and Alexia Kannas (RMIT, Melbourne). It is a great festival; I can't recommend it enough.

During our time there, I hosted a Masterclass with writer/director Fabrice du Welz. Here is a video of the interview

We also presented at the festival's public Cult Film conference, this year entitled "Contamination, Ruination and Damnation!: Cult Cinema and the Nation". 

My paper was entitled "Wild Justice: Revenge in Contemporary American Film"

Here is the abstract:
Frequently, fictional heroes are violent, angry characters. Nowhere is that clearer than in revenge films. However, revenge is typically presented in several very different ways in fiction. In some revenge films, violent action is presented as a way of upholding justice. If that is the case, revenge is morally virtuous. Sometimes revenge is associated with retaliation; a kind of unthinking, angry “lashing out”. If that is the case, revenge is a sign that when it really matters, we are not moral creatures; we cannot control our animal natures. Elsewhere, revenge is presented as an intricately planned activity. Where that is the case, revenge is a sign that humans are rational creatures who don’t simply lash out; however, we use intelligence in malicious immoral ways. This talk will explore these different ways of thinking about revenge by focusing on contemporary American revenge films such as Reservation Road (2007), I Spit on Your Grave (2010), and I Am Wrath (2016). America is supposedly founded on moral values; leading the “free world” towards betterment by upholding “liberty and justice for all”. Those values do not seem to fit well the sheer volume of revenge films coming out of the US. This talk will ask what the cultural obsession with revenge suggests about the nation and its values.

Here is a video of the full talk:

Russ and Alexia's papers are also available via Kurja Polt's YouTube channel

We were also interviewed for Slovenian national news (television and radio)

My deepest thanks to Festival Director Masa Pece and the festival team for inviting us, and for their warm hospitality, and to Russ for organising the conference. I hope to return to Ljubljana again next year.

Media Website

I recently launched a website for the Media team at Northumbria. To find out about the team and our activities, visit: medianorthumbria.com/

Friday, 23 February 2018

New Article

My article "Preserved for Posterity? Present Bias and the Status of Grindhouse Films in the 'Home Cinema' Era" has been published in Journal of Film and Video, 70:1 doi: 10.5406/jfilmvideo.70.1.0003

Despite the closure of virtually all original grindhouse cinemas, ‘grindhouse’ lives on as a conceptual term. This article contends that the prevailing conceptualization of ‘grindhouse’ is problematized by a widening gap between the original grindhouse context (‘past’) and the DVD/home-viewing context (present). Despite fans’ and filmmakers’ desire to preserve this part of exploitation cinema history, the world of the grindhouse is now little more than a blurry set of tall-tales and faded phenomenal experiences, which are subject to present-bias. The continuing usefulness of grindhouse-qua-concept requires that one should pay heed to the contemporary contexts in which ‘grindhouse’ is evoked. 

Access a PDF of the article here