“A Critical Eye on Film: the Cinema Studies Perspective”

October 30, 9:30-10:30am, Gutstein Gallery

This yearly panel models how a cinema studies perspective fosters a certain kind of dialogue about film, allowing SCAD faculty (Dr. Roger Rawlings, Dr. Tracy Cox-Stanton, and Dr. Chad Newsom) and invited guests (Dr. Timothy Corrigan, University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Peter Hitchcock, City University of New York; and critic Claudia Puig, USA Today) to engage one another and the audience in a discussion of recent trends in film history and current film innovation.

Beginning with the question “What is cinema studies?” Dr. Roger Rawlings, Chair of SCAD’s Cinema Studies program, differentiated between the three terms “film,” “movie,” and “cinema”: film is the actual piece of plastic, the emulsion that filmmakers use, while movies are the images and sounds printed onto that emulsion. The cinema, however, is everything else—the cultural, historical, and critical contexts that bring “the movies” to life for a cinema studies scholar. As Corrigan added, to study “the cinema” is to study “the language and tools [of cinema studies] … to really know a little bit better what we do and why we do it.” Thus, cinema studies constitutes “a really crucial part of education these days for the obvious reason that our lives, our politics, our ways of looking at the world are shaped by film or film-related activities.” The ensuing discussion considered how the technological, economic, cultural, and political context of the festival’s films might help us better understand not only the films themselves, but also our own mediated relationship to important events in today’s world.