Posts in CONFERENCE REVIEW
Review: Eyes Unclouded - The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

An academic conference on the key creative figures and animated feature films of renowned Japanese production house Studio Ghibli seems an obvious - even borderline ideal - candidate for working through the interplay between fantasy and animation. Our earlier podcast on their third cel-animated feature My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) - whose primary spirit character Totoro now functions as the company’s logo image (Fig.1 ) - suggested just how much there was to say not only about the adventures of the eponymous creature, but the studio’s origins and evolution, production practices, and their relationship to anime as a creative medium, if not Ghibli’s longstanding critical repute and ongoing commercial acclaim.

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Review: Experimental & Expanded Animation

43 years after the publication of the first edition of Robert Russett and Cecile Starr’s seminal text Experimental Animation: An Illustrated Anthology, experimental animation seems to be finally experiencing a very welcome surge of public interest and critical attention. Over the last few years there has been a rise in the number of screenings, performances and academic publications related to the multifarious art form, including the recent edited collection Experimental and Expanded Animation: New Perspectives and Practices (2018).

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Review: The Legacy of Watership Down: Animals, Adaptation, Animation

Animated fantasy film Watership Down (Martin Rosen,1978) represents something of a critical cultural conundrum that underwrites its complex status as a children’s feature. On the one hand, this hand-drawn fable - that follows a cross-countryside journey made by a colony of rabbits - represents the best of British animation, with an impressive voice cast (featuring John Hurt, Richard Briers, Simon Cadell and Nigel Hawthorne) giving life to a beautifully evocative cel-animated style that fully demonstrates the pre-digital artistry of paint-and-ink animation production. On the other hand lies its well-established identity as an emotionally traumatic experience, one that trades in themes of political uprising, Fascism and grief, all the while being scored to graphic images of blood, gore, and death.

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Review: Character as Character - Understanding and Appreciating People in Films

This one day Character as Character - Understanding and Appreciating People in Films symposium organised by Dominic Lash (University of Bristol) and Hoi Lun Law (Independent Scholar) took place on Saturday 13th October at the University of Bristol; drawing inspiration for its title from V.F. Perkins’ seminal Film as Film: Understanding and Judging Movies (1972 [1993]). Although the influence of Perkins was only fleetingly acknowledged, the symposium as a whole proved a great showcase for the close and attentive analysis of an otherwise neglected aspect of Film Studies.

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Review: Film as Film Today - On the Criticism and Theory of V. F. Perkins

A wealth of staff and students both past and present came together across two days at the University of Warwick to celebrate and reflect upon the work of V. F. Perkins (1936-2016). It was Perkins’ immeasurable contribution to Film Studies and his writing on popular cinema that would come to form the basis for the superlative Film as Film Today: On the Criticism and Theory of V. F. Perkins conference co-organised with due fondness and feeling by James MacDowell (University of Warwick) and Andrew Klevan (University of Oxford).

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