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Film Studies Program
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Professor Bill Vincent recognized by Evil Dead Producers

Our own Bill Vincent was recently recognized by producers of the cult classic Evil Dead trio of films (and the new remake in theaters this week) when they flew him out to New Zealand to act as an extra in the new film. The Detroit Free Press recently published an article on the cameo and with a great shot of Bill in makeup. Congrats, Bill!


Trio of documentaries headed to campus

Three documentary films will be screened on campus in the next two weeks, with the filmmakers present for Q&A. This is a terrific opportunity for all filmmaking students, fiction and documentary, to gain information on the production and distribution of independent films.

Returning Souls, April 1, 7:30 PM, B122 Wells Hall

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Money and Honey, April 4, 6 PM, 103 Erickson

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The Waiting Room, April 7, 7 PM, RCAH Theater


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CAL global film series to showcase three films


The College of Arts and Letters Spring Global Film Series kicks off February 27 with Abendland, the first of three films from around the globe to be featured in the series. Click the images below to download a flyer for each film.



7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27
B122 Wells Hall

A German documentary that observes Europe at night. Under the cover of darkness, people not only sleep, they work, play, are born and die. Professor Elizabeth Mittman, Department of Linguistics, and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, will host an audience question-and-answer session following the film. The film contains some nudity and adult situations.



7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 27
B122 Wells Hall

(Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film, 1991) A group of Italian soldiers, put ashore on a small Greek isle during World War II, are forgotten by the war and left to interact with the local populace. The film contains some nudity and adult situations.

Vincenzo A. Binetti, Professor of Italian, University of Michigan, will speak on this Academy Award winning film at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in B343 Wells Hall.

Co-sponsored by Romance and Classical Studies, Global Studies in the Arts & Humanities, CASID, CERES, the Department of English, and the Film Studies Program.


Returning Souls
7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 3
B122 Wells Hall

A Taiwanese documentary on how human negotiation and collaboration lead to preservation and revitalization of carved pillars holding the souls of Taiwanese ancestors. Violinist Joseph Lin will play a composition by Shih-hui Chen, the film's musical composer. Chen and Tai-li Hu, the film's Director, will hold a post-film question-and-answer session.



Visiting speaker Mark Goble will lecture "On Cinematic Slowness"



As part of the Department of English Speaker Series, Dr. Mark Goble, University of California, Berkeley, will present "End Time Forever: on Cinematic Slowness" Friday, February 22, 3pm in B122 Wells Hall. 

Professor Goble's research focuses on the connections between literature and other media technologies from the late 19th century to the present. He is the author of Beautiful Circuits: Modernism and the Mediated Life (Columbia University Press, 2010), and has published essays in journals like ELH, MLQ, Modern Fiction Studies, and American Literature. He is at work on a book entitled Downtime: The Twentieth Century in Slow Motion,  which explores the systemic relation between the experience of slowness and the limits of high technology across a range of film, literature, and new media art. 



Visiting Speaker Robert Burgoyne to present on the New War Film



Professor Robert Burgoyne, University of St Andrews, Scotland, will present his talk "Somatic War: Re-Enchantment and the Body at Risk in the New War Film" on Thursday, February 21 from 4-6 pm in C640 Wells Hall. 

The new war film, dominated by the low-tech, visceral imagery of insurgency and counter-insurgency, centers on the embodied experience of the combatant. Professor Robert Burgoyne compares two recent films that foreground the body of the combatant in the new wars of the 21st century: Paradise Now and The Hurt Locker. Following the presentation, the MSU Film Collective will screen Paradise Now at 8pm in Wells B122. Professor Burgoyne will present the film and lead a discussion following the screening. Professor Burgoyne is Chair of Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland and author of, most recently, Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at U.S. History (expanded 2010), and The Hollywood Historical Film (2008).

This presentation is co-sponsored by the Film Studies and Muslim Studies programs. Click image to download a flyer.



English Film Studies & Arts and Humanities Students


Please consider applying to the Specialization in Fiction Film Production for 2013/14.  This specialization offers the unique opportunity for a select group of students to collaborate over a two-year period and ultimately produce a capstone 30-minute narrative film project.  In the first year of the Specialization in Fiction Film the class will come together in English 335 Directing in which approaches to film directing will be taught.  In that first course of the Specialization, students will write, produce, act in and, of course, direct short films in collaboration.  In the second year of the Specialization in Fiction Film the same group of students will produce a capstone 30-minute film over two semesters in 435A & 435B. 

The Specialization in Fiction Film has been very successful.  Over the last two years capstone student produced films American Terrorist and Theo Wilder in the Case of the Torched Turf have enjoyed multiple screenings and won several awards on the film festival circuit.  English Film Studies students contributing to the success of those two films have gone on to work on The Hunger GamesOz the Great and Powerful as well as produced independent feature film near completion, Complex.

Your creative, organizing, writing, and design skills are needed in the Specialization in Fiction Film for 2013/14. 

Please apply.

If you have any questions contact Associate Professor Jeff Wray wrayJ@msu.edu  638 Wells Hall Department of English. 



English Department Open House

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The English Department is hosting an Open House for the new Film Production Lab, Film Screening Room, and the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab (DHLC). Friday, February 15, come visit these exciting new spaces and get a look at the technology, tools, and equipment our students and faculty are using. The Film Production Lab, C642 Wells, and Film Screening Room, C640 Wells, will be showcasing the digital cameras, sound equipment, and editing stations students have recently been using to create short films, and the short films themselves. The DHLC, C740 Wells, will showcase ongoing work with interactive displays on their six iMac stations and open spaces for brainstorming connections among work in digital humanities, science studies, creative writing, and literary cognition.

Please make time to see some of the exciting work that's going on February 15, 3-6 pm.

Click the image for a downloadable flyer.



Film in Britain

There are still a few spots available in the 2013 Film in Britain program in London! The five-week program runs from July 1 through August 3rd, and combines classes in film studies and film production in one of the world's greatest cities. Films are screened at the British Film Institute.
For more information on the program, please contact either Professor Nieland or Professor Pillai. You can find additional information about the courses offered here: 
The Film Studies website description
The Office of Study Abroad description


Upcoming Speakers

Mark your calendars for two upcoming speaking events in the Department of English Speaker Series: February 1st, 3PM in B122 Wells Hall, Dr. Jennifer Proctor, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at U of M Dearborn and Aaron Valdez, independent filmmaker, will present Scratching and Mixing and Wrecking and Salvaging, a series of films and videos by the artists. Download the flyer here.

February 22nd, 3PM in B122 Wells Hall, Dr. Mark Goble, Associate Professor at UC Berkeley, will present End Time Forever: On Cinematic Slowness.

Full Speaker Series schedule.



Muslim Studies Film Screenings

The Muslim Studies Program has the following film screenings scheduled this semester:
Wham! Bam! Islam!, presented by Salah Hassan (English), Thurs. Feb 28, 7:30pm MSU Main Library. Click here for flier.
And Koran By Heart, presented by Mohammad Khalil (Religious Studies), Thurs. April 25, 6:30pm Okemos Public Library.


The MSU Film Collective

We are the professors, students, filmmakers, screenwriters, and cinephiles at MSU who gather weekly to watch and discuss good films. In the spirit of the Cinématèque Française and the generation of film critics and French New Wave directors it inspired, our collective abides by the principle that good film writing and good filmmaking (and just plain good living) begin with serious film watching.

Spring 2013 Series | Looking Awry



Faculty Conversation: Peter Johnston

Film and Digital Media Production Manager Peter Johnston was recently featured on the MSU News' sites "Faculty Conversations" section. See full story here.




Professor Bill Vincent commended by The Evil Dead filmmakers

"There are few people you encounter that make such a difference their inspiration and influence can literally change the path of your life," begins the letter from Rob Tapert, MSU alumnus and producer of the The Evil Dead trilogy, among many others. "For Sam Raimi and I, Bill Vincent is one such person." In the 1970's, Vincent taught the two and, according to Tapert, "piqued an interest in film and made it both exciting and understandable." When the pair set off to a cabin in the woods of Tennessee to produce their first feature, The Evil Dead, Vincent went along to support them. They would go on to premiere the film right in East Lansing.

This summer, Professor Vincent got the chance to visit the set of the Evil Dead remake in New Zealand, witnessing first hand the creation of the updated version of a film he helped support 30 years ago. 

The film is set to be released in the summer of 2013.

Read Tapert's letter in full here.




The Film Studies Program in the Department of English welcomes two new members of the faculty. Dr. Joshua Yumibe has been appointed our new Director of Film Studies, begining in Spring 2013. Professor Yumibe (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2009) specializes in early film history, especially color processes in early and silent cinema. His first book, Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism, was published by Rutgers University Press in June 2012. We also welcome as Assistant Professor Dr. David Bering-Porter (Ph.D., Brown University, 2011.), who joins us this fall. Professor Bering-Porter's research interests include new media and critical theory. He is working on a book project on the undeadness of media, from zombie films to personalized genomics. 


To assist with our growing film production specializations, Peter Johnston is also joining us this fall as our Film and Digital Media Production Manager. Mr. Johnston received his M.A. from MSU's Telecommications, Information Studies and Media department, in the Digital Media Arts and Technology program. Since 2010, Mr. Johnston has worked as an associate producer at CAS Media.



Professor Pillai's Trailer for Marcia Aldrich's "Companion to an Untold Story"