Re: short subjects

From: James Leo Cahill (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jan 16 2008 - 12:39:37 PST

Dear Prof. Hawkins:
I¹ll be very interested myself to see what comes across the wires. As you¹ll
see, these are all slightly slanted to French film, not surprising since
programs of short films play in at least two theaters every week here in

If your student can read French, there is an excellent recent collection
theorizing the short film:
Dominique Blüher et François Thomas (dir.), Le Court Métrage français de
1945 à 1968: De l'âge d'or
aux contrebandiers (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2005). USC has
a copy (I had them order it) so you can probably get it through ILL. This
deals with short fiction, avant-garde, and documentary films (and of course
all their permutations). Includes historical, textual, and theoretical

In English try:
Edward Dimendberg, ³These are not exercises in style: Le Chant du Styrène,²
October 112, Spring 2005, 63-88.

This is about Resnais and Queneau but has a really concise framing of the
short film form: ³the legacy of the short film, a medium that has
traditionally been a vehicle for philosophical, scientific, or aesthetic
inquiry, a tendency already evident in the 1920s films by Jean Painlevé and
Jean Epstein, up through the work of 1950s avant-garde practitioners such as
Oskar Fischinger and Peter Kubelka Š France has long excelled in the making
of short films, and Jean-Luc Godard praised this tradition by comparing the
usefulness of the short film to cinema to that of the antibody in medicine.
The impurity of the court metrage and the challenges with which it
confronted filmmakers enabled many directors to hone their skills² (64).

I am embarrassed to admit that I cannot recall, but one of the two books
recently published on Chris Marker discusses the short film in relation to
the essay film and gives some useful citations. It¹s either Catherine
Lupton¹s ³Chris Marker: Memories of the Future² (Reaktion 2005) or Nora
Atler ³Chris Marker² (U Illinois Press, 2006).

Best of luck to your student.
James Cahill
PhD Candidate USC

On 16/01/08 20:40, "Joan Hawkins" <email suppressed> wrote:

> Dear Frameworkers,
> one of my students is preparing her Ph.D exams and needs to design a reading
> list  organized around
> the short-film format.  We've had a lot of luck finding articles on specific
> short films-- experimental and other wise--but not
> much luck finding aesthetic/theoretical discussions of the format itself.  If
> you have any suggestions for
> articles or books, please send them.  thanks, Joan
> Joan Hawkins
> Associate Professor
> Indiana University
> Department of Communication and Culture
> 800 E Third St
> Bloomington, IN 47405-9700
> office phone (812)855-1548
> fax (812)855-6014
> email suppressed
> __________________________________________________________________ For info on
> FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.