Questioning Criticism: Puzzles and Possibilities in the Art-form of Appreciation

Roundtable: Prof. Jason Jacobs, Dr Ted Nannicelli, Dr Elliott Logan, Dr Mathew Cipa

Date: Friday 14 October 2022
Time: 12–1pm
Location: Online via Zoom and in-person at the SCA Writer's Studio (Level 6, Michie Building)


Abstract

Critical practice is central to expanding our understanding of both specific films and the art-form of cinema as a whole. For scholars such as Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan, exemplary criticism fulfils a range of functions: it can deepen our interest in individual films, reveal new meanings and perspectives, expand our sense of the medium, confront our assumptions about value, and sharpen our ability to discriminate. But what constitutes good criticism, and what should we expect it to achieve? What are the limitations of critical practice, especially as it relates to the process of translating and interpreting the multi-sensory experience of moving images into literary prose? And how does the shifting critical appreciation of certain filmmakers across time reveal the puzzles and possibilities of critical practice?

This roundtable begins to examine the act of criticism - what we might term the art-form of appreciation - and the questions raised by a practice that is central to the discipline of film and television studies. Jason Jacobs considers the puzzle of criticism in the context of what we should and can expect from it: what is it that criticism actually achieves? Elliott Logan examines the merits and limitations of video essays, and how audio-visual criticism sits as a medium of critical response to moving-image artworks. Ted Nannicelli and Matthew Cipa explore the case study of director Abel Ferrara, and the divisiveness of the critical reception of his oeuvre due to the films’ strident unsettling of traditional distinctions between high and low film genres

 


Presenters

Dr Elliott Logan is Lecturer in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University. He is the author of Breaking Bad and Dignity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and is Associate Editor of the journal Series.

Jason Jacobs is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Queensland and author of The Intimate Screen (Clarendon Press, 2000), Body Trauma TV (BFI, 2003), Deadwood (BFI, 2012), and David Milch (Manchester University Press, 2019).

Ted Nannicelli is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland, Australia. He is the editor of Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind and author of Artistic Creation and Ethical Criticism.

Dr Matthew Cipa teaches at The University of Queensland in film and television studies. His first monograph, Is Harpo Free? And Other Questions of the Metaphysical Screen is under contract with SUNY Press. He is a contributor to Autism in Film and Television: On the Island (2022, University of Texas Press).


 

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

 


School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Friday, 23 Febraury
12-1pm

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

The Szondi Test: Mimetic Desire and the Media of PsychiatryDr Grant Bollmer

Friday, 23 Febraury
12-1pm

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

Adaptation, Narrative and Rites of PassageAdjunct Professor Michael Eaton

Friday, 12 April
12-1pm

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

A Wrench in the Works of the Dream Factory: Special/Visual Effects in the Hollywood Studio Era, 1915-1965Prof. Julie Turnock

Tuesday, 23 April
12-1pm

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

An artistic path between art and science: Vulcano, Fata Morgana, and Min Min Light

Maria Leonardo Cabrita

Monday, 24 June
12-1pm

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

Mapping Climate Change through a macrocosm – a UNESCO-Tagged World Heritage Site in IndiaA/Prof Deepti Ganapathy

 

Venue

Online via Zoom and in-person at the SCA Writer's Studio (Level 6, Michie Building)