Screen Research @ Bristol

Events 2010-11 (Year 5)

Funding was secured to continue the Research Theme’s activities from the Faculty Research Director. Screen Research @ Bristol participated again in the WUN-sponsored ‘World Cinemas’ virtual seminar series.

European Cinema Seminar Series

Wed 4 May, 4pm:

Prof Sarah Street (Bristol), 'British Cinema and Colour Technologies', lower ground floor seminar room, Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol (part of WUN 'Beyond Cinema' series, 'live' from Bristol and video-link to other WUN partner universities).

Wed 18 May, 4pm:

Dr Joshua Yumibe, (St. Andrews), 'Colour Space as Play-Space: On children's books, silent cinema and Olafur Eliasson', Lecture Room, Drama: Theatre, Film, Television

The Look: Digital Cinema Aesthetics and Workflows. 1 April 2011

This one-day symposium will explore, and attempt to demystify, the movement of film and video footage through the digital production process from camera to exhibition. The "look" of a film used to be the domain of the cinematographer. As a result of the various new forms of image manipulation that have appeared in the last decade and a half, new types of collaboration have resulted ? for example, between cinematographers, post-production supervisors, visual effects artists, and colourists. Given the multiplicity of ways in which the aesthetics of a film can change after shooting is complete, a key question presents itself: who controls what aspects of a film's look?

This symposium will trace how the "look" of shots changes at each stage of this process, explain some of the technologies that effect these changes, and discuss the decision-making behind these changes. It will also explore the reorganisation of production roles and responsibilities that has resulted from the digitisation of film-making workflows. The symposium will draw from a range of specialisms, bridging theory and practice: invited speakers will include Oliver Stapleton BSC (The Proposal, The Cider House Rules), Geoff Boyle DoP FBKS (Wallander, Mutant Chronicles), Jonathan Smiles Digital Production Supervisor, (District 9, Green Zone) Luke Rainey Colourist,  (Band of Brothers, Man on a Wire), Professor Duncan Petrie, Professor Sean Cubitt, Dr Richard Misek, Dr Charlotte Crofts. Introduced by Professor Sarah Street. Mark Cosgrove, Director of Programme, Watershed Bristol

The day will consist of four sessions: image capture, data management, colour grading, and display; then a final plenary. Each of the four sessions will comprise a presentation by a film industry professional, a presentation by a film academic to open up wider questions, and a dialogue between the two hosted by Terry Flaxton AHRC Senior Research Fellow (and DoP). The intention is to introduce the practice of each to the other and of both to the general public, facilitating an open conversation about the aesthetic issues, pressures, technologies, and production roles involved in contemporary film production.

TICKETS: £50 With pre-ordered buffet lunch(If not ordered, meals can be purchased in the Watershed Bar, but waiting times may be long), £35 (including only morning and afternoon tea and coffee)

To book, Watershed box office +44 (0)117 927 5100

Information on participants and schedule. Concessions available. The attendance of industry professionals at this event is contingent on their feature commitments which is clear at the time of writing. Contact  the organisers: Terry Flaxton, Richard Misek 

17 February (Thursday), 5.30pm, Wickham Theatre, Dept of Drama

Ginette Vincendeau, Professor of Film Studies at King’s College, London, discusses Brigitte Bardot’s rise to stardom in 1950s France in terms of her ‘making’ through the mass media. Her first fashion picture appeared in 1949, the year Paris-Match was launched.

"Brigitte Bardot: the world’s first modern ‘celebrity’" [POSTER]

26 Jan, 4 pm, Two projects on the Olympic Games.

Lecture Room, Drama Research seminar.

Prof. Andy Miah (University of the West of Scotland) and Dr Angela Piccini (Bristol). Media 2012: Media Citizenship and the Olympic Games (Andy Miah); Screening Matter and Memory in the Olympic City (Angela Piccini)


University of Bristol, Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television

What happens when films, television programmes or live performances adapt, translate or incorporate material which originates in a different medium, migrating across media or involving combinations of media? Technologies of Transmediality explores the impact of a range of different technologies on performance and screen media in the broadest sense, involving film, television and theatre histories, but also literature and language studies, historians of technology as well as researchers in digital technologies from computer sciences and engineering. Theoretical, practical and interpretative contexts will be deployed in relation to the theme, provoking dynamic comparisons and the sharing of different disciplinary insights and perspectives.

The symposium brings together researchers from the World University Network institutions from the USA and UK in an intensive three-day event focused around four keynote addresses from Prof Mike van den Heuvel (Wisconsin), Prof Jeff Smith (Wisconsin), Prof Sarah Street (Bristol), and Prof Phillip Thurtle (Washington). There will also be a performance by Bodies in Flight exploring the use of photography in live performance, directed by Prof Simon Jones (Bristol), and a screening of extracts from films and television programmes which involve the import/impact of popular music as transmedial experience, compiled and introduced by Dr Kevin Donnelly (Southampton).

The discussion will be developed through four themed panels on transmedial forms and texts in screen and performance:

Paper presentations are invited for the above panels. Abstracts should be between 150 and 200 words in length, plus full contact details and any affiliation, and emailed to Deborah Gibbs by Friday 29 October. In order to keep the event focused and maximize dialogue, numbers will be limited to panel presenters only, who will be notified by 8 November. There is a registration fee of £50 which includes lunches, an evening meal and refreshments.

For further information: click here

BIOPICS WORKSHOP, 4 December 2010, Vic Rooms, 12-5pm

Despite their prominence on contemporary exhibition circuits and at award ceremonies, scholarship on biopics is surprisingly scant. This workshop will use examples from a variety of dramatised lives to explore questions posed by the biopic. The workshop aims to develop ideas for further research into the genre. Further contributions please contact All welcome. Confirmed speakers are: Josephine Dolan (UWE), Guido Heldt (UoB), Victoria Kearsley (Southampton), Mike O'Maonhy (UoB), Matthew Robinson (UoB), Estalla Tincknell (UWE).

Monday 1 November, 2:15

Brandt Cinema, Department of Drama, Film and Television

Sergei Kapterev (Research Institute of Film Art NIIK, Moscow) and IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor

Mikhail Kalatozov: The Beginning

Sergei Kapterev has conducted extensive research in Russian archives and recently discovered two extant reels of Mikhail Kalatozov’s first film, which he will screen, alongside fragments of other little known works produced by Kalatozov in Georgia, during his lecture. Mikhail Kalatozov, best known for his Golden Palm winner The Cranes are Flying (1957), actually started his career in Georgia in 1923, at the Tbilisi-based film trust Goskinprom. He worked in a variety of peripheral jobs before making documentary films, including the well-known Salt for Svanetia (1930).

The two rediscovered reels of Kalatozov’s feature debut, Their Kingdom (1928), provide a glimpse into his methodology of documentary filmmaking. The film’s structure was based on the contrast between the inefficiency and cynicism of the Georgian bourgeoisie and the progress made by Georgia under the Soviet regime. The rediscovered reels review the relationship between Georgia’s ousted “bourgeois” government and Western powers. The presentation will also include examples of Kalatozov’s work as cinematographer and fragments from The Nail in the Boot (1931), a banned agitprop feature which stood at the source of the Soviet genre of “defence film”. Dr Kapterev has recently presented his findings at Orphan Film Symposium in New York and at Pordenone Silent Film Festival.

MATI SAMEPO / Ikh tsarstvo / Their Kingdom (Goskinprom Gruzii, Georgian SSR, 1928); Directed and edited by Mikhail Kalatozishvili [Kalatozov] and Nutsa Gogoberidze; DoP: Mikhail Kalatozishvili; Running Time 15 minutes

Special Screening: Watershed 27 October 2010, 8 pm

Alexei Popogrebsky: How I Ended this Summer (2010)

The winner of three Silver Bears at Berlin (to Pavel Kostomarov for cinematography and Puskepalis and Dobrygin for Best Actors) will come straight from the London International Film Festival for a preview to Bristol’s Watershed, prior to its UK release, introduced by the director and followed by a Q&A session. The event is organised by Dr Birgit Beumers, University of Bristol.

This psychological thriller follows two mismatched men working at a weather station on a Russian island inside the Arctic circle where the sun never sets. Sergei (Puskepalis) is gruff and serious, a seasoned pro who barely tolerates young Pavel (Dobrygin), a bored, foolish new intern, as they spend their days monitoring the island's radioactivity. When Pavel picks up a message he daren't pass on to unpredictable Sergei he descends into a spiral of fear, lies and deceit. A chilling, terrifying and beautifully shot drama about isolation and human dependence. (Watershed brochure)

Events 2009-2010 (Year 4)

Screen Research @ Bristol was awarded University Research Theme status in 2009, and Derek Duncan joined Sarah Street as co-leader. An expanded advisory board was established, involving representatives from other Faculties). Funding from the IAS continued to facilitate a further programme of workshops.

Theory, Aesthetics, Performance: Workshop, 11 March 2010, 2:00-5:15 [POSTER]

Brandt Cinema, Dept. of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television, University of Bristol

Organisers: Dr Alex Clayton and Dr Liz Watkins

Gesture is central to all the pictorial and dramatic arts, but its significance for cinema is too often neglected. Drawing inspiration from Agamben’s concept of ‘gestural cinema’ where the film-still both obliterates and preserves the dynamic force of gesture, this workshop will examine the interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks that facilitate analysis of this vital component of film aesthetics. The workshop featured contributions by Dr Steven Peacock (University of Hertfordshire) ‘Intimate Gestures in Contemporary Hollywood’; Katherine Limmer (University of Exeter) ‘Gesture and Star Enactments’; Dr Angela Piccini (University of Bristol) ‘Spacing the Past: Factual Television and Choreographing Archaeologies’; Myung-Hye Chun (University of Bristol) ‘The Look into the Sky: Krzysztof Kieslowski and Heaven (2002)’; Dr Paul Bowman (University of Cardiff) ‘Seeing and Event: Bruce Lee and the Emancipated Spectator’. The final paper was by Professor Elizabeth Cowie (University of Kent) ‘The Time of Gesture in Cinema and its Ethics'. The event was preceded by a screening on 9 Mar 2010 of Exotica (Atom Egoyan, 1994).

Contemporary Animation.  20 January  2010

Organised by Kristian Moen (Drama) and Birgit Beumers (Russian)

The workshop examined current trends in animation. It included input from academics who have specialised in the history and theory of animation, as well as a local practioner, David Sproxton, who has headed one of the most successful, award-winning animation companies for many years. The invited speakers were: Andrew Chong (Loughborough); David Sproxton (Aardman Animations) and Paul Wells (Loughborough).

flashbacks / memory. Thursday 3 December 2009 (2pm-5.30pm) [POSTER]

Brandt Cinema, Dept. of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television

Organisers: Adam O’Brien, postgraduate student Drama); Jacqueline Maingard and Sarah Street, (Drama)

This workshop explored, across a broad chronological and cultural span, how film and television have represented memory, in terms of narrative structure and attempts to replicate multiple temporalities/the effect of memory. The workshopwas designed to engage discussion between arts scholars and those working in Experimental Psychology, the latter working on time and memory from a scientific perspective. Confirmed speakers: Prof. Steve Neale (University of Exeter); Guido Heldt (Music); Jacqueline Maingard (Drama); Sarah Street (Drama); Helen Piper (Drama); respondent from Experimental Psychology (Simon Farrell) and Anne Cooke from Neuroscience were in attendance and as participants in discussion about memory research in the arts and sciences.

Events 2008-9 (Year 3)

Visiting Benjamin Meaker Professor: Scott Higgins, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA

Research Colloquium, 14 July 2009 [POSTER]

Deft Trajectories for the Eye:  What Arnheim Can Help us See in Vincente Minnelli's Colour Design

2.30-6pm Lecture Room, Dept. Drama: Theatre, Film, Television

Scott Higgins is associate professor of film studies at Wesleyan University. His first book, entitled Harnessing the Technicolor Rainbow: Color Design in the 1930s is published by the University of Texas Press. He is editing the volume Arnheim for Film and Media Studies, and writing a book on the American action film. His interests include genre, narrative theory, film aesthetics, and technology. He has published essays in Cinema Journal, Film History, Journal of Visual Culture, Style, and The Velvet Light Trap. He is a member of the Cinema Journal editorial board.

Related Events:

All the Hues of Nature. Colour Film and Restoration. 10 July 2009 [Poster]

Colour and the Moving Image, 10-12 July 2009 [Poster]

As part of Prof Street’s AHRC-funded project a major international conference was held at the Arnolfini on 10-12 July 2009. Scott Higgins attended the conference and stayed on for a week to deliver a paper and lead a research colloquium on 14 July 2009 with Screen Research @ Bristol as part of his activities as a visiting Benjamin Meaker Professor. His lead paper was entitled: ‘Deft Trajectories for the Eye: What Arnheim can help us to see in Vincente Minnelli’s colour design’.



Screen Acting. Workshop, 29 May 2009, 2.00 – 5.30 pm [POSTER]

Lecture Room, Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television, University of Bristol

Organised by Prof. John Adams (Drama), Prof. Steve Neale (Exeter), Dr Kathrina Glitre (UWE) and Dr Alex Clayton (Drama)

This workshop attempted to define new agendas for the study and analysis for Screen Acting. It focussed in particular on staging, blocking and movement; pausing and posing; gestures and props; dialogue and delivery; the ways in which actors' bodies and movements are integrated into mise-en-scène and visual design; and the ways in which actors' voices are integrated into sound design. The extent to which screen acting is itself an appropriate term under which to conduct these forms of analysis was also debated. This in turn required critical reflection on the most effective disciplinary and methodological approaches to screen acting; film theory; drama; textual analysis; phenomenology; research through practice; production contexts and technologies of screen acting. Invited contributors were: Ceri Hovland (Reading), ‘The Performing Body on Film: Preston Sturges’ The Lady Eve’ and Kathrina Glitre (UWE) – ‘Mobility and Restraint: Cary Grant and the ‘mechanics’ of feeling in North by Northwest’. Research papers were followed by a seminar-style session exploring matters raised followed by a a final presentation by Paul McDonald (University of Portsmouth), ‘The Weight of Actorly Legitimization: Stallone and Cop Land’.

A Close Up on Close-Ups. Thursday 5 March 2009 (2:00-5:30) [POSTER]

Lecture Room, Dept. Drama: Theatre, Film, Television, University of Bristol

Organised by Dr Liz Watkins (Drama), Dr Ika Willis (Classics) and Dr Alex Clayton (Drama)

The close-up transforms, reframing the familiar and drawing detail into the midst of the field of perception. The close-up promises intimacy even as it mechanically dissects. It abstracts the subject from all but its most immediate context, yet has traditionally been used to clarify. It offers a focus, a source of fascination with the aura of the star image and as commodity as the focus of feminist critique. Taking inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s sense of the revolutionary power of the close-up, this workshop focused on theoretical frameworks that facilitate analysis and reflect upon this commonplace yet remarkable aspect of screen style. The workshop began with a series of short presentations to both reflect this theoretical focus and to introduce a number of perspectives and practices surrounding the close-up. The presentations were given by Sarah Street (Drama), Rebecca Naylor (Classics & Ancient History), Catherine O’Rawe (Italian), Joe Kember (Exeter), Kyra Norman (Drama), John Adams (Drama). This was followed by a research paper from Dr Marcel Swiboda (University of Leeds), ‘Ill Seen, Ill Heard: Visual and Auditory Proximities in Samuel Beckett’s Ghost Trio’. The workshop with comments and discussion with invited respondent Dr Richard Stamp (Bath Spa University).

Screen Conversations. World Cinemas: in theory / on screen. 5 December 2008 [POSTER]

2-5 pm, Lecture Room, Dept of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television; organised by Jacqueline Maingard (Drama: Theatre, Film, Television) and Nick Rees-Roberts (French)

This year the IAS-funded workshop ‘Screen Forms and their Reception: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ received another year of funding to develop Screen Conversations, a new format which encouraged both established and new scholars to present short inputs on screen theories, aesthetics, forms and cultures from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Each one (see titles below) was focused on a theme, with commentary by a respondent with some expertise in the field. The group also participated in the World Universities Network ‘virtual’ seminar series on World Cinemas.

In the contemporary world of postmodernity, the transnational, globalisation, and pressures on identities and subjectivities, the re-visioning of screen theories, practices and cultures through the prism of cinemas beyond the mainstream, may shed new light on a range of broad approaches to screen research. This Screen Conversations event focused on ‘non-traditional’ areas of screen research that push the boundaries of theory, aesthetics, forms and/or cultures in relation to examples of world cinemas. The inputs aimed to broaden conceptual frameworks towards including socio-economic theories, cultural geographies, and questions of the local and the global, whilst also exploring new approaches or applications to longer-established areas of screen theory, for example, psychoanalysis. Speakers included: Jacqueline Maingard (Bristol), ‘African Cinema and Bamako: notes for screen theory’; Augusto de Oliveira (Bristol), ‘Marking time: Afro-Brazilian cinema and the quest for recognition’; Will Higbee (University of Exeter), ‘Diaspora, intercultural exchange and the myth of return: recent journey film by Maghrebi-French directors’ and Derek Duncan (Italian, Bristol), ‘Princesa: transgender / transmedial / transnational’. There was a respondent to all of the papers: Dr Catherine Grant (University of Sussex) a specialist in World Cinema studies.

The cinema of François Ozon, 26 November 2008

School of Modern Languages associated research event organised by Dr Nick Rees- Roberts, Department of French, Bristol

Featuring presentations by Andrew Asiboing (University of London), ‘Ozon and the problem of relating’; Fiona Handyside (University of Exeter), ‘Queer inheritances? Thinking about adaptation in Ozon’s films’; Darren Waldron (University of Manchester), ‘François Ozon and his admiring audience’.

Events 2007-8 (Year 2)

Following the success of the first year, funding was successfully applied for to continue the group’s activities as an Institute for Advanced Studies-sponsored workshop series, ‘Screen Forms and Their Reception: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’. There were 3 workshops in the first year of the series:

Screen Aesthetics: Colour, Sound, Image, 5 June 2008

organised by Dr Catherine O’Rawe (Italian) and Prof Sarah Street (Drama), .

This third  workshop event further interrogated the many and varied approaches towards the evaluation and reception of screen forms. There were four papers on aspects of colour, sound and design which suggested new ways into the study of film aesthetics. Contibutors were: Damian Sutton (Glasgow School of Art), ‘Designing Fred and Ginger: Articulating social and material spaces in 1930s art direction’;

Myung-hye Chun (Drama, Bristol), ‘Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours: Blue: Hearing Colours and Emmanuel Levinas's Ethical Vision’; Helen Hanson (University of Exeter), ‘Commanding all the Sounds of the Universe’: Post-production sound, soundscapes and sound design in Hollywood’s studio era’; Guido Heldt, (Music,  Bristol), ‘Step Across the Border’: Picturing Music, Scoring the Pictures’.

The Impact of Eisenstein: 28 February 2008 [POSTER]

The Brandt Cinema, University of Bristol, Department of Drama, Theatre, Film and Television,


This workshop engages with questions that can be formulated at the juncture of Eisenstein’s writing and filmmaking with post-Soviet cinema, painting and popular culture.  Spring 2008 sees the sixtieth anniversary of Eisenstein’s death, thus providing an opportunity to foreground a discussion addressing the influence of his work in various contexts, from that of his own contemporaries through to the legacy of his theories of montage, image, sound and colour in the associated disciplines of photography, music and theatre.





Speakers included:

Audiences and Reception, 13 December 2007

organised by Dr Glyn Davis (Drama), Dr Angela Piccini  (Drama) and Dr Ika Willis (Classics)

Questions of reception are increasingly important within the study of screen media. Theorizing screen media forms as key sites of cultural reception, and attending to the ways in which screen media are incorporated into individual and community lives are significant research strands within a diverse range of subject areas. The event explored different approaches to questions of audience and reception through three work-in-progress presentations and discussion. From oral histories of ‘The Lost Italian Audience in the 1940s and 1950s’ (Dr Catherine O’Rawe) to multi-modal ethnographies of Time Team audiences (Dr Angela Piccini) to ‘slash’ as a utopian mode of receiving television texts (Dr Ika Willis), the relationships between media and their audiences were seen to be productively fluid, usefully problematising the notion of stable media ‘texts’ and their ‘effects’. The informal gathering aimed to develop interdisciplinary approaches to audience and reception, building on existing and in-progress research across the Faculty of Arts.

Events 2006-07 (Year 1)

This was the first year of the group’s activities, before attaining University Research Theme status. The activities were reading and viewing, facilitated by collaboration between academics in different departments in the Faculty of Arts. The idea for the grouping was proposed and organised by Professor Sarah Street (Drama: Theatre, Film, Television). In June there was a symposium, "Intermedial Screens".

15 Feb ::: Issues in Italian film studies ::: Catherine O’ Rawe, Derek Duncan and Ruth Glynn (Italian)

1 Mar ::: Issues in Audiences and Reception Studies ::: Glyn Davis and Sarah Street (Drama)

15 Mar ::: Music ::: Guido Heldt (Music)

26 Apr ::: Narration, place and space ::: John Adams (Drama)

10 May ::: Holocaust comedies ::: Tim Cole (Historical Studies)

24 May ::: Swing Time analysis ::: Stephen Banfield (Music)

Intermedial Screens symposium: 20 June 2007. The symposium concentrated on three themes: (1) Sound and Music: papers were given by Glyn Davis (Drama), ‘Hearing Queerly: Television’s Dissident Sonics’; Guido Heldt (Music), ‘Composing in the films: Biopics and musical creativity’; Catherine O’Rawe (Italian), ‘Autumn in Rome: Music, Form and Film History’; (2) Race, Politics, Mediation: papers were given by Derek Duncan (Italian), ‘Losing the Plot: Fascist Cinema in Black and White’; David Rose (Drama), ‘9/11 and the Screen’; Ruth Glynn (Italian), ‘Appropriating Trauma’; (3) Issues of Adaptation and Appropriation: papers were given by Alanna Donaldson (Drama), ‘Hitchcock’s Rope as Adaptation’; Pantelis Michelakis, (Classics) ‘Tragedy/Comdey in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite; Sarah Street (Drama), ‘Heritage Crime: The case of Agatha Christie’.