Lav Diaz & movie magazines conference

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Roundtable with Tom Paulus (moderator), Lav Diaz, Hazel Orencio, Nadin Mai and Michael Guarneri

The Cinematek in Brussels is programming a retrospective on the work of Philippine slow cinema director Lav Diaz. The filmmaker is also attending the retrospective to introduce some films, and to participate in a symposium on his work, organized last Tuesday at Cinema Zuid in Antwerp. In the morning there were two scholarly presentations on Lav Diaz’ cinema. In the afternoon, his latest film Storm Children was shown. It’s a beautifully black-and-white photographed contemplative documentary on the devastation left in the wake of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Diaz’ cinema is not the most easy or accessible cinema, but can become very worthwhile if you’re open to a radical different (and ‘slow’) take on time and narrative in cinema. The screening of the film was followed by a very lively and open roundtable with Lav Diaz and actress Hazel Orencio.

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Keynote talk by Eric Hoyt at the ‘Turning the page’ conference

Today, a conference on digitalization and movie magazines started at Ghent University, co-organized by the University of Kent. The conference took off with an interesting keynote talk by Eric Hoyt on the digitization of the trade magazine Variety and how the work of his team contributes to larger media history databases (cf. http://mediahistoryproject.org and http://projectarclight.org/). Throughout his talk, he made a plea (inspired by philology traditions) to value the time-consuming process of digitization for its own right, and not only as a first necessary step before the real interesting analytical content work can start. At the same time, Hoyt argues that this ‘new’ way of doing media history can only be truly valuable when combined with ‘traditional’ methods such as close reading and archival research. It’s a pity I already have to leave this conference after the first day, but it’s for a good reason: the bi-annual film studies conference of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) is starting tomorrow…

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