Category Archives: Research & publications

Remaking European Cinema

I’m excited to announce the international symposium ‘Remaking European Cinema’! I’m organizing this symposium together with my colleagues Eduard Cuelenaere and Stijn Joye at Ghent University on 1 June 2018. See the symposium website for more information. I copy the call for papers below.

Remaking European Cinema

 A symposium on the theory and practice of the film remake in a European context

1 June 2018, Ghent University, Belgium

Confirmed keynote speakers:
– Professor Thomas Leitch, University of Delaware
– Professor Lucy Mazdon, University of Southampton
– Dr. Iain R. Smith, King’s College London

The film remake, whether as a practice or a concept, has been around since the very beginnings of cinema. While the earliest studies of the remake provided general overviews trying to sketch patterns and localize differing practices, this was followed by substantial attempts to define the remake as both a textual and cultural artefact and as a commercial business. Building on adaptation theories, scholars eventually pinpointed the intertextual properties that are inherent to (the relationship between) a source film and its remake(s). These evolutions in the research field spurred the idea of the remake as a kind of prism, which can be used to examine a variety of aesthetic, cultural, economic and social questions. For quite some time, most studies in the field were confined to the Hollywood practice of remaking non-Hollywood films, or, vice versa, non-Hollywood film industries remaking Hollywood films.

More recently, attempts are being made to look beyond Hollywood, inquiring into other nations or regions that, for example, remake their own films or the films of neighbouring countries. Notwithstanding these promising evolutions, there is still a lack of sustained research analysing the specific context(s) of European cinema. As a continent, Europe is known for its fragmentation and diversity due to the multitude of different languages and cultures existing next to and through each other within a relatively small geographical area. Although attempts to pinpoint the characteristics of European cinema are always questionable given that ‘Europe’ is as much a social, contingent and dynamic construction as other geopolitical entities, various cultural, economic and political dynamics grant the concept of European cinema analytical value. Accordingly, the purpose of the symposium is to bring together scholars with expertise in the currently vibrant field of remake studies for a discussion of the dynamics and particularities of the film remake in a European context.

Potential subjects to be addressed include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical and contemporary approaches to film remakes in Europe
  • The industrial, financial and production-related dynamics of European remake practices
  • (Regional, national and transnational) public film policies towards remakes
  • Cultural aspects of the European film remake (banal nationalism, cross-cultural comparison, cultural proximity, cultural identity …)
  • Textual aspects of the European film remake (narration, aesthetics …)
  • The distribution, programming, exhibition and reception of European remakes
  • Remakes within European national/regional cinemas (including Western, Northern, Southern, and Central and Eastern European cinemas)
  • Transnational or cross-cultural European remakes
  • European art cinema remakes
  • European popular cinema remakes
  • European remakes of non-European films
  • The European remake and theories of intertextuality, genre, seriality, repetition …
  • European remakes and questions of adaptation, ‘originality’, authenticity, authorship, ownership, copyright …

Paper proposals should include the title of the presentation, a 300-word abstract, and a short autobiographical statement.

Submission deadline: March 10th 2018.
Proposal acceptance notification: March 30th 2018.
Please send your proposals to: remakes@UGent.be

More information on the symposium website: www.remakingeurope.com

Following the symposium, authors of selected papers will be invited to contribute their work to an edited volume on this subject with an internationally renowned academic publisher and/or a special issue of an international academic journal.

This symposium is organized by Gertjan Willems, Eduard Cuelenaere and Stijn Joye, Centre for Cinema and Media Studies (CIMS) at Ghent University. The symposium is funded by the FWO research project ‘Lost in Translation? A multi-methodological research project on same-language film remakes between Flanders and The Netherlands’ and sponsored by the Film Studies section of ECREA and the Popular Communication division of NeFCA.

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Multivoicedness in European Cinema conference

Conference poster Cork

Today was the first day of the conference Multivoicedness in European Cinema, which I’m organizing together with my colleagues Laura Rascaroli (University College Cork), Sergio Villanueva Baselga (Universitat de Barcelona), and Anders Marklund (University of Lund) (the management team of the ECREA Film Studies section). The two-day conference is taking place in Cork and started with a though provoking keynote by Ewa Mazierska, after which I attended two great panels about women on and behind the screen. The first day was finished by a screening of Pat Collins’s 2012 film Silence. I’m curious what tomorrow will bring, with a.o. a keynote by Chris Wahl and a presentation by Eduard Cuelenaere on our Dutch-Flemish remakes research … More information on the programme etc. can be found here.

Cork 3

Aankondiging boekpublicatie

In October 2017, my book on the history of film policy in Flanders will be published. To be continued …

In de zomercatalogus van uitgeverij Academia Press staat de aankondiging van mijn boek Subsidie, camera, actie!, dat in oktober 2017 zal verschijnen. Het boek is een herwerking van mijn doctoraal proefschrift over de geschiedenis van het filmbeleid in Vlaanderen. Wordt alleszins vervolgd …

 

Academia Press aankondiging Subsidie camera actie

Boekaankondiging in de catalogus

Research stay in Rome

Last Friday, I arrived in Rome, where I’ll enjoy a two-month research stay at, and supported by, the Belgian Historical Institute in Rome. As I have done in Paris in 2015 and in Amsterdam in 2016, I will study the history of film relations between Belgium and the country where I’m staying. For this research on official Belgian-Italian co-operation agreements and concrete coproductions, I will visit the Istituto LUCE-Cinecitta, the Direzione Generale per gli Archivi and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Roma in Rome, and the Cineteca di Bologna in Bologna.

IMG_4571

Academia Belgica

I am grateful to be able to stay at the Academia Belgica, an fantastic institute and residency which has provided accommodation to numerous Belgian scholars and artists since 1939. My research stay started yesterday in a classy and very Roman style, as the director of the Academia Belgica, Wouter Bracke, had organized an impressive archeological tour in the magnificent Domus Aurea, Emperor Nero’s palace.

Hugo Claus en ik

Jan Cox’ painting ‘Hugo Claus and I’, which he painted during his residency at the Academia Belgica in 1954-1955. During that time, Cox’ lifelong friend Hugo Claus also stayed in Rome, where he got inspired by the Italian film world to write his 1956 novel ‘De Koele Minnaar’.

SCMS conference Chicago

Last week, I was fortunate to be able to attend the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the biggest conference in the world focusing mainly on film. The conference took place in Chicago, which is worth a visit for its Arts Institute and Frank Lloyd Wright architecture alone. I attended several great presentations, and it was a stimulating experience to engage with so many North-American scholars and scholarly work for the first time in my life (hitherto I had only attended European conferences).

panel chicago

Our panel: Petar Mitric, Julia Hammett-Jamart, myself and Marco Cucco

I was part of one of two panels on co-production policies and practices, organized by the International Coproduction Research Network, a consortium of scholars from around the world working on the policies and practices that shape international coproductions. I gave a presentation on Dutch-Belgian coproduction policies from the 1960s until the 1980s, and the role of a Greater-Dutch cultural ideology in this history.

Hopper's nighthawks

Hopper’s Nighthawks at the Arts Institute

IMG_4541

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House

New article: Film policy & Flemish identity

The latest issue of Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research features my article The role of film production policy in stimulating a Flemish identity (1964–2002). This article is more or less a 10-page summary of my 430-pages PhD thesis. You can read the full text article here.

The article examines the period that starts in 1964, when a selective and culturally inspired support mechanism for feature films was introduced in Flanders, Subsequently, the support system ran until 2002, when it was structurally renewed. The research shows that throughout the course of the second half of the 20th century, there was an evolution in Flemish film policy towards more pluralistic and less essentialist and explicit national discourses, in which national elements, nevertheless, retained an important place.