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Free Film Studies Essays

Favourite Online Lecture

Dr. Frank tragically died on August 28, 2017, at the age of 33. She was one of the most original, accomplished and promising scholars of her generation. She will be hugely missed but much remembered.

LIVING LABOR: TRACES from women and performance

See Hannah Frank's Vimeo account; and her Google Scholar citations;

Also see the following tributes to Dr. Frank:

Favourite new website

"Long awaited" doesn't even get close to describing film critic and scholar extraordinaire Adrian Martin's website project to gather much of his published film criticism work and offer it up for free! But it arrived in 2017, starting with over 2000 entries to amazing pieces of writing and thinking, which are being added to every week!

Titled FILM CRITIC: ADRIAN MARTIN, the website also points to a connected 'Patreon' campaign to raise some funds to help keep it maintained and regularly updated. FSFF's author has signed up to do just that.

It's not every day that one of the world's leading writers about film gives away quite so much of his lifetime's work to the public domain. Good on ya, and thank you, Adrian!

Favourite Film and Media Studies Podcast

Film and Media Studies podcasts continued to delight us in 2017. The following three (listed in alphabetical order) tied for their place as FSFF's favourite.

Also, check out new podcast on the block:

Eavesdropping at the Movies by Jose Arroyo and Michael Glass


Favourite longstanding website

January 2017 entries:

How LA LA LAND is made

My girl Friday, and his, and yours

Fantasy, flashbacks, and what-ifs: 2016 pays off the past

February 2017 entries:

Anybody but Griffith

Oscar’s Siren song 3: A guest post by Jeff Smith

LA LA LAND: Singin’ in the sun

All my objections to Trump won’t fit on one blog

March 2017 entries:

Going inside by staying outside: L’AVVENTURA on the Criterion Channel

My cover is blown

The Oscars’ Best Picture and other Best Picture

Waldo Lydecker, James Schamus, and 1910s movie storytelling

April 2017 entries:

Film noir, a hundred years ago

Wisconsin Film Festival: Cutting to the chase, and away from it

Wisconsin Fim Festival: An unexpected gem, a Zucchini, and a farewell

May 2017 entries:

Three women of Cannes: A guest entry by Kelley Conway

Ladies at all levels

Wayward ways and roads not taken

Good morning from Ozuland

June 2017 entries:

Ritrovato 2017: Drinking from the firehose

Grand motel

James Agee: Astonishing excellence: A guest post by Charles Maland

FilmStruck and Criterion: Now Roku-ready

Thrill me!

July 2017 entries:


Books not so briefly noted

We do film, dammit: Charlie Keil interviews us

Ritrovato 2017: Many faces, many places

Ritrovato 2017: An embarrassment of riches

August 2017 entries:

Venice 2017: Early days

Fassbinder’s figures: Jeff Smith on ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL

Is there a blog in this class? 2017

DUNKIRK Part 1: Straight to the good stuff

DUNKIRK Part 2: The art film as event movie

September 2017 entries:

Mmm, M good

Lubitsch redoes Lubitsch


Venice 2017: Crimes, no misdemeanors

Venice 2017: Martel’s drama of expectations

Venice 2017: College days

Venice 2017: Hunting Golden Lions

Venice 2017: Sensory Saturday; or, what puts the Virtual in VR?

Venice 2017: Lubitsch and Pickford, finally together again

October 2017 entries:

Biomechanics goes to the Big House: BRUTE FORCE on the Criterion Channel

Women, Oscars, and power


One last big job: How heist movies tell their stories

REINVENTING HOLLYWOOD: Post-partum downs and ups

THE LOST WORLD refound, piece by piece

November 2017 entries:

Taika Waititi: The very model of a modern movie-maker

Time-shifting: THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE on the Criterion Channel

Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone: The 1910s tonight

The Fabulous Forties once more: REINVENTING HOLLYWOOD spreads out on the Net

The Celestial Arthouse: FilmStruck and Criterion Channel with an offer hard to refuse

Bill Morrison’s lyrical tale of loss, destruction, and (sometimes) recovery

Dreyer, and more, in Houghton

December 2017 entries:

The ten best films of … 1927

The Boy’s life: Harold Lloyd’s GIRL SHY on the Criterion Channel

Patchwork imagination: Lee Kwangkuk’s framed and frayed stories


Favourite Online Film Studies Journal

A tie this year between The Cine-Files, which brings some truly wonderful material online, year after year, thanks largely to the amazing talents of Editor-in-Chief Tracy Cox-Stanton, and Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, similarly run by a passionate team of academics, which introduced a brilliant new audiovisual essay section!

Also see this list!

FSFF is very much looking forward to the publication of a new Jump Cut issue in Spring 2018 following on from the very sad loss of one of its pioneering editors, Chuck Kleinhans, to whom this blog dedicated its previous entry in tribute. 


Favourite Video Essay on a Film Studies Topic

Chloé Galibert-Laîné's desktop documentary My crush was a superstar

This was at the the top of my top ten picks in the end of year Sight and Sound poll: "The best video essays of 2017" expertly and painstakingly gathered by Kevin B. Lee and David Verdeure.

Also check out this top 17 list curated by Jacob Oller for the ONE PERFECT SHOT (now FILM SCHOOL REJECTS) website. 


Favourite video essayist

A two-way tie between:

Cristina Alvarez López and Adrian Martin for MUBI, Filmkrant, and themselves (see also this great video interview with them by Julia Vassilieva from Monash Film and Screen Studies);

Oswald Iten of FILMBULLETIN and other sites 


Favourite video essay publisher/curator

(ahem...after [in]Transition and Audiovisualcy....)



Best online scholarly collaboration between a filmmaker and a film scholar (who is also a filmmaker!)

How Action Movies are Spectacular… and Boring
Science of Editing Series, This Guy Edits/Sven Pape and Dr Karen Pearlman


Best open access eBook appearing online in 2017

Two-way split between:

Farocki/Godard. Film as Theoryby Volker Pantenburg


Feminisms: Diversity, Difference and Multiplicity in Contemporary Film Cultures 

edited by Laura Mulvey and Anna Backman Rogers


Favourite online article:

Nina Menkes’s article "The Visual Language of Oppression: Harvey Wasn’t Working in a Vacuum," FILMMAKER Magazine’s most popular post in 2017. Menkes' brilliantly uses the work of Laura Mulvey.


Favourite Film Studies Related Instagram Account:

Fictitious Interiors Curated by Davide Rapp

And finally...

Some very very very  honourable mentions

  • Best Facebook page for Film and Media Studies in 2017: Teaching Media 
  • For its continued brilliance and generosity: Shane Denson's medieninitiative website
  • Best historiographical video essay series: The Per una controstoria del cinema italiano/Towards a Counter History of Italian Cinema project organised by Filmidée and Chiara Grizzaffi with multiple videos and authors. Watch the trailer here.
More to follow as FSFF remembers further 2017 links of great note!


Latest update: May 21, 2014

A-Z list of links to online, Open Access, English-language Film-Studies related e-journals and other relevant scholarly, periodical websites with at least some OA content

(Film Studies For Free's favourite journal titles are in bold

  1. 16:9 (Eng-lang articles in Danish Film Studies Journal)
  2. Acidemic Journal of Film and Media
  3. ACTA Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies (hat tip to Adrian Martin)
  4. Afterall Online Journal (on artists' film and video)
  5. Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media 
  6. Alternate Takes (a superior film criticism website with post-doctoral contributors) 
  7. Americana (Hollywood) : the Journal of American Popular Culture
  8. Anime Essays 
  9. Animation Studies
  10. Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture
  11. Audiovisual Thinking: The Journal of Academic Videos
  12. Bright Lights Film Journal
  13. CineAction (sample articles)
  14. Cineaste
  15. Cine-Excess
  16. The Cine-Files
  17. Cinema Journal (free sample issue)
  18. Cinema Scope
  19. Cinephile
  20. Ciné-Tracts: A Journal of Film, Communication, Culture and Politics (ARCHIVE 1977-1982)
  21. Colloquy 
  22. Consciousness, Literature and the Arts
  23. Critical Studies in Television
  24. Criticine (Southeast Asian Cinema)
  26. Culture Machine
  27. débordements
  29. DOCUMENTARY BOX (Yamagata Film Festival article archive) [hat tip Adrian Martin]
  30. e-flux art journal
  31. Entertext - Animation Special Issue (ed. by Paul Ward)
  32. Excursions
  33. Experimental Conversations (Cork Film Centre Journal)
  34. Fandom Research
  35. Fanthropology
  36. Fast Capitalism Not too much on film, but excellent articles on new media, etc.
  37. Fibreculture Journal
  38. Film Historia (Index to English-Language articles)
  39. Filmicon: Journal of Greek Film Studies
  40. Film International: filmint.
  41. FILM: Danish Film Institute Film Magazine
  42. Film-Philosophy
  43. Film Quarterly (some free articles in each issue)
  44. Film Studies (ARCHIVE 2004-2007)
  45. FlowTV
  46. Forum
  47. fps: framespersecond (on animation) ARCHIVE ONLY)
  48. Frames Cinema Journal(inaugural issue on Film and Moving Image Studies Re-Born Digital? guest-edited by Catherine Grant of FSFF) 
  49. Frieze Magazine (online sections)
  50. Genders
  51. German Films Quarterly (English-language articles)
  52. hyperrhiz: new media cultures
  53. Hz Journal
  54. Illusions: New Zealand Moving Image and Performing Arts Criticism 
  55. Image and Narrative
  56. Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture 
  57. INCITE! A journal of experimental media & radical aesthetics
  58. IndianAuteur
  59. InMedia, an online French Journal, in English, of Media and Media Representations in the English-Speaking World
  60. In Media Res
  61. Institute of Network Cultures 
  62. Intellect New Journals (free online issues)
  63. INTENSITIES: The Journal of Cult Media 
  64. International Journal of Žižek Studies
  65. New[in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies
  66. Irish Communications Review (ARCHIVE)
  67. Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies
  68. JOAN'S DIGEST Feminist Film Studies and Criticism
  69. Journal of Aesthetics and Culture
  70. The Journal for Artistic Research 
  71. Journal of Film Preservation (FIAF) 
  72. Journal of the Moving Image
  73. The Journal of Media practice: SCREENWORKS
  74. Journal of Moving Image Studies (ARCHIVE 2002-2007)
  75. Journal of Religion and Film
  76. Journal of European Television History and Culture
  77. Jump Cut
  78. Kinephanos: Popular Culture Film Studies
  79. Kinocultura 
  80. Limina: a journal of historical and cultural studies
  81. LOLA (edited by Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu)
  82. M/C Journal: A journal of Media and Culture
  83. MediaCommons Press
  84. MEDIA FIELDS JOURNAL: Critical Explorations in Media and Space
  86. Media History Monographs
  87. Mediascape
  88. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication (first issue 1 online)
  89. Midnight Eye (Japanese Cinema)
  90. Millennium Film Journal (avant-garde cinema and practice) (items gradually available online)
  91. MOVIE: A Journal of Film Criticism
  92. Moving Image Source
  93. NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies
  94. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Post-Graduate Network (PGN)
  95. Neural
  96. Offscreen Journal
  97. Other Voices (ARCHIVE)
  98. P.O.V (A Danish Journal of Film Studies) (ARCHIVE 1996-2009)
  99. PARTICIPATIONS: A Journal of Audience Research
  100. Photogénie 
  101. Post Identity (ARCHIVE 1997-2007)
  102. PsyArt
  103. Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media
  104. Reverse Shot
  105. Revue LISA / LISA e-journal
  106. Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge
  107. Rouge
  108. Savage Cinema (on horror cinema)
  109. Scan: Journal of Media Arts and Culture (Handy Index) 
  110. Scene 360 (quarterly online film and arts magazine)
  111. Scope: an on-line journal of film studies
  112. Screen (Open Access material)
  113. Screen Culture
  114. Screen Machine 
  115. Screening the Past
  116. Senses of Cinema
  117. SFRA Review (Science Fiction Research Assocation - delayed access. Scroll down on page for index)
  118. Sight and Sound (some articles online) 
  119. Silent film journals online (List maintained by Luke McKernan at The Bioscope)
  120. Skepsi - Interdisciplinary graduate journal
  121. Static Mass Emporium (a high quality, independent film journal and criticism website informed by film studies)
  122. Studies in Popular Culture
  123. SYNOPTIQUE: The Journal of Film and Film Studies
  124. The Film Journal (ARCHIVE 2002-2006)
  125. The New Everyday - A MediaCommons Project
  126. Transformative Works and Cultures
  127. Undercurrent (Fipresci)
  128. Vectors
  129. Vertigo Magazine (now at Close Up)
  130. Views Reviews Interviews (Scholarly journal mostly on Indian Cinema)
  131. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (WPCC)
  132. Wide Screen
  133. World Picture Journal