Invited Speaker and Attendee
- May 2018: Invited Speaker, Women in New Hollywood, Maynooth National University of Ireland. Talk: Joann Carelli, New Hollywood, and Heaven’s Gate, based on Chapter 5 of Film Mavericks in Action. Abstract:
“Hollywood is a town totally geared to men. There’s something about the personality of the people who choose to meet here. The film industry just attracts money – and power-hungry men.” (Producer, Joann Carelli, LA Times, 22, 2, 1980).
“If there is a precise moment that marks the demise of New Hollywood it is November 19th, 1980 when the full-length version of Michael Cimino’s Heavens Gate (1980) made its now infamous New York premiere. Damning reviews cancelled any hopes of repeating Cimino’s critical and commercial success of The Deer Hunter (1977). For Vincent Canby, it was an “unqualified disaster”, for Roger Ebert it was “…the most scandalous cinematic waste I have ever seen.” A deflated Cimino (1939 – 2016) withdrew the film. However, by 2013 the restored version was celebrated as a masterpiece at film festivals around the world: “…it’s stature as a true wonder-work of American cinemas is now surely beyond doubt” (Collin, The Telegraph, 1/8/2013). That restored version from the Criterion Collection was galvanized by the film’s original producer, Joann Carelli. Over the decades, she had been Cimino’s regular creative partner, overseeing his 1960s New York TV commercials and working eventually as associate producer on their Academy Awards triumph The Deer Hunter. Carelli’s more exposed role as exclusive producer of the epic Heavens Gate – and how that role was perceived by the Hollywood industry and the press – is the subject of this talk. Drawing on contemporaneous news coverage of her role on the film, the talk will suggest that the critical response to Heavens Gate was as much about “St. Joan’s” challenge to the “town totally geared to men” than it was about New Hollywood stylistic and narrative confusions.”
- Nov, 2017: Interfilm 33, International Short Film Festival, Berlin
- Oct 23 – 27, 2017: Attendee, CILECT Congress, Hoschschule für Gestaltung, Zurich
- May 15, 2017: Attendee, 1st Cinepoetics Lecture, “Cinema fo Abjection” Thomas Elsaesser, FU, Berlin.
- Feb 2017: Guest Speaker, In2theframe: Close Encounters with Film, IFB Institüt für Fremdsprachenberufe, Kempten, Germany,
- March 20-21, 2015: Speaker, “Aspects of American Culture”, Erfurt, Germany.
This teacher training event is an annual event jointly organized by the Muhlenberg Center for American Studies (MCAS), the federal departments responsible for teacher trainings and school development of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt (Thillm and LISA), the U.S. Consulate General Leipzig, and the U.S. Embassy Berlin.
- November 13,14,15. 2014: Attendee, Looking Forward: Current Projects in American Studies, JFK-I, FU; Berlin
- Oct 2014: Attendee, 7th Screenwriting Research Network International Conference, Film University Babelsberg, Berlin
- May 2013: Invited Speaker, Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric, Equipment for Living, Faculty of Psychology & Educational Sciences, University of Ghent. Title of paper: “Insider Dealings: Hollywood as Corporate Symbol Mis-user.”
- Sept 2012: Invited Speaker, Myths R-US, Nationality in Television and Film, Wisconsin, USA. Paper title: “Michael Cimino: Myth Buster.”
- Aug 2012: Keynote Speaker, Inaugural Gauteng Women in Film and Television Partnership Seminar, Open Window, Centurion South Africa
- July 2012: Attendee, Subjectivitat nach der Subjektcritik, Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin
- April 2012: Speaker, Film Education, CILECT African Regional Conference, Cape Town, South Africa. Paper title: “Though Film Praxis and Theory, Starring Micael Foucault.” (with Gregory du Tertre).
Whether one is teaching and learning in a Film School or Art School, one recurring and increasingly fraught institutional complication emerges in answering the question: how are we to evolve essentially what were not long ago vocationally orientated curricular into the more academically demanding expectations of Higher Education to which most of us are now bound? The CILECT Conference of 2001 in Ljubljana was specifically focused on this issue. One of its several speakers, Tuula Mehtonon from Helsinki, crystallized the problem well: “Because our department is affiliated to a university, we are duty bound to direct students towards writing reflective and analytical material on their main subject”. Eleven years on, this talk and accompanying short film presentation is designed to contribute to this debate both within CILECT and beyond. It will detail one recent attempt by the speakers to extend and elaborate upon film student’s zones of proximal development – by directly engaging, that is, vocationally- orientated senior students with the sometimes forbidding realm of the critical tradition. As such the talk will explore the ‘Indy Minds’ Assignment Project as it was conceived at the Tshwane University Film Programme in 2011 where, not incidentally, the theory and analysis ‘spinach’ strand is a uniquely compulsory element across the curricular for all students. While Course Leader Dr. Alan Taylor will initially share the pedagogic considerations and strategies behind ‘Indy Minds’, senior student Gregory du Tertre (2012 M-tech student, proposed) will present and reflect upon his experience as director/writer of his team’s resultant 5 minute film – with its dramatic focus on a key plot point in the life and times of a leading critical thinker and author. The 20 minute talk and viewing will, it is hoped, prompt further debate concerning the raising the informed praxis of our new millennium Film Students and advance thereby our own duty-bound remit as recalled from Ljubljana, 2001.” END
- Oct 2011: Invited Speaker, Not Just Fred and Ginger, EU Association of Dance Historians & Film Studies, London Metropolitan University. Paper title: “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: New Hollywood’s Close Encounters with the Musical.”
- July 2011: Attendee. The Rise of Africa, International Symposium of Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin
- July 2011: Speaker & Panel Chair, Inaugural Film and Media Conference, Institute of Education, University of London. Paper: “Media Literacies in South Africa.”
- May 2011: Attendee, Screenwriting Workshop, The Writers Guild of South Africa, Johannesburg.
- Jan 2011: Attendee CARA/AFDA Conference on Film Education, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Oct 2010: Invited Speaker, XIII. International Film & Media Studies Conference, Sapientia University, Romania
- 2010: 3RD Attendee, International Graduate Conference, John F. Kennedy Institute of North American Studies, Free University, Berlin
- 2008: Attendee XXIX International Psychology Conference, Berlin
- 2005: Attendee, EdiT Filmmakers Conference, The Art and Science of the Moving Image, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
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