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Kiarostami essay in Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film and Visual Narration

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

I contributed a short essay on the opening sequence of Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us for the first issue of Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film and Visual Narration. 

The journal describes itself as being "deeply in conversation with what film critic Adrian Martin has called 'A Term that Means Everything, and Nothing Very Specific.' Every piece featured in the journal strives to define part of the mise-en-scène enigma and its underlying role in the screen narrative." Access the issue here (you'll need to sign up as a reader).

Sightlines: Filmmaking in the Academy conference

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

I’ll be presenting a preview screening of my feature film This Used to Be Here at this year’s Sightlines: Filmmaking in the Academy conference. It will be held at RMIT University and will be a “two-day event that will focus on the developing field of filmmaking as a form of academic research.”

All the information can be found here.

Revelation Academic

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

I’ll be presenting a paper titled “A War on Indirectness: Kazuo Hara’s The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On” at this year’s Revelation Academic, the academic sidebar of the Revelation International Film Festival.

Here’s the abstract:

In a cabinet meeting in Tokyo, 1941, Emperor Hirohito was presented with a final opportunity to halt the momentum for war – a war, history suggests, he was reluctant to partake in. Instead he recited a poem – an anti-war lament written by his grandfather Meiji. Broadly interpreted by those in the room as regretful approval, the war pressed on, millions of lives were lost, and Japan emerged a devastated nation. 

Kazuo Hara’s infamous 1987 documentary, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On – featuring the unforgettable, fanatical dissident, Kenzo Okuzaki – is among a series of well-known postwar Japanese films examining the Pacific War and the Emperor’s complicity in the nation’s war involvement. What distinguishes Hara’s film is its steadfast refusal of connotative imagery, absence of poetic language, and its empirical approach in ascertaining truth – traits that mark it in radical contrast to the vast majority of Japanese cinema. 

Indeed, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On is not merely a powerful anti-war statement; this paper considers the film as a sustained attack on indirectness – of poetry, myth, ambiguity, cinematic language, and the polite obliqueness of Japanese speech and culture more broadly – which continues to obstruct Japan’s engagement with its militant past.

Registrations here.

Totally Huge New Music Festival Symposium

Added on by Kenta McGrath.

I'll be presenting a paper at the Totally Huge New Music Festival Symposium, which runs this year in association with the launch of the West Australian New Music Archive (WANMA) at the The State Library of WA. The theme is West Australian Art Music Activity: 1970-2014. I was asked to talk about my films No Encore and Three Hams in a Can; my paper considers how the musicians and composers featured in the films "informed the aesthetic, structure and aural strategies of these two documentaries, and how their sounds and music are received, rejected by and interact with the environments in which they are seen and heard."

 Johannes Sistermanns, guest of this year's festival.

Johannes Sistermanns, guest of this year's festival.

The WANMA launch is on Wednesday May 20; the symposium will run on Thursday May 21 at The State Library of WA. The keynote speakers are Stephen Adams (Australian music producer, ABC Classic FM) and Associate Professor Cat Hope (Project leader, WANMA). Head to the Totally Huge website for all the details. Registrations here.