Conference: 'reaslim' and the audiovisual media_CFP

MIKA KO mika39mika
Fri Jun 1 11:30:22 EDT 2007

  3-5 December 2007 
   Organised by 
  Centre for World Cinemas, School of Modern Languages & Cultures
  Louis Le Prince Centre for Cinema, Photography & Television, Institute of Communication Studies
  University of Leeds, UK
  Prof. Mary Ann Doane (US)
  Prof. John King ( UK )
  Film Director João Moreira Salles ( Brazil )
  Film Director Marigarida Gil (Portugal)
  Abstracts are invited for an international conference on the question of realism in all areas of the audiovisual media.
  The question of realism, so relevant in the era of Bazin and Kracauer, has returned to the centre of the debate on the moving image with the introduction of digital technology. Cinema and its ?ontological? or ?indexical? property seem under threat of disappearance. The recent boom of the
 documentary genre and reality shows could be seen as a reaction against the proliferation of the virtual image. However, resistance to the virtual as a modern condition is a much older phenomenon, and world cinema can provide us with a number of examples, which reassert the belief in filmmaking
 as a means to re-establish links with the material world. Realism in cinema is usually associated either with the property of the film medium to adhere to the surface of objective reality (and consequently with realist movements such as Italian neo-realism), or with a genre, i.e. a set of
 characteristics which provide film with the ability to produce an ?impression of reality?. TV and the digital media, however, are based on different technologies, which multiply the issues surrounding the production and reproduction of the real. This conference proposes to explore realism in
 its broadest sense, including a variety of topics, such as:
  1) Realism in world cinemas. How does the question of realism cut across film history and geography? To what extent do transnational tendencies affect film style and aesthetics? Is current world film production triggering new scholarship on the subject of realism?
  2) TV and reality. How does one explain the current popularity of reality shows? How is this reality defined? And what are the ethical implications of producing/reproducing the real on TV?
  3) The documentary genre and realism. Are documentary films necessarily realistic? What are the reasons for the current popularity of this genre? How are new technologies affecting documentary filmmaking?
  4) Realist genres and movements. Film history has periodically seen the emergence of realist movements: social realism, fantastic realism, neo-realism, new waves and new cinemas. How do they relate with each other and with local cultural traditions? How do they relate with realism in other arts?
  5) Realism and classical cinema. Is realism the same as the ?impression of reality? or the ?reality effect? produced by classical storytelling? Is the so-called ?classical? cinema based on realism? Is the classic canon still observed in current fiction filmmaking?
  6) Realism and popular cinema. Can popular cinema be realist? In how far does it reflect social and cultural realities?
  7) Realism and experimental cinema. Experimental tendencies have usually been categorised as ?anti-realist?. Could it be that they are just embracing another kind of realism, i.e. the ?realism of the medium??
  8) Realism and digital art. To what extent is it legitimate to speak of realism in relation to digital art?
  The conference is jointly hosted by the Centre for World Cinemas ( and the Louis Le Prince Centre for Cinema, Photography & Television (, and will take place at the University of Leeds . Details on venues, registration, accommodation, transport
 and fees will be announced in due course.
  Please send abstracts of between 200-300 words to the conference organiser by 25 June 2007:
  Professor Lúcia Nagib, Director, Centre for World Cinemas l.nagib at 

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