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Film Studies

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Research

Contemporary approaches to current and historic areas of Film Studies characterise the research of staff in the department. We explore how film is constructed and how it changes over time, where it travels to and how it takes effect, drawing on the various cultures of avant-garde, national and popular cinema.

We focus on four broad and interconnected fields.

The Centre for Film and Ethics facilitates interdisciplinary work involving ethics in the context of moving image research.

Our Film Cultures group investigates the development of understudied genres and movements, changes in cinema technology, financing and audiences, and the work of major directors, stars and set designers, using methods such as archival research.

Our Film Philosophy group, known in-house as Think Tank, investigates how the distinctive characteristics of cinema are elucidated by questions of ethics and experience, archaeology and capital, museality and memory, humanity and animality.

Our Film Practice area investigates the formal, ethical and philosophical processes of moving image production and exhibition, including documentary filmmaking, artists’ moving image, fiction cinema, screenwriting, live art and performance.

Film Studies at QMUL is a leading centre of research in the fields of film history, cultures and national cinemas. Areas of expertise include the cultures and industries of British, US, French, Russian, and Spanish cinemas. Members of the Film Cultures research group have published on stars (including Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve), directors (including Sally Potter, Lynne Ramsay, Bertrand Blier, Pedro Almodovar, Carol Reed and Luis Bunuel) and producers (including Carlo Ponti and Alexander Korda). Other areas of research specialism include the history film, the war film, the Holocaust, trauma and cultural memory.

Members of Film Cultures regularly give talks at organisations such as the Institut Français, the British Film Institute, the Barbican and the National Portrait Gallery. Recent events include Dr Mark Glancy’s talk on Hitchcock’s London at the Barts Pathology Museum and Dr Sue Harris’s series of podcasts for French Cultural Studies (listen here).

Current projects include the transatlantic stardom of Cary Grant, the cinema of the Russian revolution, and British stage and screen stardom.

Our research partners include the British Library, the Film Finances Archive, and the Lindsay Anderson Memorial Foundation.

Please see the research profiles of the different members of the group for more information: Lucy Bolton, Charles Drazin, Peter Evans, Adrian Garvey, Mark Glancy, Sue Harris, Jeremy Hicks, Annette Kuhn, Katherine McElvanney, Hollie Price, Pauline Small, Jo Stephenson, Guy Westwell

Set up in 2016, the film practice research cluster has investigated the formal, ethical and philosophical processes of moving image production and exhibition, including documentary filmmaking, artists’ moving image, fiction cinema, screenwriting, live art and performance.  The development of this research area builds on the successes of film practice at postgraduate level, featuring a strongly recruiting MA in Documentary Practice and the introduction of practice-led doctorates, with links to the department of Drama.

In 2016, a major bid in support of a Film Practice Research Facility submitted to the College’s Strategic Investment Fund procured £93.5k for the professionalisation of research production equipment.

The development of our practice research culture is deepening the department’s reach into arts-based funding. Eastwood procured £30k from Arts Council England, £15k from Big Lottery for ‘The Interval and the Instant’, (2015), a feature-length film and gallery installation exploring what happens at the end of a life, made through close engagement with individuals experiencing and witnessing death and dying, and with the involvement of palliative care professionals at Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight. The film arising from this research, Island (2017), received £10k completion funding from the Arts Council, and premiered at the London Film Festival this year.

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