Thanks for accessing this site. The following links provide a sample of my writing and editorial work.
N.B. The page not on public display.
I. PROGRAMMING CATALOGUE
I edit the filmmakers' original descriptions to make them engaging and succinct.
The file below is an excerpt.
II. EDITORIAL WORK
IAFOR Journal of Media, Communication and Film: 2012 - 2020
As founding editor, I defined IJMCF’s mission as “giving a voice to scholars considering previously unexamined aspects of contemporary media and visual culture and to filmmakers who engage with academic discourse.”
III. SELECTED ARTICLES
1.) “Out of Bounds: Freedom of Expression in Singapore Revisited.” New Narratif (3 April 2019): web.
A “long read” article about my experiences of teaching film studies in Singapore and the fractious relationship between freedom-of-speech and the media in the city state.
2.) “Oscars and the World of Film Festivals.” SUTD-HASS Insights (February 2018): web.
A newsletter on the 2018 Oscars and the film festival circuit, for a non-specialist readership.
3.) Review of “Compact Cinematics: The Moving Image in the Age of Bit-Sized Media” in Mobile Media & Communication. SAGE Publications 5.3 (July 2017): web.
In this book review, I evaluate arguments about whether “compact cinematics” – smart phone movies, 3D visuals and virtual reality – are “derivative, incomplete or less developed forms of cinema,” and whether scholars' attempts to posit these new technologies as part of the evolution of classical cinema are fruitful.
4.) “Through the Looking Glass: A Journey into Surrealist Cinema’s Past.” Perspectives Film Festival Blog (November 2016): web.
A general introduction to 1920s surrealist cinema.
5.) “Killing Time with Scandi-Noir.” Multiverse (October 2015): web.
Review of the masterful Danish television series, "The Killing" (Forbrydelsen)
6.) “Film Scholarship and the 50th Anniversary of the French New Wave.” The London Film and Media Reader 1 (October 2013): 2-11.
I summarise recent scholarship on the French New Wave, against the backdrop of a decline in interest in the period in academic circles.
7.) “Cinema as Translucent Reality: The Actuality Aesthetic in the French New Wave.” Post-Scriptum, University of Montreal, (November 2011): 33-43.
Godard and the New Wave filmmakers explored André Bazin's aphorism that "photography is truth, and film is truth 24 times a second," but they also identified problems with his conviction that cinema was a tool for achieving phenomenological truth. My argument draws on Chroniques d’un été (1960), Le Petit soldat (1960) and Vivre sa vie (1963).
8.) “Chance, Fate and Destiny: Existentialism and French New Wave Cinema.” Sans Papiers 2010.1, Cornell University, (August 2010): 20-26.
This paper demonstrates that New Wave representations of chance, fate and destiny are influenced by the existentialist literature of their era, while also bearing seminal traits of structuralist and postmodern thought. The article analyses Le signe du Lion (Rohmer, 1959), A bout de souffle (Godard, 1959) and Cléo de 5 à 7 (Varda, 1962).
9.) PhD Thesis: “Deadly Deviations, Subversive Cinema: The Influence of Hollywood Film Noir on the French New Wave.” (USC Digital Library, 2012).
This dissertation develops a comparative study of the character and plot conventions, tropes, topoi, aesthetics and filmmaking production techniques common to both Hollywood B-series films noirs and the French New Wave. I consider in detail how the New Wave filmmakers were inspired by Hollywood’s “poverty row” studios’ ability to manufacture movies “a dime a dozen” and how the French filmmakers meticulously copied B-series production methods in order to make their own genre films. To this end, my first chapter provides a thorough account of the production of Godard’s Breathless, including technical details about the filmmaking process not previously published. I go on to argue that the New Wave’s appropriation of the Hollywood film noir aesthetic is central to understanding auteur theory (la politique des auteurs) – characterized by a dissatisfaction with the Americanization of French society, France’s involvement in Algeria, a reticence about sexual liberation and a profound sense of discontent with their era.
The document is a popular download – it earns me royalties!
“Monstrosity – Interview with James Rowlins.” Interview by John Naskar in Cult Critic Film Magazine (10 December 2019): web.
“Interview with Festival Director James Rowlins.” Interview by Matthew Toffolo in Festival Reviews, (19 September 2018): web.
Dr. James Rowlins