Orphans Film Symposium

Concordia University is pleased to be hosting the 2022 Orphans Film Symposium from June 15-18.

New York University join forces with Concordia University to present the 13th edition of the Orphan Film Symposium in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, June 15-18, 2022. 

This biennial event brings together an international group of archivists, scholars, artists, curators, preservationists, librarians, collectors, distributors, documentarians, students, researchers, and others devoted to saving, studying, and screening all manner of neglected moving image artifacts. What is an orphan film? Narrowly defined, a motion picture abandoned by its owner; more generally, any work outside of the commercial mainstream.

Orphans 2022 focuses on ‘counter-archives’, by which we mean to invoke a disposition toward ‘orphan films’ that foregrounds not just abandoned materials but also stories, themes, and peoples often underrepresented, absent, or silenced by historical struggles for power, access, and survival. We aspire to include orphan films redressing historical injustice in its many forms and contexts, and to embrace films that offer such communities a voice and visibility. How have neglected, obscure, and previously unknown works recorded, (mis)represented, and imagined these constituencies throughout the history of moving images? What counter-archival practices allow us to access and understand such audiovisual materials? 

Orphans 2022 will feature screenings and talks that address counter-archives as interpreted across diverse contexts. The symposium will cover a range of historical and theoretical perspectives through a variety of presentation formats. In addition to screening orphaned works: traditional illustrated conference papers; introductions to single films; performances, demonstrations, and interventions; and recent art pieces or media productions engaging archival or found footage. And, works from audio-visual archives, private collections, libraries, and other institutions large and small. 

Presenters will discuss and screen re/discovered or recently preserved films from collections and archives around the world. As always, the Orphan Film Symposium showcases a diverse array of rare orphan film and video works – silent, experimental, non-theatrical, sponsored, independent, scientific, documentary, educational, newsreel, fragmentary, amateur, industrial, personal, incomplete, and other moving images from outside of mainstream cinema.

Find more information, schedule, and registration here.

Playback: Genealogies of Interactivity

October 9-11, 2019, Concordia University

Use, re-use, engagement, creation, distraction, immersion, seduction, play, critique—media and culture consist of practices that shape experience, meaning, and communities. The basic dynamism of media present and past, though, is not always accommodated in our critical, theoretical, and scholarly approaches. We need critical explorations that recognize and assess media and their full cultural complexities in history and across contexts. This includes examinations of both minor and major media forms and formats, and their specific iterations and uses as content, event, institution and apparatus.

This symposium brings scholars from Concordia University together with students and faculty from the Institute for Theatre, Film, and Media Studies at Goethe University (Frankfurt, Germany) to explore the complexities of our media and cultural histories.

Symposium Hosts:

Communication Studies, Faculty of Arts and ScienceFilm Studies, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Faculty of Fine Arts

In association with the Media History Research Centre, Concordia University and Graduiertenkolleg “Configurations of Film,” Goethe University

For more information on the symposium, presenters, and schedule, please visit our event page at: http://www.concordia.ca/events/genealogies-of-interactivity.html

A Distinction that Refuses to Collapse: Assessing the Videogame-Cinema Relationship | Bob Rehak

The historical relationship between film and videogames is both overdiscussed and underanalyzed; structured from the start by assumptions about the two mediums’ simultaneous affinity and alterity–what they share and what sets them apart–the narrative of their coevolution over the last forty years seems caught up in conceptual paradoxes whose unresolvability traps the conversation in a kind of eternal present tense in which successful fusion is always right around the corner. Taking a cue from special effects studies (which similarly diagnose an imminent yet ever-deferred arrival of “perfect” graphical simulation), I seek to move past conceptual roadblocks about the videogame-cinema relationship by cataloging and debunking their most common tropes. In so doing, the talk highlights certain problems of “doing” media history in an era of massively promoted technological sublimity and triumphalist capitalism: market-friendly and audience-flattering mythologies symptomatically expressed in the language of transmedia worlds and brands.

Bob Rehak earned his B.A. in English from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (1992), his M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2000), and his Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from Indiana University at Bloomington (2006). His scholarship has appeared in Cinema JournalFilm Criticism, the Journal of Fandom StudiesScience Fiction Film and Television, and Information, Communication and Society, as well as in the edited collections The Video Game Theory ReaderVideogame/Player/TextThe Cybercultures ReaderSpreadable Media, and the Screen Decades and Behind the Silver Screen series.

His monograph More Than Meets the Eye: Special Effects and the Fantastic Transmedia Franchise was published by New York University Press in 2018, and he is currently writing VideoGames Go to the Movies for Routledge. He is co-editor, with Dan North and Michael S. Duffy, of the anthology Special Effects: New Histories/Theories/Contexts (BFI/Palgrave, 2015)

Thursday January 24 | 5 – 7 PM
Milieux Institute EV 11.705
Concordia University
1515 St. Catherine St. W