American Blockbuster honored in Choice Magazine

MHRC Co-Director Charles Acland’s American Blockbuster: Movies, Technology, and Wonder was recently selected as Choice magazine’s 2021 Outstanding Title.

In American Blockbuster Charles R. Acland charts the origins, impact, and dynamics of the blockbuster movie, the most visible, entertaining, and disparaged cultural form. Acland narrates how blockbusters emerged from Hollywood’s turn to a hit-driven focus during the industry’s business crisis in the 1950s. Movies became bigger, louder, and more spectacular. They also became prototypes for ideas and commodities associated with the future of technology and culture, accelerating the prominence of technological innovation in modern American life. Acland shows that blockbusters continue to be more than just movies; they are industrial strategies and complex cultural machines designed to normalize the ideologies of our technological age.

Find more information on the book here

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.