Professor Laura Rascaroli - Penny Siopis’s stylo-caméra, or the unspeakable subject of cine-writing

Speaker: Prof. Laura Rascaroli, Department of Film and Screen Media

Respondent: Prof. Sarah Cooper, King’s College, London

Wednesday 9th November 2022 @ 5 pm in Boole 1

An open discussion and wine reception will follow the lecture and response

Combining found footage with sound and subtitles, Penny Siopis’s films tell untold or censored histories that are markedly alternative. They speak to auto/biographical concerns and to instances of colonialism, war, apartheid, migration, globalisation and ecological crisis, being at the same time the bearers of intense aesthetic/affective experiences beyond the historical, and distinctive art objects in dialogue with a number of experimental traditions. Here, I am most interested in understanding her films as a form of cine-writing. My interest is not purely formal, for the cine-writing in Siopis’s films is in no way independent of the stories they construct; it is a mode of writing beyond the book, born of the task of telling history otherwise. As I work through what I term her paragrammatical, scripto-visual language, my discussion will circle in particular around the unspeakable subject produced by her work – this seen as a distinctive and compelling form of post-medium, intermedial film-thought.

Laura Rascaroli is Professor of Film and Screen Media at University College Cork. She is interested in experimental nonfiction, art and artist film, the politics of film form, space and geopolitics. Among her books are two monographs on essayistic and first-person cinema: How the Essay Film Thinks (Oxford UP, 2017) and The Personal Camera: Subjective Cinema and the Essay Film (Columbia UP, 2009, also translated into Chinese and Farsi). Her most recent book is the collection Theorizing Film Through Contemporary Art: Expanding Cinema (Amsterdam UP, 2020). She is Editor-in-Chief of Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media.

Sarah Cooper is Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London. Her books include Film and the Imagined Image (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), The Soul of Film Theory (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013), Chris Marker (Manchester University Press, 2008), and Selfless Cinema? Ethics and French Documentary (Legenda, 2006). She has also edited Special Issues of the journals Film-Philosophy, “Levinas and Cinema: The Occluded Relation” (2007), and Paragraph, “New Takes on Film and Imagination” (2020). She is currently editing a Special Issue of the journal Philosophies, “Thinking Cinema—with Plants.”

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