Exploring human expression,
instead of human perfection.
To begin, I've kindly asked my references, and additional professors Sr. Ivan Pintor (narrative theory) of Pompeu Fabra University in Spain, M. Joseph Moure and M. Frank Pecquet (art creation theory) from the University of Sorbonne in France, international UK cinema scholar and founder of Open Access Film Studies Dr. Catherine Grant, former head of BBC and chair of Media Arts at Royal Holloway University Dr. Jonathan Powell, author/professor of psychology Dr. Judy Sundayo, and Mr. Fritz Friedman, former global marketing VP to Sony and current commissioner of Arts & Culture in San Diego, to provide relevant professional and academic input regarding cinematic interpretation/effect via intermittent consultation (cited appropriately within final dissertation) during the first two years of this studies' visual and literary observation processes.
Regarding the option of a creative project to accompany my critical research, I'm interested in completing several montage collections to archive this study stylistically and historically - specifically showcasing female directors, along with male film directors who capture of the female subject in non-traditional ways. The collection of images and scenes are not to be arranged in a way where I use special effects, but juxtapose different images and scenes as a curated collection to reflect the broad findings during the analytical process of doctoral study. This collection would serve to present a kaleidoscope of ways that same gender or "same agent" filmmakers communicate and also showcase how dynamically that same female subject has been filmed by "others"; opposing or "opposite-agents". This is just the foundation to create a framework where other same-agent/opposite agent group comparisons can be explored in the future -- such as specific gender, ethnicity, nationality, migrated, socio-economic and other groups of shared identification.
Below I've put together a sample reel as an example of the type of collection I'd like to create over the period of research. Each film is significant for its style and story narrative involving the female subject. Although this reel reflects films I am aware of, the final project will mirror the broader selection of films explored for this study. In reference to the visual exploration, I first encountered haptic, performance and sensorial cinema through music and commercial directors such as Dave Meyers, Andrew Huang and Khalil Joseph. I was also familiar with similar styled photo collection books from Anna Atkins and contemporary photographer Vivane Sassen. Regarding literary insight that will inform the narrative structures of these films, I've included non-linear films, adapted novels, stage plays, and semi-scripted content by female creators, in order to reflect the range of participation of the female "as creator" in our observations of "same-agent" perspectives. The reason for this project came about because I've admired female multi-media artists who capture themselves (the female as her own subject), however I've not easily located moving-image styles of montages without special effects, nor within and extensive collection of cinematic styles and stories.
For example, female installation artists such as Tracy Emin, Vanessa Beecroft and Cindy Sherman, create visually striking installations in large and small spaces by using their own image (or extensions of leave "a presence" of their own image). They are essentially creators of "their own gaze". Thus, to arrange a stream of unmanipulated visual segments, apart from how they were created for performance, has the potential to stand as a body of work on its own. Moreover, in an age inundated with visual content, a collection of this type can be done with many other specified groupings to achieve meaningful results as well. The aim of this complimentary creative project is to represent more than just an "image stream of consciousness," but something encompassing an archive of collective memory, feminine experience, and of course demonstrates the variety of the "females' own gaze" and how "she" exists within a research-based "selection of gazers" (in segments where the director is not female).
With access to visual material, now mostly digitised and covering nearly a century of film craft, this artistic project serves also serves as a landmark where 1920 and 2020 can meet. The film Fantasia by Disney comes to mind; a dreamy compilation of animated work set to a symphony of music for a family audience. What also comes to mind are the jarring series of images and video streams of cinematographer Arthur Jafa's in Love is the Message. However, my project isn't intended to be an exact comparison nor guided by the elements of Fantasia or Love is the Message. The final projects' style will be determined by the research and new perspectives learned. The sample reel below is just an idea of what a collection may look like over three or four years of concerted academic guidance. Additionally, its resulting complication adds to existing networks of researched film record, such as the recently launched Directed by Women initiative www.directedbywomen.com and Professor Laura U. Marks' Substantial Motion Project www.substantialmotionproject.org -- and hopefully, more. Current conferences from Fall 2021 to Summer 2022 addressing intersectionality between Narrative Literature, Cinema and New Media Communication can be downloaded just beneath the viewing screen below.
If the goal of same-agent narrative and performance based communication can be fully explored, my hope is that this creative supplement to my formal research can bring viewers into an historical stream of "immersive thought" in a safe and inviting space (or, "world"). Yet, unlike a structured film and more like an installation, the final presentation should have no forced momentum, plot or premise to drive it. If the supplemental aspect of my research goal is met, the archive can serve as "historic installation" easily shared across online media. And the visual experience may feel haptic, performative, sensorial, surreal, realistic, historic, neo-expressionist, or none of those. Theoretically, what should remain present is the "element of the feminine" in "her own words"; albeit visually. Apart from a fantasy of dancing brooms with Mickey Mouse in a wizard's hat (Fantasia), or a stream of photography and visual clips exploring histories of love and violence (Love is the Message), my own complimentary project, alternatively, aims to represent subtle observations within a chosen collection of films that address feminist narratives and symbolism expanding across journals, conferences and growing online academic spaces -- an appropriate compliment to a broad study of performance literature and its visual craft from 1920 to 2020.
Please feel free to grab a coffee. Or, some wine. Or, leave it on in the background.
This may take a minute -- and shouldn't hurt at all.
I received my initial media studies training at San Diego State University, the city where I was born, in the Film, Television and Theatre department for two and half years. After transferring to prepare for law school in the state where my aunt received her JD, I earned my BA in Literature from the University of Houston. However, I still desired to pursue film and theatre studies more in depth, and applied to several graduate programs in Europe. I was accepted into several, but chose the University of Royal Holloway in London because of its interesting roots as a woman's college when it was initially founded. There I received my MA in Cinema and Screenwriting and continued to live there another three years on a work-study visa. Some of my notable instructors were film director, Andrea Arnold and BBC programming head Dr. Jonathan Powell, who adamantly conveyed how audience perception were large parts of their careers -- as in, for them, entertainment was deemed to be a vehicle to educate and enlighten the viewer.
My internships abroad have included working for the European Media Fund and the Spanish Film Commission, where I provided summaries and assessments along with other international teams conducting reviews of artistically valuable projects, important for the European community, then covering twenty four nations. I am currently contracted to create media briefs for NGO's and non-profits that seek to incorporate media into their programme initiatives which in the past have been the United Nations Development fund and more recently, the California Department of Rehabilitation. Freedom to do freelance and consulting work have often been maintained by my work as a tutor and online instructor for professionals who speak English as a second language. Serendipitously, films from their culture, as well as plays, have proved helpful common ground for their memorisation and my own cultural awareness.
Luckily, by watching and reading new material from my own students, it has been easy to remain globally aware of new media narratives, and support my ability to remain a consultant to new producers preparing their MIP TV market proposals through PACT UK, a producers network. My early years working in theatre at The La Jolla Playhouse to film festival coordination first in Houston and later in London through the BFI, increased my appreciation, and has fuelled my consistent communication with several international creative directors as mentors. Over time, I've had the opportunity to observe subtle cultural differences between various media organisations and their needs -- from programming in public sectors of television, to film funding bodies -- witnessing times where a particular narrative traveled well around the globe, and other times only regionally or locally.
I've tried to describe through visual example in "The Concept of Collection", here on this site. Basically, exemplifying how (in this case, film, television and media) collectively look similar, yet profound differences are revealed when up-close analysis is taken. My work in India with Viacom/MTV, and in the UK with Studio Canal, and in Cannes, France with the International Television Programming Conference (MIP) has shown me that the full breadth of a nation's media is ultimately priceless -- even if some of it is not marketed in the millions. Eventually, my interest in examining the smaller, non-traditional films prompted me to pursue interviews with the creators of these unique films, from writers to directors, for future publications in book form and documentary series. This led me to consider returning to deeper explorations of film theory and history again, which in turn inspired me in 2018 to begin my Ph.D. studies in Barcelona, Spain, where I now reside.
Once the pandemic hit, with Spain being hit very hard early on, preparatory classes for audit were stopped and I re-considered if remaining to live far from family to dedicate myself to Ph.D. study in Europe was all that wise or even necessary; especially (and unfortunately) since we can see the virus remains to afflict education, work and normal life, across the globe. Of course, naturally, one can still be part of the cinematic community within academia and education, even while physical productions have had to adjust their practices drastically. For this reason, I carefully considered pursuing a research project where I can apply my skillset built from persistent and constant evaluation of films, and their screenplays, to a methodical process based on how I’ve come to know them through the eyes of others; in context of living abroad for nearly ten years. And, with the attentiveness of a curatorial approach, continue to highlight those of unique narrative and visual structures against the backdrop of a well-crafted and well-advised study. This would include films and literature during my studies within the US, through work experience, future discoveries and recommendations. I feel both academic and professional experiences in broad aspects of the arts have enriched my approach to analysis, along with the support of an international artistic community I've been privileged to come to know.
In closing, my perspective of cinema has expanded from the times of my earlier education, and I feel my professional background would focus this research in a way that prepares groundwork for a network of global discussion required for entering an incorporative teaching career in the future. With that in mind, selection of films, screenplays and academic/professional participants are just the first steps to what may be a valuable long-term analysis of modern cinema's diverse landscape of language, utilised by visual and literary expression. In coming years, I look forward to its language reflecting the multi-faceted interpretation reviewed by myself and critical contemporaries who also admire the canon of dramatic literature and film theory as an historical gem to our world's collective intelligence through art.
Please feel free to review more of my resume and experience at, https://fr.linkedin.com/in/annrenne?trk=pub-pbmap
"CAPTURING THE HER/OINE"
What Intersects with Visual Conversation?
To conduct research on a collection of visual work such as film, the relationship between visual arts, theatre, and the narrative presentation -- to me -- is to ask what it means to have 'performance' in common. Many artists I've followed have continued to remain popular and prolific. The most inspirational/intriguing in my personal view, all mention 'involving the audience' and 'connecting with the viewer'; including many of my professors during my foundational studies, directors from my work experiences and recent professors that allowed me to audit courses in preparation for doctoral study in 2018/2019. The presence of this continual phrase 'connection to audience' not only seems to function as an outlier signifying a creator's consistent desire to communicate, it inadvertently also serves as catalyst for communication. For, by recognising the act 'to involve the viewer' is in essence, and implies, the beginning of a conversation 'is intended to take place' across the medium of 'performance', albeit visually or textually. The body of work from these well known artists, and selected papers about forms of written and performative cinematic expression (listed further below), are just a few influential perspectives expected to shape and inform final conclusions on the observations recorded during this course of research.
Lucrecia Martel Interview for Rotterdam Film Festival (2018) Discusses her approach to film, where the visual world is best thought of as "fluid" rather than "static". (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKO0tBMIvZI) click start time @ 1:32:00
Arthur Jafa Interview for DesignArk Magazine on 'Not All Good, Not All Bad' (2019) Reflects on the sensation of 'feeling part of the footage' and also finding an 'objective space' as an editor. (https://dezignark.com/blog/arthur-jafa-interview-not-all-good-not-all-bad/) click start time @ 14:00
Alejandro Inarritu News Coverage on Reopening of 'Carne y Arenas' VR Installation (2021) Coverage describing a city bringing back the film directors immigration-experience installation designed in virtual reality, previously closed due to covid safety. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mROG812CaRI)
Ai Wei Wei Docu-Short on the Sunflower exhibit at Tate Modern (2010) Shares how he completed his commissioned work with 'his community' while under house arrest in China by paying local pottery artisans.(https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/ai-weiwei-8208/ai-weiwei-sunflower-seeds)
Marina Abramovic Lecture at The Rothschild Foundation on Re-Performing Her Life's Work in 2023. Explains her 'endurance performance' piece where she sat for 12 hours a day, for several weeks, meeting strangers who sat in front of her a few moments, sharing no words (https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/marina-abramovic) click start time @ 15:00
SUPPLEMENTAL JOURNALS & PAPERS
"U" Exploring Self-Consciousness From Self- and Other-Image Recognition in the Mirror: Concepts and Evaluation (Conception of Self)
"A" Haptic Visuality and Film Narration. Mapping New Women’s Cinema in Spain (Haptic Cinema Analysis)
"R" Sensorial Thought: Cinema, Perspective and Anthropology (Sensorial Cinema Analysis)"
"E" Legitimation in Documentary: Modes of Representation and Legitimating Strategies in The Lockdown -One Month in Wuhan (Performative Analysis in Documentary)
"H" Visualizing Nonlinear Narratives with Story Curves (Film Narrative Alternatives)
"E" Feminist Film Theory (A Brief Introduction)
"R" Light in Dark Spaces: A Review of Allan Sekula and Noel Burch's film essay "The Forgotten Space" (Re-Analysis of Artistic Spacial Components in Cinema)
"E" Photography and Film in Nineteenth-Century France: Negative Space Performance and Projected Unreality (Spectatorial Relationships with Early Visual Arts)
[ SCROLL DOWN TO THE LETTERS "U ARE HER/E" FOR FURTHER FOR JOURNAL ACCESS ]