Film as Object of Study and as Archive

A conversation about the relationship between film and photography and the analysis of moving and still images


Fields of Knowledge
  • Pedagogy
  • Philosophy / Theory

Organizing Institutions

Slought, Department of Film and Media Arts at Temple University


Nora Alter


Program in Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College; French Studies in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania

Opens to public



4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


75% Formal - 25% Informal

  • Film

Slought is pleased to announce "Film as object of study and as archive," an evening with Raymond Bellour and Christa Blümlinger on Thursday, September 29, 2011 from 6:30-8pm at Slought Foundation. Bellour will speak for 30 minutes on "Forty years of stopping moving images", followed by Blümlinger on "Archival Gestures," with a moderated conversation to follow. This program has been organized by Nora Alter, Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University.

Raymond Bellour on Forty years of stopping moving images: "It's like if all my conscious life of work had been overwhelmed by the process of stopping images, either through the theoretical work of film analysis, or through curating film programs and exhibitions and building catalogues for them. From the mid-sixties and since, in the context of the so-called semiological inspiration of the time, or later from the perspective of a generalized approach of specific filmic emotions, I have been stopping all sorts of film images. Also, through the eighties and beyond, I have tried to summarize all the possible links between film and photography, as well as to consider the specific effects of freeze frames in films, so to establish the condition of a "pensive spectator". This movement has thus developed as a confrontation between the different modes of images and the various dispositifs in which they are projected, what I call "L'Entre-images", implying by those words a constant reevaluation of the relations between cinema and contemporary art. All this drives the research towards a problematic evaluation of the respective roles of moving and still images in the process of the viewing memory."

Christa Blümlinger on Archival Gestures: "A commentary on an installation made by italian artists and filmmakers Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, a three-part projection, will be the starting point for a consideration of a specifically archeological gesture of appropriation - a problem of photographic representation that can be considered not only in terms of perceptual theory and epistemology but also of the history of technology."

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A major contributor to contemporary French critical thought, French critic, writer, and curator Raymond Bellour has advanced the theoretical application of semiotics, psychoanalysis and post-structuralism to the understanding of literary and cinematic texts. Bellour is broadly interested in the mixtures, the passages, and the mixed states of images - painting, photography, cinema, video, virtual images - as well as by relations between words and images. His influential textual analysis ranges from readings of 19th-century literature to analysis of classic American cinema, most notably the films of Alfred Hitchcock, as well as contemporary practices. Bellour has also written extensively on contemporary video art and curated several major exhibitions, including Passages de l'image at the Centre Georges Pompidou, together with Christine Van Assche and Catherine David in 1990. The first volume of his collected essays on film and video, l'Entre-Image, Photo Cinema, Video, was published in 1990; the second volume, l'Entre-Images 2, Mots, Images, was published in 1999. A professor at the Centre Universitaire Américan de Cinéma in Paris from 1973 to the present, he has also been a visiting professor at New York University and the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently Director of Research Emeritus at C.N.R.S., Paris. Bellour is also involved since 1991 with Serge Daney in the creation and editing of the "revue de cinéma" Trafic.

Christa Blümlinger is Professor of film studies at the University of Vincennes-Saint-Denis (Paris 8). Among her former teaching activities, she has been an assistant professor at the University of Paris 3, and a guest professor at the Free University Berlin. She has curated numerous curatorial and critical activities in Vienna, Berlin and Paris, including Diagonale (Salzburg) and Duisburger Filmwoche (Duisburg). Her publications include the edition of writings of Harun Farocki (in French) and of Serge Daney (in German), as well as books about essay film, media art, avant-garde cinema and film aesthetics. As a critic she has published in magazines such as Trafic, Cinematheque, Parachute, Intermedialites, montage/av,, and Camera Austria. Her most recent publication in German is: Kino aus Zweiter Hand. Zur Ästhetik materieller Aneignung im Film und in der Medienkunst, Berlin: Vorwerk 8, 2009 (on appropriation in film and media art), and, in French, Théâtres de la mémoire. Mouvement des images, co-ed. with Sylvie Lindeperg, Michèle Lagny, et al, Paris, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, « Théorème 14 », 2011 (on theaters of memory in cinema and media art). Her essay, "The Imaginary in the Documentary Image: Chris Marker's Level Five," is available online from Image & Narrative, Vol 11, No 1 (2010).

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Begins Sep 27, 2007

A series of conversations exploring avant-garde film, feminism and the semiotics of the image

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