the university of oklahoma - College of Arts and Sciences

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the university of oklahoma - College of Arts and Sciences
the university of oklahoma
college of arts and sciences film and video studies program
November 2008
Volume 10, Number 1
The Director’s Chair
By TIMOTHY SHARY
DIRECTOR OF FVS
Having
started
my
second
year as
FVS
director,
Timothy Shary
I am
eager to help the program
continue to make progress
toward its goals, the next of
which will be our return to Old
Science Hall in early January.
We are still working toward
establishing the Center for
Cinema Comedy, although the
current economic crisis has
delayed our plans to develop a
graduate program. At least our
program‘s name change to
Cinema Studies soon will be an
official reality.
We were happy to give four
students awards in the spring for
their work in critical analysis,
screenwriting and filmmaking,
and we have been honored to
host or co-host many visitors
from the film industry and
academics this year. In the
spring, we plan to have more
professional guests visit with our
students, and we plan the annual
trip to Los Angeles to have
students meet with industry
professionals. I will be the
representative for OU at the
February film festival in our
French sister city, ClermontFerrand, where hundreds of
people will view films by our
students.
I‘d like to welcome the newest
member of our staff, Anna
Reynolds, who replaced Valoree
Biggs this past summer. Valoree
and her husband Aaron
welcomed a baby boy into the
world in July, and we wish them
Perspectives from Our Visiting
Professor
By JAMES RAGAN
FEATUREpresentation
FVS FACULTY
"Openness" and "friendliness" are two words that
have a greater personal meaning for me as I begin my
second semester at OU as a visiting professor in the Film
and Video Studies Program. How can one not appreciate
a university, and by extension, a program where
students, faculty, staff and total strangers respond
genuinely with a smile and a greeting on the South Oval.
For me, it has been a time of re-engagement in the belief
that something extraordinary always is possible on the
written page or on a theater screen
And I have found it here. I've been the beneficiary of the
principled promise of a vision, based on academic
quality and diversity, a marriage of minds and passion,
featured most enviably in the FVS Program, and reflected
by goals set down by OU President David Boren whom I
met at the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain
nearly 20 years ago.
I have found the FVS Program to be a thriving community
of accomplished faculty committed to nurturing the
creative dreams and talents of mutually accomplishing
students. Like me, they share in the common goal of
encouraging students to pursue the promise of gigantic
intensions by exploring their own visions, or in a phrase,
to stoke the "fires in their bellies."
It is my pleasure to be associated with faculty who are
selfless in their pursuit of an even greater promise of
success for their students. I'm impressed by the range of
travel, internships, festivals and professional accolades
the FVS graduates have enjoyed. And to watch the
program build on this has made my effort to contribute
even more inspired.
And, incidentally, there's nothing more fulfilling than
having a new book of poetry coming out of this
university's distinguished press. Nothing more satisfying
than working at an institution committed to academic
achievement. Nothing wrong with living in a community
ranked number six as one of America's "Most Livable
Cities." Oh, yes, and there's also Greece, WLT, the
Neustadt, Sooners Football and the promise of returning
to the renovated Old Science Hall.
Page 2
James Ragan, professor emeritus, lectures during the FVS
3810 Intermediate Screenwriting class. Photo courtesy of
Noel Alsdorf/The Daily
[Why I write…]
“I write to break down borders. My sensibility has always
been global, to find expression through my poetry, plays
and films to bring individuals and worlds, seemingly
apart, closer in understanding. The cafes I write in are
my libraries—from Paris to Prague to Los Angeles. I
write to live out loud, and through the expansive reach
of art, hope to achieve community through common
language.”
-James Ragan
COVER PHOTOS (left to right): Shane Loader, Rangimoana Taylor and Andy Horton at the Oklahoma City
Bombing Memorial; 2008 FVS Faculty and Staff - see page 8; Director Timothy Shary and Famke Janssen.
FVS Goes Online
By Victoria Sturtevant
FACULTYfocus
FVS FACULTY
For summer semester 2008, I
taught the first online Film and
Video Studies course offered at
OU. It was a section of our
required core course, Writing
About Film, which teaches
students critical skills in
researching problems, forming
arguments and capturing the
complexities of a visual medium
in lively and forceful language.
The online format works
particularly well for a summer
course, when students are often
scattered around the country.
With the magic of the Internet, it
is possible to make progress
toward graduation from wherever
you may be. For instance, one of
my students was working on an
internship at a studio in Los
Angeles. One was spending the
summer as a videographer at a
day camp, getting practical media
experience far from campus.
Several were traveling around to
summer weddings and reunions,
or had gone home to stay with
family for the summer months.
Students completed their
assignment on lunch breaks, in
coffee shops, in basements and
offices and libraries and cousins‘
houses. There was something
invigorating about how the course
could accommodate this mobile,
flexible population. Participants
brought their varied experiences
to the virtual table, and created a
dynamic community of scholars,
writers and film lovers, out in the
real world.
The general format is similar to a
live course—the instructor posts a
lesson on a designated day, and the
student has a certain window of
time (it could be 24 hours, it could
be a week), to complete all the
components of that lesson, which
can include quizzes, discussionboard posts, worksheets, paper
assignments or group projects. It‘s
a wonderful format for selfmotivated, engaged students to get
some work done on a flexible
schedule. Of course, for some
students there is such a thing as too
much flexibility—so it‘s best to
know your own work habits before
enrolling! Deadlines are deadlines,
whether you are in a classroom or a
coffee shop.
This being my first experience with
online teaching, my biggest worry
was that Internet courses would be
cold and impersonal. One of the
great pleasures of teaching, after all,
is interacting with students. If the
virtual classroom turned out to be a
faceless void, the experience could
hardly be a rich one for either me or
the student.
My solution to this problem was to
set up regular online chats with
students to ―talk‖ over paper drafts.
Each participant in the course was
required to set up a series of realtime appointments with me. Using
the chat-room function of our home
page, we typed back and forth in the
style of a real conversation, and
each student got my undivided
attention for questions, feedback
and just some lively discussion of
films, directors and the joys of
writing. After a whole day of
these 30-50 minute appointments,
my typing fingers would certainly
be worn down, but I enjoyed them
so much that I didn‘t even care. I
was surprised to discover at the
end of the semester that I ―knew‖
my online students—their tastes
and talents and quirks and
particular learning
circumstances—as well as I knew
my in-person students.
This experience, more than
anything, sold me on the virtues of
online education. I found that, far
from de-personalizing the
classroom experience, savvy use of
online resources can actually
create a well-tailored tutorial for
each student‘s skill level and
instructional needs. If my fingers
can hold up against the onset of
carpal tunnel syndrome, I look
forward to more semesters of
productive teaching from behind
the keyboard.
Page 3
Student Film Production Club:
24-Hour Film Making Blitz! and More
By KATRINA BOYD
FVS FACULTY
FACULTY ADVISOR FOR THE SFPC
FEATUREpresentation
When the Student Film Production Club (SFPC)
began meeting again in September of this semester, club
members were anxious to build on the successes of last year
and to organize new initiatives that would both help elevate
the profile of the club on campus and help raise funds for
future activities. We had been well pleased with the success of
the Norman Film Festival in April of 2008, which showcased
13 student-made short films at the Fred Jones Art Museum,
attracting a supportive audience of more than 60 students and
faculty, in addition to the four faculty judges. The SFPC plans
to renew the festival in the spring but wanted to find a new
activity for the club to focus its energies on in the fall
semester.
The SFPC was pleased to see many students
returning to the club and quite a few new faces as well. After
officially registering the club for the 2008-2009 academic
year and holding officer elections (see list below), the officers
set about figuring out what activity would be the center-piece
of the club‘s activities in the fall. Club secretary Keshav
Tyagi suggest a 24-hour film festival, a contest in which, at a
pre-designated time, teams of filmmakers are given a set of
elements that must be included in a short film. The teams then
have a mere 24 hours to write, shoot and edit. The other
officers recognized that this would be an ideal club activity
because it could serve multiple functions, allowing
inexperienced filmmakers to work on teams with more
experienced students, letting club members get to know each
other better by collaborating on a project, providing an
additional opportunity for socializing and general merriment
at a screening for the sleep-deprived filmmakers and other
students, and, last but not least, permitting fundraising for the
club.
As a neutral party who would not be participating on
a team, I was chosen to select elements for inclusion in the
films. Andrew Hajek, who had already participated in these
types of competitions, encouraged me to provide a range of
options in order to avoid excessive repetition. So, students had
to choose one of three story lines, three of ten props, and one
of five lines of dialogue. I attempted to make the story lines
generic enough that they could be handled in a variety of
modes (comedy, drama, etc.) and would offer a wide range of
possible treatments (see our forum page,
www.soonerfilms.com, for the specifics of the required
elements).
While the event was still in the planning stages we
learned that a group of film students from OCCC were
interested in participating. While our promotion of the event
(using flyers, e-mail lists, chalking, Facebook, etc.) was
certainly important, it was clear that the event concept
generated real enthusiasm, making spreading the word that
much easier. A reporter from the OU Daily contacted us
and asked to cover the story. Ultimately OU‘s television
news crew showed up to cover the Friday-night kick-off
event on October, 24th, which showed on the OU Nightly
News program the following week. The SFPC was pleased
to have 12 teams show up to register, including a team from
the OU Daily. After a hectic blur of writing, shooting and
editing, the students gathered in Dale Hall 200 to eat some
well-deserved pizza and watch their films. The costs of the
event were covered by the nominal $5.00 fee charged to
each team member, which helped the club to cover the food
-related expenses and net a small profit that will go towards
funding future events. To learn more about the club, please
see our page linked to the FVS home page, join our
Facebook group or see the forum page. We look forward to
seeing you at future meetings and events.
SFPC Officers From left: Andrew Hajek, Jessica Martin, Bijon Amed
Imtiaz, Jack Patchell, Keshav Tyagi and Virginia Duke
2007-2008 SFPC Officers
President: Jack Patchell
Vice President: Jessica Martin
Secretary: Keshav Tyagi
Page 4
Treasurer: Bijon Amed Imtiaz
Programming Chair: Virginia Duke
Webmaster: Andrew Hajek
Making It Happen
STUDENTstories
By Virginia Duke
FVS SOPHMORE
In the spring, I decided I wanted a summer
internship—something exciting, educational and good for my
resume. But since I was only a freshman and a newly-declared
FVS major with very little experience in the film world, I
figured my chances of getting anything good were slim.
That was until I had a fortuitous conversation with
Andrew Horton at a film conference that I almost didn‘t
attend.
In the first five minutes of our chat, he asked me
what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I was interested
in documentaries, and he told me to come by the office in the
next few days so he could set me up with an internship for a
film company in New York City.
Just like that. Two days later I had a job with the
Center for New American Media (CNAM), a documentary
production company.
It turned out that while getting an internship for the
summer was not very difficult, finding enough money to live
in New York City for a month was.
This is where something wonderful called the Heidi
Karriker Scholarship came into my life. After applying and
anxiously awaiting the notification date for one whole painful
month, I was in the FVS office when Dr. Shary came over,
shook my hand and congratulated me on winning the award.
And just like that, because of the generosity and help
from the FVS department it happened. I found myself two
months later sitting at a desk in a documentary production
company‘s office on the 21st floor of a busy building in the
middle of downtown Manhattan. I had made it.
For the first half of my internship, I worked on
CNAM‘s website, creating over 100 pages to display clips
from their award-winning documentaries. The second half of
my internship was by far the best, however, because I got to
work in CNAM‘s editing room and learn how to use AVID. In
a true trial-by-fire situation, I was asked to make a trailer for
their new project. It was a video game to teach history to
middle school children which was then distributed to potential
sponsors.
Of course, spending a month in New York City
meant doing other things besides getting coffee, making a trip
into Queens to pick up a printer and other intern-worthy tasks.
I also got to see Bon Jovi perform live for free in Central
Park. I watched the over-night construction of a set and the
beginning minutes of a shoot for All Good Things, a
Hollywood film starring Ryan Gosling. I saw Werner
Herzog‘s Encounters at the End of the World in a tiny
independent theater and I explored the Metropolitan Museum
of Art.
All of this, all my wanderings and doings and
learning's—all of it was because one morning, I decided that I
did indeed want to go to that film conference where I talked to
Andrew Horton and later to Dr. Shary. From those two
conversations that day, I got an incredible month-long
internship in New York City and the scholarship to make it
FVS Student Achievement
Spring 2009
Classes
Every year, [email protected] magazine hosts a contest for a 30-second commercial promoting the greater OKC
metro area’s free entertainment guide. This year, Temple Tucker, a 2008 FVS graduate, and Cassie Ketrick, an
FVS senior, submitted their commercial, “There’s Nothing to Do in Oklahoma!” Tucker and Ketrick were the only
female contestants to submit a commercial. After their commercial was announced as one of the top two, an
online voting contest commenced to decide the winner; Tucker and Ketrick won the prize, which includes $1,000
and two weekend film passes to the Austin Film Festival. The two plan to use their prize money to make their
way down to the festival for the first time and enjoy a plethora of indie films and filmmaker panels.
FVS 1013 Introduction to FVS/Katrina Boyd
FVS 2023 Film History 1945 - Present/Betty Robbins
FVS 2033 Writing About Film/Katrina Boyd
FVS 2123 Acting For the Camera/Darryl Cox
FVS 3213 Media Theories/Misha Nedeljkovich
FVS 3223 Hollywood Musical/Katrina Boyd
FVS 3313 Single Camera Production/Misha Nedeljkovich
FVS 3810 Script Analysis/James Ragan
FVS 3810 Cinematic Remakes
FVS 3853 Screenwriting/James Ragan
FVS 4013 Senior Seminar/Timothy Shary
Page 5
You Only Live Twice
By Philip Jecty
FVS Senior
The most important thing that I've learned through
my FVS trips to L.A and Greece, and also the Venice Film
Festival, is that it's not what you know, but rather who you
know. As sad as it is to say, you can be a talented filmmaker,
screenwriter or what-have-you, and not get recognized simply
because of your networking skills— or lack thereof.
My recent trip to the 65th Venice Film Festival has
really opened my eyes to the reality that going to film
festivals and putting yourself ―out there‖ in terms of selfpromotion is something that everyone hoping to make it in the
―biz‖ needs to do. I simply cannot stress to you the
importance of going to festivals, or submitting films or
screenplays to festivals, no matter the outcome. Also, take the
time to meet with other students and professionals in your
field of interest.
If I can give you one piece of advice, it is that if you
want to be writer, write as many screenplays as you can, not
STUDENTstories
just one. If you want to be a director, direct as many shorts as
you can and try to raise funds to maybe direct a feature. No
matter what you want to do, you should try to create an
extensive catalog of your work.
Like many of you, the cost of attending many of
these programs weighed heavily on my mind, but don¹t worry,
there¹s hope. For those of you who might not be able to afford
the Morocco trip with Andy Horton or the L.A.
trip with Tim Shary, or the American Pavilion¹s Cannes or
Venice programs, I want to tell you that once you decide to
go, finding the funds necessary is the easiest thing you¹ll ever
do. There are so many scholarship opportunities that are
available, some even within the FVS program, that no FVS
student should graduate without having at least attended one
film festival and without going on one serious film-related
trip. After all, you only live twice.
FVS Alumni Update
If you are an FVS alumnus who would like to be included in the FVS Takes Update, please
write to [email protected] with your name, graduation year and what you have been up to since
graduation. If you know anyone who would like to be included in our newsletter mailing,
please send their address to [email protected]
Derek Gordon ’08
After Derek Gordon graduated from the FVS program in May, 2008, he went on to attend the master‘s film program at Loyola
Marymount University in Los Angeles. He recently wrote a letter to his screenwriting professor, Andy Horton:
Hey Dr. Horton,
Just wanted to let you know that I received bonus points in class yesterday. While going around the room to introduce
ourselves during a screenwriting class, nearly the entire class claimed to be diehard Coen brothers fans. The professor didn't buy
it. He asked the class if they are such huge Coen brothers fans, what film was the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? inspired
by? Silence. The entire class was lost. I confidently raised my hand and answered Sullivan's Travels. The professor was
impressed and shocked. Not only did he then lecture how film theory and history is extremely essential to know how to write
and make great films, but he continuously used me as an example of an aspiring writer who really knows his field.
I must admit that before grad school started, I was kind of intimidated that students from all these huge film schools in
L.A. might have an edge over me. But after starting classes, I am very confident that the diverse education I received from the
University of Oklahoma is much better than the majority of "well known" schools.
It's funny because I used to be one of the students that took it for granted when you said, "So-and-so got the job in
Hollywood because he knew who Buñuel was, etc." But now I know it is so true. The majority of people competing for jobs in
Hollywood all have great talent, ambition and skills. Yet what separates these thousands of talented individuals are the few who
have true knowledge of the art form. Those are the ones that stand out.
Thanks for everything. I'll definitely keep in touch.
Derek Gordon
Page 6
Greg DeCuir, Jr., a former OU student of Dr. Misha Nedljkovich, is pursuing
a PhD at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at Singidunum University in Belgrade.
He translated following article about his experience in Serbia that appeared in
the October 23, 2008 issue of Politika.
In Love with Hip-Hop and Yu Film
ALUMNIfocus
By S. Stamenkovic
10/23/2008, Politika
DeCuir (34) came a long way from his hometown of Los
Angeles to Belgrade, to work on a doctoral thesis on
Yugoslav film at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. While
DeCuir has lived and studied in Serbia for a year, he has
delivered lectures in Sremski Mitrovica and also
organized a series of lectures on hip-hop culture to share
his knowledge of this art form with the youth of Serbia.
DeCuir could have undertaken his doctoral studies at the
Sorbonne in Paris but chose to come to the Faculty of
Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. Before coming to Belgrade
and graduating from the University of Southern
California, he attended the University of Oklahoma.
While studying with UCLA professor Todd Boyd, a
world-renown expert on pop culture, he became
interested in the study of hop-hop.
―When I contacted the people at the Sorbonne with an
interest in studying there, they tried to steer me towards a
thesis on American film noir, but I‘ve already studied
that and it didn‘t interest me. I wanted to study Yugoslav
film, and my former professor at the University of
Oklahoma, Misha Nedeljkovich, put me in touch with the
Faculty of Dramatic Arts and connected me with people
there,‖ said DeCuir.
In his words, hip-hop culture was born in the late 70s in
New York‘s South Bronx and draws from a number of
artistic disciplines: painting, poetry, dance and music.
―The South Bronx was a dangerous area, and when hiphop emerged, many immigrants had arrived from the
West Indies and Jamaica. They, with African-Americans,
created the art form of hip-hop,‖ said DeCuir.
The golden age of hip-hop arrived in the mid-80s, and the
father of hip-hop is DJ Kool Herc. He came up with idea
of utilizing break beats, accenting the rhythmic breaks of
a song, as the musical backdrop for a party atmosphere.
And that became hip-hop music.
In the early 80s hip-hop culture had become
commercialized through record sales and the graffiti that
was gaining recognition in New York art galleries.
―The godfather of hip-hop is Afrika Bambaataa, a hiphop artist who also founded the Zulu Nation to promote
the positive aspects of the art: education and unity,‖
DeCuir said.
DeCuir is now working on a doctoral dissertation on the
Black Wave in Serbian film. He has interviewed Dusan
Makaveyev whom he credits as giving him a lot of help.
He plans to turn his dissertation into a book and to
produce a documentary film on the subject. He has also
interviewed directors Boro Drashkovich (son of Zika
Pavlovich) and Zelimir Zilnik. He also plans to speak
with Gordan Mihich and Jovan Jovanovich. Among his
favorite films are: Jovanovich‘s Young and Healthy Like
a Rose, Pavlovich‘s When I am Dead and Pale, and
Zilnik‘s Early Works.
DeCuir was a little late for
this interview because of a
breakdown on a trolley bus,
so he had to come on foot.
However, he said that it
wasn‘t a problem because
in Los Angeles there are
always traffic jams and
walking isn‘t an option
there. He loves Serbian
cuisine, the gracious people
of Belgrade, and of course,
the beautiful girls here.
Greg DeCuir, Jr.
Page 7
Favorite Films
By Timothy Shary
FVS Director
FACULTYfocus
So often as a film professor I am asked to name my favorite films, and now that I‘ve been director of Film
and Video Studies for over a year, I feel it‘s time to go public with my list. And while I recommend all of these
films to you, please understand that these are my favorites, and not necessarily the films I consider the best. That is
a crucial distinction for any critic, since we all have guilty pleasures, and we must recognize the difference between
the ―best‖ qualities of our field and the qualities that simply please us on a subjective level.
With that disclaimer given, below are my favorite films. I invite all of you to send us a similar list, to
[email protected], which we can gather into the ultimate list of FVS favorites!
1. Bliss (Australia, 1985)
2. Persona (Sweden, 1966)
3. The Breakfast Club (U.S., 1985)
4. Hannah and Her Sisters (U.S., 1986)
5. Manhunter (U.S., 1986)
6. Thief (U.S., 1981)
7. Brief Encounter (Britain, 1945)
8. Family Viewing (Canada, 1987)
9. Sweet Movie (Yugoslavia, 1974)
10. Blue Velvet (U.S., 1986)
11. Speaking Parts (Canada, 1989)
12. Pink Floyd: The Wall (Britain, 1982)
13. Mirror (U.S.S.R., 1975)
14. Heat (U.S., 1995)
15. The Hustler (U.S., 1961)
16. The Best Years of Our Lives (U.S., 1946)
17. City Lights (U.S., 1931)
18. The Searchers (U.S., 1956)
19. Elvira Madigan (Sweden, 1967)
20.The Verdict (U.S., 1982)
From Page 1: The 2008 FVS faculty and staff Welcome Party, hosted by Director Timothy Shary and his wife Rebecca. Seated,
from left to right: Sarah Denton (FVS Librarian and Media Lab Director), Ned Hockman (Professor Emeritus, Journalism and
Mass Communication), Joanna Rapf (Professor, English), Victoria Sturtevant (Associate Professor, FVS), and Clemencia
Rodriguez (Associate Professor, Communication). Standing, from left to right: Dr. Shary (Associate Professor, FVS), Andy
Horton (Jeanne Hoffman Smith Professor, FVS), Kristin Dowell (Assistant Professor, Anthropology), Debbie Rush (FVS
Account and Budget Rep), Hester Baer (Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literature), Kathryn Jenson White
(Associate Professor, JMC), Dinah Assouline Stillman (Instructor, MLL), Bernard Roddy (Assistant Professor, Art), Darryl Cox
(Instructor, FVS), Katrina Boyd (Lecturer, FVS), Yoshiko Fukushima (Associate Professor, MLL), Norman Stillman (Professor,
History), Gigi Hu (Instructor, International and Area Studies), James Regan (Visiting Professor Emeritus, FVS), Alexander Bain
(Assistant Professor, English), Jane Dye (FVS Program Administrator), Randy Lewis (Associate Professor, Honors), Ralph
Beliveau (Assistant Professor, JMC) and RE Davis (Graduate Teaching Assistant, FVS).
Congratulations to Our Fall 2008 graduates!
Cassandra Ketrick
Randall Martin
Madison Potts
Jared Ransom
Royce Sharp
Temple Tucker
Christopher Allison
Blake Brown
Matthew Cates
Bryan Climer
Jimmie Edwards
Lauren Hussey
Page 8
FVS Faculty Keep Busy
Katrina G. Boyd continues to serve as the faculty adviser for the
Student Film Production Club (see article in this issue). She also
delivered a paper, ―Popular Genres as Centuries Turn: Firefly,
Serenity and the Space Western‖ at the Film and History
Conference in Chicago this fall. At present she plans to incorporate
this work into her manuscript, The Shock of the Now: Science
Fiction, Entertainment and Cultural Critique, which is forthcoming
from Illinois University Press. In addition to these projects, her
proposal for an article entitled, ―Oklahoma Crude: Wild-Cat Oil
and the Strong-Willed Woman,‖ a critical study of the off-beat
1973 Stanley Kramer film, has been accepted for inclusion in an as
yet untitled book about films that include representations of
Oklahoma from a new Oklahoma-based press.
Andrew Horton recently published three book chapters: ―Is it a
Wonderful Life?: Families and Laughter in American Film
Comedies,‖ in A Family Affair (Wallflower Press, 2008), edited by
Murray Pomerance; ―Cinema Haunts My Memory: Filmmaking in
the Former Yugoslavia,‖ in Cinema in Transition: Post-socialist
Filmmaking in East—Central Europe, edited by Catherine Portuges
and Peter Hames (Temple University Press, 2008); and ―We All
Live Two Lives: Serbian Cinema & Changing Values in Post
Yugoslavia‖ in Building a ‗Civic Culture‘ in the Post-Yugoslav
Region, edited by Dr. Sabrina P. Ramet. He also presented a paper
on Serbian Cinema at the Serbia after Yugoslavia Conference that
was held in Oslo, Norway in late May. In June Horton led the FVS
Study Seminar in Greece with 22 travelers on board. During this
trip, he gave a one-day screenwriting seminar for Greeks at the
Hellenic American Union. His New Zealand–New Orleans
screenplay, Make a Joyful Noise, co-written with Russell Campbell
has been taken over for production by Inspire Films of Wellington,
New Zealand. In September, he hosted New Zealand filmmaker
Shane Loader and Moari actor Rangimoana Taylor who screened
their 2007 feature film Taking the Waewae Express and visited a
variety of FVS classes. Also in September, Dr. Horton led a
screenwriting seminar in Ithaca, New York at the Cinemapolis
Cinema. He was a plenary speaker at the XIVth Biennial
Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and
New Zealand at the University of Otago in November discussed the
topic ―From Otago to Oklahoma: The Emerging Carnival of Global
Independent Filmmaking.‖
Al LaValley’s introduction to the script of Mildred Pierce,
―Mildred Pierce: A Hard Property to Script,‖ was reprinted in
Authorship in Film Adaptation, edited by Jack Boozer (University
of Texas Press 2008). He also presented a chapter on John
Steinbeck from a book in progress with a working title of Benign
Interventions: Transnational Influences on Mexican Cinema in the
Golden Age, at Dartmouth in August. He continues to work on
FACULTYfocus
chapters about John Ford, B. Traven, Roberto Gavaldón and
Graham Greene.
Randy Lewis and Ralph Beliveau co-authored an article that
surveys the career of English filmmaker Alex Cox in the Australian
film journal Senses of Cinema (Issue 48). Also, Lewis‘s
documentary, Texas Tavola: A Taste of Sicily in the Lone Star
State, co-produced with Circe Sturm, was named an official
selection of the American Anthropology Association‘s annual
convention in San Francisco, November 2008.
James Ragan gave a talk and served on a panel with U.S. Poet
Laureate Robert Pinsky and California Poet Laureate Al Young at
the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Festival last spring. Also during
the spring and summer he gave poetry readings for the Czech
ambassador to the United Nations and his wife at the Czech Center
in New York City and at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic. He
returned to the Czech Republic in the fall for another poetry
reading for Czech President Vaclav Klaus. Three works of his
poetry have been published or are forthcoming: Too Long a
Solitude (University of Oklahoma Press 2008), Womb-Weary, a
translation into Spanish (Travesias 2008), and Selected Poetry, a
translation into Portuguese (Academia Internacional de Cinema
2009). Professor Ragan presented the literary keynote address at
the World Literature Today Conference in Beijing in October. In
January 2009, he is scheduled to present a two week screenwriting
and poetry seminar at the Academia Internacional de Cinema in
São Paulo, Brazil.
Timothy Shary continues his work on American Movie
Masculinity, an anthology to be published by Wayne State
University Press, as well as his study of the elderly in U.S. cinema,
The Silver Screen. He presented a paper on the career of Art
Carney at the Southern Popular Culture Association meeting in
Louisville in October, and he will be presenting a paper on
depictions of elderly death from his forthcoming book at the
international conference ―Interrogating Trauma‖ in Perth,
Australia, in December.
Victoria Sturtevant was awarded tenure and promoted to
associate professor in summer 2008. She presented a paper,
―‘Leather-Lunged Lady‘: The Working Class Body of
Marjorie Main,‖ at the annual Society for Cinema Studies
Conference in March, 2008. Her first book, A Great Big Girl
Like Me: The Films of Marie Dressler will be published by the
University of Illinois Press in Spring 2009. Professor
Sturtevant and her husband, Professor Jim Zeigler (OU English
Department), are also excited to announce that they are
expecting their first baby, a boy, in January. They look
forward to taking the new baby to OU Women‘s Basketball
games to root for Courtney Paris.
Page 9
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