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My life is full of grading. 55 sets of fresh assignments per class, ranging from film journals to full-out research papers to final exams, coming in every week from now til mid-April, YAY. And the parts that aren't grading are lectures. DOUBLE YAY.

So here, for your edification and/or amusement, is the intro to a lecture I gave last week on Nina Paley's wonderful film Sita Sings the Blues. Included are many links to try and build in the context covered in class. If you like Sita, copyleft activism, or criticisms of the "exotic erotic" figure in animation, I have an article about all three things that's in peer-review with The Journal of Postcolonial Writing right now. One more thing to look for later! (/shameless boost)

Singin' the Copyright Blues )

Thesis Link

Aug. 8th, 2011 09:53 am
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Hey, now that there's no chance of compromising my rl identity (because I did it myself) I can post this link freely.

http://hdl.handle.net/1993/4733

Here you can read or download my PhD thesis, "Animating Transcultural Communities: Animation Fandom in North America and East Asia from 1906-2010." The language and references are pretty academical, but I hope that anyone who likes animation and wants to know more about its history and current fandom might find it interesting. It's committee-approved and chock-full of animated goodness!

I'll post the abstract under a cut as well.

Thesis Abstraction )

Tangled

Jan. 8th, 2011 04:07 pm
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Welcome to 2011! As usual, I watched a ton of movies over the holidays. I caught up on SF-FX films like Inception and the new Tron, and checked out the latest in CG fantasies, like Tangled. Tangled wasn't the best animated film I saw over the holidays (I liked Legend of the Guardians more), but it's worth keeping tabs on what Disney is up to these days in their "traditional" fairy tale films.

In Tangled, the Disney Animation Studios take on the tale of Rapunzel, and do just what Disney has always done with princess stories. It tells the story of a spunky teen girl who wants more out of life than her sheltered upbringing has given her, and ends up finding her true love and coming into her birthright over the course of her adventures. Sound familiar? It's the narrative of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Jasmine's side of Aladdin, I could go on. But is it only that? What is the same, and what is different?

More Entanglements Below )
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Arg, so so busy! I won't even go into the busy, but let's just say, it's busy. I only had one real break this week, and that was to finally go see Alice in Wonderland. About which, more below!

(Artless transition, I know, but did I mention the busy?)

Go ask Alice )
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Whoa, it's been a busy week. I'm teaching a unit on anime in a third-year animation class and did my first lecture this week, on Spirited Away. To my great relief, it went well. But next week, I face the challenges of teaching television animation with Cowboy Bebop, and then the challenges of co-teaching in a tag-team lecture on Paprika. If that weren't enough, I finished a thesis chapter (3 down, 3 to go) and am determined to get another done by the end of the month, so that I can start right away on the chapter after that, which I'll be presenting part of at a conference in Scotland in late May. A grad student's work is never done!

Still, I'm hoping to take some time out this weekend to watch the Oscars. Hollywood blah blah Avatar yadda yadda, yes, but I want to see what wins in the animated short film category. I had a chance to see all the animated shorts in theatre this week, and while none are equal to last year's winner, Kunio Kato's "La Maison en Petit Cubes," there is one obvious choice and one edgy choice to keep things interesting.

I won't make predictions, but... )

As for features, I can say it in a line: I really want to see Coraline win, but I think UP probably has it. And that's my Oscar animation report. Back to you, Ben Mulroney!
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So, I watched a ton of movies in a short time over the holidays, and it got me wondering: what is it that makes a person like a film? You can go into a movie that seems to have everything you want -the right genre, your favourite director and actors, a brilliant concpet- and come away cold. And then you can see some minor little work, something that seems like it'll turn up in dvd sales bins for 7.99 soon enough, and feel absolutely struck by it. Has that happened to you?

Well, it happened to me with 9. I think 9 is a great movie. Will it get a lot of acclaim in years to come? Does it really, objectively, deserve a lot of acclaim? I don't know: but it resonated with me, somehow. It's a mysterious thing, liking movies.

More thoughts on 9 )

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