O D___
Pasted Graphic
O D___
_______Unidentified technical problem is preventing upload of recent additions & updates. Trying to fix it now by using changed settings etc.

JULY 2017
_______Whoops, six months slipped by while I was busy with more urgent things.

_______Another major change in the new AL FS syllabuses is that, rather than mainly leaving it up to teachers & students to decide which films
_______to study, they now have to be chosen from a compulsory list. Perhaps hoping to appear amenable, in their current draft syllabuses WJEC
_______offer a choice of 54 & OCR an extraordinary 84, but I suspect that Ofsted may insist on shorter & equal length lists. The arbitrariness
_______of the selection is shown by the fact that only 5 films appear on both lists, & even these look like coincidence rather than consensus:
_______Man With a Movie Camera, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Do the Right Thing, Stories We Tell & Ida.

_______DECEMBER 2016
_______Riodrome has had a minor early spring cleaning. I’ve changed the navigation name of the contents list from ‘Films & Topics’ to
_______um, ‘Contents List’. I’ve always been unhappy about ‘Topics’ so was pleased to get rid of it. ‘Contents’ sounds more like a book or
_______something -I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used on a blog or website- but It does describe Riodrome a bit better. I’ve added some
_______new lists, mostly for films I’ve seen this year or arising from a bit of part-time teaching I did, but also some from the old filing
_______cabinet archives, & deleted some old lists that were out of date or never really got going.

_______Most of the deleted ones were on film industry, um, topics -marketing & distribution, technology, cinemas etc- originally intended
_______for the WJEC AS FS Producers & Audiences exam. This kind of thing has disappeared almost completely from the new ‘reformed’
_______A Levels starting September 2017, a hopelessly reactionary development, returning FS to a kind of 1960s ‘Film Appreciation’. It
_______ignores both the pioneering work of SEFT etc, which had a strong theoretical focus on film as institution etc, & the later
_______’Curriculum 2000’ attempts to make this kind of thing accessible & relevant to younger AL students, most obviously in the
_______gradually evolving Producers & Audiences exam.

_______All the D downloadable stuff listed on Riodrome has always been stored in a Dropbox ‘public folder’. Dropbox has been
_______phasing out public folders for some time & has recently announced that any remaining ones will stop working after September 2017.
_______It will still be possible to make things in non-public Dropbox folders downloadable, so Riodrome will hopefully continue to work
_______the same way -but I will have to move everything & change all the D links -over 7000 of them, according to ‘Get Info’ on my Mac.
_______I’m planning to do this gradually over the next 8 months!

O D___
O D___I’ve rearranged this blog so it now has newest stuff at the top, like every other blog
O D___Updated & extended the Code Unknown list
O D___Updated the Irreversible list & started one on Romance -unwatchable New French Extreme Cinema
O D___Wrote a long, indulgent tirade on the proposed AL FS & MS reforms

O D___OCTOBER 2015
O D___Flat affect is
O D___Part of the state of mind & behaviour of some people in books, films & real life, maybe because it is
O D___1. A characteristic of postmodernity (Fredric Jameson)
O D___2. A symptom of schizophrenia (Laing & Esterson, DSM) & probably also depression, anorexia, addiction & most other ‘disorders’
O D___3. A defence mechanism (Lauren Berlant, Robbie D on Berlant & Laing & Esterson)
O D___4. A style of acting -eg Samantha Morton, Jackie Stacey on Tilda Swinton
O D___5. Maybe a style of filmmaking -cf ‘slow cinema’
O D___6. Maybe the film equivalent of “white writing” (Barthes on Camus & pulp crime novels)
O D___7. Maybe readable like melodrama as both personal & social
O D___I’ve started a Flat Affect list

O D___Added lists on the Laurent Cantet precarious labour films Human Resources & Time Out, & the Bobby Sands film Hunger

O D___Pasted Graphic
O D___Corridors in films: Hunger & Morvern Callar

O D___The four month gap here recently was because I was following this summer’s political events, a bit obsessively -Syriza, the general
O D___election, refugee crisis, Labour party leadership election & conference. All pretty bleak; just a few glimmers of hope.

O D___MAY 2015
O D___Started lists on all seven Dardenne brothers films. All seven have these vacant stare, flat affect shots. Could relate this to the precarity
O D___of social conditions in Seraing -& I will- but, to be honest, you could probably find similar shots with quite different significance in
O D___many quite different films

O D___Pasted Graphic

O D___
APRIL 2015
O D___Campeones! Campeones! Ole, ole, ole!

O D___Pasted Graphic 1

O D___Meanwhile, I’ve finally finished a massive Edge of Heaven list. There’s a remarkable amount of stuff written on it for such a little film,
O D___probably mostly because of its endearingly optimistic position on transnational identity etc. Also updated the Lilya 4 Ever list -another
O D___great little film, with a less rosy view of transnational migration- & started a Quay Brothers list & tidied up one or two others

O D___MARCH 2015
O D___MA spin-offs: I’ve added lists for the four main films on my MA Reinventing the Family in Contemporary French Cinema module, &
O D___a Family Life list for the great-looking conference coming up soon. I’m also updating the Edge of Heaven list to avoid getting on with
O D___writing an essay about it.

O D___Sad to see that AQA have decided to stop running A Level Communication & Culture. The original Communication Studies started in
O D___1978 & even then was old-fashioned, an incoherent hotchpotch of US sociology, pop psychology, body language & pseudo-scientific
O D___“models’, but for over ten years it was the only A Level where you could study media & do (pre-digital) media production. In 2008
O D___AQA revamped it as Communication & Culture, keeping some of the original stuff but adding some basic Cultural-Studies-style
O D___analysis of popular culture. Again, despite the muddled & outdated syllabus, this was the only A Level where you could study popular
O D___culture anywhere near properly. But it doesn’t seem to have taken off &, despite some desperate last-ditch protest, AQA have now
O D___given up on it altogether. I could only find statistics since 1995 but it seems that, after an initial boom, entry numbers have steadily
O D___declined, especially once AL Media Studies was available as an alternative, & by the end were too small to be commercially viable.

O D___Communication is problematic concept on which to base a syllabus -it covers too many things, most of which involve a lot more than
O D___just communication- but the AL’s main problem was probably just that people didn’t understand it. In particular, it sounded like a
O D___contentless skills course like the Communications element in many vocational courses, or like AL General Studies & Critical Studies.
O D___Adding-in popular culture just when everyone was going on about traditional subjects was probably suicidal. So that’s another nail
O D___in the coffin of decent education, & another thing that will eventually have to be reinvented from scratch at some better time in the
O D___future. Here’s a little RIP AL Communication Studies archive -& here, in a different class altogether,
O D___is the legendary AATE AL Cultural Studies syllabus

O D___JANUARY 2015
O D___I’ve added British New Wave, to match the French one, starting with a lengthy Saturday Night & Sunday Morning list. In general I think
O D___new waves are a flaky category but I guess there are a few interesting connections & similarities as well as big differences.
O D___I did Saturday Night & Sunday Morning with my first ever AL Eng Lit class around 1978 & with my first ever AL FS class 20 years later.
O D___I still think it’s good, & surprisingly neglected, except in Nottingham, where it’s regarded with heartwarming pride & affection.
O D___If I was studying it now it would be as an example of male melodrama. On the MA module last year, we studied A Taste of Honey
O D___but Arthur’s anguished macho intensity is surely more Sirkian than Jo’s, um, lightweight awkwardness. SNSM’s politics are still very
O D___problematic, though Colin Gardner’s book on Karel Reisz offers a good theoretically-informed explanation

O D___Pasted Graphic

O D___
O D___OK, Riodrome is back on the road. I’ve added several new lists, mainly Hollywood melodrama, French New Wave & noir films.
O D___Most of these are still quite short but the Breathless & Red Riding lists are fairly, um, extensive. Breathless was the first foreign
O D___film I ever taught, relying on just one book. I’ve also added some more of the readings etc from my BIrkbeck MA modules

O D___Pasted Graphic 1

O D___
OK, I’m starting this blog again. It’s just a diary, really.
O D___At this point, I would have also liked to mention something about ‘slow blogging” -as advocated by, for example the Conviction &
O D___Tortoise Knows Best blogs & the Slow Blog Manifesto. Unfortunately, the slowness they’re talking about is a deliberately adopted
O D___philosophical position, along the lines of Slow Cinema, Slow Criticism & slow cooking, rather than just the procrastination likely here