Film and Screen Studies’ Associate Professor Belinda Smaill has produced a book, Regarding Life: Animals and the Documentary Moving Image, which has been published by SUNY Press.
Associate Prof Smaill contends that the narrative and aesthetic qualities of the documentary genre enable new understandings of animals and animal/human relationships.
As indicated by the success of such films as March of the Penguins and Food, Inc., the documentary has become the preeminent format for rendering animals and nature onscreen.
In Regarding Life, Belinda Smaill brings together examples from a broad array of moving image contexts, including wildlife film and television, advocacy documentary, avant-garde nonfiction, and new media to identify a new documentary terrain in which the representation of animals in the wild and in industrial settings is becoming markedly more complex and increasingly more involved with pivotal ecological debates over species loss, food production, and science.
While attending to some of the most discussed documentaries of the last two decades, including Grizzly Man; Food, Inc.; Sweetgrass; Our Daily Bread; and Darwin’s Nightmare, the book also draws on lesser-known film examples, and is one of the first to bring film studies understandings to new media such as YouTube.
The result is a study that melds film studies and animal studies to explore how documentary films render both humans and animals, and to what political ends.
Emeritus Professor David Desser, author of American Jewish Filmmakers, said Associate Prof Smaill’s book was “a brilliant, cogent, and timely look at the intersection of animals, the environment, food, and the people who enjoy and consume them”.
“This is the most solid book on film I have read in quite a while, and it will be taken up with much enthusiasm by documentary scholars, animal-rights activists, eco-warriors, and a broad public that is interested in one or another—or all—of the subjects covered here,” Professor Desser said.
Belinda Smaill is Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University in Australia. She is the author of The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture and the coauthor (with Olivia Khoo and Audrey Yue) of Transnational Australian Cinema: Ethics in the Asian Diasporas.
David-Anthony reinvents his career in Switzerland
David-Anthony Gordon says his one-month exchange at Monash was “the most transformative experience of [his] … Continue reading David-Anthony reinvents his career in Switzerland
Alexandra’s NZ journalism career a successful project
For many journalism graduates, the most daunting part of starting their careers is moving for … Continue reading Alexandra’s NZ journalism career a successful project
Hats off to Ashlea’s journalism advice
In Ashlea Masters’ daily role for Buchanan Group, a leading global marketing agency, she has … Continue reading Hats off to Ashlea’s journalism advice
John settles into a career behind the camera
For John Holdsworth, a clear vision of what he wants to achieve has led to … Continue reading John settles into a career behind the camera
Kiandra flying in her dream job
Kiandra Trickett has landed her dream job directly out of uni – working as a … Continue reading Kiandra flying in her dream job
Monash gives Alasdair access to industry
For Alasdair Mulligan having access to Monash tutors and lecturers active within the journalism industry … Continue reading Monash gives Alasdair access to industry
Smethurst wins Press Gallery Journalist of the Year
News Corp national political editor (Sunday editions) and Monash University alumna Annika Smethurst has won the 2017 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year.
Journalism Futures: New York Field School
Following a dramatic year in American politics, and the claims and counter-claims of ‘fake news’, the media is under scrutiny in the USA like never before. In this unit, students will travel to the heart of the world’s media industry to observe how news organisations are managing to deal with the spate of challenges they are currently facing.
O’Connor attends UNESCO’s ‘Ahead of the Curve’
In May Professor Justin O’Connor was one of 20 international experts invited to a seminar … Continue reading O’Connor attends UNESCO’s ‘Ahead of the Curve’
Field work in the classroom at Monash University
By Professor Justin O’Connor The Master of Cultural and Creative Industries has just completed its … Continue reading Field work in the classroom at Monash University
Creative city, smart city … whose city is it?
To subject the future of the city to the corporate imaginary is to concede too much to the galloping privatisation of our cultural and informational infrastructure. Can we envision an alternative to centralised corporate control of the city’s data? And how might public priorities be redefined in ways that distinguish them from the private imperatives of the ruling tech giants? These are the guiding questions for our June 15 symposium in Melbourne …
Martyr & Conviction Politics
Two major projects, Martyr and Conviction Politics, will shed new light on the activism by thousands of political prisoners and ordinary convicts sent to Australia in the 18th and 19th century. The projects examine how these middle and working class political activists shaped rights for freedom of speech, universal suffrage and the reform of the electoral system workers’ rights in the UK, Australia and the USA.