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.
Global Correspondent unit launches in Europe
Take two groups of students at universities situated at the opposite side of the globe, put them at Monash Prato in northern Italy and mix in a few days at EU institutions in Brussels and you get Global Correspondent.
Not jobs and growth but post-capitalism
The term “creative industries” was first applied to the cultural sector by UK New Labour in 1998, … Continue reading Not jobs and growth but post-capitalism
Simons shares wisdom with journalism students
Award-winning journalist, author and academic Margaret Simons recently joined the journalism department in Monash University’s … Continue reading Simons shares wisdom with journalism students
Christiane Barro wins Walkley for Student of the Year
Monash journalism student Christiane Barro won the Walkley Award for student journalist of the year in Sydney last night.
Calla unafraid of challenging storytelling
For Calla Wahlquist, after giving up on becoming a vet it was working as a … Continue reading Calla unafraid of challenging storytelling
Journalism academics engage with Senate Committee
Dr Colleen Murrell from Journalism (MFJ), gave testimony on 11 July before the ‘Senate Select … Continue reading Journalism academics engage with Senate Committee
From screen to sound for Hayley
After completing her Honours in Film and TV studies at Monash, career success for Hayley … Continue reading From screen to sound for Hayley
Curiosity and critical thinking propels Anders’ career
For Anders Furze, studies in Film and TV has led to varied career outcomes. But … Continue reading Curiosity and critical thinking propels Anders’ career
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
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.