This page contains uploads of some talks/lectures on cinema topics that I’ve given. If you’d like to use any of them (in whole or in part) you’re quite welcome to do so, but kindly credit me.

BAD DOG!: The Rogue Hounds of Horror (2016, 1 hr approx, audio-only)

Audio-only recording of a lecture originally given at the Stranger With My Face International Film Festival in 2016. Downloadable. Abstract below.

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Domestic dogs regularly earn the affectionate adjective “faithful” in tribute to the numerous ways in which they complement and enrich human lives: as companions, guardians, workmates, friends. However, horror cinema provides multiple instances of dogs turned treacherous, canines who fiercely reject our attribution of fidelity and who abuse the special status we afford them in our culture. With attention to several films, including Suspiria (1977), The Thing (1982), and Cujo (1983), this illustrated presentation takes a stern yet understanding look at these “bad dogs,” considering the terror and allure of imagining the rebellion of our furry friends.

‘This is my art, and it is dangerous!’: Tim Burton’s Artist-Heroes (2012, 50 mins)

Lecture from 2012. Audio-only version available here. Abstract below. Print version published in The Works of Tim Burton: Margins to Mainstream (Palgrave, 2013).

Characters with particular artistic talents and sensitivities dominate the films of Tim Burton: the introverted Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) of the 1990 film of the same name stuns his detractors with a series of unlikely masterworks; Jack Skellington of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is the celebritized and eagerly sought scare-artist of Halloween Town; in Corpse Bride (2005) Victor Van Dort (Depp) funnels his frustrations into musical composition. These portrayals are curiously complemented in Burton’s oeuvre by characters who appear as affected, inferior or even deadly, artists. The Joker (Jack Nicholson) of Batman (1989), for instance, pronounces himself “the first fully functioning homicidal artist,” before presenting his mutilated girlfriend as “a living work of art.” This illustrated presentation explores the foregrounding of creative art in Burton’s films, focusing especially on the figure of the artist-hero. It considers this recurring figure in relation to an auteurism that insists we recognize the “Tim Burton-ness” of each film (notice its particular artistry), traditional conceptualizations of art production, and the role of artistic practice in foregrounding individuality.

‘Why so serious?’: Battling the Comic in The Dark Knight (2011, 40 mins)

*Apologies that the slides are a bit minimal, and some of the audio lags a little; I’ll correct the latter when I get time. Originally presented at Removing the Boundaries: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series at the School of Humanities, University of Tasmania, April 27, 2011. Print version published in The Last Laugh: Strange Humors of Cinema (Wayne State University Press, 2013).