New York 2006

International Conference on Realism and Naturalism in Film Studies

MAY 5th and 6th, 2006
New York, USA

Hosted by:

Film Studies Certificate Program


CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan

Organizer-in-Chief: Robert Singer (Kingsborough, CUNY, USA)

Co-Organizer: Anna Gural-Migdal (University of Alberta, Canada)

Assistant Organizers: Frank Percaccio (Kingsborough, CUNY, USA)
Monica Filimon (Rutgers University, USA)

The Statue of Liberty



CUNY Graduate Center, in front of room C204

9:00-9:30 AM OPENING SPEECHES, room C205

Robert Singer, Vice-President of the AIZEN©

William Boddy, Coordinator, Film Studies Certificate Program, CUNY Graduate Center

Anna Gural-Migdal, President of the AIZEN©


Opening Speeches. From left: William Boddy, Robert Singer, and Anna Gural-Migdal

9:30-9:45 AM BREAK (coffee/snacks in the 8th floor restaurant or first floor café)


9:45 AM-12:15 PM, room C205

Naturalist Foundations
President: Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt

Katherine Siân Griffiths (University of Wales, UK): “Original Texts: La Bête humaine and the remembrance of remembrance”

Roy Chandler Caldwell, Jr. (St. Lawrence University, USA): “Denaturalized Naturalism: Marcel L’Herbier’s L’Argent

Jennifer K. Wolter (Grand Valley State University, USA): “On Gervaise

Agnieszka Tworek (Yale University, USA): “Between Villains and Virtuous Men: Secondary Male Characters in René Clément’s Gervaise

Laurel Cummins (Bronx Community College, CUNY, USA): “Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Heroes:  Étienne Lantier in Novel and Film Versions of Zola's Germinal


Session on Naturalist Foundations. From left: Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt, Katherine Siân Griffiths, Roy Chandler Caldwell, Jennifer Wolter, Agnieszka Tworek, and Laurel Cummins

12:15-1:15 PM LUNCH


1:30-2:30 PM, room C205

Adaptation of Zola’s Text
President: Chantal Morel

Guest Speaker: David Baguley (University of Durham, UK): "Riduttore, traditore? On Screening Zola"


Guest Speaker: David Baguley


2:30-4:30 PM, room C205

Naturalist/Realist Takes from an International Perspective
President: Monica Filimon

Angela Dalle Vacche (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA): “Bazin’s Ontology of the Photographic Image: Cézanne, the Lumière Brothers and a Game of Cards”

Vasily Tolmatchoff (Lomonosov State University of Moscow, Russia):An American Tragedy through the Eyes of Sergei Eisenstein, a Soviet Film-maker”

Helena Buescu (University of Lisbon, Portugal): “The Realist Novel and Silent Film in Portugal”

Erika Sutherland (Muhlenberg College, USA): “Hunger Amidst Plenty: Rural Degeneration in Spanish Naturalism”


Session on Naturalist/Realist Takes from an International Perspective. From left: Erika Sutherland, Vasily Tolmatchoff, Helena Buescu, and Angela Dalle Vacche


9:45 AM-12:15 PM, room C204

President: Elisabeth-Christine Muelsch

Eugenia Paulicelli (City University of New York, Graduate Center, USA): "Strangers in Paradise: Rossellini's Viaggio in Italia"

Gilbert Darbouze (Bloomsburg University, USA): “Naturalist Aesthetics in Vittorio de Sicca’s Ladri Di Biciclette

Karl Schoonover (Brown University, USA): “‘Inevitably Obscene’: Recognizing the Corporeal in Neorealism”

Ronald Geerts (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium): “Realism in the Films of the Dardenne Brothers: Post-Neorealism?

Temenuga Trifonova (University of New Brunswick, Canada): “Slippages in the Notion of Cinematic Realism”


Karl Schoonover


Ronald Geerts


Temenuga Trifonova


2:30-4:30 PM, room C204

Realism and its Discontents
President: Juliana Starr

Birger Langkjær (University of Copenhagen, Denmark):The Celebration as Non-naturalistic Naturalism and Stylized Realism”

Tanine Allison (University of Pittsburgh, USA): “‘The Next Worst Thing to Being There’: Realism in the Contemporary War Film”

Liora Brosh (Kingsborough Community College, CUNY, USA): “Intertextual Twists: Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, The Pianist, and Dickens”

Gaël Bellalou (Bar-Ilan University, Israel): “Vincente Minelli’s Madame Bovary: Flaubert’s Trial on Film”


From left: Tanine Allison, Liora Brosh, and Birger Langkjær

5:00-6:00 PM Cocktail Party, BRENDAN’S BAR AND GRILL, 42 West 35th Street

6:30-7:30 PM Dinner

Film Festival

8:00-9:15 PM Segal Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center

Detour (Edgar Ulmer, 1945, USA; 69 min., black and white, in English)

This is a classic American film noir, seedy and desperate, that has significant naturalist tensions and designs. Set between the limitless dives and dumps found from New York to L.A., Detour stars Tom Neal and Ann Savage.

Still from Detour



10:15 AM-12:15 PM, room 9204

Special Panel: Réalisme et naturalisme dans le cinéma contemporain français et belge
President and Organizer: Anna Gural-Migdal

Alexandra Miekus (University of Alberta, Canada): “Construction d’un regard réaliste dans Rosetta

Romain Chareyron (University of Alberta, Canada):La Petite Lili ou la fracture du réel”

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze (University of Durham, UK):L’Humanité de Bruno Dumont: ‘film expérimental’ naturaliste?”

Anna Gural-Migdal (University of Alberta, Canada): “Naturalisme et horreur dans Twentynine Palms


From left : Romain Chareyron and Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze

12:15-1:15 PM LUNCH


1:30-3:30 PM, room 9204

Zola et le naturalisme dans le cinéma européen
President: Elizabeth Emery

Chantal Morel (Institut Français du Royaume Uni, UK): “‘Une perfide Albion ou une douce mercière parisienne’: Analyse de Thérèse Raquin adaptée pour les téléspectateurs de la BBC”

Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt (Pacific Union College, USA): “Vestiges du naturalisme dans deux films de Carl Dreyer: La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc et Vampyr

Jean-Sébastien Macke (Université de Reims, France): “Musique et cinéma naturalistes: La Nouvelle Babylone de Kozintsev”

Kelly Basilio (University of Lisbon, Portugal): La Bête humaine de Zola et ses adaptations au cinéma”


Jean-Sébastien Macke

3:30-3:45 PM BREAK


3:45-5:45 PM, room 9204

Naturalist Spectacles
President: Laurel Harris

Rosemary Alison Peters (Harvard University, USA):Oculi omnium in te speravant: Mystery and Spectacle Behind the Screen: The Priest as Subject in Three Naturalist Films”

Joy Burnett (Wayne State University, USA): “The Sights of Silence: Cinematic Naturalism in The Immigrant and Making an American Citizen

Juliana Starr (University of New Orleans, USA): “Coal Miners' Daughters: Representations of Women in Germinal, Matewan, and Harlan County, USA

John Athanasourelis (Bronx Community College, CUNY, USA): “Realism in Greed

7:00-10:00 PM AIZEN Naturalist Dinner, JOHN’S, located at 302 12th Street, near Second Avenue


From left: John Athanasourelis and Rosemary Alison Peters


10:15 AM-12:15 PM, room 9205

Special Panel: Cinematic Orientalism
Organizer: Delia Caparoso Konzett
President: Frank Percaccio

Laurel Harris (City University of New York Graduate Center, USA): “Ruptured Space and Temporal Escape: Tsai Ming-liang's Millenial Film Musical The Hole

Matthias Konzett (Tufts University, USA): “Revisiting Fassbinder’s Ali: The New Realism of Fatih Akin’s German Turkish Cinema”

Geoffrey Hill (University of New Hampshire, USA): “‘Poor Overworked Japs’: Realism, Orientalism, and Racial Performance in No-No Boy and The Tea House of the August Moon

Delia Caparoso Konzett (University of New Hampshire, USA): “Realism and Orientalism in John Ford’s War Documentaries”


Naturalist Dinner. From left: Steven Amarnick, Robert Singer, Katherine Siân Griffiths, Jennifer Wolter, and Frank Percaccio


1:30-3:30 PM, room 9205

Naturalist Deviations
President: Robert Singer

Elisabeth-Christine Muelsch (Angelo State University, USA): “A Prostitute is a Prostitute is a Prostitute?”

Monica Filimon (Rutgers State University, USA: “On the Threatening Double: A Reading on the Figure of the Prostitute from Émile Zola's Nana to Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge

Amanda Klein (University of Pittsburgh, USA): “‘Show me… then I can understand you’: The Mixing of Melodrama, Horror and Realism in David Cronenberg’s The Brood

Isabelle Schaffner (École Polytechnique de Paris, France): The Human Beast: A Comparative Analysis of Jean Renoir’s and Fritz Lang’s Adaptations”


Monica Filimon


Amanda Klein


Isabelle Schaffner

3:30-3:45 PM BREAK


3:45-5:15 PM, room 9205

Realism/Naturalism: Ideal and Identity
President: Jennifer K. Wolter

Lenuta Giukin (State University of New York, Oswego, USA): “Europe at the Age of Ideals: Transnational Identities in French Cinema”

Chris Cagle (Brown University, USA): “Legacies of Naturalism: Industry, Ideology and the Social Field”

Lily Alexander (Hofstra University, USA): “Directors as Doctors: Examining a Sick Social Body: Neo-Naturalism in Twentieth-Century Cinema”


Lily Alexander and Chris Cagle


10:15 AM-12:15 PM, room C197

Special Panel: Re-Imaginings of the Real in Film
Organizer: Vicente Rodriguez Ortega
President: Steve Amarnick

Ohad Landesman (New York University, USA): “Reality Bytes: ‘DV Realism’ and the Aesthetics of the New Hybrid Documentary”

Vicente Rodriguez Ortega (New York University, USA): “Mind-Full Heterogeneity: Wong Kar-wai’s Strategic Realism”

Robert Cavanagh (New York University, USA): “Violence and the Body in the Films of Takashi Miike”

Carlos Kase (New York University, USA): “Stan Brakhage on the Moon: A Study into the Experimental Mode of Documentary Practice”


1:30-3:30 PM, room C197

Special Panel: Disruptive Realisms: Four Directors
Organizer: Marsha Orgeron
President: Derayeh Derakhshesh

Marsha Orgeron (North Carolina State University, USA): “Rethinking Realism: Sam Fuller’s Amateur Holocaust Documentation and The Big Red One

Brian Price (Oklahoma State University, USA): “Pain and the Commodity Character of Art: Haneke’s Realism”

Devin Orgeron (North Carolina State University, USA): “Abbas Kiarostami and Neo-Bazinian Realism in Ten and 10 on Ten

Marcelline Block (Princeton University, USA): “Pialat's Van Gogh: Realist Masterwork”


Naturalist Dinner. From left: Marcelline Block, Chris Cagle, and Karl Schoonover

3:30-3:45 PM BREAK


3:45-5:15 PM, room C197

Special Panel: Zola and the City
Organizer: Sylvie Richards
President: Gaël Bellalou

Sylvie Richards (Brooklyn College, CUNY, USA): “Zola and the Idea of a City”

Dominique Van Hooff (San Jose State University, USA): “Julien Green: héritier de Zola”

Servanne Woodward (University of Western Ontario, Canada): “A Tale of Two Cities (1911-1913): Realism-Naturalism from Both Sides of the Channel”


From left: Dominique Van Hoof and Gaël Bellalou

7:00-10-00 PM, AIZEN Naturalist Dinner, JOHN’S, located at 302 12th Street, near Second Avenue


Naturalist Dinner. From left: Romain Chareyron, Alexandra Miekus, Anna Gural-Migdal, and David Baguley