ISSN: 2241-6692

BLOG - Marios Psaras

Marios Psaras (PhD, QMUL) is Cultural Counsellor of the Cyprus High Commission of Cyprus UK and Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. He has lectured at QMUL and KCL and published on contemporary Greek and European queer cinema. He is the author of The Queer Greek Weird Wave: Ethics, Politics and the Crisis of Meaning (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). He is also an independent filmmaker and film festival programmer/jury member (CSFD London, ISFFC).
m_psarras@hotmail.com

One of the pressing questions that the filmmakers, who participated in the Q&A of Cyprus Short Film Day 2016, were repeatedly asked concerned the essence and merits of short film. “What is a short film?”, CSFD artistic director Dr Marios Psaras asked the audience in his opening speech. “Is it just a stepping stone for filmmakers before they make their way to the making of feature films? Or is it a kind of art in its own right?” The filmmakers admitted that while shorts are, indeed, a necessary pathway to follow in order to gain experience and expertise in the field before embarking on the making of features, it soon becomes evident that short film has a life of its own. It is not merely a matter of temporality, though precisely because of that it emerges as a completely different kind of storytelling, with its own rules or lack thereof, its own platforms of funding, production, distribution and exhibition. The latter was the topic that naturally dominated the discussion. ... More


Almost 25 years after the release of Jennie Livingston’s unapologetic documentary Paris is Burning (1990) and Judith Butler’s groundbreaking book Gender Trouble (1990), one might wonder what happened to the queer project. Born out of the discords of postmodern identity politics and the frustrations of AIDS activism in the late 1980s, the queer movement evolved and flourished throughout the 1990s, introducing a radical critique against the dominant heteronormative and homonormative culture and politics, as this was hammered through the movement’s unique amalgamation of theory and aesthetics (particularly if one bears in mind how queer theory has inspired New Queer Cinema’s filmmakers and vice versa). But it was not long before Hollywood contained the oppositional energies of a Gus Van Sant, a Todd Haynes, a Gregg Araki, reducing the movement to a moment, as Ruby Rich, who coined the movement’s cinematic epithet, laments (2000). However, this brief essay is not meant to be a eulogy. It is more of a re-evaluation of the way theory has engaged with the queer aspects of cinema in the last 25 years, as well as an investigation of queerness’s value at a theoretical, aesthetic, and political level in the contemporary neoliberal context where politics is replaced by “technocratic, corporate, post-political governance”, the so-called “governmentality of the crisis” (Butler, 2013). ... More