Dr. Justin Remes
Assistant Professor, English
417 Ross Hall
Fall 2017 Office Hours: W 12:30-4:30
Courses I am Teaching:
ENGL 250H: Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition: Honors
ENGL 335: Humanism in Cinema
PhD, Film and Media Studies, Wayne State University
MA, English, Wayne State University
BA, English, Oakland University
Experimental Film; Intermedia; Aesthetics
About My Teaching:
My teaching is both intertextual and interdisciplinary. Rather than teaching individual films in isolation, I attempt to situate films as part of a broader cinematic “conversation,” helping students to analyze the ways that filmmakers appropriate and respond to the ideas of other filmmakers. I also aim to foreground cinema’s imbrication with other mediums, including literature, painting, music, and photography.
How I Came to Teach What I Teach:
When I was a teenager, I saw Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and I was blown away. It was beautiful, provocative, and mysterious. For the first time, I began to understand film as an art form. Shortly afterwards, I came across Andy Warhol’s Empire while it was being screened at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Warhol’s audacious experiment (an eight-hour static shot of the Empire State Building) has haunted me ever since. In a single stroke, it taught me all the things that could be stripped away from a film: plot, characters, editing, sound, movement. Kubrick and Warhol helped me fall in love with weird cinema, and I now try to share that passion with my bewildered students.
Motion(less) Pictures: The Cinema of Stasis (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015).
“Boundless Ontologies: Michael Snow, Wittgenstein, and the Textual Film,” Cinema Journal 54.3 (2015): 69-87.
“Serious Immobilities: Andy Warhol, Erik Satie, and the Furniture Film,” Screen 55.4 (2014): 447-459.
“The Sleeping Spectator: Nonhuman Aesthetics in Abbas Kiarostami’s Five,” in Slow Movies, ed. Tiago de Luca and Nuno Barradas Jorge, (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 231-242.
Contracted Cinema. I am currently writing a book about absence in cinema. My objects of inquiry include films without sound (such as Stan Brakhage’s Window Water Baby Moving), films without imagery (such as Walter Ruttmann’s Weekend), and found-footage films in which pre-existing images are erased (such as Naomi Uman’s Removed).
Outside the University:
I enjoy cognac, stand-up comedy, and underground hip-hop. I also like watching cheesy 1950s monster movies with my four-year-old son.