The first West Midlands Cultural Research & Intelligence Network (CRAIN) conference takes place on Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 9:30-13:30, at Birmingham City University’s Margaret Street venue in central Birmingham.
The event, Chaired by Tim Challans (former co-ordinator for the West Midlands Culture & Sport Improvement Network), will highlight the latest research and intelligence relating to culture, sport and tourism and review the implications for the West Midlands: a region striving to assert itself as a national and international visitor destination and a leader in the digital agenda. The intention is for the event to dynamic and interactive, providing plenty of opportunity for delegates to dictate discussions.
The conference is being organised by the West Midlands Cultural Observatory, in association with Birmingham City University, the West Midlands Cultural Research & Intelligence Group and West Midlands Regional Observatory.
Our Wednesday research seminar this week was a presentation by Xavier Mendik of Brunel University. Xavier introduced a screening of the documentary Fear at 400 Degrees: The Cine-Excess of Dario Argento’s Suspiria.
Xavier was invited to our regular research seminar to talk about the strategies he has developed for knowledge transfer work around the Cult Film Archive and Cine-Excess, the company he has formed to restore and reissue significant cult films. The release includes DVD extras that are designed as educational and knowledge transfer devices. The formula is working well with interest in the film and its academic based extras leading to significant interest from relevant media and sales reaching audiences beyond the academy.
Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977) classic cult Italian horror – a masterpiece of the modern macabre that uses excessive visual styles and even more excessive on-screen murders to create new pathways between art-house and atrocity. The documentary featured enough footage from the original to cause one member of the audience to “step outside for a breath of fresh air”.
Research group member, and chair of this week’s session, Oliver Carter commented: “I have followed Xavier’s work closely since the late 1990s and it was a pleasure to welcome him to this week’s session. Xavier’s work with Nouveaux Pictures and the Cine Excess label demonstrates the variety of possibilities knowledge transfer presents. We are thankful for him taking time to come to the Birmingham School of Media and look forward to sharing our approaches to knowledge with him in the future.”