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NEWS


SHOWING LAST 10 NEWS ITEMS. SHOW ALL.
Date: 2019-09-03 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

One of our Finnish user (see below) reports a glitch: the database "search" option does not function: normally, when, say, "Jaakko" is entered all film data submitted by Jaakko Seppala come up. The same with titles and other search fields. A few times when similar malfunctions used to happen Peter fixed it by resetting the system. Hopefully, it works this time too.


Dear Yuri,

 I am using cinemetrics to explore the style of Nordic crime series. Today I tried to access the cinemetrics database, but the database did not respond to “search” or “next page” commands. In other words, I was not able to access the saved data. I am telling you this, as I was not sure whom I should contact. Hopefully the database issue can be soon fixed.


Date: 2019-06-22 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

A noteworthy news:

more than 50 modern (2015-18) films from different counties measured in the Advance Mode by sot scale (BCU-...-LS) have been submitted recently by A. McGee. Looks like an interesing research project, possibly useful for the rest of us. Take a look! 


Date: 2019-06-11 Posted by:

Good and sad news this spring. The good news: Veronica Schmidt's book "Quantitative Film Studies. Regularities and Interrelations Exemplified by Shot Lengths in Soviet Feature Films" came out recently. Veronica used the Cinemetrics tool for the measurement of 70 Soviet feature films: 1920s-1980s, 5 comedies and 5 dramas per decade.

The sad one: Veronica's teacher and mentor cinemetrician Peter Grzybek (1957 – 2019) died recently. See the obituary at https://www.iqla.org/GrzybekObituary.pdf


Date: 2019-03-10 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

A sad anniversary last month. Last year at the end of February time Daria Khitrova and I received this email from Hilary Cool, English archeologist, and wife of our mutual friend and collaborator Mike Baxter, Professor Emeritus in Statistical Archaeology at Nottingham Trent University, UK:

 

“I’m afraid I have to relay some bad news. Mike died suddenly and unexpectedly last Thursday. … I want to let you know how much he enjoyed his forays into cinemetrics in the early days of his retirement and meeting you and Daria through it. He was extremely bored with doing archaeological statistics at that point but after cinemetrics he went back to it refreshed and had something of an annus mirabilis in 2015 doing some really clever modelling work that got published in 2016. He’d just finished writing an account of archaeological problems that had given rise to novel statistical work and took the opportunity in the final part to reflect why he got involved in archaeological statistics and who had influenced his intellectual development. It now has the feel of a valedictory signing off given his death, but he had been planning a couple of new papers.”

 

The annus mirabilis Hilary refers to is 2014, the year when Mike, Daria and I won a Neubauer Collegium grant for the project “Cinemetrics Across Boundaries: A Collaborative Study of Montage” https://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/faculty/cinemetrics/. This was the first time I met Michael in person—even though earlier on, in 2013, Mike, Barry Salt and I had been involved in a three-month online dialogue “Films and Statistics: Give and Take” to be found here: http://www.cinemetrics.lv/articles.php

 

Barry Salt was the first to whom Daria and I passed on the sad news that Hilary conveyed to us. Here is what Barry wrote back:

 

“Sorry and a bit sad to hear about Mike Baxter's death. He was a generous person and a real statistician. He was also a real scientist, which does not necessarily follow. I regret that I was not able to ever meet him in person.”

 

As I said, Daria and I did meet Mike, and were quite impressed. What Barry—a trained statistician—says of Mike became instantly evident when you met him. Mike was a true scientist, more at home among modes, medians and means than in the world of palpable realities, the world he never paid too much attention to—except for (in this order) Hilary, movies, and a glass (or two, as in the picture) of Italian wine. Daria and I were lucky: we came to know Hilary, had more than one glass with her and Mike at their summer abode in Sorrento, and spent enough time analyzing film editing with Mike to get a sense of what statistics can reveal about movies. The three of us had a plan: to write a book titled “A History of Film Editing.” We only managed to write two chapters of it, both published under our three names. One, titled “Exploring Cutting Structure in Film, with Applications to the Films of D. W. Griffith, Mack Sennett, and Charlie Chaplin” appeared in 2015 in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, see here: https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-abstract/32/1/1/2957363?redirectedFrom=fulltext ; the other, “A Numerate Film History? Cinemetrics Looks at Griffith, Griffith Looks at Cinemetrics” in the French journal Mise au Point, see https://journals.openedition.org/map/2108

 

Mike was a non-stop worker, appearing at a breakfast table half-awake, wearing his pajamas and already carrying his laptop—a machine trained to convert long numeric tables into beautifully colored scatter plots and trend-lines. It would take some time (worth every minute of it) to compile Mike’s full bibliography. Here are some items close at hand:

 

n  Video recording of a talk given in Chicago (UofC) in 2014: “Graphical Griffith: Cutting-Patterns in the Films of D.W. Griffith,” see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw3p_pNz5mU

n  MikeMetrics, Mike Baxter’s website primarily concerned with the quantitative analysis of archaeological data, and with cinemetrics, interpreted here as the statistical analysis of quantifiable data descriptive of the structure of film. See http://www.mikemetrics.com/#

n  “Evolution in Hollywood editing patterns?” To be found among links available here: http://www.cinemetrics.lv/articles.php

n  “Further comments on evolution in Hollywood film: the role of models” To be found among links available here: http://www.cinemetrics.lv/articles.php

n  “Monograph: Notes on Cinemetric Data Analysis” To be found among links available here: http://www.cinemetrics.lv/articles.php

n  “Cinemetrics – a bibliography.” To be found among links available here: http://www.cinemetrics.lv/articles.php


Date: 2019-01-08 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

On ongoing projects.

1) A significant number of the cold-war epoch civil defence social guidance films have been recently measured and submitted by K. Gordon, including: 

A is for Atom: 7 ASL 23.2 ; About Fallout: 7 ASL 42.4 ; Atomic Alert: 7 ASL 55.4 ; Duck and Cover: 7 ASL 16.9 ; Fallout When and How to Protect Yourself From It: 7 ASL 16.8 ; Operation Cue: 7 ASL 30.6 ; Our Cities Must Fight: 7 ASL 14.6 ; Radiological Defense: 7 ASL 25.3 ; Self Preservation: 7 ASL 24.3 ; Special Delivery: 7 ASL 27 ; Stay Safe, Stay Strong: 7 ASL 48.2 ; Survival Under Atomic Attack: 7 ASL 15.5 ; The House in the Middle: 7 ; Operation Cue: 7 ASL 246.9 ; Our Cities Must Fight: 7 ASL 71.8 ; Radiological Defense: 7 ASL 82.3.

2) And this is Barry Salt's comment to his recent submissions:
"My Bergman records were part of my research for a paper on his style. This has been accepted for publication by the New Review of Film and Television Studies, and when it actually comes out I will inform you." When Barry informs me I will add the information to the News.


Date: 2019-01-03 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

HAPPY NEW 2019 to all Cinemetrics users!

Of many news, the most recent are:

1) A series of (nearly 40) submission of (mainly) Bergman's films by Barry Salt, made in November using his signature hand-measured frame-accurate method.

2) A large number of films submitted by a class of students taught by our regular user Radomir Kokes. It's a regular part of his introductory course on film studies analysis at the Masaryk University in Brno, Radomir tells me. Students at the end of the semester measure one or two movies to learn how to perceive the cuts and adopt a program for their later researches (for many of Kokes' former students Cinemetrics was an important part of their BA and MA thesis projects). Then, in the following seminars, they analyze, discuss and explain the editing structures of these films. Radomir also has his own database: http://www.douglaskokes.cz/pdz/ I find it very useful - there are not so many overlaps with either our database or with Barry Salt's database available on the Cinemetrics website.

3) Since May 2017, students at Izmir University of Economics under the guidance of Serkan Savk have been creating Cinemetrics data for Turkish films. The data set can be viewed under the Cinemetrics lab "Yesilcam 1960s and 70s." An important group of submissions occurred in October 2018. As Serkan tells me, their intention is developing a distant reading model for Turkish films. Serkan says he will share the initial findings of his study at the ECREA 2018 Conference.

Dear Cinemetricians, do send me your project descriptions if you want them to appear on the News. Have fun in the New Year!


Date: 2017-02-21 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

News from England: StarWord.com - Barry Salt's STARWORD website, including PDF's of his articles published since 2009, up to last year's The Exact Remake, and nearly all his statistical data, except the Cinemetrics records.

Barry also submitted a number of Swedish movies, using his frame-accurate method: Sommaren med Monika: 7 ASL 23.9 submitted by Barry Salt; Gycklarnas afton: 7 ASL 15.9 submitted by Barry Salt; Skammen: 7 ASL 14.8 submitted by Barry Salt; Smultronstallet: 7 ASL 9.3 submitted by Barry Salt; Nattvardsgasterna: 7 ASL 16.5 submitted by Barry Salt; Sommarlek: 7 ASL 15.8 submitted by Barry Salt;

The Salesman: 7 ASL 5 submitted by Petunia Atlasi;

Artists and Models: 7 ASL 8.5 submitted by Sam Van de Sande; Love in the Afternoon: 7 ASL 17.2 submitted by Sam Van de Sande; Bad and the Beautiful, The: 7 ASL 20.3 submitted by Sam Van de Sande;

Black ish S02E05: 7 ASL 38.1 submitted by mariana stolf;

Pride and Prejudice: 7 ASL 8 submitted by Giovana;

Toy Story: 7 ASL 3.8 submitted by Mohsen Nasrin;

Blackish S02E05: 7 ASL 26.8 submitted by Mariana Stolf; Modern Family: 7 ASL 29.2 ; The middle S03E05: 7 ASL 39.4 submitted by Mariana Stolf;

The Best of Everything: 7 ASL 11.6 ; Pillow Talk: 7 ASL 9.4 submitted by Sam Roggen;

 Vra??dy v literat??re: Od staroveku po realizmus: 7 ASL 5.6 submitted by Veronika Rusn??kov??


Date: 2017-01-07 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

A memorial dedication to Gunars Civjans, my son and co-founder of Cinemetrics, has now been added to the from page of this website, see here.

From now on, I resume posting news -- roughly, on a monthly basis.

I wish a happier new year to all cinemetrics users.

New films:

Double, The: 7 ASL 4.7 and Grand Budapest Hotel, The: 7 ASL 5 Man Who Knew Too Much, The: 7 ASL 7.3 submitted by Barry Salt using his patent frame-acccurate method;

 schipper naast mathilde: 7 ASL 41.1 callboys: 7 ASL 2.7 submitted by august de meyer; 

 

cloud atlas: 7 ASL 5.6 submitted by iser elgan;

Iron Man (trailer): 7 ASL 1.1 ; Thor (trailer): 7 ASL 1.9 ; Captain America: The First Avenger (trailer): 7 ASL 1.6 ; Marvel's Avengers (trailer): 7 ASL 1.6 ; Man of Steel (trailer): 7 ASL 3.2 ; Batman v Superman (trailer): 7 ASL 3.9 ; Suicide Squad (trailer): 7 ASL 1.5 submitted by Tom;

Cliffhanger: 7 ASL 3.8 submitted by Jan Susky;

Cliffhanger: 7 ASL 4.1 submitted by Adam Lukuvka;

Quantum of solace (second chase): 7 ASL 0.8 submitted by tedescomb;

Star Trek - Deep Space Nine: Heart of Stone: 7 ASL 5.8 ; Star Trek - Deep Space Nine: Destiny: 7 ASL 5.7 ;  Star Trek - Deep Space Nine: Prophet Motive: 7 ASL 7.9 submitted by Armin Jaeger.


Date: 2016-07-26 Posted by: Yuri Tsivian

Gunārs Civjans (1975-2016)

I have a tragic news to share. My son Gunārs Civjans whom many Cinemetrics users know as our sole software inventor and developer passed away after a sudden two-day illness in Jūrmala, Latvia, on April 23, 2016, at age 40. Gunārs loved working for Cinemetrics, helping some of you with their data submissions, and working on new generations of Cinemetrics tools. I find no words in me to express my love and admiration for Gunārs as a son and collaborator. Let me instead quote those who met Gunārs in May, 2015 during the cinemetrics conference he and I conducted at the University of Chicago:

 

BARRY SALT: I will miss him as a person, too, apart from all he did to help create Cinemetrics.

 ADELHEID HEFTBERGER: I have no words to describe how this news shocked me. I still remember when Yuri first mentioned Gunars many years ago. It must have been in connection with sailing. Over email conversation I had formed this image of the intelligent and gifted mastermind behind Cinemetrics, who constantly developed the site and added useful features. When I met him finally in Chicago, I was surprised to see that he was also one of the funniest people I had ever met. I admired his dry humor and I can only imagine what a wonderful and loving father and husband he has been too. I am so sorry to hear that Gunars is no more and I cannot understand how this is possible.

 LEA JACOBS: I am so sorry to hear about Gunars. It was so great meeting him at the Cinemetrics conference last year. I loved his amused and ironic way of discussing the site, his style was so different from most of the computer experts I have encountered. 

 CHRISTINA PETERSEN: Although a bit late, I wanted to send you an email to offer my condolences. I heard about Gunnar through the Chicago pipeline and although I only met him in person once, at the Cinemetrics Symposium last year, I was very sorry to hear of your loss. My favorite memory of Gunnar in fact is from the semester in Spring 2007 when he skyped you during International Cinema II and you answered him, telling the class: “This is Gunnar, he helped invent Cinemetrics,” which prompted the class to break into a spontaneous burst of applause. That is the way I hope to remember him, always connected to you despite geographic or other distances in work and play.