Justin Remes


Office:417 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA
Office Hours:Th 3:00-5:00


Courses I am Teaching:

ENGL 562X: Topics in the Study of Film: The Films of Luis Bunuel


Ph.D., Film and Media Studies, Wayne State University
M.A., English, Wayne State University
B.A., English, Oakland University

Research Areas:

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.

Recent Publications:

Motion(less) Pictures: The Cinema of Stasis (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015).

"Brakhage and the Birth of Slience," Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58.2 (2019) (forthcoming).

“Boundless Ontologies: Michael Snow, Wittgenstein, and the Textual Film,” Cinema Journal 54.3 (2015): 69-87.

“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.

Current Research:

Absence in Cinema. I am currently writing a book about filmic voids. 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 Marx Brothers movies with my six-year-old son. (He adores Harpo.)