This player shows samples of my video work, including an ad I wrote, produced, and directed for Repealthecasinodeal.org, and the promotional trailer for a retrospective video I directed for Voice of the Faithful, an international advocacy organization dedicated to reforming the Catholic Church. There is also a clip from Gallo Matese: Terra Antica, a documentary I made in Southern Italy many years ago using 16mm film. The last clip is from 40 Shades of Blue, a music video I directed for the Celtic Rock group Black '47, also shot on 16mm film (then transferred to 1 inch video, then transferred to digital video).
The Benefits of Gambling
A 30-second spot for Repealthecasinodeal.org.
The ad was designed as an example of how grassroots organizations do NOT have to spend a lot of money to create effective messaging. It shows that high concept can compete with big budget.
VOTF: A Retrospective
I directed both the promotional trailer and the documentary on VOICE of the Faithful, an international advocacy group focused on reforming the Catholic Church.
Both the trailer and the retrospective itself are designed to show the passion which VOTF members bring to the arduous task of reforming their church.
Gallo Matese: Terra Antica
A clip from the 27-minute documentary I produced and directed for i Gallesi d'America. The documentary was shot in 16mm film, and
centers around a small village in Southern Italy whose unique culture is disappearing. This particular clip centers around a discussion of WWII and how it changed Gallo forever.
Forty Shades of Blue
A clip from a music video I directed for the Celtic rock group Black '47. The music video was shot in the dead of winter on the Bowery, the East Village, and Paddy Reilly's Pub in Murray Hill. The night scene with the Salvation Army band was so cold that the camera batteries kept dying. Shooting in a bar presents a whole set of challenges in terms of lighting and choreography. Trust me, there's a
reason big budget videos hire actors to pretend they are drinking.
Research in Media & Cultural Studies
In addition to video production, I am an active researcher in the field of Media & Cultural Studies. In general, my work aims to make the work of scholarship engage social issues. I have published three scholarly monographs, and published numerous articles on film and other media technologies.
Cinema of Anxiety: A Psychoanalysis of Italian Neorealism
Published in 1999 by the University of Texas Press, this was the first book in English to bring contemporary theory to the study of Neorealism. It's also a sustained confrontation with Lacanian Film theory, which made me no friends, to say the least.
Reel Racism: Confronting Hollywood's Construction of Afro-American Culture
Published in 2000 as part of the "Philosophy through Film" series by Westview Press, this book works to make theories of representation and the concept of race as a social construct accessible to undergraduate students and a general audience.
Christianity and The Culture Machine: Media and Theology in the Age of Late Secularism
Published in Fall 2016, by Wipf & Stock, this book argues that institutional Christianity is losing in the cultural marketplace because it has a communications problem: it fundamentally does not know how to communicate its core message compellingly, nor how to cultivate an audience. It then
examines what an effective aesthetic of Christianity would look like based on critical analysis of select films, TV shows, and books. Breaking with the traditional approach of searching for hidden theology in media texts, this book
endeavors to analyze how media technologies, forms, and styles intersect and mediate a hegemonic struggle between secularism and Christianity.
Below is a sample of journal articles I have written. You can click on the images next to the descriptions and the full article will appear in pdf form.
Cell-ing Out Feminism
Published by the Journal of Feminist Media Studies in 2011, this essay examines gender and technology by analyzing
the manner in which a specific technology--the cell phone--intersects several specific historical and demographic dynamics
to cultivate its consumer base. Cell phone marketing both drew upon and then reinforced existing codes of gender and consumption.
Patriarchy has Failed Us: The Continuing Legacy of Neorealism in Contemporary Italian Cinema
Published in 2012 by the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, this essay attempts to answer the vexing question of what
constitutes Italian Neorealism, a cinematic style that influenced generations of film-makers--especially film-makers in Third World
Countries who were interested in making cinema participate in the struggle for freedom.