Visiting Scholar Brian L. Ott Hosts Film Screening and Lecture at JCU

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On July 24th and 25th, JCU hosted visiting scholar Brian L. Ott, University of Colorado Denver. On Tuesday evening, July 24th, students, staff, and faculty viewed the Norwegian film The Bothersome Man in the Aula Magna Regina, after which Professor Ott led a lively discussion. Drawing from his research on Jens Lien’s award-winning 2006 film, Dr. Ott characterized The Bothersome Man as a dark comedy about consumer society and its consequences for how we live. Moreover, he suggested that satiric movies often invite audience members to critically reflect about their own life choices.

On Wednesday July 25th, Prof. Ott presented a guest lecture in Prof. Carl Burgchardt’s “Cinematic Rome” class. The subject of his talk was the persuasive impact of physical and cinematic spaces. Ott argued that physical spaces, such as rooms, buildings, and streetscapes have a profound impact on our attitudes and behavior. By contrast, cinematic space functions differently, but is no less influential. Cinema offers a collective environment, created by the camera, in which audience members largely share a similar experience.

Professor Brian L. Ott is former editor of the Western Journal of Communication and Associate Chair of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. He is the author of 4 books and numerous articles on topics such as media criticism, rhetorical studies, visual communication, and public memory.