Kinolab is a platform for the analysis of film language: the foundation of narrative film form, style, and genre. The project adopts a broad view of film language that includes technical practices as well as aspects of film history and theory as long as these are represented in, and can therefore be linked to, narrative media clips in the collection.
Our primary objective in developing Kinolab is to create a rich, DMCA-compliant platform for the analysis of narrative media clips that are annotated to highlight distinctive uses of film language. The platform, designed to facilitate comparisons across clips, features advanced search options that can handle everything from simple keyword searches to searches using filters and Boolean terms. The Search function queries all of the fields associated with a clip in Kinolab’s database, including informational metadata from TMDb.com for film and series episode entries as well as content metadata supplied by Kinolab curators and contributors. A secondary objective is to academically crowdsource clips by making it easy for faculty and student users to contribute their own legally obtained narrative media clips via the site’s Contribute page. Academic crowdsourcing is standardized via a controlled vocabulary of film language terms. Kinolab curators – project faculty, staff, and students – evaluate and edit submitted clips and their metadata and approve or reject submissions to the collection.
Kinolab’s design invites verified academic users into the collection via four principal entry points accessed via the site’s primary navigation bar: Films and Series, Directors, Genres, and Tags. The terminus of each of these pathways is the individual clip page, where users can view a clip and its associated film language tags, which link to other clips in the collection sharing the same tag, and, if desired, download the clip for teaching or research purposes.
Kinolab’s policy regarding fair use and the DMCA builds upon the assertive stances toward fair use and the DMCA adopted by fellow DH practitioners working with audiovisual materials. Kinolab’s policy also reflects (and benefits from) loosening restrictions authorized by the Librarian of Congress in triennial rounds of exemptions to the DMCA. These have shifted gradually from an outright ban to broader exemptions in 2015 for “college and university faculty and students engaged in film studies classes or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts” (Federal Register 2015, 65949) and, in 2018, for “college and university faculty and students […] for the purpose of criticism, comment, teaching, or scholarship” (Federal Register 2018, 54018). Kinolab metadata is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC), which gives users permission to remix, adapt, and build upon our work as long as their new works acknowledge Kinolab and are non-commercial in nature.
Allison Cooper is Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Cinema Studies at Bowdoin College. Her work on Italian cinema, literature, and culture has appeared in The Italianist Film Issue, Annali d’Italianistica, and several anthologies on Italian film and literature. Her manuscript in progress, Cinematic Rome between the Sacred and the Profane, analyzes filmic representations of Rome’s dual identity as capital of the Catholic Church and capital of the Italian state. Her research interests also include convergences between moving image and computational analysis. Kinolab is the product of several years of research into a solution for storing, cataloguing, annotating, searching, and sharing moving image clips related to her own research on Italian cinema and her teaching in the Cinema Studies program at Bowdoin College.
Lead Collaborator, Digital and Computational Studies
Fernando Nascimento is Assistant Professor of Digital and Computational Studies at Bowdoin College, where he teaches an introductory course on digital and computational studies along with computation in context and digital text analysis. His work on ethics and hermeneutics in the writings of Paul Ricoeur has been published in Storyworlds:A Journal of Narrative Studies and Études Ricoeuriennes/Ricoeur Studies. As co-director of the digital portal Digital Ricoeur, he is developing a template for advanced textual analytics that can be re-instantiated for the works of other thinkers and by other scholarly communities. He brings nearly 20 years of private-sector experience in software development to his work advising Bowdoin faculty on how to develop their own digital projects and techniques.
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Curator
Alicia Echavarria is a member of the Bowdoin class of 2021, with a major in English and a minor in Cinema Studies: her curatorial work is supported by the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.
is Senior Interactive Developer in Academic Technology and Consulting at Bowdoin College, where his work to increase public access to institutional data has included making public domain images from the Bowdoin Museum of Art available for download, incorporating GPS data into the records of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, and creating a crowd-sourced tagging toolset to help improve searchability of the Museum of Art’s collections. He brings experience with database administration and software development to his development work on Kinolab.
Computing Ethics Narratives Curator
Ishani (“Shani”) Agarwal is a member of the Bowdoin Class of 2020, with a major in Classics and a minor in Cinema Studies.
Computing Ethics Narratives Curator
Sam Grad is a member of the Bowdon class of 2021, with a major in Economics and a minor in Cinema Studies: his curatorial work is supported by the
Responsible Computer Science Challenge.
Student Curator Alumni
Julia Perillo is a member of the Bowdoin class of 2022, with a major in Romance Languages and Literatures and a minor in Cinema Studies: her curatorial work was supported by the Responsible Computer Science Challenge.
Kinolab has been made possible through the support of Bowdoin College, in particular the Office of Academic Technology and Consulting, the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Department of Digital and Computational Studies, along with funding from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The addition of film and series clips relating to contemporary technology has been supported by the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, a partnership of Omidyar Network, Mozilla, Schmidt Futures and Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Our Advisory Board
John P. Bell, Assistant Professor of Digital Curation, University of Maine and Associate Director of the Media Ecology Project at Dartmouth College
Stacy Doore, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Colby College
Jason Mittell, Professor of Film and Media Culture and Faculty Director of Digital Liberal Arts Initiative at Middlebury College
Mark Williams, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies and Director of the Media Ecology Project at Dartmouth College
For More Information
Contact Project Director Allison Cooper in the Cinema Studies Program at Bowdoin College, 7800 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011 or via email at email@example.com.