Liverpool Film Seminar: Professor Mattias Frey

Liverpool Film Seminar: Professor Mattias Frey

'Choosing Films and Series in the Age of Netflix: Recommender Systems and the Remediation of Taste'

Redmonds Building, Liverpool John Moores University view map & directions

17:30 - 19:30

The Liverpool Film Seminar is a collaboration between the Departments of Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University and Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool that began in 2010.

It is our pleasure to host Professor Mattias Frey (University of Kent) who will present a paper entitled 'Choosing Films and Series in the Age of Netflix: Recommender Systems and the Remediation of Taste'.

Here is an abstract of the talk

Recommender systems for video on demand (VOD) services such as Netflix have elicited highly polarized reactions. For many commentators, these systems – which use algorithms to suggest content likely to interest viewers on the basis of their prior viewing histories –  represent a fundamentally new way of connecting cultural objects and human beings. Computer scientists, business gurus, and feature writers swoon over the ability to scale the provision of cultural recommendation using big data. In contrast, academics and activists sustain suspicions of filter bubbles and object to how such computational processes seem bound to confirm rather than challenge or develop taste. For these passionate interlocutors, algorithmic recommendation represents the end of humanist criticism as we have known it, the death knell of the Arnoldian “best which has been thought and said.” Curiously, however, both the vociferous champions and vehement critics share a common first-principle assumption: that VOD recommender systems are effective, powerful, unprecedented, and widely used. Based on a long-term research project, this paper seeks to overturn this consensus, using, among other avenues of inquiry, the analysis of industry discourse and a mixed-method empirical audience study of VOD users.


Biographical Note:

Mattias Frey is Professor and Head of Film and Media Studies at the University of Kent. General Editor of the journal Film Studies, he is the author or editor of six books, including: The Permanent Crisis of Film Criticism: The Anxiety of Authority (Amsterdam UP, 2015); Film Criticism in the Digital Age (Rutgers UP, 2015; co-edited with Cecilia Sayad); Extreme Cinema: The Transgressive Rhetoric of Today’s Art Film Culture (Rutgers UP, 2016).


The event is free to attend and open to the public. For any queries please contact l.papadimitriou@ljmu.ac.uk