Ira Jaffe is professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Film & Digital Arts (formerly Cinematic Arts & Media Arts) at the University of New Mexico; he’s also a former presidential lecturer and associate dean in UNM’s College of Fine Arts, which he joined after teaching at the University of Southern California School of Cinema. Ira is author of Slow Movies: Countering the Cinema of Action (Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2014), which was named by Choice an outstanding academic title of 2014, and Hollywood Hybrids: Mixing Genres in Contemporary Films (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). He is also co-editor of Redirecting the Gaze: Gender, Theory and Cinema in the Third World (State University of New York Press, 1999).
His essay, “Errol Morris’s Forms of Control,” appears in Three Documentary Filmmakers (State University of New York Press, 2009). He has written about Robert Altman, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles in addition to Errol Morris. Essays by him appear in Perspectives on Citizen Kane (G.K. Hall & Co., 1996); Hollywood as Historian: American Film in Cultural Context (University Press of Kentucky, 1983); Gus Blaisdell Collected (UNM Press, 2012); and The Art of Leonard Lehrer (Quensen, 1986). His essay relating films by Christian Petzold and other Berlin School filmmakers to the cinema of Nuri Bilge Ceylan appears in The Berlin School and its Global Contexts: A Transnational Art-Cinema (Wayne State University Press, 2018); and his recent essay concerning Cristian Mungiu and Romanian cinema appears in Ekphrasis (2022). Ira’s articles and reviews have been published in ARTSPACE, East-West Film Journal, Ekphrasis, Film International, Film Quarterly, fourbythreemagazine.com, Journal of Film and Video, and Literature/Film Quarterly.
He founded UNM’s International Cinema Lecture Series and Arts of the Americas Film Festival as well as the Department of Cinematic Arts. Ira earned his A.B. and M.F.A. from Columbia University and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.