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Medium 9780861967148

Part I Performing on the Screen: Actors and Personalities

Kaveh Askari John Libbey Publishing ePub

Shelley Stamp

Lois Weber’s 1913 film Suspense, her extraordinary re-working of the well-worn last-minute rescue scenario, remains the best-known work from her early career at Rex. As Charlie Keil remarks, it is ‘one of the most stylistically outré’ films of the entire transitional period.1 Re-making the most familiar of cinematic tropes, and playing the Griffith-esque heroine herself, Weber signals her interest in popular images of femininity circulating in commercial entertainment culture at the time. Two other, lesser-known Weber shorts released the previous year depict the production and circulation of female images in related media: Fine Feathers (1912) is set amidst the art market and in A Japanese Idyll (1912) commercial postcards feature prominently. Clearly allegorising cinema’s own enterprise, both films were made as the star system solidified – with female stars at its heart – and as Weber was becoming a celebrity in her own right. Tracing Weber’s career at Rex, we can read the filmmaker’s evolving public persona against her own cinematic meditations on popular images of femininity, foregrounding her explicit interest in how feminine ideals were constructed across multiple media forms. Increasingly positioned as a celebrity herself, Weber was evidently keenly aware of cinema’s role in producing and circulating commodified images of women, both onscreen and off.2

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Medium 9780861966899

Chapter 11 Nico de Klerk, “The transport of audiences”: making cinema “National”

Abel, Richard John Libbey Publishing ePub

The materials that are the subject of this essay, films and their accompanying printed texts, were produced in the early and mid-1910s by the Association Koloniaal Instituut, in Amsterdam. This association was founded in 1910 as a centre for the promotion of science, education, trade, and manufacture. Alerted by a lack of interest in the Dutch colonies, in particular the East Indies (now Indonesia), the association’s founders conceived of the Colonial Institute as a center for the collection and study of data and objects of, and the dissemination of knowledge about, Dutch overseas territories. Besides exhibitions, publications or lectures, they decided to use a modern aid in their campaign: photographic and cinematographic records of the Dutch East Indies.

In an early description, in 1911,1 the association described the film project in general terms as a means to give “a vivid impression of the social conditions and the everyday life of the people living in the East Indies”. Besides this idealistic motive, the correspondence and minutes of the association’s board meetings reveal another motive that shaped the initiative: the recruitment of “colonial manpower”. Self-interest was not foreign to this motive, as the association undoubtedly saw an opportunity to prove its value by contributing to relieve a perceived need for new, Dutch employees in the colony. Because the colony was rapidly modernizing around this time, lots of new jobs were created, not only in the traditional sectors of agriculture, industry, government, and the army, but also in health care, education, the legal and penal system, architecture, engineering, and construction, retail, public transport and communication, tourism, etc. The economic expansion at the beginning of the twentieth century could have absorbed members of the local, mostly Indo-European – and often Europeanized – work force. But representatives of colonial interests in patria sided with many local companies and government offices in their preference for newcomers from Holland and other western countries.2

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Medium 9780253002952

12 Sonic Geographies and Anti-Border Musics: “We Didn’t Cross the Border, the Borders Crossed Us”

Aldama, Arturo J. ePub

ROBERTO D. HERNÁNDEZ

What must be done is to restore this dream to its proper time . . . and to its proper place . . .

FRANTZ FANON (1967)

Strong whirling sounds grow louder and louder. The surrounding brush sways violently and is nearly uprooted. A helicopter hovering overhead nears, and you hear the desperate words, “Levántate compadre / ¿Que pasa? / ¿Oyes ese zumbido? / Si, compadre . . . es el helicóptero . . . / Métete debajo de esos matorrales . . . de volada, apúrate. / Híjole, se me hace que ya me agarraron / Eso es lo de menos compadre, se me hace que ya nos llevo, la que nos trajo compadre.”

(Get up compadre / What’s happening? / Do you hear that noise? / Yes, compadre . . . it’s the helicopter . . . / Get under those bushes . . . quickly, hurry up. / Oh shit, I think they got me . . . / that is the least of it, compadre . . . I think the one that’s taking us . . . is the one that brought us here, compadre.)1

The above exchange opens Tijuana NO’s 1998 hit song “La Migra,” whose land and soundscape bears an eerie resemblance to the terrain near my childhood home, where corrugated steel extends into the Pacific Ocean, creating a rhythmic rumbling sound as wave after wave crashes up against the U-S///México border2 wall in the area once known as Friendship Park.3

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Medium 9780861966820

Ethel and Ernest

Beardmore, Marie John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

As the time of writing, John is currently producing his next film, Ethel and Ernest, which some say is Raymond’s greatest book so far. There is a bit of a convoluted story to how John came to be producing the film. Raymond first gave John the rights, verbally, some years previously in a gentleman’s agreement kind of thing. Thrilled, as he loved the book, John hurried off to the BBC to Sophie Turner Lang, then Controller of Programme Acquisitions, who was very enthusiastic about helping him make a film. After talking came the concrete plans and over the course of a year, and many lunches, the BBC agreed to produce with John a television feature, about 90 minutes long.

All was going swimmingly and then bump! Raymond saw a repertory stage production of the book that he had found (a) not very good and (b) had upset him a lot. Seeing his parents characterized on stage was too much for him and he said he’d rather not go ahead with the film – he explained all this to John in a very nice long letter, apologizing for his feelings.

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Medium 9780253015167

Palestine

Roy Armes Indiana University Press ePub

Contemporary Lebanese cinema in the 2000s, like Algerian filmmaking, is largely a cinema of exiles. Many of the new generation, born since 1960, have close links with Paris, among them Philippe Aractingi, Michel Kammoun, Chadi Zeneddine, and more recently, Georges Hachem.

Philippe Aractingi, who was born in 1964 in Beirut, studied at the CLCF in Paris. He began his television career in Lebanon, before moving back to Paris, where he worked for twenty years in French television, many of his documentaries dealing with Arab issues. He has subsequently made two feature films in Lebanon.

The Bus / L’autobus / Bosta (2005), described by its author as a musical road movie and a huge popular success in Lebanon, was a very conscious effort on Aractingi’s part to get beyond the constant chronicling of deaths and disasters which characterized his documentary output for French television. On the death of his father, Kamal, a composer and choreographer, returns from fifteen years of exile in France to reunite some of his dance-school classmates to present his new “techno” version of the traditional Lebanese dance, the dabke. When this is rejected out-of-hand by the authorities overseeing the national festival at Anjar, the group decide to renovate the old school bus and take their dance production on a tour around Lebanon. They are supported by a national television company which broadcasts daily accounts of their progress (but only, as Kamal finally discovers, for sordid commercial reasons).

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Medium 9780253017154

6. Kellee Santiago: Independent Game Development

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

THE LAST DECADE OF VIDEO GAMING HAS BEEN MARKED BY THE rise of the “independent,” or “indie,” game. Enabled by the broader penetration of broadband into homes and by the creation of digital distribution networks on major gaming platforms (for example, Valve’s Steam on the PC, Sony’s PlayStation Network, Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo’s eShop, and others), game developers who work alone or in small teams have found new audiences and revenue sources for their work. Though most of these games have been relatively modest in their origins, some of them have found widespread commercial and critical success, success that has often prompted large publishers to scoop up promising or proven independent studios.1 Such was the case with thatgamecompany, a studio founded by USC alums Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago that was contracted with Sony Computer Entertainment to develop games exclusively for their platform.

In Santiago’s time with the studio (she left in 2012), the game that was probably thatgamecompany’s crowning achievement was Journey, a PlayStation Network title that received widespread critical acclaim (winning multiple “game of the year” awards from various press outlets and industry panels) and offered an emotional experience that many found both compelling and novel. In fact, in a brief review of the game I wrote for a game-related webzine, I suggested that the game “stands as a testament to the potential of the medium of gaming to produce something remarkable, artistic, universal, and beautiful.” Like many other commentators on the game, I attributed its success in large part to the creative freedom that came from developing a game with a small, independent team.

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Medium 9780861966820

The Bump in the Road

Beardmore, Marie John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

John’s working life was humming along fine; not only were his films garnering awards but so was he. In 1993 Theresa Plummer-Andrews presented him with a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, which John refers to as his “old age” award. Theresa, still then head of BBC Children’s Acquisitions, Co-productions, gave a small speech to mark the occasion. “He’s made a few films here and there, but mostly, he’s known as the man who put the L into lunch!” No one in the industry, and plenty outside of it, could argue with that!

While his professional life continued to zing along, things were not so great personally and, inevitably, John and Chris hit a bit of a sticky patch. During this period, he met a few nice ladies who he fondly remembers. In the September of 1993, while making the Beatrix Potter films, John attended the Cartoon Forum in Inverness. There, he reconnected with a young woman he had met some years previously at an animation seminar in Switzerland. He recalls back then being in a strange 1930s hotel at the Lake of Neuchatel where there was an extraordinary good-looking girl at the bar every evening. “I remember at the last evening I asked who she was. Anyway, a year or two later on my way to the Cartoon Forum at Inverness, I was enjoying a gin and tonic before catching the plane at Terminal 1, Heathrow. I was sitting at the top of a little spiral staircase that went up to the bar, when a fantastically good looking girl came over and kissed me on the cheek and said, you don’t know who I am, do you? And it was her. “We travelled to Inverness together and that was lovely … and then an extraordinary thing happened on my return. There were two planes coming back, one was early so I avoided that, and caught the later one. There was an empty seat beside me and the whole plane went ‘ohhh’ when she came and sat in it! It was the only empty seat. How could she have had the seat reserved and held? I said how on earth did you manage that? She just giggled.” Over time, they became good friends. Eurostar had just begun, and they would meet at the Musée d’Orsay. “I’d take the taxi at the Gare du Nord and then I’d have to find her amongst the animal sculptures outside the Musée.”

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Medium 9780253017451

Over There: The Maciste Series, World War I, and American Film Culture

Jacqueline Reich Indiana University Press ePub

DURING WORLD WAR I BOTH MACISTE (1915) AND MACISTE alpino (1916) received extensive distribution across the United States. The series’ first film was released in the spring of 1916 as both Maciste and Marvelous Maciste, and the second as The Warrior in 1917. The films were extremely well received from coast to coast as contemporary newspaper reviews, advertisements, and other published testimonials attest. Italians had clearly seen the potential of exporting their films to help create consensus for their cause. Giaime Alonge cites an undated archival document from the Sezione cinematografica dell’esercito titled “Propaganda in America” that sustained that film was a particularly apt tool for presenting the Italian point of view of the war in the United States.1 The publicity surrounding the transatlantic exhibition of the Maciste films continued the mobilization effort aimed at maintaining popular support for the war while at the same time reinforcing Maciste’s popular appeal as character and star. It was a balancing act that was not uncommon in the era as the American film industry attempted to reconcile its desire to use the medium to create consensus for the war effort as well as entertain the masses. The American distribution of Maciste and Maciste alpino, which I have reconstructed from newspaper articles and film trade periodicals, speaks to that exigency, to the saturated geographic diffusion of the films, and to the unique characteristics of the popular American serial form – in particular that of its heroines, heroes, and stars – that exploded in the 1910s.

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Medium 9780253017154

4. Henry Lowood: Archiving and Games

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

HENRY LOWOOD IS CURATOR FOR THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections in the Stanford University Libraries and a leading member of the Preserving Digital Worlds initiative funded by the Library of Congress. He has long been an instigator and an innovator in the emerging area of archiving games for historical analysis and has both produced prominent scholarship and taken part in groundbreaking archiving projects that continue to shape how we understand the historical importance of video games.

In 2011 Barwick, Dearnley, and Muir published an essay in Games and Culture that offered an overview and analysis of the most recent efforts in digital game preservation, wherein they concluded, “The preservation of computer games at present is based on imperfect solutions – the collection, storage, and display of computer games and paraphernalia, with arguably the more important issue of preserving gameplay being beset by legal ramifications” (387). These problems persist, they suggest, despite efforts by academic institutions, private and public museums, and state apparatuses to overcome them. Lowood’s work is largely directed toward proposing solutions for these obstacles, something he has accomplished by modeling preservationist and historical research that productively interrogates and successfully navigates a variety of academic, legal, and material concerns.

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Medium 9780861966820

The Bear

Beardmore, Marie John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

By the time John came to make his next film, The Bear, he was 71, but still with the energy and zest for life of a much younger man. At home, John and Chris had weathered the storm, and were still together. His youngest daughter Giulietta was making a name for herself as an artist, though sadly, for her sister Nicola, Adam’s illness meant she had to focus on keeping an income stream for the family and had to abandon her own plans for a company. John’s grandchildren were then at school, Ben was 10 and Clio, 7, and John wondered what kind of world they would find when they became adults.

Meanwhile, in the literary world, a new wizard had arrived – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was to become a massive global hit that saw author J.K. Rowling’s earnings propelled into the stratosphere. Not that her books impacted on John; he has never been given to fads and carried on picking projects as he always had – the ones that made the hairs on his neck stand up, the ones that he felt had the power to move and entertain.

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Medium 9780253015594

1. Empire Cinema: Frames and Agendas

Ruth Ben-Ghiat Indiana University Press PDF

1

S

Empire Cinema

Frames and Agendas

O

n Oc­to­ber 2, 1935, Benito Mussolini stepped out on the balcony of Rome’s Piazza Venezia to address the largest rally in the fourteen years of the Fascist regime. Surrounded by microphones and movie cameras, the Italian leader hailed his audience:

Blackshirts of the Revolution! Men and women of all of Italy! Italians all over the world, beyond the mountains and beyond the seas: listen well!

A solemn hour is about to sound in the history of the fatherland. At this moment twenty million men occupy the pub­l ic squares of all Italy. Never in the history of mankind has there been seen a more gigantic spectacle.

Twenty million men: one heart, one will, one decision.

The decision to which Mussolini referred was that of invading Ethiopia, an act that would avenge the Italians’ defeat at Adwa by Ethiopian troops almost forty years earlier. The regime had planned the invasion since 1934, and Italian soldiers stood ready at the Ethiopian-­Eritrean border even as the Duce told Italians to follow “the wheel of destiny” and avenge their offended honor. The Fascists resembled French and British imperialists in justifying their expansionism with the rhetoric of the civilizing mission, but were perhaps unique in proclaiming the arrogant European, with his history of disregard for Italy, as the enemy along with the Af­r i­can. As

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Medium 9780253016959

Part I. 1940–1945

Colin Crisp Indiana University Press ePub

PART I

1940–1945

1. La Fille du puisatier

The Well-Digger’s Daughter

Filming began May 1940, then resumed 13 August 1940; released Marseilles and Lyons, 20 December 1940; Paris, 24 April 1941

190 min, b&w

Dir and Scr Marcel Pagnol; Prod Films Marcel Pagnol; Cinematog Willy; Music Vincent Scotto; Art dir Cot and Marius Brouquier; Sound Marcel Lavoignat; Edit Jeannette Ginestet; Act Josette Day (Patricia), Raimu (Pascal Amoretti), Fernandel (Félipe Rambert), Milly Mathis (Nathalie), Line Noro (Marie Mazel), Fernand Charpin (Monsieur Mazel), Georges Grey (Jacques Mazel), Claire Oddera (Amanda Amoretti), Roberte Arnaud (Roberte), Raymonde (Éléonore Amoretti), Rosette (Marie Amoretti), Liliane (Isabelle Amoretti), Félicien Tramel (waiter), Marcel Maupi (shop assistant), and Charles Blavette (dyer).

La Fille du puisatier is often listed as the first French film to have been made under the German occupation. In fact, it was begun in May 1940, before the invasion, and resumed on 13 August, barely two months after the fall of France and the entry into Paris of German forces. Marcel Pagnol had established his production unit in Provence, which was by that time in the (somewhat optimistically named) zone libre (ZL, free zone). In the zone occupé (ZO), there was to be a drastic reorganization of the film industry, as of so much else, and filmmaking did not recommence until February 1941. In the ZL, by contrast, there was as yet little regulation, and shooting began on some seven films before that point, most of them in Pagnol’s Marseilles studio. Of these the first, and the only major, film was La Fille du puisatier. Pagnol was able to proceed so rapidly not just because of the lack of regulatory hindrances in the Midi but also because he had already prepared and initiated shooting, and because, unlike his Paris colleagues, he was in total personal control of production.

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Medium 9780253010773

2 Live from New York!

Ron Becker Indiana University Press ePub

SUSAN MURRAY

“Live from New York … it’s Saturday night!” is the shouted phrase that has transitioned Saturday Night Live viewers from opening sketch to title sequence for more than thirty-five years. It signals the end of a closed fictional moment and initiates direct address, reflexivity, and the spontaneity of liveness, while also highlighting the show’s connection to New York City, which is underscored by images of the city’s street life at night (diners, taxis, shops, newsstands, bridges, parks, bars, etc.) that run during the title sequence.

But these moments are not SNL’s only references to the city, of course. In everything from the setting of sketches, the abundance of New York–centric jokes and references, and the casting of the hosts (Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani both hosted the show while in office), the city has always loomed large. And yet, one of the most intriguing references to New York is both intertextual and historical: New York’s former position as the center of television production in the 1940s and ’50s and, more specifically, the live variety and sketch comedy shows produced there during that period. This chapter will explore the ways that SNL refers to and constructs a sense of New York and urban night life through textual references, casting, and setting as well as through its historical relationship to the city and live performance (variety shows, night club comedy, vaudeville, legitimate theater, and radio and television production pre-1960) and the impact that those references had on the program’s reception during its first years on the air. By focusing largely on the mid-1970s, a time when both the city and NBC were struggling, we can see how SNL’s New York backdrop and sensibility were deployed to create a space where New York, television comedy, and NBC were all subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) rebranded, pleasing critics and city officials alike.

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Medium 9780253010407

10 Dexter Gordon

Kathy Sloane Indiana University Press ePub

How could you not fall in love
with Dexter Gordon?

Eddie Marshall

Ronnie Matthews

When Maxine [Gordon] got Dexter to come back [from Europe in 1973], there was a group with Woody Shaw, Junior Cook, Stafford James, and me. And so Maxine put Dexter with us – the opening salvo, so to speak – just to reintroduce him to America. Then, shortly after that, Dexter got his own group.

Todd Barkan

We put things together; that’s part of what we do as jazz club owners. Or you try to do that. They don’t just put themselves together. It’s a community effort; it’s an industry effort. You work with booking agents, managers, artists. . . . It always has to be based on the music. The music has to come first for these things to work at all. You know, some bass players like playing with other drummers better. You don’t put them together like you’re putting chess pieces on a chessboard. Or like you would Parcheesi tiles on a Parcheesi board. It’s based upon the nuances and idiosyncrasies and the symbiotic relationships of one jazz musician and another. The reason that the quartet works with George Cables, Rufus Reid, Eddie Gladden, and Dexter Gordon has to do with both their personal feelings and personal idiosyncrasies as people first, as well as their ability to get along. On the bandstand, Dexter was far behind the beat, and George Cables was ahead of the beat, and Rufus Reid and Eddie Gladden would flow back and forth – and that’s what made the whole pendulum work. That was the Dexter Gordon Quartet. It was Dexter’s overall whahh that carried the whole thing forward, but the elements were based upon the tongue-and-groove of Rufus Reid and Eddie Gladden swinging so hard, George Cables being slightly in front of the beat, Dexter Gordon being behind the beat. That’s what made that whole group have so much swing and such intensive propulsiveness.

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Medium 9780861966967

Chapter 18 Cinema as a Mode(l) of Perception: Dorothy Richardson’s Novels and Essays

Kreimeier, Klaus John Libbey Publishing ePub

The notion that perception has a history has been one of the most stimulating ideas in recent research on visual culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Or, to put it differently and more precisely: a considerable number of studies rests on the assumption that the conditions of visual perception were subject to historical change on a revolutionary scale between the 1850s and the 1910s. Jonathan Crary argues that a rapid succession of media innovations – panorama, stereoscopy, photography, moving images – and their commodification were accompanied by profound changes in the ways of thinking, writing and feeling about visual experience: ‘capitalist modernity has generated a constant re-creation of the conditions of sensory experience, in what could be called a revolutionizing of the means of perception’.1 Cinema, in particular, has become an integral element in cultural histories of modernity, apparently leaving no aspect of life and thought around 1900 untouched. For example, Laura Marcus, extending the historical and thematic scope of Crary’s argument, refers to the ‘widely held view’ that ‘modernist and modernised consciousness are inflected by, and perhaps inseparable from, cinematic consciousness’.2 Mary Ann Doane identifies the cinema as a point of convergence of wide-ranging epistemological shifts, involving notions of time and space as well as and notions of bodily, perceptual and mental capacities.3

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