858 Chapters
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Medium 9780253015754

2. Glittering Video: Format, Fashion, and the Materiality of Nollywood Stardom

Noah A. Tsika Indiana University Press ePub


There is a moment on Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde’s reality television series, Omotola: The Real Me, when the Nollywood star addresses the intense public backlash against the dress that she wore to the 2011 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Making history as the first Nollywood star to grace the Grammy red carpet, Omotola caused quite a splash in a black-and-white, sequined sheath dress, albeit for all the “wrong” reasons: form-fitting around the chest, waist and hips, Omotola’s sleeveless costume was said to accentuate both her best and worst physical features, making her seem, as one Nigerian publication put it, “too much the mother of four that she is”—too, in a word, womanly.1 While the star on her reality TV series acknowledges the “backlash against the backlash”—the discourse of Afrocentrism and self-empowerment that promotes appreciation for “big black bodies”—she also makes an important point about her Grammy appearance, noting that it was live, “in the flesh,” and subject to countless far-flung flashbulbs.2 It was not, in other words, a well-regulated, formally constructed scene from a movie. In the glare of live coverage, it laid bare Omotola’s “real” identity, allegedly giving the lie to her persistent on-screen portrayals of young adults.

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Medium 9780253002952

14 El Macho: How the Women of Teatro Luna Became Men Paloma Martínez-Cruz & Liza Ann Acosta

ARTURO J ALDAMA Indiana University Press ePub


ma·cho adj
having or showing characteristics conventionally regarded as typically male, especially physical strength and courage, aggressiveness, and lack of emotional response

a male who displays conventionally typical masculine characteristics1

If we accept Schechner’s claim that performance is “twice behaved behavior,” we must then ask, what is the force of that repetition?2


The play Machos, created and performed by Teatro Luna, Chicago’s all-Latina theatre company, illuminates the project of el macho. Accepting performance as “twice behaved behavior,” Machos interrogates the echoes of patriarchal conventions by dramatizing the boundaries of normative masculinity. The force compelling repetition of el macho’s gestures, vocabulary, and drives is immediate and all-encompassing: minutes into the play, the cast, donning contemporary urban Latino drag, tells us, “I learned it from my dad.” Socialization of the macho begins at birth and is reinforced at every juncture with pressures from peer groups, by mass communication, and by intimate relations and strangers alike. To relinquish any aspect of the performance of machismo is to be deemed less than a man. Our paper on Teatro Luna’s staged iteration of this high-stakes repertoire submits that the company’s performance of gender is a political act that ultimately awakens audience members to their own complicity in the construal of machismo: the revelation that gender is a ritual, rather than a biological imperative, implies that we are each an officiant laying down the liturgy of el macho. As an anti-oppression theater project, the ultimate aim of Machos is to denaturalize the binary construct of woman/man that habilitates patriarchal hegemony and to activate new social engagement with gender and sexuality as a dynamic continuum, a process of becoming, rather than a state of being.

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Medium 9780861967131

Chapter 7 Fantasia and Eroticism

Harrington, Seán J. Indiana University Press ePub

This chapter discusses the transgressive quality of Disney imagery as an erotic form. Fantasia (1940) is perhaps the most appropriate film to discuss in this context as it is the most reliant on raw imagery and the least reliant on linear narrative within the classic Disney era. Describing Fantasia as a classic Disney feature is problematic as it does not follow many of the typical Disney narrative conventions. It is composed of a series of classical music pieces set against animation. There are eight segments, which vary thematically in style and narrative. Each segment is separated by a return to a live-action interlude that introduces the next piece. The live-action segment is of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra which was used in the recordings and was conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Providing a commentary and introduction to each piece was classical music critic Deems Taylor, whose role was to introduce an unfamiliar audience to classical music. While the first segment takes the form of abstract colours and images that represent the sounds of the orchestra, the segments that follow have vague mini-narratives. Most feature creatures from myth and legend, others claim to capture the images that might pass through the viewer’s mind while listening to an orchestra. The focus for the most part is on these images and the commentary claims to guide the viewer/listener in such a way that will allow them to appreciate classical music. The inference being that the mass-audience requires an authority to teach them how to enjoy high-brow pleasures. This melding of high and low creative traditions (classical music and Hollywood animation) represents an attempt to bring divergent aspects of society together in gratification.

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Medium 9780253012531

6. Citing the Medieval: Using Religion as World-Building Infrastructure in Fantasy MMORPGs · Rabia Gregory

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Rabia Gregory

A BETRAYAL. A CURSE. THE AGE OF STRIFE BEGINS. . . . WARRIORS, heroes, and adventurers begin the restoration. . . . What role will you play? Join the battle for supremacy or let chaos rule. Shadowbane.” This resonant baritone voiceover to the cinematic introduction to Wolfpack’s 2003 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) lists dualistic clichés of fantasy role-playing games as the camera pans over scenes of armed three-dimensional male bodies engaged in combat, shooting arrows, casting spells, wielding siege engines, and arguing over strategy at campaign tables. As the only opportunity for cinematic narrative in the game, this opening video informs each new player that the game loading on their screen offers more than the realistic mechanics of premodern warfare. The conflict they are about to join is purposeful, each player a participant in a tragic battle originating in religious violence, which will frame their game experience as part of a war-torn world’s history. The cutscene’s camera slowly pans over the runes etched on the blade of a bloody sword thrust into the shattered trunk of a dying tree, capturing a moment of tragic betrayal when Cambruin, a mighty human king, was transfixed to the World Tree. As his blood ran down the tree’s trunk, the Shadowbane blade petrified the tree, shattering creation.

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Medium 9780861966820

TVC and The Beatles

Marie Beardmore John Libbey Publishing ePub


P rior to The Beatles, TVC had no particular fame outside of industry circles. George Dunning’s film The Flying Man won the prestigious Grand Prix at the Annecy Animation Festival in 1962, which had garnered creative acclaim, but not the kind of reputation that would of swung The Beatles series contract their way. Nevertheless, some years later, media frenzy ensued when news leaked out that TVC were to animate The Beatles. That thrust the studio into the spotlight; Beatles mania was in full swing, and England swung with it. The year was 1964 and Harold Wilson was at the helm of Labour Government after over 13 years of Conservative administrations.

It was curious that such a quintessentially English band, four working class Liverpool lads, came to be animated by a UK company paid for with American money. At the time, King Features Syndicate, a division of Hearst Newspapers, handled many famous strip cartoons and animated lots of their well-loved characters. The animation division went through the producer Al Brodax, who had been so wowed with the Fab Four’s Shea Stadium performance he had come to England to get the rights to animate them. The Beatles were hesitant about this, but agreed to a TV series on manager Brian Epstein’s say so. Brodax was keen to make the show in England because it would be cheaper than using an American studio and he thought a British studio would give it the right flavour. He approached various outfits before settling on TVC, which made the series for three years.

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Medium 9780253016454

4 A Man of the People: Mohammed Ben Abdallah as Artist-Politician

Jesse Weaver Shipley Indiana University Press ePub

BOTH HIS FRIENDS and enemies would agree that playwright Mohammed Ben Abdallah is a man of passion. Through the 1980s and early 1990s, he held ministerial positions covering portfolios in education, tourism, information, religion, and culture. As chief architect of national culture policy, he has aimed to inspire Ghanaian and Pan-African sentiment by building an African cultural aesthetics from myriad influences. For Abdallah art and culture are significant in shaping a people’s core values and actions across economic, political, and social realms. The arts could open up critical awareness to counter the legacy of colonial rule, structures of global racial inequality, and the rising threat of free-market capital. His work reflects the intertwined political and artistic orders of postindependence Africa. If history is framed as a series of revolts, losses, triumphs, and projects of recuperation, artist-politicians struggle with policy decisions and directorial staging choices, addressing societal notions of remembering and forgetting that lie just below the surface.

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Medium 9781864620542

Architectonics of Seeing: Architecture as Moving Images

John Libbey Publishing ePub

Space is never empty;
it always embodies a meaning
– Henri Lefebvre1

Sergei Eisenstein seems to have believed that one of the ancestors of cinema was architecture. The ancient Greeks, he writes, ‘have left us the most perfect examples of shot design … Acropolis of Athens could just as well be called the … most ancient [of] films’.2 Eisenstein’s thoughts can be found in ‘Montage and Architecture’, an essay written towards the end of the 1930s. For the soviet filmmaker the buildings on the Acropolis were first and foremost a montage of carefully enframed spatial views. The Parthenon, for example, faces the spectator obliquely, he notes, just like a calculated shot, thus becoming even more picturesque. According to Eisenstein, the origins of cinema – or more precisely, cinematic perception – were ancient architecture, since, as he puts it, ‘it is hard to imagine a montage sequence … more subtly composed, shot by shot, than the one which our legs create by walking among the buildings of the Acropolis’.3

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Medium 9781574411874

Black Lily and White Lily

Sterling Houston University of North Texas Press PDF

Black Lily and White Lily


(A pile of clothes spills out from an open suitcase. LILY MAE is putting on a dress over her head at lights up.)

LILY WINSLOW: That’s it. Now turn around. (L.M. moves.) No, faster. Twirl around.

LILY MAE: Twirl around? (She spins until almost dizzy.)

L.W.: That’s enough, now don’t overdo it.

L.M.: I really like this color, Mrs. Winslow. It brings out my skin tone.

L.W.: Now, put on the jacket. Yes, and let it kind of fall off your shoulders, casual like. That’s right. Now walk over there and turn around.

(L.M. does action.)

L.M.: Like this?

L.W.: That’s enough now. Take it off. I don’t want to look at it any more. It reminds me of something. Something . . .

L.M.: Something sad?

L.W.: Why no. Eh, something wonderful . . .

L.M.: Like what, if I may be so bold.

L.W.: Lily Mae, you know that a real lady never reveals all her secrets. Not even to her dearest friend.

L.M.: Am I your dearest friend?

L.W.: Well, I don’t know who is if you’re not. Why else would I be giving you all these lovely things? Yes, that dress is better. Turn, turn. I associate it with calmer memories.

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Medium 9780253015976

2 African Writers Challenge Conventions of Postcolonial Literary History

Edited by Frieda Ekotto and Kenneth W H Indiana University Press ePub

Olabode Ibironke

I refuse to be put in a Negro file for sociologists to come and examine me. . . . 
I refuse to be put in a dossier.

Ezekiel Mphahlele, “On Negritude in Literature”

Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great and original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished.

William Wordsworth, “Letter to Lady Beaumont”

[Nigerian] novels published in Britain are far more likely to use village settings than novels published in Nigeria, and this preference is holding steady. . . . In fact, however, Nigerian novels are far more likely to feature traffic jams in Lagos, a boss’s assaults on his secretary’s virtue, or how urban youth confront temptations to easy money through crime. Political novels, on the other hand, are disproportionately more likely to be published in Nigeria than in Britain.

Wendy Griswold, “Nigeria, 1950–2000”

DAVID DAMROSCH ARGUES in What Is World Literature? that the term “world literature,” coined by Goethe, was one that “crystallized both a literary perspective and a new cultural awareness, a sense of an arising global modernity” (1). It could be construed that Damrosch attempts to establish the criteria by which works enter into world literature. This essay addresses how in African postcolonial literary criticism, the vexed question of the thresholds of world literature takes off precisely from where the question of the thresholds of African literature ends: from the moment when African texts become, as Franco Moretti has argued with regard to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, “world texts.” The chapter also examines the consequences of “world” and/or “global” as pedagogical and theoretical categories for grouping and orienting African and postcolonial literatures.

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Medium 9780861967155

Chapter 6 A Statement

Edited by David E James and Adam Hyman John Libbey Publishing ePub

Curtis Harrington*

The Tenth Muse still awaits its great patron. Until this person comes forth, and it has always been my conviction that such a person will eventually appear, the cinema will continue to be enmeshed in the tyranny of commercial expediency. Let us not fool ourselves: the experimental film, ostensibly free from the aforementioned tyranny, is too trifling, too in love with its petty effects, too introverted, too lazy, and most often ends as a victim, also, for its means by circumstance have been too transcribed. Ironically, the best films have been produced, whatever the consequences to the artist, and they have often been considerable (witness historically the systematic, exteriorly induced decay in the extraordinary talents of Erich von Stroheim, Josef von Sternberg and Orson Welles, as example), within the framework of the commercial cinema.

The world is like a great sea: only the few manage to walk on water. These water-walkers see far and when they manage to communicate their vision to us we receive a marvelous gift. The most marvelous gifts of which the cinema is capable have not yet been given us. Of the ways of communicating vision, surely the cinema offers the greatest challenge, and it is plainly too formidable for most. Yet I am convinced that its appeal should not only be to giants. There will one day be an Emily Dickinson of the cinema.

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Medium 9780861967131

Chapter 3 The Phallus and Disney Animation

Harrington, Seán J. Indiana University Press ePub

Before beginning the analysis of these first Disney films, it is necessary to mention several points concerning fantasy and film. As stated, fantasy acts as the “mise-en-scène of desire” (Cowie, 1984, p159); fantasy represents a domain in which it is possible to stage solutions to desire; in which we can experience fleeting moments of having what we want. Film as a signifying practice has a very special connection to fantasy. The subject enjoys fictitious scenarios as they allow a space in which fantasies of gratification may be acted out and identified with. Although fantasies are themselves multiple and unique to each subject, their form and structure are similar in that they have this capacity to satisfy an audience. The nature of this satisfaction is of course dependent on the content of the film. In his discussion of the structure of perversion, Serge Andre (2006) mentions that fantasy is at its base intrinsically perverse; what is fantasised can function outside the Law and to an extent the symbolic. Films can likewise become realisations of perverse gratification as they permit the subject a partially restricted fantasy-scape with which to realise scenarios of gratification. While there are administrative bodies in the Real that curtail this enjoyment (such as the puritanical Hays office), the process of a film’s production is capable of combining the fantasies and desires of writers, directors and producers, all of whom influence production. The end result is the product of desires and fantasies met with censorship and restriction. It is no surprise then that the structure of film expresses an implicit disavowal: perverse friction between law and desire, as there are so many conflicting desires already at work in its inception! It is interesting then that the end result seems to satisfy the fantasy demands of an large and generalised audience while simultaneously satisfying the desires of conflicting organisations of individuals that produced it. How then does this perverse disavowal express itself? Perhaps somewhere between the overt and latent content of the film. The first part of this analysis shall begin by describing the overt content of the Disney films that contains what can hazardously be referred to as ‘perverse’ imagery. That is not to say perverse as some perceived form of aberrant sexuality, but rather perverse as demonstrating a hypocritical sexuality; a sexuality of disavowal. In this way it will be possible to create an understanding of the particular manner in which Disney presents the ‘perverse’.

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Medium 9780253009234

7. Nollywood and Postcolonial Predicaments: Transnationalism, Gender, and the Commoditization of Desire in Glamour Girls

Edited by Matthias Krings and Onookome O Indiana University Press ePub


AS I REVISED THIS CHAPTER FOR FINAL PUBLICATION, CNN America's international cable TV network and perhaps the world's most powerful media empire, aired a heart-wrenching documentary titled Nepal's Stolen Children, featuring the American film star Demi Moore and Anuradha Koirala, India's anti–sex trafficking activist and CNN'S 2010 Hero of the Year.1 The documentary itself was part of a larger global campaign mounted by CNN, CNN Freedom Project, aimed at eliminating the transnational trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls all over the world.2 According to the documentary, at least 3 million women and girls from Southeast Asia are being exploited by powerful and vicious cartels that lure innocent and trusting females into forced prostitution all over the world. Obviously framed as a politically motivated media war against modern-day slavery, Nepal's Stolen Children came fifteen years after Nollywood took up the same social concern in one of its earliest power movies, Glamour Girls, 2 (1996). Appropriately subtitled The Italian Connection, this first Nollywood English feature dealt with what has come to be known internationally (although coined in Italy) as “the Nigerian woman problem” – the transnational sex trafficking of girls and women from southern Nigeria to Europe and North America.

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Medium 9780253356680

Appendix B: Primary Filmography

Florence Martin Indiana University Press ePub

NB: The following selection of directors reflects a desire to reference not only women’s cinema in the Maghreb but also the “accented cinema” by women directors born in the Maghreb and residing in Europe. This is by no means an exhaustive filmography: it highlights women filmmakers who either have made – or are currently in the process of making – at least one feature fiction film, for which details are given below, or are directors of at least one long documentary. Hence, many talented Maghrebi directors who have made shorts exclusively do not appear below.


Al Dowaha/Les secrets/Secrets (91 min), Tunisia, 2009

Selection at the Mostra, Venice, 2009

Grand Prix, Arte Mare Mediterranean Cultures and Film Festival, Bastia

Best Feature Film, Milano Festival 2010

Director and Script: Raja Amari

Cinematography: Renato Berta

Sound: Patrick Becker

Music: Philippe Héritier

Editing: Pauline Dairou

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Medium 9780253020871

11. The Conversion of Autobiographical Emotion into Symbolic Figuration: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Alistair Fox Indiana University Press ePub

In the case of François Truffaut’s Jules and Jim, discussed in chapter 10, sufficient biographical information exists to allow one to infer Truffaut’s motivations by comparing his early attachment relationships with those of the author of his source, Henri-Pierre Roché, and then by triangulating both with their respective representations. In many instances, however, an equivalent amount of biographical information does not exist, meaning that one needs to infer the psychological dynamic of a fictive work from intrinsic rather than extrinsic evidence. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate how, even when very little biographical information about an author survives, the process of converting affective impulses into a fictive representation can be deduced by examining the emotions expressed in the work, the situations that give rise to them, and the strategies used to make them perceptible. Through this method, one can identify the symbolic figuration that has occurred during the creation of the work and, on the basis of that, speculate on the author’s purpose for its composition.

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Medium 9780253015594

5. Imperial Bodies, Part I: Italians and Askaris

Ruth Ben-Ghiat Indiana University Press PDF



Imperial Bodies, Part I

Italians and Askaris


he narratives of empire film, like empire itself, revolved around the management of imperial bodies. Both colonizers and colonized had value as a productive force (infrastructure, agriculture, conquest). They reinforce, and sometimes transgress, social and racial hierarchies and are marked by the displacements and journeys occasioned by Italian wars and occupations and by the encounters, for all races, with alterity. The films of chapter 5 and 6 stage the relations of intimacy, estrangement, and exploitation that marked these encounters. The titles of chapter 5’s two films, Lo squadrone bianco and Sentinelle di bronzo, limn their putative homages to Libyan meharisti and Somali dubat. These narratives of military advance are twinned with dramas of sentimental attachment that complicate masculine comradeship among both Italian and indigenous men. Chapter 6’s movies, L’Esclave blanc and Sotto la Croce del Sud, focus on attractions between white men and black and “Levantine” women on plantation settings in Somalia and Ethiopia. In most of these films, flows of white desire for women interfere with military duty and governance of the indigenous. In all of them, the nomad and the nomadic feature as the Italian empire’s internal enemy, whether in the form of indigenous tribes, wayward female temperaments, or the mal d’Africa that afflicts their male protagonists.

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