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

Klaus Kreimeier 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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Medium 9781864620542

Visual Diaries: Revival of a Documentary Form in Digital Culture

John Libbey Publishing ePub

Abroad spectrum of digital techniques is revitalising formal innovation as the technology of moving images enters its second century of development. Established narrational forms are being revised according to new expressive opportunities. The screen writers of Hollywood movies and computer games apply new technology to let us experience new exotic vistas and new zones of intimate personal virtuality.

Our daily lives are influenced by digitalisation as well. The way we write letters is gradually changing. The ways in which we take notes and pictures are changing too. It is the accommodation of one of these more prosaic forms of communication, the visual diary, that is the subject of this essay.

When examining loosely structured narrational forms such as the diary, there is an underlying question that needs to be addressed: will an emerging Cinema of Meditation evolve in parallel with the new Cinema of Digital Attractions? To focus on the personal and everyday use of digital media implies that there is indeed a continuing demand for self-reflective forms of realism, forms that may revive the surrealistic qualities of the tradition of poetic documentary.

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Medium 9780861966608

Chapter 2 Cosmopolitans and Conquistadors: Empires, Nations and Networks

NoContributor John Libbey Publishing ePub

Surveying the thickening network of sea routes and maritime traffic in 1795, the German Philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that binding “distant parts of the world” ever more tightly together through trade and exchange laid the basis for a new world order founded on mutual respect and hospitality to strangers. He imagined people everywhere ceasing to be subjects, governed by powers over which they had no control, and becoming citizens with the right to participate fully in social and political life and help shape its future forms. At the same time, he was acutely aware that this possibility was being comprehensively undermined by “the actions of the civilised and especially the commercial states of our part of the world” who “under the pretence of establishing economic undertakings … suppress the natives” and impose “injustice … carried to terrifying lengths” (Kant on the Web, 2005).

This central opposition between cosmopolitans and conquistadors, between a world system based on open flows, equality of respect and creative collisions and one organised around asymmetric power and domination, continues to structure contemporary debate. On the one side stand those who present contemporary globalisation primarily as a system of cultural exchange. They see new spaces for popular action, novel hybrid forms of expression, and emerging cosmopolitan tastes and styles. Facing them stand those who see a new economic “empire of capital” emerging (Wood, 2003), dedicated to securing key resources, dominating major world markets and colonising imaginative horizons. Advocates of the first position point to the accelerating global flows of people, ideas, and cultural products and the increasingly heterodox cultural landscapes of the world’s major cities. Proponents of the second view emphasise the strategies of domination pursued by the new transnational capitalist class who command the leading global multinational companies, administer the global trading regime, and support pre-emptive strikes against “unfriendly” and “rogue” regimes (Sklair, 2001).

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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 9780253017154

7. Chris Grant: Games and Press

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

ALONG WITH FORECASTS OF INCREASED DIRECT DEMOCRACY and a migration to virtual global currencies, one of the frequent predictions made by many of the early Internet prognosticators was that narrowly targeted news feeds would become the standard form of gaining information for those connected to the Internet. Specifically, many of them suggested that people would be able to find news that was specific to (and exclusionary from) particular geographic locations, particular ideological interests, or particular hobbyist pursuits. These targeted audiences would form communities and cultures around the news sites that appealed to them, creating a kind of feedback loop that kept the audience fixed and isolated. In the past twenty years of online journalism, some of this has indeed taken place. One of the best case studies for how it has occurred is unquestionably that of video game journalism.

Gaming journalism, popularized in the 1980s and early 1990s by thinly veiled adverti-zines such as Nintendo Power and Sega Visions and in youth-focused publications such as Gamepro (and, to a lesser extent, Electronic Gaming Monthly) joined much of the rest of the magazine industry in undergoing a significant sea change when the Internet gained in popularity in the mid- to late 1990s. In many ways, games journalism grew up with the medium it covered. As game publishers started creating more games meant to retain their aging player base, introduced a ratings system to make the content more palatable to parents, and started pushing toward multimedia, gaming journalism followed suit with more organized and focused writing, more objective and regular reviews, and more features that responded to the rapid pace of change in the industry.

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Medium 9780861967025

Silent Films in their First Decades – Objects for Research or for Exhibition?

Edited by Martin Loiperdinger John Libbey Publishing ePub


for Dominique Païni

One can only agree with Michel Marie when he writes: “First of all, a film is a number in a catalogue, then a title, then an object of review in the contemporary press. After that, it becomes a film strip in an anonymous tin. Its historical existence is limited to the discourse dedicated to it.”1 This “historical existence” seems to me, however, to be complete only when the film has found an audience again. Actually it exists only when it is shown before an audience on a screen; through or within a discourse, it has only a virtual existence.

* * *


Since the conference of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) in Brighton in 1978, an entire segment of the cinema, like a lost continent, has experienced unprecedented attention and research, both intensive as well as varied. The early era, likewise the years from 1910 to 1920, which I personally call ‘the second period’,2 exists thus ‘in the historical sense’ as and through numerous discourses. Diverse publications, magazines in many countries, festivals and retrospectives repeatedly wrest those films from oblivion. Something to rejoice about!

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Medium 9780253329059

Eight Bambi

Elizabeth Bell Indiana University Press ePub

David Payne

Technoscience and science fiction collapse into the sun of their radiant (ir)reality—war. (Haraway 1991, 185)

My father is a wise and gentle man. He was never drunk, loud, violent, abusive, competitive, aggressive, unfaithful, or impatient. He never, in my presence or to my knowledge, made a fool of himself trying to prove that he was a man.

Until he was drafted into the army just after World War II, my father had never left the panhandle of western Oklahoma where he was born to a displaced Missouri farmer and Nora Jones, child of a half-Cherokee father. My father had avoided going to war through a farm deferment, graciously awarded even during war years to the last remaining son on a farm. In the army, he typed paychecks for his committed time, and then returned to the clay-red bluffs and coarse panhandle grasslands to become what every man raised there became: a farmer. After the birth of his second son, me, he decided what countless others in 1952 decided, and moved his young family to the city where he was to do factory work for most of the next thirty years. In Wichita, Kansas, he built and repaired the large bombers for Boeing Aircraft. He sired two more sons, but no daughters.

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Medium 9780253020871

7. The Exploitation of Generic Templates and Intertexts as Vehicles for Affect Regulation

Alistair Fox Indiana University Press ePub

So far, the majority of fictions I have examined involve highly original scenarios that draw on the metaphorical and symbolic mechanisms out of which fantasies are constructed. I now turn to several examples of another, very commonly used, distinct shaping strategy: a generic template, often accompanied by a structuring intertext (as seen in Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Melissa Panarello’s novel, discussed in chapter 6), for the representation of an emotional condition or complex psychological experience.

A “genre,” in the sense in which I am using the term, may be defined as a conjunction of “semantic” (thematic) and “syntactic” (structural) elements that are configured into a pattern with a recognizable narrative shape combined with a preestablished set of thematic expectations.1 Genres come into being because of their fitness-to-mean; in other words, they embody shared models of understanding for the interpretation of various aspects of human reality. Their repeated use means that they have been confirmed as useful for the expressive purposes of the author, and as satisfying for the reader/spectator through the feedback loops provided by the reader/spectator’s response. As the Chilean filmmaker and film theorist Raúl Ruiz puts it with reference to cinema, the codes that are embedded in genres presuppose “an international community of connoisseurs and a shared set of rules for the game of social life.”2 The same applies to literature, especially with genres that are found across diverse cultures and have been confirmed through the passage of time.

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Medium 9780861967223

Chapter 8 Concluding discussion: Archive as biography of the nation?

Emma Jean Kelly John Libbey Publishing ePub

Dennis’ works (listed as an appendix) contributed to the growing archive of New Zealand and South Pacific culture, and demonstrate how he was never the sole author of these works; he was seeking to frame, curate and be the catalyst for the presentation of the artistic productions of others. Dennis understood that the work he did was collaborative – because he did not have all the information or skills required nor the doxa or habitus, he sought to encourage the work of others and engage with them to create presentations in various fora. Dennis shaped materials for various ends, and sought to incorporate a critique of the society within which he lived and worked.

Although Dennis never described it in these terms, an archive is simultaneously a tangible institution in which materials are stored and an intangible concept, an ideology and a platform. Michel Foucault had many years before exposed the archive’s connection to power (Amad, 2010 p.19) and yet he did not support the view that power itself was only repressive (Foucault, 1976/2008). Dennis understood the connection between the archive and power. Those who were able to control the representation of history controlled contemporary understandings of the nation. He worked with others to address the power imbalances he recognised had occurred through the marginalisation of particular voices and perspectives. When he felt his position was no longer tenable, he stepped down as Director of the NZFA and continued his work without the economic capital of the Director’s position to support him.

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Medium 9780253356680

Appendix C: Selected Filmography of Hiam Abbas

Florence Martin Indiana University Press ePub

Romance in the Dark (Rie Rasmussen, France, in postproduction at the time of writing)

Peace after Marriage (Bandar Albuliwi and Ghazi Albuliwi, U.S., in postproduction at the time of writing, 2011)

The Promise (Peter Kosminsky, UK, TV miniseries, in postproduction at the time of writing)

Habibti (Nour Wazzi, UK, 2010)

Miral (Julian Schnab, U.S., 2010)

I Am Slave (Gabriel Range, UK and Kenya, 2010)

The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch, U.S., 2009)

Espions/Spies (Nicholas Saada, France and UK, 2009)

Amreeka/America (Cherien Dabis, U.S., Canada, and Kuwait, 2009)

Chaque jour est une fête/Everyday Is a Holiday (Dima el Horr, Lebanon, 2009)

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Medium 9780253014436

7. King of Kings and the Problem of Repetition

Stephen C. Meyer Indiana University Press ePub

Among the many markers of the aesthetics of the superlative was a distinctive visual style that was used to market the biblical epics and the ephemera with which they were associated. We may see this specific visual style, for example, in the sheet music covers for Ben-Hur arrangements that were published in the early 1960s (see Figure 7.1a). On these covers, the visual field is dominated by the title of the film, which appears in block capitals as if it were part of a gigantic stone edifice. This edifice is oriented with its corner toward the viewer, so that the gigantic letters appear foreshortened by perspective. Around these monumental letters are vignettes from the chariot race (which had quickly become the most famous scene in the film). This visual style finds interesting analogues in some of the Quo Vadis posters, but it is most closely connected to the promotional materials for King of Kings (see Figure 7.1b). In these images, we see the same kind of block letters, foreshortened so that they appear to be a part of some monumental construction. Instead of the chariot race, the title is surrounded by a legionnaire’s helmet and a visual allusion to the Sermon on the Mount scene—a scene that (in terms of spectacle, if not of content) was marketed as the successor to the chariot race in Ben-Hur.

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Medium 9780253329059

Two Memory and Pedagogy in the “Wonderful World of Disney” Beyond the Politics of Innocence

Elizabeth Bell Indiana University Press ePub

Henry A. Giroux

An alarming defensiveness has crept into America’s official image of itself, especially in its representations of the national past. Every society and official tradition defends itself against interferences with its sanctioned narratives; over time these acquire an almost theological status, with founding heroes, cherished ideas and values, national allegories having an inestimable effect in cultural and political life. (Said 1993, 314)

Ideas, texts, even people can be made sacred . . . but even though such entities, once their sacredness is established, seek to proclaim and to preserve their own absoluteness, their inviolability, the act of making sacred is in truth an event of history. . . . And events in history must always be subject to questioning, deconstruction, even to declarations of their obsolescence. To respect the sacred is to be paralysed by it. (Rushdie 1991, 416)

In different ways, Edward Said and Salman Rushdie address the complex relationship between memory and history on the one hand and culture and power on the other. By historicizing culture, and problematizing knowledge, both authors point to the necessity for a cultural politics that engages the relationship between knowledge and authority, how it is established, and what relationship it has to dominant regimes of representation. Today’s “culture wars,” largely organized around liberal and conservative arguments, each make claims about how the “past is remembered, understood, and linked to the present” (Simon 1993, 77). On one side conservatives invoke claims to national unity and world responsibility through an appeal to a nostalgic past written as an unchanging narrative, the loss of which marks a crisis of leadership and innocence. On the other side, various nationalists and progressives embrace collective memory as something to be merely recovered, an essentialized force that must be granted its place in the public arenas that define the parameters of cultural authority.

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Medium 9780253016423

4. Music and Utopia: A Reading of the Reunion Scene

David P. Neumeyer Indiana University Press ePub

Production for Casablanca finished on 3 August 1942, and the film editor finished his postproduction tasks by the end of the month. Max Steiner had already been assigned in July to write the underscore. He complained about using “As Time Goes By” sometime in August, but the film was still ready for its New York premiere on Thanksgiving Day.1

On 2 September the film’s producer, Hal Wallis, wrote a detailed set of cutting notes about music placements to the music department’s director, Leo Forbstein. Among his comments was the following for the scene that leads to the reunion meeting of Rick and Ilsa:

Start the piano as Ilsa and Laszlo come in the door. You can stop the piano playing at the table with Ilsa when Renault brings Strasser over to the table. Then don’t start the music again until Sam introduces the guitar player. When Ilsa calls Sam over to play, let that go on just as it is until the scene is interrupted by Renault coming back, saying: “Oh, you have already met Rick.” Now, at that point, when Rick and Ilsa exchange glances, on the first of their close-ups, start an orchestration using “As Time Goes By.” And score the scene. Let Steiner do this. And carry this until right through the Exterior until the lights go out. (quoted in Behlmer 1985, 216; emphasis in original)2

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Medium 9780861966592

Chapter III Tex Avery’s Americanness: An Attempt to Retrieve the Past

Floriane Place-Verghnes John Libbey Publishing ePub

Dealing with such a matter without evoking Tex Avery’s masterpiece in the genre, Symphony in Slang (1951) would be missing a crucial point. This cartoon could be set apart from the whole corpus. Its scenario is quite poor, the story being, in actual fact, nothing but a theme with variations on puns and American slang. However, from a linguist’s point of view, it displays an impressive richness. It is entirely built on set phrases, the meaning of which is always taken in its first degree (“I had goose-pimple”, “she had her hair in a bun”, “Mary’s clothes fit her like a glove”, “the law was on my heels”, “it was good to stretch”, etc.). See also Uncle Tom’s Cabaña (1947), in which “starvation was staring at me [uncle Tom] in the face” while the evil-doer Simon Legree is depicted as literally “two-faced”, “a low-down snake”, and “rolling in dough” or the brain-storming activity (clouds and lightening included) that takes place over the cat’s head in King-Size Canary (1947). It has been defined by Petr Kral as a succession of “puns translated into ... wacky idiosyncrasies”.33 This comic device is typical of the films by the Marx brothers. In Duck Soup (1933), Firefly (Groucho) addresses the portly Margaret Dumont piling up expressions with both a figurative and a literal meaning:

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Medium 9780253006486

4 Playing Dead, Take Two: Euro Horror Film Reception

Ian Olney Indiana University Press ePub


Postmodern filmmaking practices provide part of the explanation for the performative spectatorship fostered by Euro horror cinema, but not a full account. For that, we need to consider the uniquely performative ways in which Euro horror movies are now being watched in the United States. To a certain extent, film viewing always involves an element of performativity. In her phenomenological account of the cinematic experience, Vivian Sobchack appropriates Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s description of the “intertwining” or “chiasmus” of subject and object that takes place at the moment of perception in order to argue that watching a movie should be thought of not as an act, but rather as a dialogue that involves the audience and the film as equal participants. Writing that a movie “is as much a viewing subject as it is . . . a visible and viewed object” (51), Sobchack demonstrates that spectatorship is necessarily “a dialogical and dialectical engagement of two viewing subjects who also exist as visible objects” (52). Despite the fact that there are “always two embodied acts of vision at work in the theater, two embodied views constituting the intelligibility and significance of the film experience” (53), though, we often fail to recognize this, missing entirely the “dynamic activity of viewing that is engaged in by both the film and the spectator, each as viewing subjects” (45). Rather than treating the movies we watch as partners in dialogue, we tend to see them as events to which we must play passive witnesses. As a rule, the “returned gaze” (Dixon, It Looks at You 2) of cinema goes unmet.

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