742 Chapters
Medium 9780253006882

2 Show Stoppers: 1937 and the Chance Encounter with Chiffons

Rashna Wadia Richards Indiana University Press ePub

1937 and the Chance Encounter with Chiffons

For a brief moment, a chance encounter between a Wall Street tycoon and an unsuspecting working girl takes on the spectral eeriness of a Surrealist nightmare. Worn down by his profligate wife’s spending habits, millionaire banker J. B. Ball (Edward Arnold) decides to teach her a lesson. When their marital spat climaxes on their Fifth Avenue penthouse landing, he flings her most recent purchase, a $58,000 fur coat, off the roof. An overhead shot captures the coat as it slowly descends and assumes the shape of an ominous, bat-like creature (Figure 2.1). Its ghostly glide down seems to envelop a bus that drives in on the street below. When the coat lands on Mary Smith (Jean Arthur) as she rides the double-decker bus to work, the screwball plot gets going again. To the extent that it triggers the coincidental meeting on which the tale depends, this moment is central to the film. But its appearance as a slow, almost dream-like, unmotivated overhead shot is incongruous with the fast-paced screwball action that precedes and follows it. Indeed, it is both excessive and jarring, making it appear virtually extra-diegetic. That uncanny feeling, however, lasts only for a moment. Cut to a medium shot of Jean Arthur as the coat falls on her head, wrecking her hat and scaring her silly, and the comic plot quickly resumes, unfolding through a series of madcap adventures that almost causes the stock market to collapse.

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Medium 9780253011046

11 Listening to Muzykal’naia istoriia (1940)

Edited by Lilya Kaganovsky and Masha Sal Indiana University Press ePub

Anna Nisnevich

ON THE DAY of its Moscow premiere, October 18, 1940, the musical comedy Muzykal’naia istoriia (A Musical Story), scripted by Evgeny Petrov and Georgy Munblit, directed by Alexander Ivanovsky and Gerbert Rappoport, and starring Sergei Lemeshev and Zoia Fedorova, had already received warm official welcomes in the leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestiia. The author of the Pravda article, Mikhail Lvov, lauded the film’s culture-promoting plot, describing Muzykal’naia istoriia as “a very simple and uncomplicated story [of] how a taxi driver Petya Govorkov became an opera soloist.”1 Recounting Petya’s meeting with an older, experienced opera singer, Vasily Fomich, his singing of Lensky’s part in the staging of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Club of Auto Transport Workers, his first artistic failure (a consequence of a heartbreak), and his eventual success (the result of hard work), Lvov emphasized the necessity of “propaganda of the best examples of musical art by way of cinema’s lively, accessible means.” The stance of the review in Izvestiia, by A. Alexandrov, was more overtly political. Comparing Muzykal’naia istoriia with Hollywood’s One Hundred Men and a Girl (dir. Koster, 1937), a musical Cinderella story (starring Deanna Durbin) that had charmed Soviet film viewers earlier that year, Alexandrov pointed to a striking discrepancy between the American Cinderella—an adolescent singer whose successes come by way of a string of pure coincidences—and the Soviet one, who is catapulted to stardom by the system itself. “The script-writers of Muzykal’naia istoriia do not imitate the American film, but argue with it,” he contended. “The taxi driver Govorkov has a path entirely different [from that of his American counterpart]: his future is open, he can be the hero of a film in which the joys of life are not merely fruits of the comedic skill of the script-writer or of his experience in creating happy endings, but are informed by the life material, the reality itself.”2 By way of classical music, Alexandrov suggested, the film showcased a specifically Soviet way of life.

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Medium 9780253020871

10. Intersubjective Attunement, Filiation, and the Re-creative Process: Jules and Jim–from Henri-Pierre Roché to François Truffaut

Alistair Fox Indiana University Press ePub

My purpose in this chapter, following the theoretical exposition in chapter 9, is to show how the intersubjective attunement made possible by the combined operation of neurological and psychological processes involved in reception generates a response that is not merely passively receptive, but also actively re-creative. To a large extent, the processes involved are invisible and unconscious, but their presence can be detected through their outward signs: namely, in patterns of unconscious filiation that can be traced from one author to the next and in the evidence of imitation and reconstitution provided by the cinematic adaptation of literary works. Neuroscience has, as yet, been unable to track empirically the neurological ways in which these intersubjective/re-creative processes are effectuated at this stage in scientific research–the human brain is far too complex for that–but enough evidence exists, in forms that are accessible to critical and historical analysis, to enable scholars to make informed surmises.

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Medium 9780861967223

Appendix IV List of Interviewees

Emma Jean Kelly John Libbey Publishing ePub

1.Alley, Elizabeth 11/07/10 Recorded, to be deposited (edited by EA) at NZFA

2.Armstrong, Michael 17/01/13 Email correspondence, to be deposited with MA’s permission at NZFA

3.Bartel, Susan 03/12/09 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA

4.Beiringa, Jan 14/12/09 Unrecorded, not to be deposited, Second interview with Malcolm McKinnon 01/02/11 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA

5.Brand, Neil see Kirsten Dennis 13/07/10

6.Burrows, Elaine with Kirsten Dennis 07/07/10 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA

7.Cherchi-Usai, Paolo 14/05/09 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA

8.Collins, Annie 26/11/09 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA with 25 year embargo

9.Davey, Sarah 08/11/10 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA

10.Dell, Sharon 10/09/10 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA

11.Dennis, Kirsten 13/07/10 with Neil Brand Recorded (quality poor) to be deposited at NZFA

12.Dennis, Simon 06/02/09 & 2904/09 Unrecorded, notes taken, not to be deposited at NZFA, 13/07/10 Recorded, to be deposited at NZFA

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Medium 9780861967155

Chapter 22 Asco’s Super-8 Cinema and the Specter of Muralism

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

Jesse Lerner

Throughout the 1970s, the Chicano arts group Asco created a series of very short Super-8 films, most of which are documentation of their performances and political street theater.1 These small-gauge shorts – fragments, really – offer fleeting glimpses of the group’s radical blend of activism, performance, and conceptual art making in public spaces, though there is also at least one attempt at creating a brief surreal narrative, Sr. Tereshkova (1974). Today, only traces bear witness to Asco’s filmmaking. The scarcity of primary documents is not just the result of the lack of adequate preservation efforts; it is also the inevitable consequence of the sometimes intentional practice of destroying unique materials, including their Super-8 reversal films. One founding member tells of periodically burning film reels, photographs, and negatives of work from his Asco years in his mother’s backyard, while other materials have fallen victim to improper storage, careless handling during moves, and further misfortunes.2 However, despite this and other obstacles, it is possible to engage Asco as filmmakers by reading their Super-8 films through the practice and promise of mural painting.

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