287 Chapters
Medium 9780861967155

Chapter 18 For Love and/or Money: Exhibiting Avant-Garde Film in Los Angeles 1960–1980

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

Alison Kozberg

Between 1960 and 1980, avant-garde film exhibition in Los Angeles enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth and collaboration.1 This brief history takes these exhibitors as its primary objects of study, and identifies curatorship as a critical juncture where the entanglement of capital and cultural values is visible. During the 1960s and 1970s, public exhibitions were the primary mediator between experimental film and the public, and consequently taught viewers how to engage with and appreciate non-narrative, abstract, and artisanal cinema. However, many of these exhibitors were also businesses, and their curatorial strategies reflected the objectives of audience cultivation and financial sustainability. Accordingly, this history traces how cultural values, capital, and institutional resources shaped curatorial practices and public perception. By revealing notions of value and quality as constructed rather than innate, this deliberately anti-nostalgic project advocates for the ongoing revision of artistic paradigms, and seeks to work through avant-garde film’s past in order to encourage a challenging and heterogeneous future.

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Medium 9780861966899

Chapter 22 Germain Lacasse, Joseph Dumais and the language of French-Canadian silent cinema

Richard Abel John Libbey Publishing ePub

The rampant and winged vulgarity that is infiltrating our lives by means of the cinema, the gramophone, and even more so by the radio, the emporium and other establishments where articles, often overpriced, are sold cheap, is starting to trouble the informed public, people who value traditions as much as they value our forefathers’ language.”1

Between 1910 and 1960 or so, the religious authorities in Québec as well as the lay conservatives who supported them would voice that opinion, a quotation from Joseph Dumais, an odd character who was a renowned diction teacher in the early 20th century. He also wrote, published, declaimed and recorded a large number of texts almost entirely written in the vernacular. However, the main goal of that work was to parody the vernacular in order to criticize and discipline it, and to link national identity to an elitist and old-fashioned conception of the language.

At the time, a rather strong nationalist movement was emerging in Québec. Its most important political representatives were Henri Bourassa and his newspaper, Le Devoir, and the historian Lionel Groulx and his review, L’Action française. But a nationalist sentiment was also developing in the cultural field. Its “founding text” was an article by the literature professor Camille Roy: “Pour la nationalisation de la littérature canadienne [In support of the nationalization of French-Canadian literature]”. In order to establish a “national”2 literature, the intellectuals of the time wanted to link it to the promotion of a French-Canadian language, which they saw as distinct from the French used in France.3 They founded the “Société du bon parler français [Society for Proper French]” and embarked on an exhaustive inventory and compilation of the language spoken in Québec. Probably because of the social model that they held dear, however, that language was defined above all as an earthy language, an old French whose vocabulary corresponded to a rural, traditionalist and Catholic economy, following the political model of monarchical France and the “classical” French symbolically associated with it.

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Medium 9780861966820

John’s Brothers

Marie Beardmore John Libbey Publishing ePub


Like her youngest brother, John’s illustrious sister Anne has made her life in media and film. Not so, John’s two elder brothers, Michael and David, who chose very different life-paths.

Michael was the eldest by about two years, then David, and then after quite a long gap of some years, came Anne, who was two years older than John. Both John’s brothers went into the forces but embarked on very different life-paths. Michael went into North West Europe and was Captain Coates up until the end of the war. David went into the RAF, but he didn’t want to be commissioned and ended up having the laziest life according to John. “He was on the coast in Kenya for most of the war – don’t know whether it was radar, searching for aircraft and submarines during the whole of the Japanese time and never did anything amazing or brave, as he admitted when he got back. He had a really nice time, better than us being doodle bugged.” After the war, Michael had fallen in love with the local farmers wife, Kay, a Czech girl who had two daughters, and additionally they had a daughter of their own called Gay. He bought an open Delage, the French equivalent of a Bentley with a strap down bonnet and no hood, and set off with Kay and the three kids for the south of France, not knowing exactly what they were doing. Fortunately, Michael had money from his pension at the end of the war, and they went and settled in Cagnes-Sur-Mer, between Nice and Cannes. It was an old town and already had an established artists colony, and that’s where he settled and painted. He sold some paintings. He married Kay and lived there for quite some years.

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Medium 9780861967254

Chapter 6

Tony Grey John Libbey Publishing ePub

As night thickens and no leadership emerges from the Roman camp, everyone wonders what’s happening at the top. The command structure has broken down. Marcus and the other officers are receiving no orders, no information, nothing. In a state of shock he goes in search of Crassus but can’t find him. He comes across Cassius, looking more tense and gaunt than usual. It seems the man has some feelings after all.

“Sir, where’s the Commander in Chief? I’ve been sent by Legatus Cincinnatus to see what’s going on.”

“Not here. Don’t know where he is. Should look for him.”

They’ve no idea where to look. Cassius says they should use an old hunting technique. If the lion is known to be somewhere not too far away, the tracker walks around the place he was last seen in widening circles. They do this, starting at the Command Post. After a few circuits they find him, alone. He’s lying on the ground huddled in his cloak, shivering. He’s looking so small, so shrunken. Even phlegmatic Cassius is jolted at the sight of the man who such a short time ago had the stature of a god. He asks for orders, for direction. Crassus can’t reply; he just shakes.

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Medium 9781864620542

Weather Porn and the Battle for Eyeballs: Promoting Digital Television in the USA and UK

John Libbey Publishing ePub

In the form of lavish ad campaigns, frontpage news stories, and overheated techno-punditry, the end of the 1990s marked the culmination of a long technological, policy-making and marketing campaign waged by a diverse set of private interests to bring digital television into American and British homes. Charting digital television’s distinct fortunes in the United States and Great Britain can illuminate some of the most persistent and difficult issues in media historiography, including sorting out the determinations of national culture, market structures, and ideological valence in technological innovation. The current transition from analogue to digital standards for electronically stored and transmitted moving images is a profoundly unsettling moment for the established policy rationales and commercial structures of broadcasting in both the USA and the UK. Digital television threatens not only to alter fundamentally the traditional relationships among programme producers, station owners, broadcast networks, and satellite and cable operators, but also to bring powerful new economic actors into the business of providing programming and services to the domestic television audience. The current tangle of rivalries and alliances between sectors of the television industry and multinational firms in consumer electronics, telecommunications, retailing, financial services, and computer hardware and software, testify to the contentious and uncertain nature of technological innovation in contemporary electronic media. In addition, the proliferation of channels and delivery systems associated with digital television promises to alter existing programming forms, as well as international programme flows and institutional alliances across an increasingly globalised media landscape. Finally, in the promise of enhanced visual quality, multiple programme channels, and the capacity for complex interactive exchange, digital television has inspired many observers to proclaim the overturning of long-established phenomenological and cultural paradigms of television viewing with quite different, if still uncertain, scenarios.

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