cinema corporeal essay realism rite

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Cinema corporeal essay realism rite top creative essay writing sites

Cinema corporeal essay realism rite

I highly recommend it for any serious student of film. Bk Cover Image Full. Sign In. Search Cart. Search for:. Rites of Realism Essays on Corporeal Cinema. These essays by a range of film scholars propose stimulating new approaches to the critical evaluation of modern realist films and such referential genres as reenactment, historical film, adaptation, portrait film, and documentary. By providing close readings of classic and contemporary works, Rites of Realism signals the need to return to a focus on films as the main innovators of realist representation.

This volume features two new translations: of Bazin's seminal essay "Death Every Afternoon" and Serge Daney's essay reinterpreting Bazin's defense of the long shot as a way to set the stage for a clash or risky confrontation between man and animal.

These pieces evince key concerns—particularly the link between cinematic realism and contingency—that the other essays explore further. Matthew from Palestine to southern Italy. Praise " Rites of Realism is a valuable text for any scholar of realist or documentary film, providing both wide-ranging surveys and challenging, in-depth theoretical analyses of a variety of films from world cinema.

Paperback Cloth. Availability: In stock. Add to cart. Buy the e-book: Apple iBooks Google Play. Open Access. Request a desk or exam copy. Table of Contents Back to Top. Rights Back to Top. Awards Back to Top. Additional Information Back to Top. Publicity material Bk Cover Image Full. Also Viewed. The World Computer. Essays on Corporeal Cinema, ed. Possible starting points include:.

Broadway Books, NE Broadway, broadwaybooks. Ivonne Margulies, It is true that painting, the world over, has struck a varied balance between the symbolic and realism. Riot Grrrl Writing. She edited and introduced a collection of essays Rites of Realism: Essays on Corporeal Cinema Duke UP, reassessing the theoretical relevance of realism in film globally.

Using Critical Race Theory in combination with phenomenologies of difference and film theory, the authors juxtapose the Hollywood film 12 Years a Slave and cell phone videos that helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement to show how the …. Rites of Realism Essays on Corporeal Cinema. Th e major category of television is time. Nancy's Cinema of Contact. Editor s : Jon Lewis.

Th e insistence cinema corporeal essay realism rite of the temporal attribute may indeed be a characteristic of all systems of imaging enabled by mechanical or electronic reproduction. Durham and.

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Like death, love must be experienced and cannot be represented it is not called the little death for nothing without violating its nature. This violation is called obscenity. The representation of a real death is also an obscenity, no longer a moral one, as in love, but metaphysical. We do not die twice. Before cinema there was only the profanation of corpses and the desecration of tombs.

It confers on it an additional solemnity. The cinema has given the death of Manolette a material eternity. On the screen, the toreador dies every afternoon. Notes 1 A movieola is a playback machine. In that sense, we shall see that the essence of cinema becomes a story about animals.

The ban on editing is a function of this risk. And it can only do it by reintroducing them as objects of representation. Predator and prey in Louisiana Story, Robert Flaherty, frame enlargement of video t h e s c r e e n o f fa n ta s y 33 ing itself can remain hidden or suspended with no harm done things are chatterboxes but they talk drivel.

This unity is never anything but that of the spatio-temporal continuum of representation. Also this cinema of transparency only desires whatever limits it, impedes it. It only worships transparency because it knows that—all the same— there is no such thing. That is the price of fetishism. Certain proponents of this ideology of direct cinema, so widespread these days and to whose emergence Bazin contributed on the level of theory, are prisoners of this fetishism.

Precisely, the skin, the transparent. The transparent continuum that clings to the real takes its form, the bandages that preserve for us the mummy of reality, its still living corpse, its eternal presentness: that which allows us to see and protects us from what is seen: the screen. If we have to save the screen so that representation can survive, what better to represent there if not the rescue itself?

The fundamental ambiguity of the real is the uncertainty regarding virginity: the tiny almost nothing that changes everything. The attachment to representation, the taste for simulacra, a certain love for the cinema cinephilia , all derive less from ontology than from obsessional neurosis. It is in the very essence of the latter to clothe itself in the former. Take the scene in which, one night while his wife is asleep, the hero of El grabs ropes, the blade of a razor, thread, and a hooked needle.

Bazin loved animals and lived with an iguana. You have to go to the point of dying for your images. This disappearing act becomes the object of a spectacle all the more beautiful because it is unbearable. Its most characteristic feature, its lowest common denominator if you like, is its violent refusal of the dominant factor in American cinema: psychology as the explanation nec plus ultra.

That is why modern cinema has sometimes been pulled toward mysticism dissolution into the oneness of all things: Rossellini , sometimes toward pathology the one is the other and the two are rift: Bergman. In both cases, what was released on the formal level was an entire logic of permutation and vicariousness, as can already be seen in the late work of Renoir The River, The Golden Coach. It is a question of magic, hypnotism, directing actors. But just as much everything that simulates death: the sexual act, metamorphosis.

More generally, the main nodes of a story, the decisive moments when, under the impassive eye of the 38 s e r g e da n e y camera, something is unraveled, someone changes. It is then that Bazin thinks we must not glide over the precise moment of transformation. Better still, the obstinate presence of the camera, far from being neutral, can provoke the transformation. It accumulates in the image until it is charged with an overwhelming potential whose discharge we await, almost with anguish.

Then we can orgasm. The exorbitant power of the camera. You can die just to save face. But the camera is there to capture him for eternity, and he dare not disappoint its soulless eye. If there had only been human witnesses, a wise cowardice would certainly have won out. The reasons for these transformations are always multiple and undecidable. Representation is no longer the condition of a good exfoliation of the story but a sort of travesty that can say nothing about the nature of things, about their heterogeneity or the laws of their mutations.

Paris: Cerf, — Where only the French reference is given, there is no English translation available. Laplanche and J. Even given his rhetorical utility as an opponent, the repeated appearance of Bazin when referentiality has been under such suspicion in critical and theoretical discourse is striking.

If Bazin is still read, we must ask how one is to read Bazin. Despite local disagreements, the following reading is informed by commentaries on him already cited. It is all too easy, having found something with which to disagree in a position, to stop thinking about it. Furthermore, this would have to be an intending subject, in the sense of philosophical phenomenology. But it comes to us as an intervention into our own intellectual history from such continental sources as German philosophy and, most intensively in recent years, French philosophy and textual theory.

The real point is to emphasize the relevance of the mode of thought in which Bazin worked. It is true that in reading Bazin one must always be aware of his emphasis on the pregivenness of the concrete, objective real. However, what should not be ignored are the terms of this interaction. Bazin is quite consistent in his phenomenological solution to the subject-object split.

The movement is valuable only insofar as it brings increased meaning itself an abstraction to what is created. There is no point in rendering something realistically unless it is to make it more meaningful in an abstract sense. In this paradox lies the progress of the movies. In this paradox too lies the genius of Renoir, without doubt the greatest of all French directors.

The same event, the same object, can be represented in various ways. Each representation discards or retains various of the qualities that permit us to recognize the object on the screen. Each introduces, for didactic or aesthetic reasons, abstractions that operate more or less corrosively and thus do not permit the original to subsist in its entirety.

It is a necessary illusion. So there is something inevitably illusory in this apparently complete concreteness. Given the necessary abstraction, the physical-technical limitations of even cinema e. It is a premise that can help maintain the complex interest of his theory even now. David Bordwell, on the other hand, has recently argued that even such sweeping sociohis- 46 philip rosen toric claims must be grounded in an account of fundamental perceptual schemata.

Now, one would expect Bazin as realist theorist to be concerned with the comparison of image and the real, and of course passages can be found where he deals with the cinematic image by reference to perceptual-spatial accuracy. What needs highlighting, however, is how the centrality of this concern is ultimately diminished in the overall framework of his theory.

Is there a contradiction between these two essays? The impression of visual likeness through perspective, then, becomes merely a kind of prop, historically necessary for the development of the mechanically produced image. This historical function can almost be described by saying that perspective provides a sort of credible code—to put it in necessarily oxymoronic terms, a reliable illusion—whose credibility can then be lent to automatically produced images.

Thus, there is a distinction between perspective and the special credibility of the automatically produced image. An indexical sign indicates or attests to the existence of something. But the Bazinian question would still be which aspects of the mix are basic for the phenomenological cinematic subject, and the answer is indexicality, that sign function that gives the photographic image its new level of credibility in relation to subjective obsession.

Immediately pertinent here, Peirce allows for an indexical sign to include some degree of iconicity, that is, some aspect of similarity or analogy to its referent. But there are many forms of iconicity for Peirce. Thus, the particular kind of iconic system employed e. This credibility therefore cannot be completely explicated by the relation of perspective as such to the ideal of centered subjectivity or to purely perceptual schemata. We will have to return to the question of the cultural underpinnings of indexicality.

For now, consider a related aspect that bears directly on photography and cinema. Others, such as the rolling gait of a sailor, require a reading based on a kind of history of the sign, for at least some of the referential presence occurred before the time of the reading. To summarize, Bazin must assume that the special credibility of photographic and cinematic images is based on a prior knowledge on the part of the subject of how any such images are produced.

Furthermore, that production is apprehended as coming from some past moment, which makes temporality a crucial component of the process for the subject obsessively predisposed to invest belief in such a image. This is the need for some fantastic defense against time. For any human subject, the passage of time is the approach of death, the ultimate material limitation on subjectivity.

On the one hand, the desire to defeat death is clearly an impossible one; hence, it can only continue to exist as an obsession, not a rational project. The mummies thus supply Bazin with a carefully chosen symptom. But it thereby generalizes the subjective project described by Bazin all the way back to the foundation of the plastic arts and image culture.

To begin with, this putative origin of Western artistic representation is located in a religious context not necessarily a Christian one, since the model is one of paganism. But also, and more complexly, if indexicality gives the automatically produced image a special appeal this appeal is inseparable from those limitations of such images with respect to perfect reproduction of reality which Bazin so freely acknowledges. This gap serves central functions in Bazinian realism.

Nevertheless, once it is admitted that the referential force of such concreteness exists only for a subject, the indexical relation to the preexistent takes on a broader function. It is hardly enough to say of this work.

Faith can move mountains—into the movie theater. This explains the extraordinary subjective investment in indexicality that is presupposed in his theory and critical work. However, the introduction of the notion of time here can also refer us back to the ontological essays, for it presents a metaphysical partis pris, related to that of the ambiguity of reality. The lure of automatically produced images is attributable to subjective obsession precisely because time is a threat to the stable existence of the subject as well as the object.

Hence, the paradox: automatically produced images are founded from a desire that the concrete be preserved, stopped in time, and this desire leads to the special appeal of cinema, when the subject is led to open itself to a revelatory experience of reality; but reality itself evolves in time and is even perceived in time. This may be why respect for reality is such a cinematic value for Bazin. In the genuine realist attitude the impulse to control time is both exploited and checked.

That is, the desire to master reality is achieved yet somehow sublimated so that the self-protective mechanisms motivating the projection toward the real are diverted from their defensive stance. Realism becomes an act of heroism. But this also throws into doubt the idea of realism as correspondence of subject and object on the grounds of temporality.

The essential attestation of the photograph is that the camera at one time had to be in the presence of then existing objects now represented—preserved for the subject—in the image. It could only be more so in the various illogical processes subjectivity brings to bear in representation. All realisms are aesthetics because the myth of total cinema is impossible of objective realization.

This frustration acts to draw a greater quotient of belief from the spectator, for the interruption serves as evidence that the danger was real. Undoubtedly the written account by Herzog is more detailed and more complete. Since this rarely receives any overt treatment by Bazin, it will illuminate his position in unanticipated ways, enabling us to shift from comprehending the general coherence of his work to a more symptomatic reading of that coherence.

It is clear that the word myth does not in itself carry necessarily negative or positive connotations for Bazin. Stalin is alive, a historical being with the limitations that implies, yet he is represented as omniscient; hence, he embodies the end of contingency within history. This makes Stalin as subject the ultimate telos of human history, because he is given as being in a perfect relation of knowledge to objectivity.

For if subject and object were united as the objective course of history in the person of Stalin then telos has been already objectively attained, and the desires of the subject perfectly realized. Such a victory of subjectivity would leave no place for further processes of subjectivity and hence no basis for realism. The implications of the Stalinist cultural strategy are especially highlighted by its embodiment in cinema.

Stalin embodied in The Fall of Berlin frame enlargement of video 3. Stalin represented as an image of fascism in WR: Mysteries of the Organism, Dusan Makavejev, frame enlargement of video h i s t o ry o f i m ag e , i m ag e o f h i s t o ry 61 founding myth of total cinema, showing that the appeals of cinematic realism could be put to what an existentialist would call bad faith uses.

In Stalinist cinema, an undesirable hypertrophy is manifested in the representation of history, but it is a hypertrophy of a condition that pervades all cinema: the subject defends itself against time, seeking among other things to tame temporality. The extremism of Stalinism is that it purports to be a victorious conquest of the problem. This is the special danger of a medium that, as we have seen above, claims an ontological purpose that is to be realized in paradoxical struggle with its ontology.

If time must be captured because it is a threat, then the ultimate victory for subjectivity might seem to be to do away with time, to make it irrelevant. But for the phenomenologist Bazin this must be a perversion, a perversion that can occur in relation to historical representation as well as properly cinematic instances. Stalinist cinema, as one kind of limit case of the struggle of the subject, shows that human subjectivity cannot be posited as outside of time and outside of history.

Now, this means that there are not two but three coexisting levels at 62 philip rosen which the history of subjective investment in images manifests itself. But if Bazin is driven by his project and his logic to posit a universal the question arises whether his history of subjectivity has truly evaded the dilemma of Stalinist cinema with its abstractive hypertrophy of the atemporal.

Has not the desire to control time taken over his own formulations, perhaps from the other side of subjectivity, which projects toward the concrete? Even if there are individual and cultural variations in the ways in which this projective desire of subjectivity is met, the desire is itself an ahistorical constant. Whether in ancient Egypt, Rennaissance Florence, or post—World War II Italy, the force of that desire remains consistent, not just the premise of an obsession but an obsessional premise explaining the pull of the image as realistic representation.

Histories, cultures, and technologies may develop in various ways, and individual artists may propose distinctive, revelatory utilizations of representational possibilities, but that subjective obsession is always the ground.

What kind of historian, then, is Bazin? However, the terms of that pertinence are ultimately secondary. But how could Bazin explain the technological development that would have such a result? But then how does one explain why the shift to a categorically new realism occurs when it does—in Hollywood, Renoir, the Italians? The insistence on a historicized outlook in his notions of a succession of media and of styles within media inevitably raises the question of the determinations of transformations within those successions; yet there is ultimately little theoretical space that would allow for explanations of even his own skeletal outlines of change.

It appears that every new realization of the fundamental preservative obsession described by the mummy complex can only be explained on the basis of a circular reference to that obsession. This would separate the history of technology from subjectivity, and hence his ontology as well as the coherence of his critical work with the ontology would collapse.

At the crucial point, Bazin must suppress the temporal. Distinctions among periods and cultures there may be but not radical, qualitative differences of the premises of human subjective activity. But applied to Bazin himself as historiographic subject it reveals a fundamental inconsistency.

We have seen how his very account of the irrationality at the heart of the cinematic experience takes on a static quality, the character of an unchanging law. That is, like much twentieth-century thought, by analyzing the illogicality or irrationality of a phenomenon it establishes its own logical and epistemological security, its superiority.

Historiographically, there is something enabling about this. From one point of view, much of this is only to say that Bazin is an idealist. If the latter is the case, we can propose an interrogation of the media of automatically produced images that starts by asking when and how time becomes central and fatal, in many senses, for conceptions and experiences of human subjectivity.

Now this has been a crucial problem over the last two centuries in the West generally. The exposition of such an understanding would carry us well beyond the limits of this reading of Bazin; however, a sketch of some of its elements can for now serve as a provisional conclusion.

For him, nineteenth-century innovations throughout the West in indexical imagemaking must in the end refer us back to an obsession that is evidenced in the arts at least since the mummies and serves his theory as an apparently eternal human disposition. Bann argues that an ideal of representation as the transparent re-creation of a referent that had previously existed was a long-term aspect of post-eighteenth-century cultural formations in Britain and France.

This goal was so widespread that its diachronic development is readable in various representational practices; as early as the s, for example, it was already possible to treat it ironically or parodically. Bann compares rhetorical forms of determinant nineteenth-century developments in media and institutions such as literature, painting, architecture, the museum, and even taxidermy think of Bazin in relation to the last.

Of special interest here is the inevitable importance in his discussion of a number of image technologies, among them lithographs, dioramas, various photographic inventions, and, by the end of the century, cinema. Bann is thus in a position to make an important claim: The evidence goes to show, therefore, that photographic reproduction aroused no absolutely new types of response.

On the epistemological level, photographs appeared to present no distinctive and unprecedented vision of the external world. Or rather, whatever was novel about them could be contained within the existing framework of responses to [purportedly] non-mediated forms of representation, which were already becoming established by the later 18th and early 19th centuries.

This view is not unique to Foucault. This was not only the century in which photography and cinema appeared but also the century of Hegel, Marx, and Ranke. Both are implicated in a fascination with representing the past and hence in the 68 p h i l i p r o s e n status of temporality. Here are a series of proposals that cannot be developed here but point toward a conclusion. On one side, it would be possible to construct an account of a powerful drive to rationalize time from the beginnings of the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century through the Taylorism of the early twentieth century and later.

Its impact can be read in a wide range of manifestations, from the new market for inexpensive watches to the geographical standardization of time within individual nations and establishment of worldwide time zones. That time is a resource to be controlled, managed, and made useful is probably one of the great cultural themes developed by the nineteenthcentury West. The contemporaneous reconsiderations of time in science, philosophy, the human sciences, and the arts undoubtedly bear relation to the farreaching processes of industrialization, new technologies, and so on.

But additionally this was the period of a number of disciplines that were founded on, or refurbished by, the insistence on temporality: not just evolutionary biology, but archaeology, geology, and others, including, of course, history.

Hence, in the nineteenth century temporality can be pictured as a crucial battle terrain, implicated both in ideals of rationalized human progress and in the corrosive decentering critiques of humanistic ideals associated h i s t o ry o f i m ag e , i m ag e o f h i s t o ry 69 with modernism in philosophy, the arts, and social theory. Phenomenology is in fact often read as a response to the epistemological crises of Western theory well established by the beginning of the twentieth century.

These 70 philip rosen divergent thinkers all depict the period that led to phenomenology and cinema as one in which the force of time is embraced but often in order to be displaced. To read Bazin is to constantly encounter privileged nineteenth-century discoveries and disciplines, from the evolutionary and dialectical approaches in his historical formulations to the archaeological and geological comparisons that mark both his literary and cognitive style. As a response to their cultural and ideological power, then, we can begin by treating Bazinian conceptions as following from widespread nineteenth-century forces and representational conceptions that bear on cinema.

Is cinema a medium of the nineteenth century? Is Bazin a thinker of the nineteenth century? And constructing this latter image is our problem today. The translation of major work by Bazin in the two volumes entitled What Is Cinema? While I question certain implications he draws, I think Altman is correct in reading Comolli in light of Bazin. Dreyfus and Patricia A. Simon New York: Delta, , Peter Wollen, Signs and Meaning in the Cinema.

On the pages immediately following, however, Wollen goes on to make points not opposed to those made here. Bailey, L. Matejka, and P. On pronouns and indexicality, see — First, the question of synthesized movement, of which Heath and Bordwell are well aware, is not dealt with here.

Second, the decentering of spatial likeness in an account of cinematic realism might seem inappropriate in a discussion of Bazin given, for example, the way in which he treats something like The Cabinet of Dr. For example, it is appropriate for a viewer of Caligari to appreciate the work of the expressionist artists who served as set designers.

Television certainly provides opportunities to extend Bazinian concerns, in that it is indexical and in its dominant forms partakes of graphic procedures such as Quattrocento perspective. Ann Kaplan Frederick, Md. The Text! Bazin does intermittently show interest in psychoanalytic understandings of culture and spectatorship, but also this kinship is a product of a set of theoretical and discursive concerns e. In the present context, it is also striking that Bazin places cinema closer to a verbal art than a pictorial art on the basis of temporality.

The point is that photographic realism of space always has roots in a temporal relation inherent for the subject in such images. In fact, immediately after this sentence Bazin notes that spatial correspondence between image and world is not the point. This is perhaps the only commentary that directly emphasizes the importance of ellipsis for Bazin.

Included in Nichols, Movies and Methods, vol. See notes 1 and 4 of this essay. Thus, E. On the crisis of historicism, see Georg G. Foucault, The Order of Things, ; Cf. Theodor W. Benjamin is an indispensable counterpoint for reading Bazin, and certain of his brilliant essays on the nineteenth-century West bear directly on the approach I am developing here.

But to reduce it to its lowest common denominator, its most basic and seemingly transparent sense, it would seem obvious that the object of cinema studies, for instance, is the cinema. What happens to a discipline on the verge of the disappearance of its object, or, to put it more conservatively, in the face of the perception of the death of its object? What happens when the object begins to lose its contours and its identity threatens to dissolve in a sea of convergence?

The cinema, in this basic, originary, innocent, and empirical formulation, never was the object of cinema studies. I am not referring to the fact that the cinema has always been subject to accelerating technological mutation so that the cinema of Hugo Munsterberg is not the same as the cinema of Christian Metz although this is true.

The cinematic apparatus was precisely the conjuncture of spectator, theater, screen, projection, and image subtended by a theory of desire. This is not an argument for what has been labeled constructivism. The anthology that goes by that name is constituted as an amalgam of cognitive studies approaches, strong critiques of various aspects of what the editors label Grand Theory, and local economic or institutional histories.

Both tendencies embrace a certain Taylorization of knowledge production in their appeal to the soluble problem, the answerable question, the usable thesis. All of this is at the expense of speculation; of abstract thought, which risks inconclusiveness: or, in economic terms, the possibility of no return. Yet I think there is a more interesting and provocative appropriation of the resistance to systematicity that, while attempting to grapple with its distillation in the concept of contingency, does not abandon the theoretical imperative.

Indexicality would appear to ensure the availability of the particular, the singular, the unpredictable—in short, the antisystematic—within the cinematic domain. Cinephilia is usually considered a somewhat marginalized, furtive, even illicit relation to the cinema rather than a theoretical attitude.

What is cinephilia? Cinephilia, at its most basic, is love of the cinema, but it is a love that is attached to the detail, the moment, the trace, the gesture. One way of accounting for the cinephiliac description would be to say that it has to be an aspect of cinema that is not strictly programmable in terms of aesthetic strategies.

What is being looked for is a moment or, given that a moment is too unitary, a dimension of a moment which triggers for the viewer either the realisation or the illusion of a realisation that what is being seen is in excess of what is being shown. What cinephilia names is the moment when the contingent t h e o b j e c t o f t h e o ry 83 takes on meaning—a necessarily private, idiosyncratic meaning nevertheless characterized by the compulsion to share what is unshareable, inarticulable Willemen refers to the desire to write about the experience as crucial to cinephilia.

The cinephile maintains a certain belief, an investment in the graspability of the asystematic, the contingent, for which the cinema is the privileged vehicle. History here is not a discourse foreign to theory, not evocative of the gradual but certain accumulation of knowledge. But the access to contingency, to the imprint of temporality, is made possible by a cinema heavily imbued with historicity.

It is no accident that cinephilia and the consequent return to ontology should emerge as the bearer of such high theoretical stakes now. A certain nostalgia for cinema precedes its death. It is as though the object of theory were to delineate more precisely the contours of an object at the moment of its historical demise. At the very least, Theory of Film may help us understand the experience that cinema once was and could have been, whatever may become of it.

Is this theorizing of contingency limited to the status of a death knell t h e o b j e c t o f t h e o ry 85 for the cinema? Does the theory adequate to its object only emerge at the moment of its loss? There is a confusion here of the two senses of object— perhaps a deliberate confusion. If the object is characterized by mortality— it can die—it is then the object external to theory, more properly perhaps, the historical object. It is the leakage of the system, potentially mobilizable as its ruin.

Because the theorized object is located by Willemen and Hansen as profoundly historical, I think it would be wise to look again at the historical status of contingency—and indexicality as well—in modernity. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the moment of the emergence of cinema, the smooth narrative of a successful and progressive rationalization allied with modernization was also destabilized by an insistent fascination with contingency, indexicality, and chance, which manifested itself at many different levels—in aesthetics, debates about photography, physics, biology, and the growth of social statistics and statistical epistemologies in general.

In evolutionary theory, chance becomes determinant, the basis of law. The evolutionary process is motored by chance rather than design. It allowed the analyst to deal with a plethora of apparently isolated and anomalous events, subordinating their contingency to a lawlike regularity. Statistics hence involves the conjunction of rigorous regulation and the simultaneous acknowledgment of inevitable excess and diversity, of that which is beyond the grasp of epistemology.

It is one form, in modernity, of the project of making the contingent legible. Cinema, in its dominant modes in the twentieth century, could be said to be another. In the face of the abstraction of time, its transformation into the discrete, the measurable, the locus of value e.

What is critical is the production of contingency and ephemerality as graspable, representable but nevertheless antisystematic. The isolation of contingency as embodying the pure form of an aspiration, a utopian desire, ignores the extent to which the structuring of contingency, as precisely asystematic, became the paradoxical basis of social stability in modernity.

A cinephilia that hinges on the envisaged death of cinema stipulates the death as that of the photographic base. This is because we tend to see photography as the exemplary instance of indexicality and hence the privileged bearer of contingency. It designates something without describing it; its function is limited to the assurance of an existence.

From t h e o b j e c t o f t h e o ry 87 this perspective, the desire fueling cinephilia will not die with the cinema as we know it. Cinephilia is only a slightly illicit subset of a larger and ongoing structuring of the access to contingency. It might seem that I am simply constructing a metasystem with no outside, characterized by the sheer impossibility of envisaging an exit. But this is not my intention.

The indexically inscribed contingency is not the embodiment of history as mark of the real or referent but history as the mark of what could have been otherwise. Hence, the lack of importance accorded to the precise cinematic moment chosen by the cinephile. In the manner of all utopian discourses, it is an homage to possibility.

However, as the negation of necessity cinematic contingency participates in the resistance to systematicity discussed earlier and hence becomes susceptible, ironically, to a form of systematicity. In resisting, it partakes of systematicity, locked within the terms of its antagonist. As the negation of impossibility, contingency is a witness against technology as inexorability, a witness that it could have been otherwise.

Willemen, Looks and Frictions, Although Epstein fastens on the technique of the close-up, he is more interested in it as a conveyor of the signs of the body, especially the face, than in its inherent characteristics as a technique.

He is not interested in close-ups of objects or of aspects of landscape. Willemen, Looks and Frictions, , — Hansen, Introduction, xxxi. Willemen, Looks and Frictions, — Hansen, Introduction, xxxv. Luhmann, Observations on Modernity, Lasting less than a minute, it shows a mother and father from the waist up plying their seated toddler with bits of food.

Compared with other vignettes, the scene has a centered, unhurried development. At one point, the beaming child thrusts a piece of biscuit directly toward the camera, a gesture that indicates not only the unseen locus of observation but the inchoate fact of complicity between social actors and recording process. However, while home movies are made strictly for domestic consumption, the self-conscious creation of avant-garde and documentary portraits relies on at least rudimentary networks of distribution, exhibition, publicity, and often external funding.

Similarly, although I do not assess relations between portraiture and adjacent practices in either American documentary or experimental cinemas, the broader implications of portraiture for the methods and aspirations of these movements should be evident. Some basic formal elements and motifs, pertaining equally to documentary and avant-garde idioms, can be ventured at the outset.

Not unexpectedly, longer takes and relatively straightforward handling of the camera are preferred over the use of montage—an essentially metaphoric device—or expressive or denaturing recording options. Indeed, editing patterns tend toward simple linear or additive structures in which temporal arrangements of shots or scenes abjure dramatic development or rhythmic articulation.

Indeed, the roots of neorealism uncover a range of cinematic precedents for the depiction of nondramatic subjects in quotidian settings, which, at least indirectly, are pertinent to portraiture. The focus in two early tv series, Close-Up! This retreat was aided in no small measure by the corporate liberal wing of American social science.

On the surface, at least, the cultural baggage attached to avant-garde portraits is less ideologically fraught. In contradistinction to the history of American documentary, there is scarcely any discernible impulse toward portraiture prior to the s. Perhaps the best way to gauge the sweeping changes in documentary style facilitated by the introduction of mobile sync-sound rigs is to compare two early portraits produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

In scenic design and formal articulation, Lonely Boy can serve as template for numerous celebrity portraits that followed in its wake. A series of made for television character studies, produced in —62 under the auspices of Drew Associates, jumpstarted the careers of several key directors as they established important precedents for the direction of documentary portraiture. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey on the campaign trail in Wisconsin.

Casual postures of vulnerability or introspection aside, these are people for whom the camera is always on or who reserve expression of their least attractive qualities for truly unattended moments. The Beatles in the U. However, such instances are often recuperated as markers of spontaneity and noncontrol. In Meet Marlon Brando and Showman, the burden of eliciting potentially embarrassing information is displaced onto diegetic interrogators, mainly print journalists.

Fittingly, the play being rehearsed is a romantic comedy about sexual ambivalence and the travails of marriage. Fonda, whose Hollywood career would soon eclipse her modest theatrical ambitions, labors diligently to ignore the camera as she deftly enacts her primary cinematic role as troubled yet deeply committed actress. Normally, insertions of outside material or crosscutting serve to conceal temporal ellipses in the shooting process; here gaps in continuity are emphasized by jumpcuts of Mingus speaking or wandering around his impossibly disorganized loft.

Like his music, his moods leap mercurially from anger to nostalgia to patient explanation especially evident in scenes with his young daughter. The truth a plain picture. Pennebaker, frame enlargement of video pau l a rt h u r relationship between public celebrity and portraiture. In their social marginality or outright rejection of conventional middle-class values, the anticelebrity operates beyond the scope of normal media attention but receives admiring treatment as the eccentric bearer of an oppositional mystique.

A second group embraced the portrait for more overtly political purposes, positioning itself as cinematic armature of antiwar protest, black liberation, and feminist struggles. Portraiture in this context rechannels public fascination with charismatic leaders as a vehicle for verbal briefs against systemic inequality, allowing the portrait form to double as recruiting tool for rebellious causes. At their best, Gray and Alk stage a pitched battle between competing versions of the truth about the life of an extraordinary individual.

Hampton emerges as a heroic martyr keenly aware that every moment in the spotlight only increases the chances of his extermination. Although the majority are silent, some feature sync-sound monologue, dialogue, or overlapping speech.

In terms of temporal scale, they range from three-minute single rolls to feature-length closet epics. In truth Warhol took cinema back to the dawn of still photography. They were shown to denizens of the Factory on a regular basis, singly or in arbitrary clusters, but unlike other serial projects Warhol never assembled them into longer skeins.

When they are currently shown in public, they are grouped in very rough chronological order. Following Nadar, Andre Disderi began in to market small mounted photos for use as calling cards. While camera technology had reduced exposure time from a grueling twenty minutes to several minutes, the sitter was still required to remain frozen in place during the recording process.

The camera is a presence in whose regard and against whose silence the sitter must construct himself. As it makes performance inevitable, it constitutes being as performance. Some, like poet Gerard Malanga or dancer Lucinda Childs, attempt to turn their faces into still masks in which even a blink or the perceived tightening of facial muscles has the weight of a dramatic trans2. Still courtesy of Anthology Film Archives.

Others appear to have orchestrated little comic fugues consisting of nods, lip movements, eye exercises. In still other portraits, the camera itself gets into the act, creating pixillated motion or performing short zooms. The time it takes to consume what is apparently a single mushroom is distended by Warhol through insertion of freeze frames and repeated images. Thus, the apprehension of a progressive movement toward closure is made doubly complex, with the subject acquiring an almost hallucinatory time-warped veneer.

Henry Geldzahler , a feature-length visual treatise on the art of cigar smoking, frames its subject reclining on the infamous Factory couch in a succession of high-angle long takes bathed in starkly dramatic lighting.

As in other silent studies, consciousness of the weight and physiotemporal restriction of bodies produces an eerie jab of self-recognition. As Brakhage cut loose the trappings of oneiric narrative—focusing instead on detailed observations of himself, his family and friends, and isolated Colorado surroundings—portraiture emerged as a primary axis of poetic practice, conjoining the celebration of intimate textures of everyday life with a constructivist, intersubjective view of identity.

Filmmaking, like the strain of poetry associated with his friends, is confected as a domestic enterprise. The desire for community and subcultural validation, paramount tenets of s ideology, are embedded in a remarkable range of styles and geographic sodalities. Markopoulos shot two portrait collections, Galaxie and Political Portraits In the former, thirty luminaries, including Susan Sontag, Eric Hawkins, Allen Ginsberg, and Giancarlo Menotti, are celebrated in camera improvisations linking facial close-ups with particular props or enactments related to their spheres of creative endeavor.

A recurrent thread in the critical discourse on documentary contends that a naturalized formal unity grounded in a rhetoric of transparency, the subordination of dramatic or enunciative functions, serves to preempt modernist pressures to explore material contradictions. Nonetheless, for both camps the context for such inquiries remains rooted in realist principles of social observation, immediacy, visual pleasure, and accessibility.

By the same token, deployment of long takes or sequence shots in otherwise disparate portrait styles, intended as guarantees of presentness, paradoxically foreground the problem of indeterminacy. All portraits struggle to establish some inner logic for beginning and ending that is without recourse to devices of narrative anticipation or resolution, a struggle in which closure itself is instated as both formal conundrum and biological destiny. For the viewer, a subject is always simultaneously present and estranged and in a manner distinct from that of painting or still photography.

Caught in the hesitation between single still frame and the mechanically imposed illusion of continuity, the project of portraiture is sustained by a false promise of nonrepetition as it is endlessly compromised by the fact of material discontinuity. Gerald Mast and Bruce F. James Princeton: Princeton University Press, , 17— Adams Sitney New York: Praeger, , 80— Cited in Thomas R. Cited in James, Allegories of Cinema, Adams Sitney New York: Praeger, , Patrick S. Dutton, ], James, Allegories of Cinema, Until the late s, Brakhage continued to make sporadic portraits and self-portraits, including Clancy , Jane , and a commissioned full-length study of a Colorado politician, Governor Cited in P.

If visually well set forth, it can also have strong expressive meaning. Beijing has the best of everything in China bar the weather: the best food, the best hotels, the best transport, the best temples. But its vast squares and boulevards, its cavernous monoliths and its huge numbers of tourists are likely to leave you cold. It is a weird city—traces of its former character may be found down the back alleys where things are a bit more to human scale.

It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and yet compressed sites or islands of its imperial past are now barely visible under the veil of brownish smog and against the ragged backdrop of masses of prefabricated, international-style apartment buildings or more recent all-glass high-rises. The one particular sequence of images and soundtrack I have in mind is the opening collage in Wanzhu Troubleshooters, dir. Mi Jiashan, Then, quickly, the camera is directed back at the hustling and bustling streets where it presents a series of incomplete, unrelated snapshots of crawling vehicles, expressionless old women, hordes of bicyclists, country girls gathering at a labor market, a frowning youth with a punk haircut— all horizontal images of an expanding metropolis from the perspective of an apparently disoriented subject.

Even the revolutionary past, when it is projected in New China cinema, is systematically romanticized and made to adhere to the current representational hierarchies. What enabled their breakthrough was clearly a modernist aesthetics and avantgardist challenge against didactic mass cinema. Tian Zhuangzhuang, , and Hong gaoliang Red Sorghum, dir.

For instance, in Troubleshooters, we see how three young men struggle without much success to run their own service company, whose daily operation and customers bring to the surface the frustrations and crises deeply embedded in contemporary society. Instead, the urban landscape recedes, as it were, into the distance and turns simultaneously into an untranscendable historical condition and an experiential immediacy that together smother any coherent perception.

The city by now irretrievably recedes into the distance and becomes a grandiose myth no longer relevant to the daily lives of its inhabitants. Given their professional training and familiarity with socialist realism, Fourth Generation directors have a strong sense of social responsibility and usually feel more at home dealing with the rural landscape or the contrast between the city and the countryside.

It is mostly a thematic continuity, an increasingly critical examination of an emergent urban culture. After or so, other cinematographers were no longer able to tell, or see, what towns were, and [they] created a blurred image of cities. What I wish to accomplish through a close reading of Black Snow and Good Morning, Beijing, is to show that the return of the city in latetwentieth-century Chinese cinema once again highlights questions of realism and social engagement. Soon we see stairways leading to the ground i n s e a rc h o f t h e r e a l c i ty and a street scene.

Yet the looming, open space is hardly inspiring because the narrow strip of a wintry sky is an impenetrable gray, and a few ghostly bystanders all appear to be uniformly blue or of a nondescript monochrome. It is a virtual shantytown, void of any human presence at the moment. But the man quickly pushes open the fence and walks up to a shanty that shows no signs of life. He picks up the frame, gazes into it, and blows hard at the dust gathered on it. Is it Quanzi?

He has just returned home after spending about a year in prison, during which time his mother has died. After a slow start, his business grows steadily; meanwhile, he gets to know Zhao Yaqiu, an aspiring singer performing part time in a bar. While Cui Yongli supplies quantities of popular fashion goods mostly lingerie , Li Huiquan occasionally escorts Zhao Yaqiu home after her work.

With her charming innocence, she seems to restore in him a sense of being respected and even needed. Subsequently, she becomes the object of his libidinal desire. Yet he cannot bring himself to express his tender feelings toward the trusting young girl; instead, he resorts to masturbation at night.

A full circle of hermeneutical meaning is thus achieved in terms of both narrative and cinematography. Here is again a prolonged and uninterrupted tracking shot of the young man, his back turned to us and his footsteps echoing hollowly. The image of the public and the public space itself both fall out of focus and become a grotesque blur. Only at the moment of his random death, in a deserted public space, does Li Huiquan voicelessly and yet in vain express his individuality and with desperation expose the underlying current of loneliness.

In other words, for the anxiety of the individual subject to be experienced as such, the connection between him and x i ao b i n g ta n g the city must be revealed as nonexistent, and his anguish shown as that of one incapable of identifying himself with the environment from which he nonetheless cannot escape. Such an aesthetics is usually articulated with a self-conscious, if not ideological, exploration of favorite high-modernist themes of interiority, anxiety, experiential authenticity, and frustrated desire.

It is a postutopian anxiety in that the interiority explored here resides not so much in some meaningful transitional linkage between tradition and modernity as in a nonspace rejected by, and excluded from, both the past and the future. It is the grim reality of a cagelike present that renders anxiety as the experience of inescapability and claustrophobia. It is a metaphor of living through twisted history itself. As he moves into the depths of the shantytown, the camera begins to descend from an encompassing view of the site down to a close tracking shot of the hero.

Very soon, we are brought so close to the person walking in front of us that we can no longer have the initial, although momentary, coherent perception of the environs. This spatial tension, in which depth is embraced out of despair, gives rise to an existential anxiety and at the same time endows that anxiety with social criticism. It also generates two related kinds of visual imagery. In contrast, the interior into which the individual subject now retreats is continually interrupted and revealed to be vulnerable.

Within this second group of images, we can further distinguish two distinct clusters. One consists of those midrange shots of Li Huiquan in his home. The visual x i ao b i n g ta n g proximity of a desiring subject to the object of desire actually underlines the unbridgeable gap between them and forms a disturbing imagery of an emotional and communicational blockage. The unapproachable city, from which Li Huiquan wishes desperately to disengage himself, becomes the gigantic symbol of a social failure.

Private interior space is masterfully shown to be both a necessary shelter and an inescapable entrapment, while realistic images of stark poverty and disrepair quietly depict a demoralized collective imagination. The soundtrack would be mostly live recording, and the color a shade of pleasantly harmonious gray.

Still it does strike the keynote for this public-oriented representation of life in Beijing. She eventually marries Keke and with him starts a private business. Indeed, the economy of passion in Good Morning, Beijing makes it a narrative that explicitly participates in an ongoing and large-scale cultural revolution through which habits, mentalities, and social structures will all be 1. Beijing nizao Good Morning, Beijing , Still courtesy of Zhongguo dianying ziliao guan, Beijing.

It is also a narrative about social discontent and its mitigation through the introduction of desire. He lives with his parents in an overcrowded Beijing courtyard where his mother has to continually cut short his only expression of individuality playing the traditional Chinese violin and later the guitar out of consideration for the neighbors. Yet the residual and the emergent conditions of existence, if we wish to so understand the symbolism here, are engaged in a rhetoric of compromise and tolerance.

The ideological emphasis placed on compromise renders untenable a facile dichotomy of tradition versus modernity that seems to suggest itself here as an interpretive framework. As director Zhang Nuanxin puts it, even though he cannot, primarily emotionally, identify with the dominant zeitgeist of the market, Zou Yongqiang maintains his decency and worthiness and continues to work and contribute to society.

After a brief and polite exchange of greetings, Zou Yongqiang turns around and starts the bus. When at home, Ai Hong, as we see later, also has the task of taking care of her invalid grandpa. In isolation, such images of impoverishment and severely constrained conditions of existence would not necessarily mean social criticism or cultural commentary.

A Third World condition—here the term is used strictly to refer to generalized inadequate living conditions and a preindustrial, underdeveloped socioeconomic infrastructure—can hardly be grasped as such unless defamiliarized by images of, or references to, a different, more advanced stage of modernization. In Good Morning, Beijing, as we will see momentarily, the Third Worldness of the city is candidly acknowledged, together with its explicitly anticipated changeover.

From here we see images of Beijing as a political center Tiananmen Square , a rapidly modernizing metropolis all-glass high-rises , and an overpopulated Third World city business districts and shopping streets. Working on the bus is a demanding job, but she gets to meet and observe people. Her eyes are suddenly opened, as it were, and she is able to experience and perceive the city as an enormous spatiotemporal structure that energetically produces a wide range of social realities and personal identities.

Soon she and Keke go to a nightclub, where he performs with passionate emotion and dedicates a song to her. At the end of that evening, he takes her home in a taxi. This series of concrete and very often discontinuous spatialities demands that Ai Hong constantly map and remap the city in order to achieve a coherent perception of both herself and her environment.

Indeed, instead of being incapacitated by this new spatial multiplication, Ai Hong insists on keeping the city a legible human space by heroically redesigning herself and rewriting her own story. Her narrative therefore presupposes the possibility of becoming, and it is this conviction that supports a profound optimism about social change and self-transformation, personal as well as collective. It reintroduces historical time as the untranscendable horizon of experience, and it localizes—albeit in its absence—the city as a reality with reachable limits.

Not surprisingly, the cinematic images we witness here are eventually controlled and organized by the subject rather than the other way around. In Black Snow, Li Huiquan as a member of the audience is painstakingly separated from the solo singer, both visually and emotionally. If we characterize the politics of Black Snow as a refusal and contemplation i n s e a rc h o f t h e r e a l c i ty by means of a modernist aesthetics of depth, the rhetoric of compromise in Good Morning, Beijing necessarily valorizes cultural and political participation, which in turn articulates the legitimating ideology of a growing market economy.

In one case, neorealist techniques are used to rationalize the modernization project, while in the other a hypertrophy of modernist subjectivity emits uncompromising social criticism. They were quickly recognized as representative works of the rising city cinema. Notes 1 Don J. Berkeley: Lonely Planet, , Huang Jianxin , Da chuanqi dir. Ye Daying , and Yiban shi haishui, yiban shi huoyan dir. Xia Gang. Sun Zhou and Taiyang yu dir.

Zhang Zeming. On the contrary, it vividly de- i n s e a rc h o f t h e r e a l c i ty 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 picts a variety of characters, touches profound social problems and philosophies, and is obviously a contemporary product. Semsel et al. New York: Praeger, , Sorlin, European Cinemas, Neumann and Otto Kirchheimer, edited by William E.

Then I read Doctor Sleep. This comprehensive guide is an ideal reference work for film specialists and enthusiasts. The language of unifying the subjective and the objective is employed on page List: Film Culture, Theory, …. The demise of the one-act ballet parallels the waning of the short story in literature, and a trend in fiction away from character-driven realism.

Journal description. Written by Octavio Paz, Mexico's second ambassador to India, the book offers a unique account of the largest "country" in the subcontinent through a series of essays commenting on religion, caste, history, poetry and philosophy.

The human psyche was being probed in all areas of the arts in the s and '50s -- in ballet as well as in film, painting, music, writing -- and …. John viii. Possible starting points include:. Neither of the essays yet employs explicitly phenomenological language What would Harry Lime say about today? Enter a word or two above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll ….

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Film isn't my area of expertise so I'm leaving this book unrated! Interesting collection of essays. My favorite was Bazin's, per usual. Brad rated it really liked it Aug 22, Tim rated it really liked it Nov 20, Ekin rated it really liked it Sep 02, Sofie Verdoodt rated it really liked it Aug 11, Rob Same rated it really liked it Apr 17, Chelsea rated it really liked it Jul 20, Tso rated it it was amazing Sep 18, Melanie added it Aug 04, Alexandra marked it as to-read Dec 10, Qian Yang is currently reading it Apr 30, Corbett Beder added it Aug 10, Dann marked it as to-read Jul 21, Ryan Jay marked it as to-read May 02, Jude marked it as to-read Aug 30, Arta marked it as to-read Apr 18, Ellery marked it as to-read Sep 03, Abn marked it as to-read Sep 12, Rene Baker marked it as to-read Oct 29, Jac marked it as to-read Dec 04, Holly marked it as to-read Dec 04, Laura marked it as to-read Feb 03, Rumaysa Haqqani marked it as to-read Feb 13, Patrick McClanahan marked it as to-read Feb 19, Cris marked it as to-read Jun 06, Bryan marked it as to-read Jun 11, Tomas marked it as to-read Oct 19, Steven Chang marked it as to-read Oct 30, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Be the first to start one ». About Ivone Margulies. Ivone Margulies. Books by Ivone Margulies. The relation between images of death and the real is also raised later in the collection by James F. Suppressing the subject-object gap, such films stretch any referential link to breaking point.

Citing Miriam Hansen and Paul Willemen, she links cinephilia and nostalgia for cinema to contingency and indexicality. Moving away from tired old debates pivoting on the authenticity of such portraits, Arthur places performance and time at the centre of his analysis of films which, through their radically different truth claims, move beyond mere period pieces.

Two chapters in this section have an Asian focus. For those readers better versed in the Anglo-Continental debates about documentary epistemology and practice, Nornes produces a fascinating account of the parallel development of documentary theory within Japan — a different sort of third way! Closely analysing the films, Xiaobing Tang examines the distinct traditions they invoke. Lastra produces an essay to match the complex layers of its subject. The foregrounding of this scapegoating process within a work featuring perhaps the most famous goat in film history chimes with the exploitation of the Hurdanos both as embodiment of, and a stain on, the dominant culture.

Margulies notes the general tendency of re-enactment films, where people re-enact events from their lives, to move from a mimetic or evidentiary approach towards an exemplary or redemptive dimension akin to that of a morality tale. Iranian and Chinese cinema provides numerous examples of this tendency, including The Apple Iran, and China It revisits many of the issues and concepts discussed in other essays within this collection, including the nature of spectacle, the body, consciousness and subjectivity, and the link between cinema and possession, film viewing and trance.

Russell identifies the fundamental dilemma for western theorists and practitioners such as Deren, analysing possession rituals which.

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Publication date:. Cite Icon Cite. Rites of Realism : Essays on Corporeal Cinema. Buy This Book. Bodies Too Much By. Bazinian Contingencies Doi:. Death Every Afternoon By. Translated by Mark A. Cohen Translated by Mark A. Serge Daney ; Serge Daney. Philip Rosen Philip Rosen. The Object of Theory By. Cultural Indices Doi:. Paul Arthur Paul Arthur. Xiaobing Tang Xiaobing Tang. Richard Porton Richard Porton.

James F. Lastra James F. Retracings Doi:. Noa Steimatsky Noa Steimatsky. Catherine Russell Catherine Russell. Brigitte Peucker Brigitte Peucker. James Schamus James Schamus. Selected Bibliography Doi:. To browse Academia. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Click here to sign up. Download Free PDF. A short summary of this paper.

Duke University Press, , pp. This collection of essays on the concepts cidates Bazin's obsession with preservation as and practices of realist film displays impres- both contradictory and revelatory. Rosen notes sive breadth and depth. It opens with Ivone the "centrality of subjectivity" in Bazin's ontol- Margulies's "Bodies Too Much," an introduc- ogy and the contradiction in his defense of sup- tion slightly weighted down by theoretical posedly modern art forms through an appeal to apparatus and the burden of summarizing "timeless needs met by fantasy, faith, religion, fourteen profound and provocative essays.

No and myth" He also [], pictured on the book's cover , strikes explores the opposition between a "time-filled" the reader immediately with relative lightness view ofthe universe as a series of disjointed and clarity. One of Bazin's main points is that particulars, and a "time-less" vision of eternal film's ability to capture the shocking and fasci- truths and patterns. Rosen describes Bazin's nating transition from the state of living to the theoretical bias toward the "time-less" as one condition of death renders it unique and truly that grows out of a nineteenth-century desire timeless, compared to other artistic media.

Serge Daney explores Bazin's obsession Mary Ann Doane's"The Object of Theory" with creating a "direct cinema" whose ability to considers the impending disappearance ofthe present a seamless "aesthetic illusion of real- "object" of cinema studies. She refers not sim- ity" creates "no more cinema.

Doane argues for the similarities between all, if Nazarin seems so overwhelmed at the Post-Theory and its alleged opposite, cultural end ofthe film that bears his name it is perhaps studies. She explains how cinephiliac descrip- because he loves pineapples" 39, In analyzing Miriam Hansen, she notes that Subject and Ontology in Bazin" begins with a the resurgence of cinephilia, with its "free-float- flashback clearly tracing the influence of Bazin ing attention to detail and contingency" 86 , is and the thinkers who influenced him.

Rosen's a natural outgrowth ofthe apparent impending incisive analysis ofthe "mummy complex" elu- death of its object.

Editor: Ivone Margulies.

How to write an engineering memo To this end, what is necessary is stepping into the private sphere. Ostensibly a sound studio, the neutral backdrop is also eerily reminiscent of a police lineup. Rites of Realism succeeds in bringing an important issue back to the attention of film scholars. Rob Shields, Lefebvre, Love and Struggle, Not surprisingly, working for large corporations soon proved constricting.
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Cinema corporeal essay realism rite Hinweispflicht zu Cookies. As in a related essay on the big toe, Bataille questions deeply rooted cultural values and hierarchies, especially as these issues are linked to the relationship between animality and humanity. As it makes performance inevitable, it constitutes being as performance. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. The one particular sequence of images and soundtrack I have in mind is the opening collage in Wanzhu Troubleshooters, dir. His love, warmth, and support are, as always, essential.
How to write hello in indonesian Journal description. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data appear on the last printed page of this book. The only chance they get to express themselves verbally occurs in the classroom, where the children speak either in the universal language of geometric idealities or in the language of institutionalized, bourgeois morality. One way of accounting for the cinephiliac description would be to say that it has to be an aspect of cinema that is not strictly programmable in terms of aesthetic strategies. Using Critical Race Theory in combination with phenomenologies of difference and film theory, the authors juxtapose the Hollywood film 12 Years a Slave and cell phone videos that helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement to show how the ….
Cheap amusements kathy peiss essay Gilbert is quoted in J. However, as the negation of necessity cinematic contingency participates in the resistance to systematicity discussed earlier and hence becomes susceptible, ironically, to a form of systematicity. Translated and edited by James Strachey. Long Live Bazin! He abruptly shows up at the homes of the remaining members of his unit twelve elderly men from the thirty survivors of a contingent of troops numbering one thousand. Where only the French reference is given, there is no English translation available.
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In resisting, it partakes of systematicity, locked within the terms of its antagonist. As the negation of impossibility, contingency is a witness against technology as inexorability, a witness that it could have been otherwise. Willemen, Looks and Frictions, Although Epstein fastens on the technique of the close-up, he is more interested in it as a conveyor of the signs of the body, especially the face, than in its inherent characteristics as a technique.

He is not interested in close-ups of objects or of aspects of landscape. Willemen, Looks and Frictions, , — Hansen, Introduction, xxxi. Willemen, Looks and Frictions, — Hansen, Introduction, xxxv. Luhmann, Observations on Modernity, Lasting less than a minute, it shows a mother and father from the waist up plying their seated toddler with bits of food.

Compared with other vignettes, the scene has a centered, unhurried development. At one point, the beaming child thrusts a piece of biscuit directly toward the camera, a gesture that indicates not only the unseen locus of observation but the inchoate fact of complicity between social actors and recording process.

However, while home movies are made strictly for domestic consumption, the self-conscious creation of avant-garde and documentary portraits relies on at least rudimentary networks of distribution, exhibition, publicity, and often external funding.

Similarly, although I do not assess relations between portraiture and adjacent practices in either American documentary or experimental cinemas, the broader implications of portraiture for the methods and aspirations of these movements should be evident. Some basic formal elements and motifs, pertaining equally to documentary and avant-garde idioms, can be ventured at the outset. Not unexpectedly, longer takes and relatively straightforward handling of the camera are preferred over the use of montage—an essentially metaphoric device—or expressive or denaturing recording options.

Indeed, editing patterns tend toward simple linear or additive structures in which temporal arrangements of shots or scenes abjure dramatic development or rhythmic articulation. Indeed, the roots of neorealism uncover a range of cinematic precedents for the depiction of nondramatic subjects in quotidian settings, which, at least indirectly, are pertinent to portraiture.

The focus in two early tv series, Close-Up! This retreat was aided in no small measure by the corporate liberal wing of American social science. On the surface, at least, the cultural baggage attached to avant-garde portraits is less ideologically fraught.

In contradistinction to the history of American documentary, there is scarcely any discernible impulse toward portraiture prior to the s. Perhaps the best way to gauge the sweeping changes in documentary style facilitated by the introduction of mobile sync-sound rigs is to compare two early portraits produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

In scenic design and formal articulation, Lonely Boy can serve as template for numerous celebrity portraits that followed in its wake. A series of made for television character studies, produced in —62 under the auspices of Drew Associates, jumpstarted the careers of several key directors as they established important precedents for the direction of documentary portraiture.

Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey on the campaign trail in Wisconsin. Casual postures of vulnerability or introspection aside, these are people for whom the camera is always on or who reserve expression of their least attractive qualities for truly unattended moments.

The Beatles in the U. However, such instances are often recuperated as markers of spontaneity and noncontrol. In Meet Marlon Brando and Showman, the burden of eliciting potentially embarrassing information is displaced onto diegetic interrogators, mainly print journalists.

Fittingly, the play being rehearsed is a romantic comedy about sexual ambivalence and the travails of marriage. Fonda, whose Hollywood career would soon eclipse her modest theatrical ambitions, labors diligently to ignore the camera as she deftly enacts her primary cinematic role as troubled yet deeply committed actress. Normally, insertions of outside material or crosscutting serve to conceal temporal ellipses in the shooting process; here gaps in continuity are emphasized by jumpcuts of Mingus speaking or wandering around his impossibly disorganized loft.

Like his music, his moods leap mercurially from anger to nostalgia to patient explanation especially evident in scenes with his young daughter. The truth a plain picture. Pennebaker, frame enlargement of video pau l a rt h u r relationship between public celebrity and portraiture.

In their social marginality or outright rejection of conventional middle-class values, the anticelebrity operates beyond the scope of normal media attention but receives admiring treatment as the eccentric bearer of an oppositional mystique. A second group embraced the portrait for more overtly political purposes, positioning itself as cinematic armature of antiwar protest, black liberation, and feminist struggles.

Portraiture in this context rechannels public fascination with charismatic leaders as a vehicle for verbal briefs against systemic inequality, allowing the portrait form to double as recruiting tool for rebellious causes.

At their best, Gray and Alk stage a pitched battle between competing versions of the truth about the life of an extraordinary individual. Hampton emerges as a heroic martyr keenly aware that every moment in the spotlight only increases the chances of his extermination. Although the majority are silent, some feature sync-sound monologue, dialogue, or overlapping speech. In terms of temporal scale, they range from three-minute single rolls to feature-length closet epics.

In truth Warhol took cinema back to the dawn of still photography. They were shown to denizens of the Factory on a regular basis, singly or in arbitrary clusters, but unlike other serial projects Warhol never assembled them into longer skeins. When they are currently shown in public, they are grouped in very rough chronological order. Following Nadar, Andre Disderi began in to market small mounted photos for use as calling cards.

While camera technology had reduced exposure time from a grueling twenty minutes to several minutes, the sitter was still required to remain frozen in place during the recording process. The camera is a presence in whose regard and against whose silence the sitter must construct himself. As it makes performance inevitable, it constitutes being as performance. Some, like poet Gerard Malanga or dancer Lucinda Childs, attempt to turn their faces into still masks in which even a blink or the perceived tightening of facial muscles has the weight of a dramatic trans2.

Still courtesy of Anthology Film Archives. Others appear to have orchestrated little comic fugues consisting of nods, lip movements, eye exercises. In still other portraits, the camera itself gets into the act, creating pixillated motion or performing short zooms.

The time it takes to consume what is apparently a single mushroom is distended by Warhol through insertion of freeze frames and repeated images. Thus, the apprehension of a progressive movement toward closure is made doubly complex, with the subject acquiring an almost hallucinatory time-warped veneer. Henry Geldzahler , a feature-length visual treatise on the art of cigar smoking, frames its subject reclining on the infamous Factory couch in a succession of high-angle long takes bathed in starkly dramatic lighting.

As in other silent studies, consciousness of the weight and physiotemporal restriction of bodies produces an eerie jab of self-recognition. As Brakhage cut loose the trappings of oneiric narrative—focusing instead on detailed observations of himself, his family and friends, and isolated Colorado surroundings—portraiture emerged as a primary axis of poetic practice, conjoining the celebration of intimate textures of everyday life with a constructivist, intersubjective view of identity.

Filmmaking, like the strain of poetry associated with his friends, is confected as a domestic enterprise. The desire for community and subcultural validation, paramount tenets of s ideology, are embedded in a remarkable range of styles and geographic sodalities. Markopoulos shot two portrait collections, Galaxie and Political Portraits In the former, thirty luminaries, including Susan Sontag, Eric Hawkins, Allen Ginsberg, and Giancarlo Menotti, are celebrated in camera improvisations linking facial close-ups with particular props or enactments related to their spheres of creative endeavor.

A recurrent thread in the critical discourse on documentary contends that a naturalized formal unity grounded in a rhetoric of transparency, the subordination of dramatic or enunciative functions, serves to preempt modernist pressures to explore material contradictions. Nonetheless, for both camps the context for such inquiries remains rooted in realist principles of social observation, immediacy, visual pleasure, and accessibility. By the same token, deployment of long takes or sequence shots in otherwise disparate portrait styles, intended as guarantees of presentness, paradoxically foreground the problem of indeterminacy.

All portraits struggle to establish some inner logic for beginning and ending that is without recourse to devices of narrative anticipation or resolution, a struggle in which closure itself is instated as both formal conundrum and biological destiny. For the viewer, a subject is always simultaneously present and estranged and in a manner distinct from that of painting or still photography.

Caught in the hesitation between single still frame and the mechanically imposed illusion of continuity, the project of portraiture is sustained by a false promise of nonrepetition as it is endlessly compromised by the fact of material discontinuity. Gerald Mast and Bruce F. James Princeton: Princeton University Press, , 17— Adams Sitney New York: Praeger, , 80— Cited in Thomas R. Cited in James, Allegories of Cinema, Adams Sitney New York: Praeger, , Patrick S.

Dutton, ], James, Allegories of Cinema, Until the late s, Brakhage continued to make sporadic portraits and self-portraits, including Clancy , Jane , and a commissioned full-length study of a Colorado politician, Governor Cited in P. If visually well set forth, it can also have strong expressive meaning. Beijing has the best of everything in China bar the weather: the best food, the best hotels, the best transport, the best temples.

But its vast squares and boulevards, its cavernous monoliths and its huge numbers of tourists are likely to leave you cold. It is a weird city—traces of its former character may be found down the back alleys where things are a bit more to human scale. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and yet compressed sites or islands of its imperial past are now barely visible under the veil of brownish smog and against the ragged backdrop of masses of prefabricated, international-style apartment buildings or more recent all-glass high-rises.

The one particular sequence of images and soundtrack I have in mind is the opening collage in Wanzhu Troubleshooters, dir. Mi Jiashan, Then, quickly, the camera is directed back at the hustling and bustling streets where it presents a series of incomplete, unrelated snapshots of crawling vehicles, expressionless old women, hordes of bicyclists, country girls gathering at a labor market, a frowning youth with a punk haircut— all horizontal images of an expanding metropolis from the perspective of an apparently disoriented subject.

Even the revolutionary past, when it is projected in New China cinema, is systematically romanticized and made to adhere to the current representational hierarchies. What enabled their breakthrough was clearly a modernist aesthetics and avantgardist challenge against didactic mass cinema.

Tian Zhuangzhuang, , and Hong gaoliang Red Sorghum, dir. For instance, in Troubleshooters, we see how three young men struggle without much success to run their own service company, whose daily operation and customers bring to the surface the frustrations and crises deeply embedded in contemporary society.

Instead, the urban landscape recedes, as it were, into the distance and turns simultaneously into an untranscendable historical condition and an experiential immediacy that together smother any coherent perception. The city by now irretrievably recedes into the distance and becomes a grandiose myth no longer relevant to the daily lives of its inhabitants.

Given their professional training and familiarity with socialist realism, Fourth Generation directors have a strong sense of social responsibility and usually feel more at home dealing with the rural landscape or the contrast between the city and the countryside. It is mostly a thematic continuity, an increasingly critical examination of an emergent urban culture. After or so, other cinematographers were no longer able to tell, or see, what towns were, and [they] created a blurred image of cities.

What I wish to accomplish through a close reading of Black Snow and Good Morning, Beijing, is to show that the return of the city in latetwentieth-century Chinese cinema once again highlights questions of realism and social engagement. Soon we see stairways leading to the ground i n s e a rc h o f t h e r e a l c i ty and a street scene. Yet the looming, open space is hardly inspiring because the narrow strip of a wintry sky is an impenetrable gray, and a few ghostly bystanders all appear to be uniformly blue or of a nondescript monochrome.

It is a virtual shantytown, void of any human presence at the moment. But the man quickly pushes open the fence and walks up to a shanty that shows no signs of life. He picks up the frame, gazes into it, and blows hard at the dust gathered on it. Is it Quanzi? He has just returned home after spending about a year in prison, during which time his mother has died.

After a slow start, his business grows steadily; meanwhile, he gets to know Zhao Yaqiu, an aspiring singer performing part time in a bar. While Cui Yongli supplies quantities of popular fashion goods mostly lingerie , Li Huiquan occasionally escorts Zhao Yaqiu home after her work. With her charming innocence, she seems to restore in him a sense of being respected and even needed.

Subsequently, she becomes the object of his libidinal desire. Yet he cannot bring himself to express his tender feelings toward the trusting young girl; instead, he resorts to masturbation at night. A full circle of hermeneutical meaning is thus achieved in terms of both narrative and cinematography. Here is again a prolonged and uninterrupted tracking shot of the young man, his back turned to us and his footsteps echoing hollowly.

The image of the public and the public space itself both fall out of focus and become a grotesque blur. Only at the moment of his random death, in a deserted public space, does Li Huiquan voicelessly and yet in vain express his individuality and with desperation expose the underlying current of loneliness.

In other words, for the anxiety of the individual subject to be experienced as such, the connection between him and x i ao b i n g ta n g the city must be revealed as nonexistent, and his anguish shown as that of one incapable of identifying himself with the environment from which he nonetheless cannot escape.

Such an aesthetics is usually articulated with a self-conscious, if not ideological, exploration of favorite high-modernist themes of interiority, anxiety, experiential authenticity, and frustrated desire. It is a postutopian anxiety in that the interiority explored here resides not so much in some meaningful transitional linkage between tradition and modernity as in a nonspace rejected by, and excluded from, both the past and the future.

It is the grim reality of a cagelike present that renders anxiety as the experience of inescapability and claustrophobia. It is a metaphor of living through twisted history itself. As he moves into the depths of the shantytown, the camera begins to descend from an encompassing view of the site down to a close tracking shot of the hero.

Very soon, we are brought so close to the person walking in front of us that we can no longer have the initial, although momentary, coherent perception of the environs. This spatial tension, in which depth is embraced out of despair, gives rise to an existential anxiety and at the same time endows that anxiety with social criticism. It also generates two related kinds of visual imagery.

In contrast, the interior into which the individual subject now retreats is continually interrupted and revealed to be vulnerable. Within this second group of images, we can further distinguish two distinct clusters. One consists of those midrange shots of Li Huiquan in his home.

The visual x i ao b i n g ta n g proximity of a desiring subject to the object of desire actually underlines the unbridgeable gap between them and forms a disturbing imagery of an emotional and communicational blockage. The unapproachable city, from which Li Huiquan wishes desperately to disengage himself, becomes the gigantic symbol of a social failure. Private interior space is masterfully shown to be both a necessary shelter and an inescapable entrapment, while realistic images of stark poverty and disrepair quietly depict a demoralized collective imagination.

The soundtrack would be mostly live recording, and the color a shade of pleasantly harmonious gray. Still it does strike the keynote for this public-oriented representation of life in Beijing. She eventually marries Keke and with him starts a private business. Indeed, the economy of passion in Good Morning, Beijing makes it a narrative that explicitly participates in an ongoing and large-scale cultural revolution through which habits, mentalities, and social structures will all be 1.

Beijing nizao Good Morning, Beijing , Still courtesy of Zhongguo dianying ziliao guan, Beijing. It is also a narrative about social discontent and its mitigation through the introduction of desire. He lives with his parents in an overcrowded Beijing courtyard where his mother has to continually cut short his only expression of individuality playing the traditional Chinese violin and later the guitar out of consideration for the neighbors.

Yet the residual and the emergent conditions of existence, if we wish to so understand the symbolism here, are engaged in a rhetoric of compromise and tolerance. The ideological emphasis placed on compromise renders untenable a facile dichotomy of tradition versus modernity that seems to suggest itself here as an interpretive framework.

As director Zhang Nuanxin puts it, even though he cannot, primarily emotionally, identify with the dominant zeitgeist of the market, Zou Yongqiang maintains his decency and worthiness and continues to work and contribute to society. After a brief and polite exchange of greetings, Zou Yongqiang turns around and starts the bus. When at home, Ai Hong, as we see later, also has the task of taking care of her invalid grandpa.

In isolation, such images of impoverishment and severely constrained conditions of existence would not necessarily mean social criticism or cultural commentary. A Third World condition—here the term is used strictly to refer to generalized inadequate living conditions and a preindustrial, underdeveloped socioeconomic infrastructure—can hardly be grasped as such unless defamiliarized by images of, or references to, a different, more advanced stage of modernization.

In Good Morning, Beijing, as we will see momentarily, the Third Worldness of the city is candidly acknowledged, together with its explicitly anticipated changeover. From here we see images of Beijing as a political center Tiananmen Square , a rapidly modernizing metropolis all-glass high-rises , and an overpopulated Third World city business districts and shopping streets. Working on the bus is a demanding job, but she gets to meet and observe people.

Her eyes are suddenly opened, as it were, and she is able to experience and perceive the city as an enormous spatiotemporal structure that energetically produces a wide range of social realities and personal identities.

Soon she and Keke go to a nightclub, where he performs with passionate emotion and dedicates a song to her. At the end of that evening, he takes her home in a taxi. This series of concrete and very often discontinuous spatialities demands that Ai Hong constantly map and remap the city in order to achieve a coherent perception of both herself and her environment.

Indeed, instead of being incapacitated by this new spatial multiplication, Ai Hong insists on keeping the city a legible human space by heroically redesigning herself and rewriting her own story. Her narrative therefore presupposes the possibility of becoming, and it is this conviction that supports a profound optimism about social change and self-transformation, personal as well as collective. It reintroduces historical time as the untranscendable horizon of experience, and it localizes—albeit in its absence—the city as a reality with reachable limits.

Not surprisingly, the cinematic images we witness here are eventually controlled and organized by the subject rather than the other way around. In Black Snow, Li Huiquan as a member of the audience is painstakingly separated from the solo singer, both visually and emotionally.

If we characterize the politics of Black Snow as a refusal and contemplation i n s e a rc h o f t h e r e a l c i ty by means of a modernist aesthetics of depth, the rhetoric of compromise in Good Morning, Beijing necessarily valorizes cultural and political participation, which in turn articulates the legitimating ideology of a growing market economy. In one case, neorealist techniques are used to rationalize the modernization project, while in the other a hypertrophy of modernist subjectivity emits uncompromising social criticism.

They were quickly recognized as representative works of the rising city cinema. Notes 1 Don J. Berkeley: Lonely Planet, , Huang Jianxin , Da chuanqi dir. Ye Daying , and Yiban shi haishui, yiban shi huoyan dir. Xia Gang. Sun Zhou and Taiyang yu dir. Zhang Zeming. On the contrary, it vividly de- i n s e a rc h o f t h e r e a l c i ty 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 picts a variety of characters, touches profound social problems and philosophies, and is obviously a contemporary product.

Semsel et al. New York: Praeger, , Sorlin, European Cinemas, Edward W. Written histories, in both Japanese and English, never fail to include consideration of the most important documentarists: Kamei Fumio, Tsuchimoto Noriaki, Ogawa Shinsuke, and Hara Kazuo. With the deaths of Ogawa and Kamei, as well as the relative inactivity of Hani and Tsuchimoto, the younger Hara Kazuo has taken the lead in pushing the Japanese documentary into new, unmapped territories.

However, it is easy to tease out certain consistencies, particular and peculiar passions. He graduated from high school in Yamaguchi Prefecture and worked for Asahi newspaper as a photographer. Through this contact, he was able to move to the capital in to study at a photography school Tokyo Sogo Shashin Senmon Gakko while working for Asahi at night.

However, he quit school after only half a year. Hara continued to pursue a career in still photography while working at a school for children with disabilities. At the same time, he became increasingly interested in making movies, choosing television as his entry point. Television documentaries of the time were experiencing a radical shift in style. The consequences for such a delimitation was ghettoization of the ill from social acceptance and the creation of a culture of shame that excluded the handicapped from full participation as subjects in the social world.

Hara sensed the enormous role cinematic representations had in this process, and so his portrait of Yokota attacked the sensibilities established by conventional images of disability. He literally drags his naked body down the street. She argues forcefully that such aggressive tactics are only playing to the camera as a monstrosity.

Sayonara CP came out in Here Hara brought his own life before the camera, using his material existence to represent the larger social world and its politics. Considering how the period of this production coincided with massive changes in his personal situation, it was a brazen move.

Using the camera to retain some vestige of his relationship with Takeda, Hara follows her on an extraordinary journey with Kobayashi along recording the sound. Surrounded by a prostitution system set up on the peripheries of the U. She joins a commune for feminists and ends up working as a stripper at a nightclub for American soldiers.

At the time, I wanted to make a movie, and I was wondering how I could make a statement for change. There was much talk of family-imperialism kazoku teikokushugi. One of the strong sentiments of the time was that family-imperialism should be destroyed. I thought that if I could put my own family under the camera, all our emotions, our privacy, I wondered if I might break taboos about the family. In its most intimate moments, with Hara making love with camera in hand, it inspires awkward embarrassment.

Takeda lashes out at Hara, warning the new bride that he is just using her and she is doomed to be thrown away. This world, Japan in , is measured through the network of human intersubjectivities surrounding Hara Kazuo. William Rothman has recently argued that a dialectic between the public and the private is key to understanding the power of direct cinema style.

The grounds for such a discourse, which complicate any easy division between the private and the social, were set in Japanese documentary theory itself. With a new distribution outlet hungry for material, production companies sprouted up to feed the demand.

Because politics is never far from issues of style in documentary, it should not be surprising that this relatively luxurious climate would breed some experimentation and questioning of given forms of realism. With growing generational rifts between new and old in Japan, tensions grew over the most appropriate ways of representing the referential world.

The stakes of cinematic realism felt exceedingly high with the impending U. The epicenter for what would be a shake-up of the Japanese documentary world was the Iwanami Publishing Company. They were called Children of the Classroom Kyoshitsu no kodomotachi, and Children Who Draw Pictures E o kaku kodomotachi, , and were observational documentaries shot in elementary school classrooms.

However, these are ultimately arbitrary linkages. This is not to essentialize some ephemeral Japanese style of realism but to point to an approach to documentary that has a history that is analogous to developments in other parts of the world while being supported by a rhetoric that was very nearly hermetically sealed from theories from abroad. Hani is a case in point. His was primarily an observational style. He brought cameras into the classrooms of young students and closely watched their interactions.

Japanese audiences were accustomed to a documentary realism that involved the treatment of human subjects as actors the cinematic kind. It began with the writings of the Proletarian Film League of Japan in the late s and early s, and when this movement was suppressed by the government, critics from a wide variety of political positions developed the theories until the end of World War II.

Filmmakers would take people in their natural settings and direct them through scenes using rudimentary scenarios; these scenes were embedded in larger, nonnarrative structures of compiled documentary footage. The inertia behind this style of documentary realism propelled it across the apparent breach of , when Japan seemed to undergo an overnight political and social conversion.

They would show rough cuts for feedback and perform experiments. Not surprisingly, working for large corporations soon proved constricting. After leaving Iwanami, they had quickly aligned themselves with the New Left, a political break conjoined to a stylistic rupture. They completely eschewed the reenactments with nonactors, a continuous practice since the s, and explicitly took sides with political movements of one sort or another.

Artists like Matsumoto Toshio and Oshima Nagisa attacked the older styles as nothing more than a continuation of wartime conventions. Matsumoto, for example, made experimental documentaries like Security Treaty ampo Joyaku, , which shocked the documentary world with a surrealist approach to compilation and an agitprop narration. They were shown in public halls instead of regular theaters.

The lines were long, and the energy at screenings was incredibly impressive. Years later, Hara recalls, I was deeply attracted to Ogawa Pro, the collective itself. Actually, I never joined, but did think about it. Those people were, after all, from the sixties, one generation earlier.

Since we were from the seventies. Who are you, this individual that wants to express something? While I kept thinking that creating things within a collective was incredibly attractive, in the end those Ogawa Pro people were already doing it, so as for me, I might as well try and do it from this place called the individual.

By way of contrast, Euro-American theory speaks of the sign and its bracketed referent. In other words, Japanese documentarists take issues of representation extremely seriously and come to their work armed with a body of thought grounded in a politicized sociality.

This renders the binary opposition between the two terms relatively meaningless. Hara feels compelled to uncover this secret relationship of the private and public by using the camera to provoke policing, making the political implications visible and palpable. When you look at the sensitivities and feelings of those kinds of individuals, I end up thinking that within their own self-contradictions the establishment or something systemic seidoteki is thoroughly incorporated.

Therefore, regarding that systemic thing, when we strike out with the camera, the target we face is, after all, that world of individual feelings. To this end, what is necessary is stepping into the private sphere. This change, turning around a vague point in the mids, is deeply connected to cultural shifts Japan shared with other localities in the world, a move from forms of committed, collective, social activism and public passions to more private concerns.

Okuzaki is well known in Japan for his loud protests about wartime atrocities and the need for politicians and the emperor to take responsibility for the war. Hara took on the project, following Okuzaki in his single-minded quest. Hauling Hara all over Japan, Okuzaki is committed to nailing down the facts about the suspicious deaths once and for all. One by one, Okuzaki interrogates them about the events of The problem is that the desertion charges and subsequent executions occurred after the war was over.

He abruptly shows up at the homes of the remaining members of his unit twelve elderly men from the thirty survivors of a contingent of troops numbering one thousand. In each meeting, Okuzaki and the relatives plead and cajole the men into telling their stories.

Finally, in the face of such insistent stonewalling, Okuzaki suddenly jumps from his seat and begins beating one of the old men. Needless to say, this raises a spectrum of issues regarding the ethics of documentary representation. The two soldiers were indeed executed by their own men after the war.

This was a standard practice: the weakest, lowest-ranked, and most problematic members of the unit were singled out for execution and cannibalization. The two men had been eaten. These revelations are profound, and the force of their disclosure feels unfathomable, immeasurably heavy. However, this personal form of media also has a deeply social level. The memories protected by such privacy were networked by a national suppression of discourses engaging wartime violence and responsibility.

The postwar, mnemonic defenses circled around this knowledge. The exposure of this private space relies distinctly on a multivalent performance. He answers threats to call the police by putting in the call himself. Even the violence itself is performative; they kick and wail and thrash about on the ground. But Okuzaki is more interested in provoking that revelation of memory than in injuring his rhetorical opponent. This use of performance points us to the rhetoric of documentary as well.

The constative is a use of language that guarantees authority and authenticity. If the traditional documentary is predicated on a constative enunciation, the newer, essayistic forms of documentary are performative. The dramas that unfold depend upon a slippery sense that the events unfolding are performative acts rather than observed reality mindlessly captured by the camera. The violence is real enough, and it hurts, whether it be Takeda Miyuki berating Hara or Okuzaki Kenzo kicking an army buddy, but it is a violence that requires the documentary cinema.

Without this, documentary would be nothing but surveillance. There is a winking conspiracy between these charismatic social actors, director Hara, and their audiences. Undoubtedly, he was driven in part by a problem that had arisen in his Inoue project: the novelist was dying. And upon that death how does one go about representing the life no longer present? Hara turned to issues of performance, and that brought fundamental questions about documentary form to the fore.

Inoue was clearly another charismatic, magnetic personality for Hara. The novelist had written his own biography. His entire life was a performance! There is nothing particularly innovative about this. He peels away the constative stickiness between oral interview and history. In Virtualities, Morse makes a convincing case for understanding the powerful cultural position of television in the late twentieth century. She is interested in the way we have come to grant human qualities like subjectivity to machines, from computers to television.

Human beings have a deep need for intersubjective engagement, a desire that television engages as a machine featuring a simulation of human subjectivity. If anything, machine subjects are made possible by the fundamental gap that has always existed between language and the world and between utterances—be they subjective or impersonal— and the act of enunciation—whether it is produced by a human subject or has been delegated to machines.

This explains one of the reasons why documentary has persisted for a century, even if relegated to a marginalized position, and why it came to settle into modes so reliant on the interview and direct address. Most critical attention in documentary theory has gone to the innovative and politically progressive work of performative documentary such as Nitrate Kisses and Tongues Untied , for all the reasons charted by Scheibler.

Because of this focus, documentary theory and criticism have not dealt adequately with post-direct-cinema television, even though the vast majority of documentary is now distributed through this medium. While the relationship between documentary realism and television has yet to be mapped, we can see that the emergence of interview-heavy documentary coincides with the rise of television as a cultural form.

The pleasures of documentary may not be reduceable to the virtual engagement with charismatic on-screen subjectivities, but it certainly is a fundamental starting point. He clearly takes delight in approaching a highly glamorous and even dangerous object. Hara brings us to this point by discovering the performance at the heart of documentary, a discovery he makes by aggressively penetrating the private spaces in this most public of media. That is why Hara is the most exciting of all Japanese documentarists.

Needless to say, this is not the conventional wisdom of the documentary, for Hara carries us back in an arc that touches the pre-Iwanami documentary without bringing us full circle. Hara, Fumikoeru Kamera, 47— Clearly, these television documentaries require more comment. It culminated in a 16mm documentary produced collaboratively with his students entitled My Mishima Watakushi no Mishima, Takeda points to a far more complicated situation.

Her excesses seem to have become stereotyped by more conservative women today, who often associate feminism with obnoxiousness even if their lives embody many of the core values of feminism. Hara himself presents a paradoxical example. Sanrizuka is the name of the village now under the cement of Narita International Airport. The protests involved tens of thousands of people, and were violent enough to cause deaths.

The Ogawa Pro collective based itself in the village of Sanrizuka and documented the struggle for nearly a decade. The protests continue today, with farmers refusing to sell strategic lands. Hara, Fumikoero Kamera, 64— This is an exceedingly complicated discourse, with roots in larger debates within Marxism during the occupation period which in turn is based on prewar social theories within the Left.

Leslie Pincus, a special issue of Positions Spring : 39— Hara, Fumikoero Kamera, 8. For countries outside of the United States, contact the Japan Foundation. This is why Hara is more interesting than Tsuchimoto and more like Ogawa. Contemporary theatrical and cinematic realism, which has spawned hybrid styles and genres, presents even thornier quandaries.

Like Charles Dickens, the most blatantly theatrical of nineteenth-century novelists, Leigh uses comic hyperbole to indict the established order. Slavic despair. Since everyday life is an onerous burden in Bleak Moments, the hapless characters cannot even consider the possibility that it might be even temporarily negated. Characters like Peter, Sylvia, and Norman are rendered with both empathy and astringency, but audiences are occasionally unsure whether Leigh is satirizing or celebrating his dramatis personae.

Life Is Sweet, Mike Leigh, Still courtesy of Cineaste. Meantime certainly indicts Thatcher-era unemployment and its ravaged victims, but the focus on the monotony of life on the dole and static and resolutely unmelodramatic lives is achieved through a scrupulous examination of everyday life that avoids the Manicheanism of much political cinema.

Leigh never stoops to underlining the jammed door as an explicit metaphor. Yet, in contemporary England, despite a much more deeply entrenched class system than is common in most Western European countries, punk and skinhead costumes appealed to alienated youth from all classes. In characteristic Leigh fashion, the plight of the protagonists—slightly disillusioned but still idealistic leftists named Cyril and Shirley—was counterbalanced, and on occasion superseded, by the passions of more mercurial minor characters.

The contrast, moveover, between Mrs. Naked, Mike Leigh, For example, a social worker who resembles a much more sympathetic version of Melody in Home Sweet Home subtly conveys an enormous range of emotions; more than just a faceless bureaucrat, she is alternately compassionate, condescending, distracted, nervous, and harried. Hannah and Annie arrange bogus appointments with realtors to view lavish condos that they have no intention of buying.

Like their whimsical consultation of Wuthering Heights, this upmarket jape serves as a pointed antidote to daily boredom. Pinafore and The Mikado appears to be far removed from the grittier concerns of Meantime and Naked.

For a comprehensive analysis of trends in contemporary British left-wing theater, including the work of the 7. Trask Princeton: Princeton University Press, , Brecht, Brecht on Theatre, Coveney, The World according to Mike Leigh, Rob Shields, Lefebvre, Love and Struggle, Politically, these tended to lead to a representation of the working class as largely inert and conformist: it is only individual members of the class who are able to rise above or rebel against this general condition.

Lefebvre, Critique of Everyday Life, Gilbert is quoted in J. New York: Oxford University Press, , While Las Hurdes has been extravagantly praised as a scathing and straightforward condemnation of church and capital, its real critical power is inextricable from its darker side—the gamble it takes by emulating aspects of racial and ethnic hate lit- ja m e s f. The dehumanization and repudiation of its subjects, which gives it its vehemence and its pathos, condition whatever positive critical or ethical power it possesses.

I propose several frames of analysis through which this darker, but more compelling, reading will become intelligible. Neither Right nor Left? Simultaneously a documentary and a dismantling of the genre, Las Hurdes treads a thin and troubled line between revolutionary social critique and nearly fascist revulsion.

Perhaps most troubling, however, is the frequency with which critics who presume to speak on their behalf attribute laziness, promiscuity, savagery, and cruelty to the Hurdanos. Surrealists considered the majority of mankind contemptible or stupid, and thus withdrew from all social participation and responsibility and shunned the work of others.

In short, understanding the other in this cultural economy risked becoming merely a pretext for reimagining the self. A similar, unlikely pairing draws Documents closer to Las Hurdes. Likewise, when the narrator tells us, without substantiation, that she died shortly thereafter, most interpreters take this assertion at face value.

Thus, the simple question of our belief places us on the horns of a moral dilemma; it makes us unable simply to pity or to dismiss them and unsettles familiar attitudes toward ethnographic others. Although the relationship between the two images is clearly not causal or logical, neither is it purely arbitrary.

Still courtesy of James F. Lastra 2. Frame enlargement courtesy of James F. As in a related essay on the big toe, Bataille questions deeply rooted cultural values and hierarchies, especially as these issues are linked to the relationship between animality and humanity.

It becomes splayed, bulbous. It refuses to be ennobled or even to be ignoble. It is, simply, base. As Spaniards, however, they could also be said to exemplify Spanish identity—to express its essence as well as any other group. Faced with the prospect that these wretched beasts were, like the wealthy of Madrid and Barcelona, Spaniards all the same, certain factions could only respond by insisting on their ja m e s f.

Brief sequences treat education, agriculture, architecture, health, nutrition, geography, morality, religion, folklore, and economics, all of which have their proper place in any ethnographic study. The images often contradict the voice-over and vice versa, creating a situation in which no single discourse ever fully masters the entirety of the materials.

Likewise, succeeding sequences routinely refute one another, as when we are told that the Hurdanos, lacking domestic animals, have nothing to eat but potatoes, only to see pigs running through several shots. It troubles both generic distinctions and the moral distinctions that are supposed to underwrite them. He develops the connection further, arguing that the physical detachment of sound from image is accompanied by an emotional detachment as well.

It compels belief by adhering to a restricted number of rhetorical ploys that suggest rather than demonstrate membership in various genres like the travelogue, ethnography, or documentary and thereby undermine the autonomy and authority of each.

Rather than reinforcing a sense of shared humanity, the ceremony suggests that a w h y i s t h i s a b s u r d p i c t u r e h e r e? The investigators continue to observe and analyze the villagers but seem to succeed only in widening the rift between them. Taking their leave of the now drunken villagers, the crew begins the approach to the desolate landscape of Las Hurdes. The only chance they get to express themselves verbally occurs in the classroom, where the children speak either in the universal language of geometric idealities or in the language of institutionalized, bourgeois morality.

The position from which such utterances could be spoken—supposedly the universal position of the rational, ethical individual—excludes the Hurdanos in advance. The very basis of human identity in language, the subject of rational discourse, robs them of their voice. Parody inevitably results in a polylog, a multiplication of voices that resists the closure of reason. Is it a documentary or is it a parody? If nothing else, resisting the closure typical of science is, here, a small victory.

Both strategies seek to avoid synthesis and to problematize the traditional unities of thought and analysis. Parody is probably the more straightforward of the two, because its tensions can be resolved through laughter, yet, as Bataille demonstrated again and again, laughter is one of the gestures that exceeds reason, that cannot be assimilated by philosophy or science.

Why would it seem necessary to go beyond this to depict the Hurdanos as beasts and idiots? This presumption is reenforced still more when the photographic illustrations, which can hardly lie, accompany the claims of the travelers. Within the context elaborated above, however, cohesion and synthesis seem destined to yield only recuperation.

Las Hurdes not only depicts that alienation but fosters it as well. The overall rhetorical structure if it can be called that is modeled on the following. There is no bread. The teacher gives the children bread. Fearful parents throw it away. They run out of food. There are some cherries. They are unripe and cause deadly dysentery. There is no fertile land. They transport dirt and humus and produce land.

The river washes it away. Not much food. They raise bees. Even the honey is bitter. A man is bitten by a snake. The bite is not fatal. He fatally infects himself trying to cure it. Again and again, potential solutions to problems amount to nothing. So successful is the pressure of logic and convention that while everyone comments on the shooting of the goat, no one comments on the even more absurd and cruel shot that follows it—it is simply the shot we expect.

In our own century, the legends decisively shaped even the more sociological and political discussions of the region. The Revista de Extremadura, for example, published a series of articles about Las Hurdes between and , including a heated exchange on the subject of the legends and their relationship to actual conditions.

Luis R. In short, he concludes, what the Hurdanos need is education, money, and social assistance. These particular comments give his rhetoric a disturbing chill. According to Castro, Hurdanos have small heads whose foreheads slope as the result of prominent brow ridges. From the prevalence of incest, which he attributes to the fact that the Hurdanos do not separate the sexes, to their ragged clothing which permits glimpses of their genitals and the prevalence of pederasty, these Hurdanos know no shame.

As Unamuno admits, amid the poverty the sight of a beautiful young girl recalls in him nothing so much as the writings of Rousseau. No, no, no, it is truly the paradox described by my friend Legendre. Either they are beasts unworthy of Spanish or even human identity or they are the very emblems of Spanish dignity and character.

The latter option, chosen by Unamuno and Legendre, seems the less obviously pernicious of the two. As even Legendre says, the basic enigma or scandal of Las Hurdes is the very fact that the area is inhabited at all. Fearing that his book will lead readers to believe that Las Hurdes is a land without hope, he argues that, as Christians, the people can never be absolutely so.

But to what end is this irrationality deployed? Nearly every writer who discusses Las Hurdes 67 tells some version of a single story about the town of Casar—the very town where Unamuno begins his journey in earnest. The expulsion of , in particular, drove many Jews to Portugal and to Las Hurdes, thereby establishing larger and larger settlements in the area. On one Good Friday, however, when by law all Jews were required to stay indoors, a small group was discovered playing a noisy game.

After refusing to go indoors, the Christian congregation stoned them. Rather than retaliate against the congregation, the rabbi suggested that they attack the village cross. They secretly reduced the cross to splinters, directing their violence against the very symbol of Christian redemptive dialectics.

As Hollier suggests, however, such tactics were by no means uncommon in s France. In these terms one can see the true form of dissidence is that which abandons a position without abandoning its hostility towards the contrary position or rather to abandon it in order to exacerbate this hostility. By miming the leftist social critique, he shames us and prevents us from blaming them, but by dehumanizing them he prevents an easy, liberal empathy, too.

The new title bears witness to the submerged thematics of racial scapegoating and violent suppression that I have tried to bring to the surface. To blame them, as decades of writers had done, would have been even worse. Thus, the logic of violent equivocation, which risks identifying with the spirit of fascism in order to overcome it, appeared as a possible answer.

Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie Jr. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , esp. See, more generally, pages 5— Hollier refers to Zeev Sternhell, Ni droite, ni gauche, enlarged ed. Lewis, The Politics of Surrealism, Despite some confusion, it seems probable that the Spanish embassy in France paid for its sonarization in De la Colina and Turrent, Objects of Desire, Cesarman, Legendre, Las Jurdes xxiii. Orchestrating a wide range of critical debates, this collection ranges brilliantly across decades, cultures, and individual films to remind us that realism at the movies has never been a more interesting and demanding topic.

I highly recommend it for any serious student of film. Bk Cover Image Full. Sign In. Search Cart. Search for:. Rites of Realism Essays on Corporeal Cinema. These essays by a range of film scholars propose stimulating new approaches to the critical evaluation of modern realist films and such referential genres as reenactment, historical film, adaptation, portrait film, and documentary.

By providing close readings of classic and contemporary works, Rites of Realism signals the need to return to a focus on films as the main innovators of realist representation. This volume features two new translations: of Bazin's seminal essay "Death Every Afternoon" and Serge Daney's essay reinterpreting Bazin's defense of the long shot as a way to set the stage for a clash or risky confrontation between man and animal.

These pieces evince key concerns—particularly the link between cinematic realism and contingency—that the other essays explore further. Matthew from Palestine to southern Italy. Praise " Rites of Realism is a valuable text for any scholar of realist or documentary film, providing both wide-ranging surveys and challenging, in-depth theoretical analyses of a variety of films from world cinema.

Paperback Cloth. Availability: In stock. Add to cart. Buy the e-book: Apple iBooks Google Play. Open Access. Request a desk or exam copy. Table of Contents Back to Top. Rights Back to Top. Awards Back to Top. Additional Information Back to Top. Publicity material Bk Cover Image Full. Also Viewed.

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What Realistic Film Dialogue Sounds Like

Film isn't my area of favorite list sign up. This volume features two new discussion of cinematic realism away "Death Every Afternoon" and Serge Daney's essay reinterpreting Bazin's defense of the long shot as a way to set the not simply represent a given risky confrontation between man and. Add this book to your. This book is not yet. Rites of Realism shifts the translations: of Bazin's seminal essay from the usual focus on verisimilitude and faithfulness of record toward a notion of "performative realism," a realism that does stage for a clash or reality but enacts actual social. My favorite was Bazin's, per. Richard Porton Richard Porton. Philip Rosen Philip Rosen. To see what your friends featured on Listopia.

Under the general rubric of realism, Rites of Realism: Essays on Corporeal Cinema subscribes to the epistemological promise of referential images: that what. Essays on Corporeal Cinema Rites of Realism shifts the discussion of cinematic realism away from the usual focus on verisimilitude and faithfulness of. RITES OF REALISM Essays on Corporeal Cinema Edited by I V O N E M A R G U L I E S. DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS Durham and London The following.