Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Links on videographical film criticism, editing, 'intensified continuity', 'chaos cinema', 'hapticity' and (post) cinematic affect

A FILMANALYTICAL video collage, made by Catherine Grant
TOUCHING THE FILM OBJECT? offers a brief audiovisual exploration of issues of sensuous proximity, contiguity or contact in experiencing or studying films - what theorist Laura U. Marks called 'hapticity'. It quotes from Marks' essay 'Haptic Visuality: Touching with the Eyes' [in FRAMEWORK: the Finnish Art Review, No. 2, 2004, pp. 79-82], as well as from Ingmar Bergman's 1966 film PERSONA (cinematography by Sven Nykvist). The music is excerpted from Robert Lippok and Beatrice Martini's BRANCHES, available at the Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. You can read an accompanying written essay about this video and videographic film studies here.
A ragbag of links, today, at Film Studies For Free. But this blog wanted to flag up some recently published, and curiously related, audiovisual items of possible interest, together with some associated written resources.

First up, is the video above, the latest of FSFF's videographic film studies experiments. Compared with FSFF's other videos, this film-theoretical one turned out to be a close kin of two earlier video 'primers' (on Gilda, film noir, gender and performance and on Elizabeth Taylor, framing and child stardom/performance). As befits primers, rather than
aiming to generate completely new insights, [these 'rich text objects' attempt], within the time-space of the average YouTube fan clip, to assemble and combine quotations from existing film scholarship on [their topics] with sequences from the film in question in order to provide a meaningful, scholarly and affective, immersive experience. [FSFF, April 7, 2011]
If you are beginning to be invested in, or just mildly curious about, the possibilities of videographic film criticism and film theory, then do read 'Touching the Film Object? Notes on the 'Haptic' in Videographical Film Studies' by Catherine Grant at FSFF's sister blog Filmanalytical, and also check out further links and thoughts here.

Next up, a pointer to an exciting, film-theory related, theme week at the great website In Media Res on Steven Shaviro's Post-Cinematic Affect, running between August 29 - Sept. 2, 2011.

There are a couple of interesting entries up already, with very lively comments streams. Further links will be added below as the posts go live. In the meantime, you can read a lengthy excerpt from Shaviro's book on Post-Cinematic Affect here. And do visit his blog where you will find lots more material from this work.
Finally, FSFF wanted to make sure that its own readers were alerted to a very lively debate on 'intensified continuity' and 'chaos cinema' in relation to the action film (broadly defined) that has sprung up online as a result of the publication of a two part video essay on those topics at the wonderful new (video-essay-rich) website PressPlay, curated by film critic and video essayist extraordinaire Matt Zoller Seitz. The 'Chaos Cinema' essay, embedded below, is by a young film scholar Matthias Stork and is well worth a look.

Below the videos, FSFF has linked to related online, scholarly and journalistic items treating substantially similar issues as 'Chaos Cinema', published before his essay, as well as to ones produced directly in response to Stork's work.


The video essay Chaos Cinema, administered by Indiewire's journalistic blog PRESS PLAY, examines the extreme aesthetic principles of 21st century action films. These films operate on techniques that, while derived from classical cinema, threaten to shatter the established continuity formula. Chaos reigns in image and sound. Part 1 contrasts traditional action films with chaotic ones and takes a close look at the "sound" track, especially its use in car chases.
Part 2 takes a look at the chaotic style in dialogue scenes, musicals, "shaky-cam" extravaganzas and mourns the rich history of early cinema.

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