Film Studies For Free
welcomes with wide open e-arms the fabulous new issue of JUMP CUT
. Just look at all that high quality content, the links to which stretch out below, almost as far as the mouse can scroll.
truly goes from strength to strength with its focus on contemporary and international cinema, media, aesthetics, reception and politics. FSFF
hasn't digested the entire issue yet, but so far particularly likes the dossier on Third Cinema filmmaker Jorge Sanjinés, Ian Murphy's article
on two films by Claire Denis, and Diane Waldman's very thoughtful review of Vicki Callahan's important edited collection, Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History together with Suzanne Leonard's great study of Fatal Attraction.
Its brilliant and hardworking editors -- John Hess, Chuck Kleinhans and Julia Lesage -- deserve our
admiration and sincere thanks for all the excellent, politically and ethically engaged research they help to bring into the public domain in our disciplines. Their stance and efforts are as crucial now as they have ever been.
Finally, in the week that brought the very sad news of the death of Octavio Getino
, best known for co-founding, along with Fernando Solanas
, the Grupo Cine Liberación
as well as for elaborating with Solanas and others the notion of Third Cinema
, and in memory of this great film theorist and practitioner, interested readers might like to be reminded of FSFF
's earlier related entries (see below), which contain links to numerous, past JUMP CUT
offerings, and also check out Michael Chanan's tribute to Getino and historian Eric Hobsbawm here
THE FIRST WORD
ASIAN CINEMA AND TV DRAMA
- “Family” in Li Yang’s Blind Shaft and Blind Mountain by Amanda Weiss. A look at globalization and the family in Li Yang's migrant films Blind Shaft (2003) and Blind Mountain (2007).
- Migrant workers, women, and China’s modernization on screen
by Jenny Kwok Wah Lau.
Even though China's migrant workers constitute the biggest human migration in the world at this time the life circumstances of these workers receive little attention in Chinese cinema. This article explores how visual media, including installation arts, documentary films, and narrative films expose the often neglected issues of women migrants.
- Defining the popular auteur, or what it means to be human within the machine
by Caroline Guo.
Review of Director in Action: Johnnie To and the Hong Kong Action Film by Stephen Teo.
Stephen Teo tackles Johnnie To’s multifaceted role in the Hong Kong film industry: this review picks up where his monograph leaves off to grapple with the filmmaker’s ongoing evolution and rethink the notion of the “popular auteur.”
- Negotiating censorship: Narrow Dwelling as social critique
by Wing Shan Ho.
Housing crisis and extra-marital affair—this essay explores how the TV drama Narrow Dwelling skillfully critiques social inequalities under the censor’s eye.
- Digital pleasure palaces: Bollywood seduces the global Indian at the multiplex
by Manjunath Pendakur.
Malls, multiplexes and digital cinemas are symbols of the fast-modernizing, neoliberal India of the 21st century and, in these turbulent conditions, Bollywood is expanding its audiences at home and abroad while the political-economic-technological changes have resulted in new conflicts and a reshaping of the film industry's internal structure and operation.
- Chokher Bali: a historico-cultural translation of Tagore
by Srimati Mukherjee
. Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh challenges the moribund aspects of cultural tradition and shows that mobilization in and out of the “fixed” space of the widow is possible.
LATIN AMERICAN MEDIA
Articles on Bolivian filmmaker, Jorge Sanjinés
- Andean realism and the integral sequence shot
by David M.J. Wood.
Bolivian filmmaker Jorge Sanjinés’ radical film theory and praxis: an Andean take on the critique of mainstream cinema and the redemptive power of realism.
- The impossibility of mestizaje in The Hidden Nation:
emblematic constructions in the cinema of Jorge Sanjinés
by Alber Quispe Escobar, translated with explanatory notes by Keith John Richards.
- The all-encompassing sequence shot
by Jorge Sanjinés, translated by Cecilia Cornejo and Dennis Hanlon.
Jorge Sanjinés' 1989 essay explains the development of the "Andean sequence shot" and why it is consonant with indigenous Andean concepts of community and time. A key piece of Third Cinema theory never before translated into English.
- The “new” and the “old” in Bolivian cinema
by Verónica Córdova S., translated by Amy L. Tibbitts.
Verónica Córdova S. remarks on the motivations of the New Latin American Cinema movement of the 60s as contrasted with current trends and concerns of present-day Bolivian filmmakers. Using the films of Jorge Sanjinés as a model, Córdova explains how new technological advances in filmmaking are influencing Bolivian film production, while, hopefully, remaining in dialogue with the past generation of filmmakers.
- A cinema of questions: a response to Verónica Córdova
by Martín Boulocq, translated by Amy L. Tibbitts.
Martín Boulocq responds to Verónica Córdova's comments regarding the motivation of past and present Bolivian filmmakers, offering an entirely unique perspective on what motivates filmmakers to make films.
- Insurgentes: the slight return of Jorge Sanjinés
by Keith John Richards.
Jorge Sanjinés’ most recent film, Insurgentes, has aroused differences of opinion within Bolivia; this review examines the film in the context of recent developments in the country.
THEMES IN HOLLYWOOD AND OTHER CINEMAS
2. The Mideast
- A working-class hero is something to be: class in 70s U.S. cinema
by Peter Steven.
Review of Derek Nystrom's Hard Hats, Rednecks, and Macho Men: Class in 1970s American Cinema
- Performing the new economy: New York, neoliberalism,
and mass communication in late 1970s cinema
by Stanley Corkin.
Howard Beale is mad as hell, but can he stop the tide of neoliberalism?
- The unquiet memory of the Hollywood Blacklist
by Clay Steinman.
Review of Alan Casty’s Communism in Hollywood: The Moral Paradoxes of Testimony, Silence, and Betrayal and Joseph Litvak’s The Un-Americans: Jews, the Blacklist, and Stoolpigeon Culture
. Sixty-five years after it began, the Hollywood blacklist continues to offer new lessons for left cultural practices, including the right’s ongoing response to them.
- Feminist film history
by Diane Waldman.
Review of Vicki Callahan (ed), Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History and Suzanne Leonard's Fatal Attraction
- “The lesser of the attractions”: Grindhouse and theatrical nostalgia
by Kevin Esch.
The Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double-feature experiment celebrated a bygone era of grindhouse moviegoing. Was anybody listening?
4. Institutions: Law, Production, Exhibition
- The Hurt Locker litigation: an adult’s story
by Robert Alpert
. Jeffrey Sarver, the alleged doppelganger to Kathryn Bigelow’s fictional character, William James, is crushed in real life, where law, on the one hand, and ethics and morality, on the other, frequently do not coincide.
- Interview with Zalman King—“In defense of myself, it’s not soft core”
by Peter Lehman, with introduction by Chuck Kleinhans.
Zalman King talks about the unusual and intense sexual journeys at the heart of his films and TV shows that he argues distinguish them from soft-core.
- On the production of heterotopia, and other spaces,
in and around lesbian and gay film festivals
by Ger Zielinski.
Thinking through the varied, contested spaces of the lesbian and gay film festivals with the concept of heterotopia.
5. Queering the entertainment
- Framing the world economics in a tuna can:
Luc Moullet tracks the Origins of a Meal/ Genèse d’un repas (1978)
by Audrey Evrard.
Insisting that the globalization of French economy should be seen as a perfected form of colonialism, Luc Moullet's documentary is as relevant to today's viewers as it was to its initial audience over thirty years ago. Where contemporary films often vilify corporate interests, Moullet prefers to point to shared responsibility in the devastating exploitative nature of the global food trade.
- Truth in the mix:
Frederick Wiseman’s construction of the observational microphone
by Giovanna Chesler.
By closely examining the construction of soundtracks in Frederick Wiseman’s documentaries High School and Domestic Violence, Chesler explores how sound editing in observational-style documentary provides a seemingly continuous foundation that enables storytelling and editing techniques more familiar to fiction filmmaking.
- Consciousness-raising and difference in
The Woman’s Film (1971) and Self-Health (1974)
by Shilyh Warren.
To reconsider the aesthetic legacies and political fantasies of feminist documentaries of the 1970s means that we also have to come to terms with some of their real rhetorical limitations.
- On suffering and human eloquence:
commemorating 9/11, televised U.S. coverage in 2011
by Isabel Pinedo.
Televised programs commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11 sought to construct redemptive narratives of various kind, but the most powerful, the mini-eulogies and the documentary approach, revolved around human affect in contrasting ways.
- Streaming death: the politics of dying on YouTube
by Jennifer Malkowski.
Documentary footage of two violent deaths—Oscar Grant’s and Neda Agha-Soltan’s—circulating on YouTube reveals the promise and perils of activist Internet video.
- Julia Bacha’s Budrus (Palestine), Ali Samadi Ahadi’s The Green Wave (Iran), Leonard Retel Helmrich’s Position Among the Stars (Indonesia) — transnational collaborations for art and impact in new documentary cinema
by Daniel Miller.
Three contemporary documentaries are attracting notice as they go out from festivals into the world to do real work.
- Media activists for livability: an NFB experiment in 1970s Vancouver
by Jean Walton.
In the early 1970s, the National Film board brought its Challenge for Change Program to a troubled suburb on Canada’s West Coast, putting cameras into the hands of disenfranchised residents. The land use battles that ensued complicated Vancouver’s image as the Shangri-La of the North.
- Give me shelter: the ecology of the home in Blue Vinyl and Libby, Montana
by Robin L. Murray and Joseph Heumann.
In Blue Vinyl and Libby, Montana, it’s not just how you live and how you build your home, it’s where you live and what’s around you that contribute to the everyday eco-disasters associated with constructing and sustaining shelter.
EXPERIMENTAL and NEW MEDIA
- Identity, interactivity and performativity in Michelle Citron’s Queer Feast
by Kathleen Scott.
An exploration of interactive narrative and form in the work of experimental filmmaker Michelle Citron.
- Video games, cognitive capital, the cognitariat, and the dream factory's seedy streets: patrolling the citizenry of LA Noire
by Dennis Broe and Ken Cohen in conversation.
A critical discussion of LA Noire, a game that claimed to revolutionize the industry but which this article contends raises perennial questions relevant to gaming in general regarding the cognitariat, surveillance culture and the digital panopticon.
- “Making it through”:
sickness and health in Su Friedrich’s The Odds of Recovery
by William C. Wees.
In vivid and intimate detail, Su Friedrich's autobiographical film offers literal and metaphorical views of the consequences of sickness and the pleasures of recovery.
- New media and politics: populist revolt, state control, and elections
by Lyell Davies.
Review of Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns, eds., Tweets From Tahrir: Egypt’s Revolution as it Unfolded, in the Words of the People who Made it; Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom; Richard L. Fox and Jennifer M. Ramos, eds., iPolitics: Citizens, Elections, and Governing in the New Media Era
- Work-in-progress: Marie Menken and the mechanical representation of labor
by Caroline Guo.
Through her experimental short films, Marie Menken reveals how cinema’s capacities lie not only in the mechanical workings of the camera but also the potentials of human labor, leading us to bigger reflections on the inextricable ties between filmmaking, labor, and modern society.
- The Cry of Jazz and the expressive politics of music and race
by Chuck Kleinhans.
An interview with Ed Bland, director of the landmark 1959 film on jazz music and African Americans in U.S. society, reveals the context of the experimental documentary's argument and analysis.
THE LAST WORD