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Cinema, Horror and the Abominations of Hell
Michael Grant

Beginning from a consideration of some ideas on aesthetics deriving from R. G. Collingwood, this essay sets Dreyer‘s Vampyr beside Fulcis The Beyond. The article then goes on to suggest something of the nature of the horror film, at least as exemplified by these two works, by placing them against the background of certain poetic procedures associated with the post-symbolist poetry of T. S. Eliot.

Film Studies
A Session at the 2019 Modern Language Association Convention
Robert Jackson, Sharon P. Holland, and Shawn Salvant

“Interventions” was the organizing term for the presentations of three Baldwin scholars at the Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago in January of 2019. Baldwin’s travels and activities in spaces not traditionally associated with him, including the U.S. South and West, represent interventions of a quite literal type, while his aesthetic and critical encounters with these and other cultures, including twenty-first-century contexts of racial, and racist, affect—as in the case of Raoul Peck’s 2016 film I Am Not Your Negro—provide opportunities to reconsider his work as it contributes to new thinking about race, space, property, citizenship, and aesthetics.

James Baldwin Review
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Burying the Literary Corpus in the Modern City
Richard Walker

This essay explores the way in which Gothic tropes and metaphors manifest themselves in writing that is not recognisably classed as Gothic in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It argues that recent Gothic writing has exhausted the potency of such motifs and that criticism needs to re-examine the literature of modernity, in particular that of ‘High’ culture, and assess the way in which Gothic metaphor manifests itself therein. Ultimately the paper explores literature which troubles the traditional boundaries constructed between aesthetics and ethics found in nineteenth-century cultural discourse.

Gothic Studies
The Sad Demise of Nick Cave
Emma McEvoy

This article considers the music of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in terms of Gothic aesthetics. The music is Gothic not only in subject matter but also in its very performativity. It is notable for its poly-vocality and multi-genericality. I argue that Gothic music in general is characterised by a conceptual meta-level and demands a certain kind of listening: the auditor must be culturally cognisant, able to spot references to other musics and styles, and to conceive the music in terms of spaces, places and different temporalities. The last section analyses Nick Cave‘s descent into banality after Murder Ballads.

Gothic Studies
Ewan Kirkland

This paper examines Gothic traditions across the survival horror videogame series Silent Hill. Considering Gothic dimensions of the videogame medium, then Gothic themes in survival horror videogames, the paper proceeds to explore Silent Hills narrative aesthetics and gameplay in relation to the Gothic. Considerations include: the intrusion of sinister alternative worlds, fragmented narrative forms, a sense of the past impinging upon the present, and the psychoanalytic dimensions of the series. Throughout this paper attention will be paid to ways in which Gothic themes resonate with or are transformed according to the dictates of the videogame medium.

Gothic Studies
Notes on the Repertoire
Charles Mueller

The Gothic or “Goth” subculture emerged from Britains punk scene during the early 1980s. The music associated with the movement showed a sophisticated handling of themes and aesthetics associated with Gothicism, proving that the Goth adjective was more than just a fanciful label given to the bands by the music industry and the popular press. In order to gain a greater understanding of what is genuinely Gothic about this body of music, this study investigates Goth from a musicological perspective exploring specific techniques that were used by the artists, and examining the reasons why Gothicism appealed to many British youths during the Thatcher-era.

Gothic Studies
James Bond‘s Serial Heritage
Scott Higgins

Just six years after the last American sound-era serial, Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman brought James Bond to the screen, launching the longest-lived and most influential film series of the post-studio era. This article considers how the first Bond films adapted the regular imperilments,and operational aesthetics of sound-serials. Early Bond films benefitted from a field of expectations, viewing strategies and conventions planted by the over 200 B-grade chapter-plays produced between 1930 and 1956. Recourse to these serial strategies conferred tactile immediacy and ludic clarity to the films, and facilitated engagement with the Bond beyond the cinema.

Film Studies
Chiao-I Tseng

The recent uses of digital technology in war films have sparked a wave of discussions about new visual aesthetics in the genre. Drawing on the approach of film discourse analysis, this article critically examines recent claims about new visual grammar in the war film and investigates to what extent the insertion of different media channels has affected the persuasive function of the genre. Through a detailed analysis of Redacted (2007), which constitutes an extreme case of a fiction filmmaking use of a variety of digital channels, this article demonstrates that the multimedia format works within systems of classical film discourse while also generating new patterns of persuasion tied to new visual technology.

Film Studies
Stacy Gillis

This article provides a reading of gender politics in cyberpunk, drawing upon the Gothic, the cyborg and the (post)feminist subject. This reading is effected through an account of the ass-kicking techno-babe, a crucial component of the masculine strand of cyberpunk which valorises a masculinity and technology dialectic and draws upon film noir, with its hardboiled detectives and monstrous femmes fatales. From Molly Million‘s in Neuromancer to Y.T. in Neal Stephenson‘s Snow Crash (1992) and Trinity in Andy and Larry Wachowski‘s Matrix trilogy (1999–2003), this figure of the femme fatale demonstrates that the (post)feminist project of the ass-kicking techno-babe has found a home in the Gothic aesthetics of the noir-inf(l)ected genre of cyberpunk. The account of how hyper-sexualised cyborgic female bodies are positioned in contrast with the repressed bodies of male hackers reveals the destabilising conundrum of supposed agency contained by the determinacy of the (post)feminist body.

Gothic Studies
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Felicia Hemans and Burial at Sea in the Nineteenth-Century Imaginary
Jessica Roberson

This article identifies sea-burial as a topos of the early nineteenth-century imaginary that draws on both Gothic tropes and Romantic reformulations of Gothic aesthetics in order to signal a sea changed poetics of shifting dislocation, decay, and denial in the work of Felicia Hemans. The loss of a corpse at sea makes visible the extent to which any act of posthumous identification relies upon a complex network actively maintained by the living. This article will also develop our understanding of the ways in which Gothic tropes of burial might extend into specifically maritime literary cultures of the early nineteenth century. This strand of a nautical Gothic reflects not only nineteenth-century anxieties about nautical death but the corporeality of both individual and cultural memory. Such representations of sea-burial negotiate a nautical Gothic aesthetic that might propel new understanding of the relationship between poetry and the material dimensions of affective memorialization.

Gothic Studies