The open road is popularly imagined as both cinematic and male, a space suited to the scope afforded by the cinema and the breadth demanded by the male psyche. However, while these connotations are ingrained within the aesthetics of driving, its kinaesthetics – the articulations between bodies, movement and space – have more in common with television and with stories of women’s desire. Drawing from Iris Marion Young’s theories of gendered embodiment, this article argues that driving, television and female desire are all marked by the same contradictions between movement and stability, and between public and private. It analyses two recent television programmes concerned with women behind the wheel – Black Mirror’s ‘San Junipero’ (Netflix, 2016) and the first two seasons of Big Little Lies (HBO, 2017–present) – to argue that driving on television affords a space through which to negotiate feminine embodiment, agency and desire.
Baldwin, Racial Melancholy, and the Black Middle Ground
This article uses Baldwin’s 1949 essay “Everybody’s Protest Novel” to consider that literary mode’s corollary in the 1990s New Black Cinema. It argues that recent African American movies posit an alternative to the politics and aesthetics of films by a director such as Spike Lee, one that evinces a set of qualities Baldwin calls for in his essay about Black literature. Among these are what recent scholars such as Ann Anlin Cheng have called racial melancholy or what Kevin Quashie describes as Black “quiet,” as well as variations on Yogita Goyal’s diaspora romance. Films such as Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) and Joe Talbot and Jimmy Fails’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) offer a cinematic version of racial narrative at odds with the protest tradition I associate with earlier Black directors, a newly resonant cinema that we might see as both a direct and an indirect legacy of Baldwin’s views on African American culture and politics.
James Baldwin and Ray Charles in “The Hallelujah
Based on a recent, archival discovery of the script, “But Amen is the Price” is the first
substantive writing about James Baldwin’s collaboration with Ray Charles, Cicely Tyson,
and others in a performance of musical and dramatic pieces. Titled by Baldwin, “The
Hallelujah Chorus” was performed in two shows at Carnegie Hall in New York City on 1 July
1973. The essay explores how the script and presentation of the material, at least in
Baldwin’s mind, represented a call for people to more fully involve themselves in their
own and in each other’s lives. In lyrical interludes and dramatic excerpts from his
classic work, “Sonny’s Blues,” Baldwin addressed divisions between neighbors, brothers,
and strangers, as well as people’s dissociations from themselves in contemporary American
life. In solo and ensemble songs, both instrumental and vocal, Ray Charles’s music evinced
an alternative to the tradition of Americans’ evasion of each other. Charles’s sound meant
to signify the history and possibility of people’s attainment of presence in intimate,
social, and political venues of experience. After situating the performance in Baldwin’s
personal life and public worldview at the time and detailing the structure and content of
the performance itself, “But Amen is the Price” discusses the largely negative critical
response as a symptom faced by much of Baldwin’s other work during the era, responses that
attempted to guard “aesthetics” generally—be they literary, dramatic, or musical—as
class-blind, race-neutral, and apolitical. The essay presents “The Hallelujah Chorus” as a
key moment in Baldwin’s search for a musical/literary form, a way to address, as he put
it, “the person and the people,” in open contention with the social and political
pressures of the time.
, film, graphic materials, and
museums. Harnessing diverse methodological approaches to the variety of those visual
formats ( de Laat and Gorin, 2016 ; Kurasawa, 2015 ; Lenette, 2016 ), each of the contributions asks how the specific
logics, demands, languages, and aesthetics of those media framed historical ways of
presenting, seeing, and engaging with suffering.
One important finding emerging from those inquiries is that each of those visual media
– including the individuals behind them – shaped
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
and cultural context. Architects are meant to focus on the unique appropriateness of
a single design, carefully tailored to a situation. Architects are meant to consider
the ‘softer’ side of shelter, looking at the quality of the space and
the sensitivity of the aesthetics. Architects are trained to think about homes as
deeply contextual, rooted in iterative processes of design. The result may indeed by
utopian and unworkable, but it is very different from the work of innovators and
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
pictures to produce an immersive spectacle, relying on the cinematic realism of non-fiction movies to increase the ‘perceptual experience’ and the ‘aesthetics of astonishment’ of the viewers ( Crawford-Holland, 2018 ). Back in the 1920s, ‘cinema … “virtually” extended human perceptions to events and locations beyond their physical and temporal bounds’ ( Uricchio, 1997 : 119). Humanitarian cinema thus participated in transnational campaigns aiming to mobilize and sensitize national audiences. More specifically, these movies also advocated on behalf of distant
the World , for instance, promised ‘photographs of the family and its home’ that provided an ‘objective look into each family’s environment. There are no concessions to aesthetics or technique there. The photographs reveal the hard facts of life, and, in doing so, help us grasp the increasing depth of the chasm separating peoples and nations’ ( Tremblay, 1988 : preface).
The authors of the psychopedagogical guide warned that the exposure of children to images of the Global South was to be done in a relation of trust. The pupils’ sense of honesty and fairness
This book provides an in-depth, holistic examination of evaluative aesthetics and criticism as they apply to film. Organised around the explanation of key concepts, it illuminates connections between the work of philosophers, theorists and critics, and demonstrates the evaluation of form through the close analysis of film sequences. The book advocates that aesthetic evaluation should be flexibly informed by a cluster of concerns including medium, convention, prominence, pattern and relation; and rather than privileging a particular theory or film style, it models a type of approach, attention, process and discourse. Suitable for students of film studies and philosophical aesthetics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, Aesthetic evaluation and film also provides a framework for academics researching or teaching in the area. At the same time, the crisp and lucid style will make the book accessible to a wider readership.
This interdisciplinary volume explores the role of images and representation in different borderscapes. It provides fresh insight into the ways in which borders, borderscapes and migration are imagined and narrated by offering new ways to approach the political aesthetics of the border. The case studies in the volume contribute to the methodological renewal of border studies and present ways of discussing cultural representations of borders and related processes. The case studies address the role of borders in narrative and images in literary texts, political and popular imagery, surveillance data, video art and survivor testimonies in a highly comparative range of geographical contexts ranging from northern Europe, via Mediterranean and Mexican–US borderlands to Chinese borderlands. The disciplinary approaches include critical theory, literary studies, social anthropology, media studies and political geography. The volume argues that borderlands and border-crossings (such as those by migrants) are present in public discourse and more private, everyday experience. This volume addresses their mediation through various stories, photographs, films and other forms. It suggests that narratives and images are part of the borderscapes in which border-crossings and bordering processes take place, contributing to the negotiation of borders in the public sphere. As the case studies show, narratives and images enable identifying various top-down and bottom-up discourses to be heard and make visible different minority groups and constituencies.
The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.