Realism should be easy. It is whatever is real, which we do not need to be told because we already know it: we live it every day of our lives. We all live in the real world, and nobody can tell us any different. We might need help with other ‘isms’ when studying literature or the arts – Romanticism, Surrealism, Modernism, Postmodernism, for instance, require some kind of explanation – but surely not an ‘ism’ which sounds as if it is based on our very existence. We may be aware that terms used to describe artistic practices have different meanings
Michael Winterbottom is the most prolific and the most audacious of British filmmakers in the last twenty years. His television career began in the cutting-rooms at Thames Television, and his first directing experience was on the Thames TV documentaries, Ingmar Bergman: The Magic Lantern and Ingmar Bergman: The Director, made in 1988. Winterbottom has featured in top ten lists in Britain and his name has become a moniker of distinction in the promotion of his own films. This book articulates the ideas which have led to the name 'Michael Winterbottom' being associated with a particular body of work and, second, by turning to those factors which tend to dissipate the idea of Winterbottom as the single source of a world view and style, and to relocate his films within a constellation of directors, films and (principally European) national cinemas. It is important to acknowledge that all of his films employ realism across a variety of styles, genres and historical representations. The book focuses on Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, In This World and The Road to Guantánamo, with a brief reference to 24 Hour Party People as five very different films that have particular relationships with the historical world that they represent. It considers what Winterbottom has done with such popular genres as the road movie, the musical and the sciencefiction thriller, how far he has adapted their conventions to contemporary film practice and ideology, and whether these films, in reworking Hollywood genres, exhibit any peculiarly British inflections.
The creation of Soviet culture in the 1920s and the 1930s was the most radical of modernist projects, both in aesthetic and in political terms. This book explores the architecture of this period as the nexus between aesthetics and politics. The invention of communist culture in the aftermath of the October Revolution was perhaps the most radical of modernist projects. The book demonstrates that the relationships between utopia and reality, idealism and pragmatism, between the will for progress and the will for tyranny, are complex and that they do not always play out in the same way. Case studies presented demonstrate the notion that Soviet architecture of the 1920s defined the New Man as primarily a worker. In contrast, during the 1930s the New Man was supposed to be an admirer of socialism in aesthetic terms, the total work of art created by the Communist Party. After an overview of the evolution of Soviet subjectivity, the book discusses transition from the productivist ethos to the representational ethos, which is epitomized in the public baths constructed around 1930 in Leningrad and Moscow. These structures were envisioned as both efficient machines for the production of cleanliness and microcosmic representations of the Soviet society. The book also presents a particular genre of socialist realism, the environmental expertise of obshchestvennitsy, or socially minded women. Finally, it explores the history of this immense structure, clad in expensive marble and illuminated by electrical lighting, altogether the embodiment of socialist modernity.
The middle months of 2016 in the North Atlantic world offered a distinctly depressing constellation. This book offers a nuanced and multifaceted collection of essays covering a wide range of concerns, concepts, presidential doctrines, and rationalities of government thought to have marked America's engagement with the world during this period. The spate of killings of African Americans raised acute issues about the very parameters of citizenship that predated the era of Civil Rights and revived views on race associated with the pre- Civil War republic. The book analyses an account of world politics that gives ontological priority to 'race' and assigns the state a secondary or subordinate function. Andrew Carnegie set out to explain the massive burst in productivity in the United States between 1830 and 1880, and in so doing to demonstrate the intrinsic superiority of republicanism. He called for the abolition of hereditary privilege and a written constitution. The book also offers an exegesis of the US foreign policy narrative nested in the political thought of the German jurist Carl Schmitt. Understanding the nature of this realist exceptionalism properly means rethinking the relationship between realism and liberalism. The book revisits Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, which reviews the intellectual and policy environment of the immediate post- Cold War years. Finally, it discusses Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, best known for his hawkish service to the George W. Bush administration, and his strong push for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The importance of environment in Barry Hines's writing means that insight into his background and the journey to his writing career introduces people to the recurrent preoccupations of his work. Much of the literary reception of Hines's work places him within a canon of working-class writing. This book is the first academic account of Barry Hines's work. It traces the roots of Barry Hines's literary mode of poetic realism in those works of the 1960s that preceded A Kestrel for a Knave. The literary promise Hines showed in The Blinder led to the filming of his novel A Kestrel for a Knave as Kes. The book focuses on a period of extremely fruitful aesthetic production for Hines. It also traces the aesthetic and political effects of the early years of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government on Hines's writing. The archival history of Threads' drafts and production reveals the nature of its symbolic and factual relation to British politics in this era and how its mingling of documentary and dramatic tropes took shape. Looks and Smiles marked the end of Barry Hines's career-defining collaboration with Ken Loach. The exceptionally divisive events of the miners' strike of 1984-1985 had an acute effect on Hines's writing, just as they did on the terrain and communities of the South Yorkshire that he invariably depicts. The book explores the interconnected issues of class, space and place in Hines's writing, and the practice and purpose of working-class film, television and literature.
The great American film critic Manny Farber memorably declared space to be the most dramatic stylistic entity in the visual arts. He posited three primary types of space in fiction cinema: the field of the screen, the psychological space of the actor, and the area of experience and geography that the film covers. This book brings together five French directors who have established themselves as among the most exciting and significant working today: Bruno Dumont, Robert Guediguian, Laurent Cantet, Abdellatif Kechiche, and Claire Denis. It proposes that people think about cinematographic space in its many different forms simultaneously (screenspace, landscape, narrative space, soundscape, spectatorial space). Through a series of close and original readings of selected films, it posits a new 'space of the cinematic subject'. Dumont's attraction to real settings and locality suggests a commitment to realism. New forms and surfaces of spectatorship provoke new sensations and engender new kinds of perception, as well as new ways of understanding and feeling space. The book interrogates Guediguian's obsessive portrayal of one particular city, Marseilles. Entering into the spaces of work and non-work in Cantet's films, it asks what constitutes space and place within the contemporary field of social relations. The book also engages with cultural space as the site of social integration and metissage in the work of Kechiche, his dialogues with diasporic communities and highly contested urban locales. Denis's film work contains continually shifting points of passage between inside and outside, objective and subjective, in the restless flux.
Gregory Currie and Stanley Cavell making important contributions. The
present book has also attempted to connect film theory to a branch of the
analytical tradition, that of philosophical realism; but such a tentative
enterprise, following on from the pioneering work of Lovell and Allen and
Gomery, still has a long way to go. In addition to history and philosophy,
other disciplines, including those of cognitive science, psychology
The origins, characteristics and theoretical foundation of the nineteenth-century French realist, and naturalist tradition
and the emergence of state-endorsed ‘realist’ film cultures in
fascist Italy and Germany between 1920 and 1945 – both of which could
be associated with the nineteenth-century realist heritage. It was this
perceived association between totalitarianism and realism, in conjunction
with post-1968 post-structuralist, anti-realist partialities, which led some
critics to renounce nineteenth-century realism on the grounds that, as an
Jean Cocteau, the first French writer to take cinema seriously, was as old and young as cinema itself; he made his first film in 1925 and completed his last film when he was 70. This book first deals with the issue of the type of film maker that Cocteau was: as a auteur, as a collaborator, as an experimenter, and as a theorist. It takes the pulse of Cocteau's cinema by examining in detail his ground-breaking first film Le Sang d'un poète', and argues that the film offers a vision of the potential of film for Cocteau. The book traces the evolution of realism and fantasy in Cocteau's work by introducing a main element, theatre, and assesses the full gamut of Cocteau's formal inclinations: from the legend and fantasy of L'Eternel retour to the spectacular fairytale of La Belle et la bête; from the 'film théâtral' of L'Aigle à deux têtes to the domestic melodrama Les Parents terribles which 'detheatricalises' his original play. In Le Testament d'Orphée, all the various formal tendencies of Cocteau's cinema come together but with the additional element of time conceived of as history, and the book re-evaluates the general claim of Cocteau's apparently missed encounter with history. The book considers whether the real homosexual element of Cocteau's cinema surfaces more at the most immediate level of sound and image by concentrating on the specifics of Cocteau's filmic style, in particular camera angle, framing and reverse-motion photography.
’, the other, the ‘post-Saussurian’. 1 However, it will be more than
apparent to the perceptive reader that the chief centre of attention of
European Film Theory and Cinema was intuitionist modernist realism
(rather than the post-Saussurian canon) and, in particular,
‘intuitionist realism’. Of the book’s nine chapters, only
one covers the post-Saussurian legacy, whilst three (and, in part, four) are