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Joshua Foa Dienstag in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers

This book engages in a critical encounter with the work of Stanley Cavell on cinema, focusing skeptical attention on the claims made for the contribution of cinema to the ethical character of democratic life. In much of Cavell's writing on film he seeks to show us that the protagonists of the films he terms "remarriage comedies" live a form of perfectionism that he upholds as desirable for contemporary democratic society: moral perfectionism. Films are often viewed on television, and television shows can have "filmlike" qualities. The book addresses the nature of viewing cinematic film as a mode of experience, arguing against Cavell that it is akin to dreaming rather than lived consciousness and, crucially, cannot be shared. It mirrors the celebrated dialogue between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jean D'Alembert on theatre. The book articulates the implications of philosophical pessimism for addressing contemporary culture in its relationship to political life. It clarifies how The Americans resembles the remarriage films and can illuminate the issues they raise. The tragedy of remarriage, would be a better instructor of a democratic community, if such a community were prepared to listen. The book suggests that dreaming, both with and without films, is not merely a pleasurable distraction but a valuable pastime for democratic citizens. Finally, it concludes with a robust response from Dienstag to his critics.

Author: Tom Whittaker

This is the first major study in English of cine quinqui, a cycle of popular Spanish films from the late 1970s and early 1980s that starred real-life juvenile delinquents. The book provides a close analysis of key quinqui films by directors such as Eloy de la Iglesia, José Antonio de la Loma and Carlos Saura, as well as the moral panics, public fears and media debates that surrounded their controversial production and reception. In paying particular attention to the soundtrack of the films, the book shows how marginal youth cultures during Spain’s transition to democracy were shaped by sound. It will be of interest to scholars and students of Spanish film, history and cultural studies, as well as to those working in sound studies and youth subcultures more broadly.

Auteurism, politics, landscape and memory

This book is a collection of essays that offers a new lens through which to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The films analysed span a period of some 40 years that have been crucial in the development of Spain, Spanish democracy and Spanish cinema. The book offers a new lens to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The figure of the auteur jostles for attention alongside other features of film, ranging from genre, intertexuality and ethics, to filmic language and aesthetics. At the heart of this project lies an examination of the ways in which established auteurs and younger generations of filmmakers have harnessed cinematic language towards a commentary on the nation-state and the politics of historical and cultural memory. The films discussed in the book encompass different genres, both popular and more select arthouse fare, and are made in different languages: English, Basque, Castilian, Catalan, and French. Regarded universally as a classic of Spanish arthouse cinema, El espíritu de la colmena/The Spirit of the Beehive has attracted a wealth of critical attention which has focused on political, historical, psychological and formal aspects of Víctor Erice's co-authored film-text. Luis Bunuel's Cet obscur objet du désir/That Obscure Object of Desire, Catalan filmmaker Ventura Pons' Ocana. Retrat Intermitent/Ocana. An Intermittent Portrait, Francisco Franco's El Dorado, Víctor Erice's El sol del membrillo/The Quince Tree Sun, and Julio Medem's Vacas/Cows are some films that are discussed.

Clare Woodford

one, whose meaning is owned by no one, but which subsists between them, excluding any uniform transmission, any identity of cause and effect. 2 I imagine that democracy without dreams would be a rather dull place. If we accept Dienstag’s argument that “the

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
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Education, communication and film studies
James Zborowski

: the undergraduate humanities seminar. Conversation about films Michael Schudson, in an article about conversation and democracy, seeks to drive a wedge between two species of conversation, ‘sociable’ and ‘problem-solving’: The sociable model emphasizes cultivation and sensibility; conversational partners should develop subtle capacities for fresh, entertaining, and responsive talk. The problem-solving model, in contrast, focuses on argument, the conversational partners’ capacity to formulate and respond to declarative views of what the world is and what it should be

in Classical Hollywood cinema
Meyer Jessica

democracies are, today, unlikely to have lived experiences of warfare. As we have all become too intimately aware in this past year, however, the daily lives of all of us are shaped by our bodily health, our mental wellbeing, our ability to access appropriate and authoritative care, the politics and resilience of health care systems, and the global networks of both medical research and provision of medical supplies. Health and medicine shape our

in Diagnosing history
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Unpacking the political satire in Veep
Michael P. Young

relationship’ between the US and the UK, this moment shows it is indeed special, but not in the way we think. It is not special in the sense that the two countries are close allies or nations bonded by a shared language and similar systems (or at least values) of democracy; rather it is special in the politically incorrect sense of deeply dysfunctional and retarded. Veep and her team lie unabashedly to the Brits and mock their arcane social structures and professional standards: ‘they'll sell naked pictures of their grandmother for a pint of hot beer’, even though things

in Complexity / simplicity
Abstract only
Tom Whittaker

most marginal in Spanish society in the early years of democracy were also the most vulnerable to the residual authoritarianism of the regime. The films not only resonated with audiences but with the wider public and media, triggering and shaping a series of debates, from housing and heroin abuse to penal reform and the age of criminal responsibility. This book has thus shown not only what cine quinqui meant but what it did . In its resonance and its capacity to affect the world around it, the quinqui film shows how, in the words of Brandon LaBelle, ‘sound is a

in The Spanish quinqui film
Tom Whittaker

Pilar Miró’s Gary Cooper, que estás en los cielos ( Gary Cooper Who Art in Heaven , 1980) has long been regarded as one of the key films of Spain’s transition to democracy. Unlike her previous films, the period drama La petición ( The Request , 1976) and the tremendista polemical drama El crimen de Cuenca ( The Cuenca Crilme , 1980), Gary Cooper is firmly

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
Open Access (free)
Thomas Dumm

-knowing reactionary move of anti-democratic powers interested in restraining, not ordering democracy, during that period. The retrospective sainting of these guys has always irritated me. Not for nothing do I claim the status of being a student of Theodore Lowi.) In short, I find myself disengaged from most of the substance of your letter, wondering what is at stake here, for you

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism