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Ian Aitken

who cannot get close to the psychology of everyday life. The revolutionary is that sort of person in whom patience is joined to impatience. Impatience on its own can create a kind of ‘happening’; and after a series of ‘happenings’ it can occur that the former revolutionary, having remained a disappointed, cynical man

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
Paul Merchant

Pablo Corro‘s 2014 book Retóricas del cine chileno (Rhetorics of Chilean Cinema) is a wide-ranging examination of the style and concerns that have come to characterise Chilean film-making from the 1950s to the present day. Corro demonstrates how ideas of national cinema are always to some extent dependent on transnational currents of cinematic ideas and techniques, as well as on local political contexts. The chapter presented here, Weak Poetics, adapts Gianni Vattimo‘s notion of weak thought to discuss the growing attention paid by Chilean films to the mundane, the everyday and the intimate. Corro‘s dense, allusive writing skilfully mirrors the films he describes, in which meaning is fragmented and dispersed into glimpsed appearances and acousmatic sounds. Corros historicisation of this fracturing of meaning allows the cinema of the everyday to be understood not as a retreat from politics, but as a recasting of the grounds on which it might occur.

Film Studies
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‘of cult-like and occult undertaking’
John Whatley

This Introduction by John Whatley to ‘Gothic Cults and Gothic Cultures 2: Historical Gothic’, his second issue as guest editor of Gothic Studies, begins with a brief summary of some of the conclusions found in Gothic Studies 4/2, and goes on to explain how the seven new articles in 5/1 explore the relations between Gothic cults and cultures in their historical dimensions. The articles illustrate how threats posed by conspiratorial groups of the Gothic past were responsible for the infiltration of the spectral and uncanny into everyday life, so the fear of dangerous ideas and conspiracies figures in the apparitions and phantoms of Gothic culture. To help contextualise the articles, this Introduction outlines the shapes and origins of cults in the Gothic texts of the past, for example in religious sects and robber bands. A summary of each article then follows.

Gothic Studies
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Surfaces and Subtexts in the Popular Modernism of Agatha Christie‘s Hercule Poirot Series
Taryn Norman

In Detective Writers in England, Christie claims a detective story is an escape from the realism of everyday life; however, her Poirot series represents anxieties about the conditions of modernity through the conventions, images, and tones of the classic Gothic, a genre well established as providing a balance between escapism and historical commentary (xiii). While the earlier Poirot texts juxtapose the trappings of the Gothic– séances, curses, ghosts– against a rational modern world and produce a comical effect when these conventions are revealed as staged, as the conditions of modernity weigh upon Christie, particularly during World War II, her Poirot texts take on an increasingly sinister quality in which history itself is coded in Gothic terms.

Gothic Studies
An Analytic of the Uncanny
Kathy Justice Gentile

In a footnote to his 1919 essay, ‘The Uncanny’ (‘Das Unheimliche’), Freud perfunctorily reports a strange encounter with himself. While he was traveling by train, a mirrored door in his compartment swung open, whereupon Freud was confronted with a distasteful-looking stranger intruding into his private space, a stranger whom he momentarily recognized as a reflection of himself.2 If we use Freud‘s own analysis in ‘The Uncanny’, derived from Otto Rank‘s work on the double, the power of this disconcerting episode could be attributed to the adult fear of the double, transmogrified from the animistic or childhood projection of a friendly double, another self who served as a protection against danger or death, into a fearful emblem of ones own mortality in the more repressed adult mind.3 That is, in our early state of primary narcissism we familiarize the strange world around us by projecting outward versions of ourselves; however, as adults who have discovered that we are not the source of all being, the unexpected appearance of an alternate self is initially frightening and unrecognizable. Freuds initial impression of himself as an alien intruder is uncanny because the scene is suffused with a supernatural aura and recalls him to a primary narcissistic fear. A double is a distorted version of a being already in existence, thus engendering the fear that the double is the real, original self who has come to take our place. Or, as Françoise Meltzer has noted, ‘the double entails the seeing of self as other, and thus forces the admission of mortality’ (229). Unexpected sightings of doubles in adulthood also confirm the validity of the sensation evoked by the super-ego which oversees and watches the self as it engages in worldly transactions. Seeing double may support the paranoid suspicion that an individual is actually two people, one divided against the other. As Rank demonstrates in his study, the double, as an emblem,of the soul, carries both a positive and negative valence. On the one hand our existence is confirmed by seeking reflections, versions of ourselves in mirrors, photographs, offspring, etc., yet if we are taken unawares by a double, we quail from it as a supernatural visitant. Thus the unsolicited sighting of a double, an embodiment of unsurmounted supernaturalism, marks the eruption of the uncanny into everyday life.

Gothic Studies
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Stephanie Dennison and Lisa Shaw

, neighbourliness and a community lifestyle typical of rural regions or the poor suburbs of the big cities of the South. This tradition continued in the films of Amácio Mazzaropi in particular in the 1960s and 1970s. In popular film the precarious and fragmented nature of everyday life for the poor is mirrored in the constant interplay between fantasy and reality, carnival interludes and the daily grind. The unlikely heroes of popular film have

in Popular cinema in Brazil, 1930–2001
Steven Peacock

the other. Rather than presenting a fantastical world of high living to match the riches of its soaring melodies, the film keeps its feet firmly on the ground. It tells tales of humdrum experience, as workaday (at base level) as those of the British New Wave. As the title of Jonathan Rosenbaum’s article on the film declares, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg sings ‘Songs in the Key of Everyday Life’. 72 Geneviève (Catherine

in Colour
Jack Holland

, and popularity. Who, for instance, can forget the iconic big blue skies of Albuquerque, or the twang of a dobro guitar musically setting the scene? In its sense of place and imaginative geography of the US, this was trailblazing television. 5 And, within that deliberately specific (New Mexico) and yet all-American setting, the show wrestles with the philosophical implications of everyday life, albeit on an epic level, driven by Walt’s quest for change – for something more . 6 Breaking Bad , of course, deals with a range of personal circumstances, which, I argue

in Fictional television and American Politics
Out of place with The Smiths
Nabeel Zuberi

, cinematic and literary leads to pursue. The Smiths deployed a broad repertoire of references including Andy Warhol’s Factory, French films, British social realist cinema and television of the 1960s. The ‘cover stars’ of their record sleeves were badges of sentiment, clusters of affective affiliations. This mediarich patchwork of local, national and international influences nevertheless articulated experiences that rang true in their descriptions of life in northern English towns. The Smiths’ discography continues to demonstrate how everyday life here is cut through with

in Why pamper life's complexities?
All or Nothing
Tony Whitehead

philosopher, genuinely able, in his lugubrious way, to rationalise things and articulate a perspective no doubt informed by his observations of and occasional conversations with the colourful mixture of people he meets in his cab. However, his ability to apply his philosophising to everyday life is shaky at best. Early on he muses to Ron (Paul Jesson), a neighbour and fellow driver who has just had an accident: ‘You might have driven round the next corner and killed a little kid. It’s whatsit, isn’t it? Fickle finger of fate’. But his later attempt to apply this barroom

in Mike Leigh