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Laurent Cantet is of one France’s leading contemporary directors. He probes the evolution and fault-lines of contemporary society from the home to the workplace and from the Republican school to globalized consumption more acutely than perhaps any other French film-maker. His films always challenge his characters’ assumptions about their world. But they also make their spectators rethink their position in relation to what they see. This is what makes Cantet such an important film-maker, the book argues. It explores Cantet’s unique working ‘method,’ his use of amateur actors and attempt to develop an egalitarian authorship that allows other voices to be heard rather than subsumed. It discusses his way of constructing films at the uneasy interface of the individual, the group and the broader social context and his recourse to melodramatic strategies and moments of shame to force social tensions into view. It shows how the roots of the well-known later films can be found in his early works. It explores the major fictions from Ressources humaines to the recent Foxfire, Confessions of a Girl Gang. It combines careful close analysis with attention to broader cinematic, social and political contexts while drawing on a range of important theorists from Pierre Bourdieu to Jacques Rancière, Michael Bakhtin and Mary Ann Doane. It concludes by examining how, resolutely contemporary of the current moment, Cantet helps us rethink the possibilities and limits of political cinema in a context in which old resistances have fallen silent and new forms of protest are only emergent.

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Theories of filmic reality

In formulating a notion of filmic reality, this book offers a novel way of understanding our relationship with cinema. It argues that cinema need not be understood in terms of its capacities to refer to, reproduce or represent reality, but should be understood in terms of the kinds of realities it has the ability to create. The book investigates filmic reality by way of six key film theorists: André Bazin, Christian Metz, Stanley Cavell, Gilles Deleuze, Slavoj Žižek and Jacques Rancière. In doing so, it provides comprehensive introductions to each of these thinkers, while also debunking many myths and misconceptions about them. Along the way, a notion of filmic reality is formed that radically reconfigures our understanding of cinema.

Partisan feeling and democracy’s enchantments

Enthusiasm has long been perceived as a fundamental danger to democratic politics. Many have regarded it as a source of threatening instabilities manifest through political irrationalism. Such a view can make enthusiasm appear as a direct threat to the reason and order on which democracy is thought to rely. But such a desire for a sober and moderate democratic politics is perilously misleading, ignoring the emotional basis on which democracy thrives. Enthusiasm in democracy works to help political actors identify and foster progressive changes. We feel enthusiasm at precisely those moments of new beginnings, when politics takes on new shapes and novel structures. Being clear about how we experience enthusiasm, and how we recognize it, is thus crucial for democracy, which depends on progression and the alteration of ruler and the ruled. This book traces the changing ways enthusiasm has been understood politically in modern Western political thought. It explores how political actors use enthusiasm to motivate allegiances, how we have come to think on the dangers of enthusiasm in democratic politics, and how else we might think about enthusiasm today. From its inception, democracy has relied on a constant affective energy of renewal. By tracing the way this crucial emotional energy is made manifest in political actions – from ancient times to the present – this book sheds light on the way enthusiasm has been understood by political scientists, philosophers, and political activists, as well as its implications for contemporary democratic politics.

Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

matter, but by focusing on the very materiality of the historical event and its after effects, they in turn produce and create new intersections among time, space and matter’.45 She reminds us of Jacques Rancière’s notion of ‘a suitable political work of art’, one that works by ‘disrupting the relationship between the visible, the sayable, and the thinkable’.46 The film, then, doesn’t just show us evidence and present information, as other forms of documentary do. Instead, it induces new ways of seeing, and as such, can be seen as a politics, in Rancière’s terms. Ruiz

in Change and the politics of certainty
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Bogdan Popa

first section of the chapter the imagination of future communism, and discuss Susan Stryker’s trans theory in dialogue with Jacques Rancière’s idea of communism. In the second section I investigate the production of Cold War films in relation to transgender/queer politics and labor resistance. Unlike Tony Shaw, I read the film It Came from Outer Space as a clear statement in

in De-centering queer theory
The politics of homeless resistance
Sean Parson

one-term mayor. This chapter details Food Not Bombs’ resistance to Frank Jordan’s Matrix program, paying special attention to the daily meal services and the group’s public occupation of UN Plaza during the 50th anniversary for the United Nations. Before detailing the history of resistance, we will first delve into an important theoretical discussion of what Food Not Bombs did, focusing on how, according to Jacques Rancière, they engaged in politics, and how, following Eduardo Glissant, they embraced a right to opacity and 84 COOKING UP A REVOLUTION weaponized

in Cooking up a revolution
Yulia Karpova

in art theory or in the philosophy of art. Instead, I interpret aesthetics in a broader sense, one first proposed by Jacques Rancière, as ‘a specific regime for identifying and reflecting on the arts: a mode of articulation between ways of doing and making, their corresponding modes of visibility, and possible ways of thinking about their relationships’.3 This new aesthetics came to replace the Stalinist regime of arts, which, following Rancière, can be deemed representative, that is, it adhered to a hierarchy of genres and subject matter and privileged speech over

in Comradely objects
Marcia Landy

reconsideration. Since the films’ uses of history were a prominent feature of their representational strategies, my object in this chapter is to examine how cinema appropriates the past so as to recognise ‘the power it holds from its shameful kinship with the makers of history and the tellers of stories’, in Jacques Rancière’s words. 12 Therefore in the films that I have chosen to discuss I probe their kinship

in Medieval film
Richard Rushton

7  Filmic reality and the aesthetic regime  9  Some things to do: The Far Country (Anthony Mann, 1954) W hat contribution does the philosopher Jacques Rancière make to an understanding of filmic reality? While Rancière’s approach to cinema, and to aesthetics more generally, is strategically ambivalent – he is a philosopher who is not keen to ‘take sides’ in specific debates (see Rancière 2009: 21) – that ambivalence raises questions worth considering for the notion of filmic reality. Rancière is at his most confident when describing what cinema is not, and his

in The reality of film
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Images and narratives on the border
Jopi Nyman
Johan Schimanski

border-crossings and bordering processes take place, contributing to the negotiation of borders in the public sphere and constructing new configurations of belonging and becoming (Brambilla, 2015 : 24). This means that these aesthetic forms are central to the political process, the latter being characterised by the philosopher Jacques Rancière as a partage du sensible , a ‘distribution of the sensible’ ( 2004 ) or, to retain the ambivalence of the original wording, a ‘sharing/division of the sensible’. What narratives and images make possible is identifying various

in Border images, border narratives