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Michael Chaney and Jason Lindquist

‘The Gothic Aesthetics of Eminem’ examines key videos, lyrics, and performances of the white hip-hop celebrity, noting the reoccurrence of such Gothic tropes and narrational strategies as self-replication, the spectacle of monstrous proliferation, the spread of fakery and the counterfeit, as well as the abjection of women. The authors compare Stoker‘s Dracula to Eminem, whose cultural menace similarly functions to proselytise white young men into clones, refracting the racial and sexual anxieties of Stoker‘s novel. The article moves from a consideration of the rapper‘s songs and videos ‘My Name Is’, ‘The Real Slim Shady,’ and ‘Stan’ to the film, 8 Mile.

Gothic Studies
James Uden

Scholars of eighteenth-century literature have long seen the development of the Gothic as a break from neoclassical aesthetics, but this article posits a more complex engagement with classical imitation at the origins of the genre. In Horace Walpole’s formative Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto, his Gothic drama The Mysterious Mother, and in the curiosities in his villa, classical elements are detached from their contexts and placed in startling and strange juxtapositions. His tendency towards the fragmentation of ancient culture, frequently expressed through the imagery of dismemberment, suggests an aesthetic not of imitation, but of collection. Moreover, rather than abandoning or ignoring the classical, Walpole reconfigures literary history to demonstrate elements of monstrosity and hybridity already present in Greek and Roman texts.

Gothic Studies
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A General Model of Visual Aesthetics
Torben Grodal

This article argues that the central dimensions of film aesthetics may be explained by a general theory of viewer psychology, the PECMA flow model. The PECMA flow model explains how the film experience is shaped by the brain‘s architecture and the operation of different cognitive systems; the model describes how the experience is based on a mental flow from perception, through emotional activation and cognitive processing, to motor action. The article uses the flow model to account for a variety of aesthetic phenomena, including the reality-status of films, the difference between narrative and lyrical-associative film forms, and the notion of ‘excess’.

Film Studies
Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein
Jessie Givner

This essay examines the Gothic trope of monstrosity in a range of literary and historical works, from writings on the French Revolution to Mary Shelleys Frankenstein to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I argue that, in the various versions of the Frankenstein myth, what has ultimately come to seem most monstrous is the uncanny coupling of literary and political discourse. Beginning with Jacobin and anti-Jacobin discourse, this essay traces the tendency of literary tropes to turn into political tropes. In Frankenstein and in the Victorian rewritings of Shelley‘s novel, the trope of monstrosity functions, with remarkable consistency, as a mechanism which enables the unstable and often revolutionary turns between aesthetic and ideological discourse. Because the trope of monstrosity at the heart of Frankenstein exists on the border between literary and political discourse that trope has emerged as one of the most crucial forces in current critical theoretical debates about the relationship between aesthetics and ideology.

Gothic Studies
Sofia Wijkmark

In Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Gothic-horror novel Little Star (2010) graphic violence has a central function – thematically, but primarily as an aesthetic device. The plot contains motifs from classical video nasties, motifs that also have an effect on the text itself. This paper examines the novel’s use of extremely violent scenes, influenced by violent horror films, defining them as a kind of remediation. One point being made is that the use of violent effects, often described as a kind of spectacle, can be interpreted as a formal play upon the conventions of violent fiction.

Gothic Studies
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Cinema, Horror and the Abominations of Hell
Michael Grant

Beginning from a consideration of some ideas on aesthetics deriving from R. G. Collingwood, this essay sets Dreyer‘s Vampyr beside Fulcis The Beyond. The article then goes on to suggest something of the nature of the horror film, at least as exemplified by these two works, by placing them against the background of certain poetic procedures associated with the post-symbolist poetry of T. S. Eliot.

Film Studies
A Session at the 2019 Modern Language Association Convention
Robert Jackson, Sharon P. Holland, and Shawn Salvant

“Interventions” was the organizing term for the presentations of three Baldwin scholars at the Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago in January of 2019. Baldwin’s travels and activities in spaces not traditionally associated with him, including the U.S. South and West, represent interventions of a quite literal type, while his aesthetic and critical encounters with these and other cultures, including twenty-first-century contexts of racial, and racist, affect—as in the case of Raoul Peck’s 2016 film I Am Not Your Negro—provide opportunities to reconsider his work as it contributes to new thinking about race, space, property, citizenship, and aesthetics.

James Baldwin Review
James Bond‘s Serial Heritage
Scott Higgins

Just six years after the last American sound-era serial, Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman brought James Bond to the screen, launching the longest-lived and most influential film series of the post-studio era. This article considers how the first Bond films adapted the regular imperilments,and operational aesthetics of sound-serials. Early Bond films benefitted from a field of expectations, viewing strategies and conventions planted by the over 200 B-grade chapter-plays produced between 1930 and 1956. Recourse to these serial strategies conferred tactile immediacy and ludic clarity to the films, and facilitated engagement with the Bond beyond the cinema.

Film Studies
Chiao-I Tseng

The recent uses of digital technology in war films have sparked a wave of discussions about new visual aesthetics in the genre. Drawing on the approach of film discourse analysis, this article critically examines recent claims about new visual grammar in the war film and investigates to what extent the insertion of different media channels has affected the persuasive function of the genre. Through a detailed analysis of Redacted (2007), which constitutes an extreme case of a fiction filmmaking use of a variety of digital channels, this article demonstrates that the multimedia format works within systems of classical film discourse while also generating new patterns of persuasion tied to new visual technology.

Film Studies
Driving Desire on Television
Zoë Shacklock

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.

Film Studies