PART I What is evaluative aesthetics? What is evaluative aesthetics? 17 1.1 The origin and definition of aesthetics The concept of the ‘aesthetic’ is best considered as a cluster of interrelated meanings, and Part I will attempt to elaborate its multifaceted nature. Its Greek origin is aisthesis, meaning perception by sense, or feeling; more precisely it derives ‘from the Greek nominal aisthetikos, sensitive or sentient, derived in turn from the verb aisthanesthai, meaning to perceive, feel, or sense’ (Costelloe 2013: 1). Aesthetki is ‘the science of how
feísmo (ugly aesthetics) of the real apartment blocks in the Concepción. Almodóvar’s attention to the detail of social reality makes this one of his most difficult films to place. It is not realist, or overtly postmodern, or pop like his early films. Nevertheless, there is still humour and splashes of surrealism, including the presence of a pet lizard and the abrupt shifts to television programmes. The film’s black comedy also makes it difficult to classify. As Almodóvar comments: What Have I Done to Deserve This? is a film where again one finds several
with no focus on cinematic productions. This chapter aims to address this imbalance by exploring the presence of punk aesthetics (or the lack thereof) in Salto al vacío and Historias del Kronen in the theoretical context of New Punk Cinema. Nicholas Rombes states that from the beginning of the 1990s a series of films emerged in different parts of the world, which became highly popular among mainstream audiences – films that
spoken and written languages, to influence our strategies of representation, and to inflect the grammar and aesthetics of our cinemas: the way things and people are filmed keep on shaping and informing the vision that is proposed to the spectator. In the 1970s, feminist film theory demonstrated its effect on the representation of gender. The techniques at play in the representation of race in film also came under scrutiny, with their
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
David Lean has been characterised as a director of highly romantic disposition whose films offer a vision of 'the romantic sensibility attempting to reach beyond the restraints and constrictions of everyday life'. This book proposes new perspectives on the work of David Lean and offers a fuller and more varied appreciation of his manifold achievements as a filmmaker. In so doing, the book makes interventions in wider academic debates around authorship, gender, genre and aesthetics in relation to the British cinema and transnational cinema of British cultural inheritance of which Lean was such a remarkable exponent. It first deals with Lean's early career, covering his entry into the film industry and flourishing formative years as an editor, honing skills, and his official entry into direction. It then examines Lean's four forays into the nineteenth century, encompassing his two Dickens adaptations as well as his two later Victorian dramas, both centred on rebellious females. Each film presents a vivid instance of the twentieth century in the process of 'inventing the Victorians'; put together, the quartet of films show how perceptions began to change during the pivotal postwar year. The book also focuses on the gender by focusing on a trio of films about women in love and three films centred on male visionaries.