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Corporeal cinema and film philosophy

Jean Epstein, born in Warsaw, was raised in Switzerland, but it was Brittany where he made some of his best films. He was famous yet misunderstood, original yet held to be idiosyncratic and poetic to a fault, consistently referred to by most critics as a key theoretician. Using familiar genres, melodramas and documentaries, he hoped to heal viewers of all classes and hasten social utopia. This book offers the first comprehensive introduction to and preliminary study of Epstein's movies, film theory, and literary and philosophical criticism in the age of cinema. Diluted into a single word, photogénie, his aesthetic project is equated with a naïve faith in the magic power of moving images, whereas Epstein insistently articulated photogénie in detailed corporeal, ethical and political terms. While Epstein scarcely refers to World War One in his writings or film work, it is clearly from this set of urgent questions that he began reflecting on art and literature. The New Wave movement in France in the late 1950s, put melodrama and avant-garde together feels oxymoronic if not sacrilegious. Epstein's filmography contains roughly an equal number of films that can be labelled fiction and documentary, a little over twenty, in each category. Epstein has opened the way for a corporeal cinema predicated on cinematography and montage rather than narration and mise-en-scène. Epstein's work in cinema, film 'theory', and philosophy, offers today a surprisingly contemporary set of movies, cinematographic idioms, and reflections on all the phenomena of cinema.

Spenser and Shakespeare

intuition of immortality form Shakespeare’s major concern. 31 Duke Vincentio urges Claudio, and all in his overly sensual kingdom, to embrace the tragedy of mortality: ‘Be absolute for death.’ His urgings to release the spirit from embodiment is, however, not achieved in Measure for Measure , nor in its neighbour-play, King Lear , nor in the romances. While Spenser

in Renaissance psychologies
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morality play; but it is also true that though Adonis preserves his virtue Shakespeare seems to have very little invested in his hero’s chastity. Adonis denounces Venus much as the Lady denounces Comus, as the embodiment not of love but of “sweating lust,” and Venus is certainly represented as gross and unattractive. Most readers, however, have found the case a little loaded and

in Spectacular Performances
Frankenstein, neo-Victorian fiction, and the palimpsestuous literary past

’s Frankenstein – demonstrate how the ‘hideous progeny’ of Mary Shelley’s imagination becomes an embodiment of the palimpsestuous narrative production central to both neo-Victorian fiction and adaptation. In other words, the idea of the Frankenstein Complex provides a particularly apt analogy for the things neo-Victorian fiction attempts to do and the ways it attempts to do them. The fish as palimpsest: Di Filippo’s ‘Hottentots’ The project of re-visioning the past undertaken by writers of neo-Victorian fiction relies upon

in Adapting Frankenstein
Pedro Almodóvar’s transnational imaginary

fatales, identities constructed outside the bounds of the nuclear family – the family at the centre of the discursive strategies of the nation and the affective nexus dramatised by the melodramatic mode. Furthermore, the transvestite characters in each of these films provide a figure of embodiment for these transnational articulations informed, in part, by their iconographic status as femme fatales

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
The legend and its early modern reworkings

embodiment of alterity. Two centuries before Mandeville, the first known reference to Prester John is to be found in Otto of Freising’s chronicle, the Historia de duabus civitatibus (1158), which contains the report made by Hugh, a bishop from Lebanon: He also related that not so many years ago a certain

in A knight’s legacy
Is there space for the emergence of ‘dissidents’?

experience, relegating portrayals of its party as one of romantic tradition and heritage. Amid this redefinition of republican core ideology New Sinn Féin is portrayed as the epitome of post-modern politics. Identity and culture have replaced territory and sovereignty as key issues, the Sinn Féin ‘Ireland of Equals’ slogan being the embodiment of this.72 Similarly to Bean, Frampton proposes that the period leading up to the Good Friday Agreement was a time in which the nature of the republican movement became utterly transformed; ‘by 2007, Sinn Féin was virtually

in Spoiling the peace?
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Shakespeare and the supernatural

also face the challenge of reinvigorating the mystery of the supernatural and its dramatic power for a predominantly sceptical audience. These different approaches inform each other, opening up various dialogues between the chapters; histories haunt texts and spaces, and have consequences for performance choices. The political and historical strands outlined in this introduction are taken up in different ways by all of the authors, particularly through the issue of embodiment, a key aspect of theatre which rests on a physical onstage presence, be

in Shakespeare and the supernatural

. The point here is not to offer a boldly one-dimensional reading of Red Crosse’s spiritual errancy (‘it is all about sex!’), but to acknowledge just how complex and revealing sexuality is as a theme. It is not a superficial ‘vehicle’ for talking about something else, but a touchstone for thinking about the very condition of embodiment. One’s attitude to sexuality implicates a whole host of issues that any definition of holiness must navigate: appetite, pleasure, procreation, and romantic love, but also, more broadly, ideas about sin, guilt, virtue, and self

in Comic Spenser
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question by articulating a conception of supranational citizenship as the institutional embodiment of the active and collective agency of reasonable composite selves in a community of rights, shaping their common and separate destinies under conditions of political equality and mutual recognition and respect. Whatever its territorial scope, insofar as that citizenship consists in effective powers and constitutes a political order conducing to the wellbeing and freedom of individuals, it authorises and justifies the framework of political authority. The political

in Supranational Citizenship