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Keith Reader

, when he writes ‘“tu ne me chercherais pas, si tu ne m’avais trouv锑 17 (Pascal [1670] 1976 : 200). Pascal’s wager on the existence of God has what contemporary linguistics might call a performative effect, for it is only thanks to the wager that God’s existence becomes certain and available to the believer. This means that the wager rests less on a craven calculation of self

in Robert Bresson
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Author: Keith Reader

Lacanian discourse has a complex and multiplies determined relationship with Catholicism, and Robert Bresson has the reputation of being the cinema's greatest Catholic director. Few Catholic artists, however, have found the institutional life of 'their' Church a congenial or inspirational topic, and its declining importance in Bresson's later work is not of itself particularly surprising. Pascal's wager on the existence of God has what contemporary linguistics might call a performative effect, for it is only thanks to the wager that God's existence becomes certain and available to the believer. Bresson's first film, Affaires publiques, is in many ways as unBressonian a work as could be imagined. Bresson from Journal onwards works to all intents and purposes outside genre, with the exception of those parts of Pickpocket and the inserts in Le Diable probablement that are close to the documentary. In 1947, Bresson went to Rome to work on a screenplay of the life of St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, which was never to be filmed. Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, released in 1956, was and remains Bresson's most commercially successful and critically best-received film, though curiously for a very long time it was unavailable in Britain. Bresson's next two films, his first in colour, are also his first true adaptations from Dostoevsky. Bresson's final film, shot in the summer of 1982 and released in 1983, brought to an end the longest gap in his work since that separating Journal from Les Dames, more than thirty years before.

Fünf Patronenhülsen/Five Cartridges
David Archibald

, 2004 : 531). The Spanish Civil War, however, provided the most useful historical period as it fitted perfectly with the desire of the ruling Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands/Socialist Unity Party (SED) to construct an anti-fascist national heritage as part of the attempt to legitimise the existence of the East German state and, crucially, their leadership role within it. (McLellan, 2006 : 289) 7 If one narrative of early twentieth-century German history could be traced from the rise of Hitler in the 1920s and 1930s through to German expansion, the Second

in The war that won't die
Mark Neumann and Janna Jones

earliest amateur films still in existence. 2 Within a decade, other amateur filmmakers moved through this region as well as other parts of Maine and New England. The numbers of amateur filmmakers increased after Eastman Kodak’s introduction of direct reversal 16mm safety film in 1923. 3 The newly formed Amateur Cinema League published the Amateur Movie Makers magazine in

in Cinematic countrysides
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Author: Marion Schmid

Chantal Akerman was one of Europe's most acclaimed and prolific contemporary directors, who came to prominence with Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, and 1080 Bruxelles. Her family history is intimately bound up with the horrors of the Holocaust. Akerman was born in Brussels on 6 June 1950, the first child of Jewish Polish immigrants who settled in Belgium in the late 1930s. Filmmaking, for her, was an imaginative and creative engagement with the silence that weighed heavily on her childhood. Behind the multiple guises of Akerman, this book seeks to present a cinema that crystallises questions that are at the heart of our post-war, post-Holocaust, post-feminist sensibility. It identifies the characteristics of her avant-garde work of the 1970s, the period most closely influenced by American structuralist film and performance art. The book surveys her work in the following decade in the context of post-modernism, the new aesthetic of kitsch and the emergence of a new hedonism in Western critical discourses. It is dedicated to her documentary work of the 1990s and 2000s, which sheds light on the central ethical and aesthetic concerns behind her work. The book discusses her attempts to penetrate into the mainstream, her renewed engagement with the themes of love and desire, and her further exploration of the permeable boundaries between autobiography and fiction. What emerges forcefully in Akerman's cinema, is a persistent engagement with the forms and conditions of human existence.

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Jacques Rivette remains undoubtedly the least well known of all the major figures in French cinema associated with the New Wave of the late 1950s and early 1960s. This is demonstrated by the fact that, although retrospectives of Rivette's films have been held in London, Paris and New York in recent years, the first book-length monograph on Rivette's work was only published in 2001 and, until now, none has been published in English. In the 1970s, Rivette directed his best loved and most enduring film, the inexhaustible, irrepressible Céline et Julie vont en bateau. This book begins with a consideration of Rivette's work as a film critic. It focuses on the apparently paradoxical nature of much of Rivette's criticism, a quality perhaps best captured in the seemingly opposed universes of two of Rivette's favourite directors: Roberto Rossellini, on the one hand, Fritz Lang, on the other. The existence of conspiratorial organisations is often suggested only to be denied in Rivette's narratives (Paris nous appartient, Out 1, and Le Pont du Nord), but frequently the atmosphere of unease generated by the film's visual and aural register serves to maintain questions and uncertainties in the mind of the spectator. The function and significance of the jeu de l'oie, and its eerie similarity to the map of Rivette's beloved city/labyrinth, have been amply discussed. The book also includes discussions on Rivette's works such as Histoire de Marie et Julien, L'Amour par terre, La Belle Noiseuse, and Secret Défense.

Histories under the sign of the feminine, pre- and post- the Portuguese revolution of 1974
Rui Gonçalves Miranda

violent constructs, identified with the masculine, but also the existence of the pre-formatted concepts of history and revolution, which it both exposes and confronts. Thus, the interest of both films lies in the political and historical revisioning which is offered, unveiling the historical masculine gaze, in an enterprise which is interested not so much in putting forward a history of woman as it is in

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
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Stuart Hanson

population did not attend the cinema at all. It was at this point, which would be the nadir of cinema-going as a public entertainment that the downward spiral of cinema attendance was reversed with the introduction of the first multiplex cinema in 1985. In part the existence of cinema is the result of an array of technological developments going back arguably to the sixteenth century with the camera obscura

in From silent screen to multi-screen
Guy Austin

tracked walking right-to-left through the rubble to the school in the final sequence. Finally, in Barakat! , the closing image of the Mediterranean Sea – rather like the desert and the sky at the end of L’Arche du désert – evokes an eternal space, whose existence allows one to think beyond the temporal frame of the conflict. We will now look at these three films in greater detail. L’Arche du désert

in Algerian national cinema
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David Murphy and Patrick Williams

of the main characters have nicknames rather than ‘real’ names adds to the cartoonish nature of the film’s world): Chef de quartier is a brash, teenage girl who defiantly stakes out her position within the neighbourhood and refuses a cloistered existence within the home; 3 Atango, the ageing tailor, preens himself like a proud cockerel as he claims to have a diploma from the Sorbonne and swaggeringly describes himself as

in Postcolonial African cinema