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Looking at the invisible
Author: Don Fairservice

One of the most surprising facts about film-editing technology is that until about 1916 there was none. This book discusses filmed fiction as it has evolved in America and Europe. It explores the history of filmmaking in a way that it is not usually done, looking in detail at films specifically to discover the way that they construct meaning rather than evaluating them in the context of the cultural circumstances of their production and reception. The book examines the primitive and unsophisticated early structuring methods of silent films to discover what steps brought film language to its most recognisable form and to explore any other avenues of experiment that might have suggested themselves on the way. It also examines such methods to discover why most films continue to be shot and structured in the ways that they are. The book evaluates new approaches that challenge convention, explaining how current practice accommodates to those conventional editing forms that have been historically determined. It is instructive to consider the structure and editing of The Great Train Robbery because in some ways it also defines a point from which filmmaking was restarted. A film of particular significance which constructs a narrative by carrying action across different scenes to produce an unbroken continuity is Rescued by Rover. The films examined bend the form to provide explorations of human emotions. Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves has a painful bleakness within it that seems to sit somewhat ill with its faith-confirming conclusion.

Abstract only
Sam Rohdie

History The necessity of history. You need to have the sense of the history of the cinema even if you know it only imperfectly so that every shot you take, every cut you make has the sense of the presence of the past and that sense of the past is what constitutes it. This work, a work Godard calls ‘documentary’ has been lost or abandoned and the American cinema is particularly guilty of that. Alain Resnais’s Nuit et brouillard (1955) opens, in colour, on the ruins of Auschwitz and Majdanek. Colour is the sign of the present. The ruins are traces of a past, a

in Film modernism
Lucy Robinson

2 Zines and history: zines as history Lucy Robinson As this collection shows, it would be fair to say that people interested in history have begun to take zines seriously. From the mid-1990s onwards, archivists and teachers picked up on the possibilities of using zines in their work.1 Edited collections extended access to zine content, albeit by removing them from their networks of meaning and reinstating traditional forms of publication.2 More recently, there has been a growth of work on the history of the zine and using zines as historical sources.3 Historians

in Ripped, torn and cut
Alison Smith

‘Il faut se penser historiquement’. The ultimate lesson of Tout va bien , originating in the theories of Brecht, lay behind the work not only of Godard but of other directors, such as Alain Tanner, Gérard Guérin or René Allio, who were searching in the aftermath of 1968 for a suitable method of rendering a politically relevant account of everyday life. The basic Marxist concept of ‘history’, the wider context of social and cultural change in which it is necessary to understand one’s present experience, was an essential

in French cinema in the 1970s
patterns of the past in Vacas/Cows
David Archibald

History never repeats itself. Man always does. Voltaire Vacas/Cows (Spain, 1992) is the self-reflexive, experimental debut from Basque-born director Julio Medem. A significant critical success (Medem won the Best New Director Goya in 1993), on its release Vacas was also one of the most successful films at the Spanish box office. Yet, despite its critical and commercial success, Vacas is a perplexing film that denies easy analysis; even after multiple viewings it is likely to leave audiences scratching their heads over the contents of its 96

in The war that won't die
Queering time, place, and faith in the diasporic novels of Rabih Alameddine
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

T HIS CHAPTER shifts our focus from the construction of the autofictional self in Abdellah Taïa’s work, as well as his struggle with issues of masculinity, sexual orientation, and faith within the continuum of Arab history, to how the narratives by queer diasporic Muslims become in themselves a queer relaying of time and place. The work of Lebanese-American painter and novelist Rabih Alameddine crucially interweaves themes that are highly autobiographical – the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90), the Lebanese diaspora in America, and the

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Derek Paget

8 Histories: fourth-phase hybridisation A ‘varied and robust ecology’ ‘Authenticating detail’ in television drama, as Robin Nelson has observed, can supply ‘a sense of conviction’ (1997: 109). Docudrama’s stock-in-trade – the pro-filmic reality that lies behind dramatic performance – is intended to ‘authenticate’, or to w ­ arrant, its dramatic representation-cum-speculation. And in general, the more detail the better. But there is an overarching problem of fi ­ delity to the reality dramatised. This problem has continued to focus discussion in a fourth phase of

in No other way to tell it
Derek Schilling

) If the cinema can play a formative role in transmitting historical knowledge, it is because mise en scène brings with it the understanding that our relation to the past is imaginary to begin with. ‘Objective’ retrieval of the past is no longer at issue; awareness of our historical perspective, and of the cinema’s own place in history, is what counts. As we have seen, the bulk of Rohmer’s fictions

in Eric Rohmer
Renate Günther

emptying its people and places of their individual identities, enabling readers and spectators alike to project their own stories, thoughts and fantasies on to the bare outlines offered. If Duras’s creative enterprise was shaped to a large extent by memories of her childhood and adolescence, her involvement in the political history of France since the Second World War played an equally important role, particularly in her cinema. Indeed, a

in Marguerite Duras
Parvati Nair and Julián Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla

Part I Memory and history According to the philosopher Paul Ricœur, ‘narrative attains its full significance when it becomes a condition of temporal existence’ (1984: 52). In stating this, Ricœur foregrounds the importance of history and memory, the two narrative routes that assist and orient our navigation through time. Unlike certain other philosophers, such as Hegel, Ricœur did not, in fact, see

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers