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A reply from Saturday Night to Mr. Dienstag

do, no one else is so capable of it or so ready for it. He could . It’s a free country. But it will take a change of consciousness. So phenomenology becomes politics. 15 When reading Cavell – on anything and also on film – I come away with the strong sense

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
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, feminism, phenomenology, art history and ethnography, have also been drawn on by film theorists in recent years. In this process of connection with important intellectual disciplines and traditions, ‘classical’ realist film theory also has an important role to play, because the approaches developed by the classical realist theorists are directly linked to historically important traditions of thought, including those of Kant

in Realist film theory and cinema
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, because, as will be argued in Chapter 6 , evidence always ‘underdetermines’ theory. 8 It can also be argued that much recent critical reassessment aspires to recover Kracauer against a backdrop advocacy of postmodernist criticism and phenomenology, rather than realism; and also that it is such theoretical allegiance which leads to the derogation of Theory of Film in favour of the Weimar writings, and to a raising up of a

in Realist film theory and cinema
Joshua Foa Dienstag in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers

This book engages in a critical encounter with the work of Stanley Cavell on cinema, focusing skeptical attention on the claims made for the contribution of cinema to the ethical character of democratic life. In much of Cavell's writing on film he seeks to show us that the protagonists of the films he terms "remarriage comedies" live a form of perfectionism that he upholds as desirable for contemporary democratic society: moral perfectionism. Films are often viewed on television, and television shows can have "filmlike" qualities. The book addresses the nature of viewing cinematic film as a mode of experience, arguing against Cavell that it is akin to dreaming rather than lived consciousness and, crucially, cannot be shared. It mirrors the celebrated dialogue between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jean D'Alembert on theatre. The book articulates the implications of philosophical pessimism for addressing contemporary culture in its relationship to political life. It clarifies how The Americans resembles the remarriage films and can illuminate the issues they raise. The tragedy of remarriage, would be a better instructor of a democratic community, if such a community were prepared to listen. The book suggests that dreaming, both with and without films, is not merely a pleasurable distraction but a valuable pastime for democratic citizens. Finally, it concludes with a robust response from Dienstag to his critics.

acquire movement only because of an illusion, hence it is not a true moving flow; and, third, cinema is but a translation of the temporal (actual motion) into the spatial (the film strip), thus bringing back what, for Bergson, is the major error of philosophy, the spatializing of time. We will see later what correctives Epstein brings to this selective understanding of cinema and the phenomenology of filmic perception. Yet for all of Bergson’s technophobia – we can call it that since it is a wilfully partial account – cinema acts nonetheless as the precious litmus test

in Jean Epstein

windows and signs, a practice Walter Benjamin defined as flânerie (2007: 36–​7). Benjamin’s attempt to understand a new phenomenology of vision enabled by mass reproduction was premediated in the textual medium of film magazines, in particular those published after 1910 and the inception of full-​length narrative film. Yet several years before Benjamin’s 1936 essay on mechanical reproduction, in magazines such as Cine Popular, Cinegramas, Fotogramas and La Pantalla, to name only a few, we find a running commentary on the same technological shifts that concerned Benjamin

in Performance and Spanish film

Since the release of her debut feature, La ciénaga, in 2001, Argentine director Lucrecia Martel has gained worldwide recognition for her richly allusive, elliptical and sensorial film-making. The first monograph on her work, The Cinema of Lucrecia Martel analyses her three feature films, which also include La niña santa (2004) and La mujer sin cabeza (2008), alongside the unstudied short films Nueva Argirópolis (2010), Pescados (2010) and Muta (2011). It examines the place of Martel’s work within the experimental turn taken by Argentine cinema in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a trend of which Martel is often described as a major player, yet also explores correspondences between her work and other national and global filmmaking trends, including the horror genre, and classic Hollywood. It brings together the rich and diverse critical approaches which have been taken in the analysis of Martel’s work – including feminist and queer approaches, political readings and phenomenology – and proposes new ways of understanding her films, in particular through their figuring of desire as revolutionary, their use of the child’s perspective, and their address to the senses and perception, which it argues serve to renew cinematic language and thought.

Far from a simple backdrop, the lived environment was for Jean-Luc Godard capable of eliciting specific modes of cinematographic thought; choice of locations could impact the shape and feel of a film more than its screenplay. Prevalent in his works of the 1960s are suburban landscapes and locales, from the villas, cafés and roadways frequented by the characters of Bande à part (1964) to the high-rises of La Courneuve shown in the essay in phenomenology 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle (1967). Without positing an equivalence between suburban heterogeneity and Godard’s jarring late-modern aesthetic, the author argues for the generative, transgressive capacity of a capitalist space in the throes of transformation and shot through with fragments of history. Shooting near Joinville-le-Pont and Vincennes in Bande à part, Godard pays homage to those pioneers who came before him, like Mack Sennett or Louis Feuillade. In other contexts, like the science-fiction sendup Alphaville (1965), he finds signs of the future in the present, showing Lemmy Caution moving through sleek, well-lit neighbourhoods of high-rises. The spatio-temporal rupture characteristic of Godard’s approach to suburban space resurfaces to surprising effect in Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012).

in Screening the Paris suburbs
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: 41). It has been argued in Chapter 4 that, in the final periods of his career, Lukács became preoccupied with both the nature of empirical experience and a phenomenological approach to knowledge: with an empirical phenomenology. In this respect, both The Specificity of the Aesthetic and the Ontology can be seen to form part of one greater

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
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subvert the generally accepted relationship of authority between high theory and popular cultural production, and to collapse the hierarchy of high and low cultural forms. For Žižek, ‘Hollywood is conceived as a “phenomenology” of the Lacanian spirit, its appearing for the common consciousness’ (Žižek 2001 : xi). As well as undertaking close readings of Leconte’s films as texts in their own right, and as

in Patrice Leconte