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Cinema, documentary, and the visual arts

Regarding the real: cinema, documentary, and the visual arts develops an approach to the study of documentary film focussing on its aesthetic and cultural relations to the modern visual arts, especially: animation, assemblage, photography, painting, and architecture. In particular, it examines how documentary practices have often incorporated methods and expressive techniques derived from these art forms. Combining close analysis with cultural history, the book re-assesses the influence of the modern visual arts in subverting the structures of realism typically associated with documentary film, and considers the work of figures whose preferred film language is associative, and fragmentary, and for whom the documentary remains an open form, an unstable expressive phenomenon that at its best interrogates its own narratives, and intentions. In the course of its discussion, the book charts a path that leads from Len Lye to Hiroshi Teshigahara, and includes along the way figures such as Joseph Cornell, Johan van der Keuken, William Klein, Jean-Luc Godard, Jonas Mekas, Raymond Depardon.

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and paranoid schizophrenic) modes of cultural consciousness, concentrated in reflexive citytexts respectively located at the centre of European modernism (early twentieth-century Paris and London) and on its historical and geographical edges (mid-nineteenth-century St. Petersburg and Rio to twentieth-century Moscow, São Paulo and Lisbon), this investigation seeks to redefine some of the dimensions, dynamics, creative capacities and critical contributions of discrete literary modernisms – concentric, but especially, eccentric. Eccentric cities, self-consciously cast

in EccentriCities

Of all Eisenstein’s films Strike retains best of all the promise and mutual interests of the Russian cultural avant-garde and of the Bolshevik political revolution. Strike is both a great film of European modernism and a testament to the energies and hopes of the Bolshevik Revolution. Before Eisenstein made Strike in 1925, he had worked for some years after the Revolution in theatre

in Montage

No. 30. Like those previously, this project was developed in close collaboration with government institutions, in this case with GosPlan (led by Strumilin, the inventor of time-budget studies and home inventories) and the Housing Committee of the RSFSR, which in 1930 explored desurbanist ideas in the context of creating housing norms. For GosPlan, the constructivist group of architects called OSA (Obedinenie sovremennykh arkhitektorov, Organization of Contemporary Architects) created a Soviet version of European modernism, a miniature version of Le Corbusier

in Modernism and the making of the Soviet New Man

with the concentric, still provoked and provocateur, but speaking from and in terms of its own complex cultural context.12 Eccentric literature recalculates modernist time and place (history) and structure (chronotope and consciousness), through the narrators who playfully and perversely cast themselves as deviants and their works as paradoxically authentic, authoritative and even ethical deviations. Cross-examining dynamics of urbane discourse and consciousness in discrete Russian and Brazilian contexts elucidates both eccentric derivations of European modernism and

in EccentriCities
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Writing in the margins of Modernism

Eccentric creative consciousness is marked by the many contradictions inherent in being cast on the margins of paradoxically marginocentric geo-cultural sites. This book seeks to bring greater clarity to discrete urbane architectonics of modernist literature within a distended Western (including Slavic and Latin American) tradition. It traces different slants of the rational plane in modernist fictions by rupturing, deconstructing and reconstructing consciousness along differently temporalized and spatialized axes respectively aligned with concentric and eccentric cultural construction. The book redefines some of the dimensions, dynamics, creative capacities and critical contributions of discrete literary modernisms - concentric, but especially, eccentric. A distinction is made between pathologically memoried and mad (particularly manic and paranoid schizophrenic) modes of cultural consciousness, concentrated in reflexive citytexts respectively located at the centre of European modernism. The book re-examines the development of literal and literary landscapes underpinning paranoid schizophrenic constructions of eccentric consciousness in Nikolai Gogol's and Fyodor Dostoevsky's Petersburg tales and Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis's Rio narratives. It reconsiders these works as critical and creative responses to urbane European genres as well as earlier strains of Russian and Brazilian literary and artistic representation. The book focuses on eccentric consciousnesses framing the hallucinated cities drawn by writers including Andrei Bely, Mario de Andrade, Mikhail Bulgakov, Osman Lins, Clarice Lispector and Liudmila Petrushevskaya.

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what occurs within them. The fact of making a choice as Visconti did for these forms within a social and artistic context of European modernism was a step backward into the past, but taken by Visconti with the full awareness of the choice like Aschenbach’s choice to return to Venice for a last glance at the beauty of Tadzio. But what Aschenbach desired was only to gaze at that beauty, not to touch it as flesh, but preserve it as a pure aesthetic ideal. What he sought was contemplative and it is in the contemplation that the intensity and passion of Aschenbach is

in Film modernism
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had brought with them ideas that were to inform the development on US soil of new approaches to consumers and commodities. These included the seeds of ‘motivation research’ within studies of consumer behaviour, as well as design innovations associated with European modernism, including the ‘functionalism’ of the Bauhaus school. The latter helped to shape US industrial design and architecture, including kitchen design.3 These continental European influences, developed and extended in the USA, later returned to Europe (including Britain) in the post-war period to

in Hard sell
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ambivalent (L. Somigli, Legitimizing the Artist. Manifesto Writing and European Modernism 1885–1915, 2003; G. Berghaus, ed., Futurism and the Technological Imagination, 2009; C. Poggi, Inventing Futurism. The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism, 2009). Scholarly research has focused on lesser-known aspects of the movement, such as Futurism and the esoteric (S. Cigliana, Futurismo esoterico. Contributi per una storia dell’ irrazionalismo italiano tra Otto e Novecento, 2002); and Futurism in regional centres (W. Bohn, The Other Futurism. Futurist Activity in Venice

in Back to the Futurists
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’s novels Ulysses and Finnegans Wake might have suggested these fictional tactics to Rushdie in a different context, but Desani, in Rushdie’s estimation, was the first writer to give modernism an Indian dimension and, in so doing, was one of the first Indian writers to make the aesthetic and formal challenge to the novel in English a ‘more global’ phenomenon than European modernism had done.30 The need for a decolonised novel, like the need for a decolonised English, is a result of the form’s implication in colonial history. The novel was, as Anita Desai has pointed out

in Salman Rushdie