recording the past. This was certainly the case with the Annales Mettenses Priores ; they recorded both the history of their own Carolingian times and that of the late Merovingian era. In fact, as we shall see, despite their name, in many sections their form is hardly annalistic at all. The Annals of Metz are a textually difficult source. The historiography of their study is both
Performing women takes on a key problem in the history of drama: the ‘exceptional’ staging of the life of Catherine of Siena by a female actor and a female patron in 1468 Metz. These two creators have remained anonymous, despite the perceived rarity of this familiar episode; this study of their lives and performances, however, brings the elusive figure of the female performer to centre stage. Beginning with the Catherine of Siena play and broadening outward, Performing women integrates new approaches to drama, gender, and patronage with a performance methodology to trace connections among the activities of the actor, the patron, their female family members, and peers. It shows that the women of fifteenth-century Metz enacted varied kinds of performance that included and extended beyond the theatre: decades before the 1468 play, for example, Joan of Arc returned from the grave in the form of a young woman named Claude, who was acknowledged formally in a series of civic ceremonies. This in-depth investigation of the full spectrum of evidence for female performance – drama, liturgy, impersonation, devotional practice, and documentary culture – both creates a unique portrait of the lives of individual women and reveals a framework of ubiquitous female performance. Performing women offers a new paradigm: women forming the core of public culture. Networks of gendered performance offered roles of expansive range and depth to the women of Metz, and positioned them as vital and integral contributors to the fabric of urban life.
In formulating a notion of filmic reality, this book offers a novel way of understanding our relationship with cinema. It argues that cinema need not be understood in terms of its capacities to refer to, reproduce or represent reality, but should be understood in terms of the kinds of realities it has the ability to create. The book investigates filmic reality by way of six key film theorists: André Bazin, Christian Metz, Stanley Cavell, Gilles Deleuze, Slavoj Žižek and Jacques Rancière. In doing so, it provides comprehensive introductions to each of these thinkers, while also debunking many myths and misconceptions about them. Along the way, a notion of filmic reality is formed that radically reconfigures our understanding of cinema.
-seated and extensive female performance. When firmly situated within the lively atmosphere of fifteenth-century Metz, the Saint Catherine jeu reveals the interdependence of the Catherines’ vibrant practices with other, equally vivid forms of female performance. From Catherine Gronnaix’s processional mapping to Claude’s enactment of the Pucelle character, the women of Metz employed specialised performances to create and shape shared narratives within diverse public spheres. These overlapping modes of performance enabled the Catherines, Claude, and their peers to construct
3 The imaginary as filmic reality 5 Over the rainbow: the imaginary of The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) I f ‘filmic reality’ for Bazin was a matter of authenticity and the establishment of ‘social’ forms of reality, as I argued in the preceding chapter, in what ways might Christian Metz provide a theory of ‘filmic reality’? At first sight, ‘reality’ would appear to be a concept quite alien to Metz’s conception of cinema. Certainly, he did once write an essay on the ‘impression of reality’ in the cinema (Metz 1974b), but impressions are precisely what
such detail holds a certain appeal, as ‘history’ it is nonetheless problematic. The actor’s personal and family identity, and her social and cultural context, remain mysterious. This state of obscurity is shared with other female actors of the later Middle Ages, whose biographies and circumstances remain largely hidden.1 Yet the evidence still is tantalising: how is it possible to write the history of an actor who is described as remarkable, but who nonetheless goes unnamed? In the case of the Catherine actor and Metz, this seeming problem offers an opportunity to
most other film-makers needed dozens or hundreds to tell. Yet, as we have seen, the narrative element of his work has often been overlooked in discussions of its spectacular dimension. Therefore, in what follows, individual scenes of some of his films will be examined using a model of structural analysis designed for narrative films. La Grande Paradigmatique: Méliès and Metz Film scholars have long
Introduction The city of Metz lies in a verdant valley in which low mountains frame a horizon often hazed by clouds. Amid fields and forests of green, two rivers converge upon this ‘common stage’ constructed of yellow stone.1 In the fifteenth century, stout walls and towers defended its inhabitants – numbering more than 25,000 people – against the armies that ravaged the lush countryside of the Lorraine, repelling frequent assaults upon the city’s riches and political independence. Yet, despite ongoing wars and repeated outbreaks of sickness, the atmosphere
4 Negotiated devotions and performed histories: laywomen in monastic spaces Introduction Male monastic spaces – although theoretically closed to women – formed another vibrant stage for female performance in Metz. In this chapter, I continue to investigate the relationships among performance, gender, history, and devotion through a study of two Messine monasteries and their roles in the religious observances of laywomen. During the fifteenth century, both the Celestine priory and the Benedictine community of St-Arnoul housed performances by and for Catherine
century, when a building dedicated to the saint was identified at its current location (see Figure 3.1, ‘Map of Metz’).15 A century later, St-Martin had been integrated into the geographies of the city as a destination for rogation processions. By the high Middle Ages, St-Martin was serving as a parish church; increasingly visible ties with the emerging bourgeois of Metz established its influence. The name and parish boundaries of St-Martin were adopted by one of the municipal districts (the ‘paraige Saint Martin’) during the formation of a civic government, creating a