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Auteurism, politics, landscape and memory

This book is a collection of essays that offers a new lens through which to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The films analysed span a period of some 40 years that have been crucial in the development of Spain, Spanish democracy and Spanish cinema. The book offers a new lens to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The figure of the auteur jostles for attention alongside other features of film, ranging from genre, intertexuality and ethics, to filmic language and aesthetics. At the heart of this project lies an examination of the ways in which established auteurs and younger generations of filmmakers have harnessed cinematic language towards a commentary on the nation-state and the politics of historical and cultural memory. The films discussed in the book encompass different genres, both popular and more select arthouse fare, and are made in different languages: English, Basque, Castilian, Catalan, and French. Regarded universally as a classic of Spanish arthouse cinema, El espíritu de la colmena/The Spirit of the Beehive has attracted a wealth of critical attention which has focused on political, historical, psychological and formal aspects of Víctor Erice's co-authored film-text. Luis Bunuel's Cet obscur objet du désir/That Obscure Object of Desire, Catalan filmmaker Ventura Pons' Ocana. Retrat Intermitent/Ocana. An Intermittent Portrait, Francisco Franco's El Dorado, Víctor Erice's El sol del membrillo/The Quince Tree Sun, and Julio Medem's Vacas/Cows are some films that are discussed.

Lisa Downing

realm of the interpersonal encounter signals not a retreat from ethical concerns but – paradoxically – a return to them. It is my contention, then, that in these recent works, Leconte exploits the filmic language of love as a metaphor for broader ethical challenges, encounters and dilemmas in ways that parallel the contexts in which Levinas’s work is starting to be considered within recent theoretical

in Patrice Leconte
Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract

There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.

Gender (and) politics in Colombian women’s documentary
Deborah Martin

Castañeda’s communion outfit. Such details are typical of Chircales ’ filmic language, a nascent feminist aesthetic which privileges the edges of the frame, that which Clara Riascos would later call ‘el bordadito’, ‘la pendejadita’ (Cine Mujer, 1987 : 12). 5 Ideological displacement is thus echoed aesthetically by a decentring of the filmic frame, and takes place in the filming of the brickmakers: a

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
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Essays on cinema, anthropology and documentary filmmaking

The looking machine calls for the redemption of documentary cinema, exploring the potential and promise of the genre at a time when it appears under increasing threat from reality television, historical re-enactments, designer packaging and corporate authorship. The book consists of a set of essays, each focused on a particular theme derived from the author’s own experience as a filmmaker. It provides a practice-based, critical perspective on the history of documentary, how films evoke space, time and physical sensations, questions of aesthetics, and the intellectual and emotional relationships between filmmakers and their subjects. It is especially concerned with the potential of film to broaden the base of human knowledge, distinct from its expression in written texts. Among its underlying concerns are the political and ethical implications of how films are actually made, and the constraints that may prevent filmmakers from honestly showing what they have seen. While defending the importance of the documentary idea, MacDougall urges us to consider how the form can become a ‘cinema of consciousness’ that more accurately represents the sensory and everyday aspects of human life. Building on his experience bridging anthropology and cinema, he argues that this means resisting the inherent ethnocentrism of both our own society and the societies we film.

Dr Jenny Barrett

it created a whole independent movement for race films and for other ethnic films as well, that brought some of that new filmic language and allowed them to make new representations. There was Yiddish cinema, there was Chinese cinema, and there were race films immediately after the release of the [1915] film. So obviously this is a positive outcome from a film like that, that

in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation
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Joseph Losey and the crisis of historical rupture
Colin Gardner

explicate this new filmic language? What is its connection to the politics of historical rupture? Finally, and most importantly, what were the repercussions of this experiment on post-war British cinema? Obviously we will tackle these issues throughout the course of this book, but let’s explore the issue of film language first. What exactly do we mean by ‘ontological immanence’? In this context, we are referring to a non

in Joseph Losey
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Lisa Downing
Sue Harris

progress of its putrefaction. A couple of potatoes left in the kitchen will similarly sprout increasingly elaborate growths as Carol’s madness escalates. These objects are at once banal and uncanny. Their role in the film is as markers of the real, announcing the emergence of psychosis over symbolisation (though obviously they themselves are mediated symbols of the schism in sanity within a tightly constructed metaphorical filmic

in From perversion to purity
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Maria M. Delgado

. In terms of the philosophical coherence of the project, association with the canon and a critical reflection on the political status quo are of interest to all the studies gathered here, along with a sharpness of focus on a key aspect or concept pertinent to each of the 17 films covered. The figure of the auteur jostles for attention alongside other features of film, ranging from genre, intertexuality and ethics, to filmic

in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
An empirical art
David MacDougall

, these relationships are reflected in the camerawork, editing and the content of images. Does the filmmaker stand aloof or record his or her interactions with the people in the film? Are the conditions of filming made evident? Is the filmic language familiar, relying on established conventions from fiction or documentary, or is it more personal, reflecting a particular sensibility? How much is assumed about what the audience already knows? Does the filmmaker expect the viewer to understand the situation or make explicit efforts to guide them? Each of these

in The looking machine