Dismissed by most critics, including even those sympathetic to alternative cinema,
Harmony Korine‘s Gummo (1997) presents a tabloid look at the dark underside of
adolescence. It aims to provoke its audience by pushing the boundaries of acceptable
good taste. In Gummo, Korine employs a more experimental collage technique in which
scenes are linked, not by the cause and effect of conventional plot, but by the
elusive logic of free association. This essay contextualizes Korines work within
skateboard culture and the recent Modern Gothic trend toward creepy, angst ridden,
and death-obsessed work by younger contemporary American artists. It argues that
Gummo‘s real achievement rests on its unusual narrative syntax – the way Korine is
able to weave together the films disparate scenes and events to create a viscerally
assaulting, Modern Gothic portrait of the notion of “difference” in its various
Film history rightly remembers Jean Vigo for his short and remarkable career as a filmmaker from 1929 to 1934. But the story of his life before cinema, especially his family circumstances and childhood experiences, is no less extraordinary, and it throws an interesting light on the creative years that followed. This book conveys a sense of the awe and enthusiasm that those four films, À propos de Nice, Taris ou la natation, Zéro de conduite and L'Atalante, have inspired among filmmakers, critics, historians, archivists and fans, ever since the tragic death of their creator in 1934. It commences with the key biographical features of Vigo's early life, in particular the traumatic events of his childhood and the violent death of his father. In the following chapters, we shall focus on the quartet of films one by one. The book then discusses how the two short documentaries, À propos de Nice and Taris ou la natation, were an experimental apprenticeship in the art of filmmaking. It also analyses his semiautobiographical fiction Zéro de conduite as a fable of libertarian revolt. The book proceeds to examine how Vigo attempted the transition to mainstream cinema with L'Atalante, his only full-length feature film, discussing some of the most significant reactions that it provoked. Finally, the book situates in post-war French film culture the exceptional critical fortune of quartets, which has transformed the slender corpus of a once almost unknown film-maker into one of French cinema's greatest names.
British art cinema: Creativity, experimentation and innovation brings together a selection of essays from both new and established scholars that engage with how far artistic creativity, entertainment and commerce have informed a conceptual British ‘arthouse’ cinema. The chapters show that rather than always sitting in the shadow of its European counterparts, for example, British cinema has often produced films and film-makers that explore intellectual ideas, and embrace experiment and innovation. The book examines the complex nature of state-funded and independent British filmmaking, the relationship between the modernist movement and British cinema, and the relationship between British cinema, Hollywood and US popular culture. The chapters cover the history of British cinema from the silent period to the 2010s. Film-makers explored in detail include Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Derek Jarman, Ken Russell, Horace Ové, Joseph Losey, John Krish, Humphrey Jennings, Nicolas Roeg, and lesser-known artists such as Enrico Cocozza and Sarah Turner. There are new essays on the British New Wave, the 1980s, poetic realism and social realism, the producer Don Boyd, the Black Audio Film Collective, films about Shakespeare, and the work of the Arts Council in the aftermath of World War Two.
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.
Soviet montage and the American cinematic avant-garde
principles of the
‘cine eye’ and montage also derived from Constructivism, as types of a filmic
‘faktura’ that combined shots into the dialectical sequences of a Sovietized
syntax that would, like theatre productions, posters, and utilitarian objects,
catalyse a new citizenry for the new society. Montage was the clarion of an
experimentalcinema movement that espoused the spiritual machine discourse
discussed in the two previous chapters, but around the turn of the 1930s radicalized in response to the emergent Depression. In ExperimentalCinema, a shortlived magazine that
Lester, 1964), featuring the Beatles and filmed in a breathless and zany style that made Richardson’s visual pyrotechnics look restrained by comparison. What is beyond doubt however is that Tom Jones and A Hard Day’s Night helped to open up British cinema to a more experimental, irreverent and self-reflexive approach to narrative and visual style, in line with certain concepts of art cinema but also manifest in concurrent developments in other cultural fields including television, advertising, fashion and pop music that helped to define the quintessential style and
Vanderschelden sees as being ‘from national to
postnational’ (2008: 92) provides further evidence of the impact of
English on this era of filmmaking. Before making the move to his
later Hollywood films, however, Besson experimented with language
difference in his cult Le Grand Bleu (1988) and his following film La
Femme Nikita (1990).
While le cinéma du look was a key moment in the development of
twentieth-century French cinema in general, it remains one of the
less diverse and experimental periods for multilingual filmmaking.
Nonetheless, these directors have continued to
experimentalism, it also constitutes something of a rupture with that
tradition). More than most other Francophone African national cinemas,
Cameroon had developed a brand of popular comic films, which were
part-funded by the government. Two of the best-known directors were Daniel
Kamwa – who made Boubou cravate (1972), Pousse-Pousse
(1975) and Notre fille (1980) – and Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa
– director of Muna Moto (1975) and
analysis; and, moreover, wherever possible, to use analytical tools
developed in Film Studies during the same period as Besson’s work.
We begin with a key article on the cinéma du look
for the Revue du cinéma in 1989 by experimental filmmaker and
film critic Raphaël Bassan, translated here for the first time. During
the 1980s, the cinéma du look was roundly despised by
establishment critics connected
late capitalism, and its transformation of authentic lived experience into ‘mere representation’. Critical concepts developed by Debord, including détournement (the hijacking and redirection of existing imagery and texts for critical purposes) and the notion of an ‘anti-cinema’, were resonant in intellectual circles in France at the time and captured the attention of Garrel. The critical theory and practice of the Situationists open avenues for interpreting aspects of the film-maker’s later adolescent works which are often resistant to simple exegesis.