Browsing Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media. Issue 04: Open Theme by Title
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- ItemAnima animus: Jennifer Jason Leigh’s bisexual method in Last Exit to Brooklyn(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Murphy, IanThis essay explores Jennifer Jason Leigh’s portrayal of the young prostitute Tralala in Last Exit to Brooklyn (Uli Edel, 1989) as a case study in performance style that can be usefully understood as bisexual. Drawing firstly upon Joan Riviere’s concept of womanliness as a masquerade, it examines how Tralala’s feminine performativity masks a confused, neurotic and androgynous gender identity and a raging bid for phallic power. As played by Leigh, Tralala’s snarling speech and undulating swagger evokes the wounded rage, rebellion and alienation of 1950s Method “bad boy” stars such as Marlon Brando, James Dean and Montgomery Clift, and the result is a performance style that oscillates freely between male and female subjectivities. Reading the male Method stars in terms of alternative masculinities that transgress the social order, the article argues that Tralala’s essential masochism is fuelled by a similar disavowal of her biological gender. In this regard, she demonstrates a desire to annihilate the self that has less to do with standard screen representations of female masochism than with the explosive psychic processes of classic Method masculinity.
- ItemEgyptian film censorship: safeguarding society, upholding taboos(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Mansour, DinaFilms are a representation and manifestation of culture; yet, since the early days of filmmaking public debates have questioned whether “the motion picture industry was morally fit to control the content of its own products” (Robichaux). Today, the Arab world is plagued by the same dilemma. In a region where government censorship is the norm, heavy restrictions are imposed on locally produced films as a means of “safeguarding” public norms, religion and culture. Also problematic in today’s globalised world is the influx of foreign films into local markets, which not only defy public norms, but also represent cultural values and traditions that are quite alien to societies that have been inherently religious and conservative. Against this background, this article aims to analyse the role of censorship in Egypt with regard to the relationship between cinema and culture—a relationship often overlooked and perhaps intentionally ignored. In doing so, it will examine how censorship has traditionally been used as a tool to control the representation of existing social and cultural realities and to define cultural and religious norms, thus also affecting the normative context.
- ItemFilm Theory: Rational Reconstructions, by Warren Buckland(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) McDonald, Kevin; Ercole, Pierluigi
- ItemFilm-thinking and narrative indeterminacy(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Billingham, JimmyThis article elaborates on Daniel Frampton’s concept of “film-thinking” to propose a novel conception of the status of the narrative event presented in film, providing an alternative to previous conceptions of narration and agency in film. More specifically, the article develop Frampton’s idea that the moving images of film manifest a particular and unique mode of “thought,” with the agent of this thought immanent within the images that it “thinks.” Frampton terms this agent a “filmind” and regards it as transsubjective, it is not an objective perspective, outside the world of the film, nor a subjective character perspective within it, but is immanent within the film-world which constitutes its intentionality as a unique mode of thought. The article utilises this model of filmic agency and the underlying ontological indeterminacy to reconsider the status of narrative events presented in the moving image of film and how we may conceptualise narrative agency and viewer activity in relation to this, especially with regards to flashbacks, voice-over and unreliable narration.
- Item“I get sort of carried away, being so normal and everything”: the oscillating sexuality of Clare Quilty and Humbert Humbert in the works of Nabokov, Kubrick and Lyne(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Richards, EmersonThis paper compares and analyses the differences between Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955) and filmic versions by Stanley Kubrick (1962) and Adrian Lyne (1994), focusing on the respective characterisations of Clare Quilty, as mediated through his encounter with Humbert Humbert at a pivotal scene at the Enchanted Hunter’s Lodge. Following an in-depth analysis of the scene in question, the article then examines Kubrick’s Lolita, exploring the homosocial undertones of Peter Sellers’s Quilty, and the attendant commentary on heteronormative culture of late 1950s/early 1960s America. Finally, Lyne’s interpretation of this encounter will be analysed to discern how a menacing Quilty alters the narrative and deviates from the previous representations, updating the social commentary to incorporate a distinctly 1990s milieu in the process. Treating the two films as iterations and/or mutations of the original literature, the article proposes a comparatist-driven analysis to discern each artist’s intentions toward the narrative as exemplified by this crucial meeting of minds.
- ItemImage versus imagination: memory’s theatre of cruelty in Chris Marker’s La Jetée(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Witt-Jauch, MartinaWhile the 1962 French science fiction film La Jetée presents a straightforward narrative premise, it nonetheless details the story of a man who “becomes a human projectile to be pro-jeté through time,” as Paul Sandro claims. Incriminating the audience in a theatre of cruelty, the film moves through the past and future via the mental time-travel of the protagonist in a series of stills, which appear independent from the consciousness of the agent. In the course of events, the protagonist builds a cognitive map out of this chaotic sequence of memories that allows him to then create new spaces of thought. The first mention of the “theatre of cruelty” by Antonin Artaud in 1935, considered pain and terror to be the most important elements of any kind of play or film. The protagonist's situation of constantly chasing his own ghost and restoring his memory corresponds to these conditions and thus opens up new venues of considering cruelty, and in extension trauma, as an important third element in Chris Marker's film. His film La Jetée created a filmic embodiment of this interplay in both the redemptive yet productive powers of memory and the cyclical notion of time as it manifests itself in the mind of the protagonist and viewer.
- ItemMotion Capture: Drawing and the Moving Image. Curated by Ed Krčma and Matt Packer, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, 26 July-4 November 2012(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Murphy, Jill; Murphy, Ian
- ItemThe Neuro-Image: a Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture, by Patricia Pisters(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten; Ercole, Pierluigi
- ItemRecording Reality, Desiring the Real, by Elizabeth Cowie(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Parziale, Amy; Ercole, Pierluigi
- ItemThe Society of Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Boston, USA, 21–25 March 2012(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Molloy, Missy; Coman, Anthony; Murphy, Ian
- ItemTowards an embodied poetics of cinema: the metaphoric construction of abstract meaning in film(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) Coëgnarts, Maarten; Kravanja, PeterCentral to Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) is the notion of embodied mind, which states that cognition is shaped by aspects of the body. Human beings make metaphoric use of recurring dynamic patterns of perceptual interactions and motor programmes (image schemas) for abstract conceptualisation and reasoning. According to film scholar David Bordwell the poetics of cinema studies the film as a result of a process of construction. He presents the following key question: how do film-makers use the aesthetic dynamics of the film medium to elicit particular effects from spectators? In this article we want to address an abbreviated case of meaning construction in film, namely the construction of abstract meaning in film. By combining insights from Bordwell as well as CMT, we will demonstrate how the poetics of abstract meaning-making in film is embodied. What does it mean to say that the construction of higher meaning in film is rooted in bodily experience and how can this be grasped without resorting to the confinement of words and sentences? By analysing the stylistics and the visual patterning of particular film scenes we will demonstrate how film-makers often resort to image schemas to come to terms with abstract notions such as time, love and psychological content.
- ItemWho’s got the “reel” power? The problem of female antagonisms in blaxploitation cinema(Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, 2012) DeAnn Seifert, MelissaBetween 1973 and 1975, films starring Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson such asCleopatra Jones(Jack Starrett, 1973),Coffy(Jack Hill, 1973) and Foxy Brown(Hill, 1974) introduced leading black women into the predominantly male blaxploitation scene as aggressive action heroines. Within the cinematic spaces of blaxploitation films which featured women as active agents, a racial and sexual divide exists. These films positioned women either inside or outside of gender tolerability by utilising binary constructions of identity based on race, sex and elementary constructions of good and evil, black and white, straight and gay, and feminine and butch. Popular representations of lesbianism and sisterhood within blaxploitation cinema reflect a dominant social view of American lesbianism as white while straight women are consistently represented as black. However, these spaces also constricted black and white female identities by limiting sexuality and morality to racial boundaries. This article seeks to question the unique solitude of these female heroines and interrogate a patriarchal cinematic world where sisterhood is often prohibited and lesbianism demonised.