Film and Screen Media - Journal Articles

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    Unfolding borders: For a semiotics of essayistic border images
    (Center for Aesthetic Research on Audiovisual Media (CINEMA) of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), 2022) Rascaroli, Laura
    Problematic ideological strategies of in/visibility are played out today around borders by exploiting advanced image-making technologies and hegemonic media discourses that produce “thin” border images lacking in semiotic complexity. This article responds to calls to move beyond the “line in the sand” metaphor by investigating essay films that experiment with a performative relationship with the border. Their “borderwork” is self-reflexive to the point of becoming a form of theory. To elucidate this theorization of the border, I invoke Derrida’s limitrophic method of “thickening” the limit, mediated via Deleuze’s notion of the fold. By comparing three case studies—Armin Linke’s Alpi (2011), Philip Scheffner’s Havarie (2016), and Tadhg O’Sullivan’s The Great Wall (2015)—I interrogate the strategies that essay films employ to operationalize borders. The article is a first attempt at a semiotic classification of film-essayistic border images, and a contribution to the understanding of essay film as limitrophic audiovisual thinking.
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    Women's activist filmmaking against gendered violence in Pakistan
    (Routledge, 2023-08-25) Imran, Rahat; Boyle, Karen; Berridge, Susan; Horizon 2020
    Focusing on women's activist filmmaking practices against gendered violence in Pakistan, this chapter discusses Samar Minallah's 2003 documentary film Swara: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters, which served as a catalyst for bringing urgent national attention to the tribal practice of swara that allows giving away minor girls (even unborn ones) in forced marriages as compensation to settle feuds and avenge murders. Winner of the Perdita Huston Activist for Human Rights Award in 2007, among others, Minallah's film challenged the custom as a gendered crime against women. The 40-minute film made legislative history as the Supreme Court of Pakistan used the film as evidence to pass legislation that criminalised the practice of swara as victimisation of women. Likewise, Pakistani woman filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's two Oscar-winning documentary films Saving Face (2011), and A Girl In the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015) address the victimisation of women in acid-attacks and honour-killings, respectively. Both films renewed pressure on the government of Pakistan and policy-makers to focus on these widespread forms of violence against women and the need to enforce stricter laws and accountability. A contextual reading of the aforementioned films highlights the gendered nature of extreme forms of violence inflicted on women in the name of so-called “honour” and revenge, while gender-specific tribal customs and practices, patriarchal and gender-biased mindsets and Sharia laws of Qisas (compensation by equal punishment) and Diyat (compensation by blood money) serve to protect male perpetrators of violence and murders.
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    For Western eyes: Nelofer Pazira's accented returns to Afghanistan
    (Pitt Open Library Publishing, 2023) Imran, Rahat; Horizon 2020
    Appropriating relevant elements from Iranian film scholar Hamid Naficy’s formulation of an ‘Accented Cinema’ (2001) that addresses various aspects of diasporic filmmaking and filmmakers ‘situated in the interstices of social formations and cinematic practices’ (4) as guiding tropes for analysis, this paper focuses on the depiction of the post-Taliban period through a contextual and critical reading of Nelofer Pazira’s first documentary film Return to Kandahar (2003) and her debut feature film Act of Dishonour (2009) on the topic of 'honour-killing.' The paper examines how these films portray ‘accented’ images captured and relayed by a diaspora Afghan woman filmmaker to appeal to distant and unversed Western/foreign audiences and film festivals. In addition to Naficy's formulation of the 'accented cinema', I argue that Pazira uses a formulaic accent and variances (also to be read as her emphases) in her depictions that are aimed specifically at appealing to Western audiences.
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    Cinema as history and history as cinema - Michael Collins (1996) and The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)
    (Wordwell Group, 2021-10) Chambers, Ciara; Australian Government; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland
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    Sonic modernities: capitalism, noise, and the city essay film
    (Taylor and Francis, 2023-03-07) Rascaroli, Laura
    Oculocentric perspectives are often dominant in descriptions of the city essay film. Whether flâneurial, observational, lyrical or visionary, the gaze is often placed at the centre of the filmic perception of the city, which is itself conceived of as a sight, image, or palimpsest. In this article, I reflect on the centrality of noise to modernity, and of capitalism to urban sound. In doing so, I pursue a dual goal: to foreground a sound-based understanding of the city through the essay film; and to ask how sound can help us understand the city essay film as a critique at once of the metropolis’ entanglement with capitalism and of the cinema’s historical contribution to the creation of the city as spectacle. A workable definition of the city essay film as an object of theory is attained via an engagement with urban and sound studies, and the discussion of sound design and sound discourse in Many Undulating Things (2019), a geopolitical essay by Bo Wang and Pan Lu about Hong Kong.