Film is often conceived as a medium that is watched rather than experienced. Existing studies of film audiences, and of media reception more broadly, have revealed the complexity of viewing practices and cultures surrounding cinema-going and its exhibition spaces. Experiencing Cinema offers the first in-depth study of participant engagement with a range of experiential media forms derived from cinema culture. From sing-a-long screenings to theatrical extravaganzas, a broad spectrum of alternative film-going practices and immersive spaces are explored and analysed in this original audience study. Moving from intimate community gatherings to blockbuster urban venues, from isolated farmhouses to Olympic stadia, Experiencing Cinema considers the lure and value of these popular events. Often attracting a diverse, intergenerational range of participants, from early-adopter urban hipsters to DIY rural communities, the growing demand for participatory cinema within the contemporary marketplace is analysed alongside broader debates circulating around the move away from traditional tiered seating and increased audience mobility and the de-centring of the film text.
Of all the elements that combine to make movies, music sometimes seems the forgotten stepchild. Yet it is an integral part of the cinematic experience. Minimized as mere “background music,” film scores enrich visuals with emotional mood and intensity, underscoring directors’ intentions, enhancing audiences’ reactions, driving the narrative forward, and sometimes even subverting all three. Trying to imagine The Godfather or Lawrence of Arabia with a different score is as difficult as imagining them featuring a different cast. In Experiencing Film Music: A Listener’s Companion, Kenneth LaFave guides the reader through the history, ideas, personalities, and visions that have shaped the music we hear on the big screen. Looking back to the music improvised for early silent movies, LaFave traces the development of the film score from such early epic masterpieces as Max Steiner’s work for Gone With the Wind, Bernard Herrmann’s musical creations for Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers, Jerry Goldsmith’s sonic presentation of Chinatown, and Ennio Morricone’s distinctive rewrite of the Western genre, to John Williams’ epoch-making Jaws and Star Wars. LaFave also brings readers into the present with looks at the work over the last decade and a half of Hans Zimmer, Alan Silvestre, Carter Brey, and Danny Elfman. Experiencing Film Music: A Listener’s Companion opens the ears of film-goers to the nuance behind movie music, laying out in simple, non-technical language how composers and directors map what we hear to what we see—and, not uncommonly, back again.
Recent critically and commercially acclaimed Latin American films such as XXY, Contracorriente, and Plan B create an affective and bodily connection with viewers that elicits in them an emotive and empathic relationship with queer identities. Referring to these films as New Maricón Cinema, Vinodh Venkatesh argues that they represent a distinct break from what he terms Maricón Cinema, or a cinema that deals with sex and gender difference through an ethically and visually disaffected position, exemplified in films such as Fresa y chocolate, No se lo digas a nadie, and El lugar sin límites. Covering feature films from Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Venezuela, New Maricón Cinema is the first study to contextualize and analyze recent homo-/trans-/intersexed-themed cinema in Latin America within a broader historical and aesthetic genealogy. Working with theories of affect, circulation, and orientations, Venkatesh examines key scenes in the work of auteurs such as Marco Berger, Javier Fuentes-León, and Julia Solomonoff and in films including Antes que anochezca and Y tu mamá también to show how their use of an affective poetics situates and regenerates viewers in an ethically productive cinematic space. He further demonstrates that New Maricón Cinema has encouraged the production of “gay friendly” commercial films for popular audiences, which reflects wider sociocultural changes regarding gender difference and civil rights that are occurring in Latin America.
"Like a careful gardener, Miriam Hansen planted and interwove traditions of Frankfurt critical theory, modern film history, and her own critical passions and curiosity. She is an important transatlantic bridge for the traditions of enlightenment and film art. She was not only a theoretical mind, but someone who also exerted a strong, practical influence on filmmaking. Because of her, the Minutenfilm saw a rebirth, as well as film projected onto multiple screens, the Max Ophuls renaissance, and much more. We auteurs listened to her. She was--as she sat in her Chicago office and worked, occasionally glancing over the lake--our prophet." --Alexander Kluge, "Berlin Journal" ""Cinema and Experience" is a doubly poignant book: simultaneously a soulful investigation into the complex fate of experience in a mass-mediated modernity and the posthumous publication of the culminating masterwork of one the master scholars of cinema studies. Rich and probing insights resonate from every page of this wonderful volume." --Dana Polan, author of "Scenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film" "Miriam Hansen's brilliant analysis of the cinematic experience combines a democratic respect for mass culture with the highest standards of scholarly excellence. Mickey Mouse, slapstick comedy, the photographic image and filmed reality become her keys to deciphering the philosophical differences between Adorno and Benjamin, and the philosophical significance of Kracauer's journalistic eye. The present--new media, social networking, drone warfare--is never out of her sight. For the beginning student and the advanced scholar in multiple disciplines, Hansen's writing is a gift, and a roadmap to every relevant scholarly debate. This is an indispensable book by an irreplaceable author. We shall miss her." --Susan Buck-Morss, author of "The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project" "Miriam Hansen's study is the first comprehensive reconstruction of the complex theoretical frames in which Adorno, Benjamin, and Kracauer set their philosophical thoughts on film and cinema. Hansen's profound knowledge of the complete works of these influential thinkers allows her to relate questions of film and cinema aesthetics to the core thoughts of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School in manifold and sometimes surprisingly new ways. This study will establish a new look at the Frankfurt School as well as on film theory in general." --Gertrud Koch, author of "Siegfried Kracauer: An Introduction" "In her posthumous book, Miriam Hansen offers novel readings, both subtle and robust, of Kracauer, Benjamin, and Adorno's reflections on cinema as experience, weaving often disconnected threads into a tapestry of common concepts and concerns that highlights closeness and distance between these writers in unexpected ways. What emerges is yet another Frankfurt School: Critical Theory as media aesthetics and theory of experience. The triangulation of Adorno and Benjamin with Kracauer permits her to think beyond the annoyingly persistent accounts pitting the Eurocentric mandarin against the progressive film and media theorist. The inspirational role of Kracauer for Benjamin is finally acknowledged and Kracauer is freed from the misunderstanding of his work on photography and film as a naive realism. And who but Miriam Hansen would have been able to link Benjamin's notion of aura--explicated in a much broadened discursive and political context--to Adorno's aesthetic of natural beauty? Thinking with Adorno beyond Adorno in modernist aesthetics, with Benjamin beyond Benjamin in media theory, with Kracauer beyond Kracauer on mass culture, she keeps the legacy of Critical Theory alive for an analysis of human experience and cultural practice in our age of digital media." --Andreas Huyssen, Columbia Unive
In this book cinema spectators are presented as ‘observing participants’, that is, agents who take part in their own perceptual processes. It takes experience into the centre of its investigation to propose the spectators’ active participation. It applies this to understanding cinema, from its outset, as a philosophical dispositif. To this end, the book explores crucial interconnections between the various constituencies that shaped moving image technologies and their reception at the nexus of science, art and popular culture at the end of the 19th century and some of the prevailing concerns about time, movement, memory and consciousness. It discusses in particular the interrelations between the works by the philosopher Henri Bergson, the physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey and the art-historian Aby Warburg’s intervention with the Mnemosyne Atlas. Bergson’s main themes germane to these concerns are discussed in detail in order to show how, during the perceptual processes, the seemingly contradictory tendencies of the mind — intellect and intuition — can help us understand the so-called ‘spiritual’ dimension of the emerging cinema from the perspective of the spectators’ cognitive engagement. This perspective invites us to include the experiential qualities of mental processes, such as the interaction between affect, thought and action and the interrelation between memory, perception and consciousness in the study of audio-visual media and elsewhere.
This book explores the range and dynamism of contemporary Asian cinemas, covering East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan), Southeast Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia), South Asia (Bollywood), and West Asia (Iran), in order to discover what is common about them and to engender a theory or concept of "Asian Cinema". It goes beyond existing work which provides a field survey of Asian cinema, probing more deeply into the field of Asian Cinema, arguing that Asian Cinema constitutes a separate pedagogical subject, and putting forward an alternative cinematic paradigm. The book covers "styles", including the works of classical Asian Cinema masters, and specific genres such as horror films, and Bollywood and Anime, two very popular modes of Asian Cinema; "spaces", including artistic use of space and perspective in Chinese cinema, geographic and personal space in Iranian cinema, the private "erotic space" of films from South Korea and Thailand, and the persistence of the family unit in the urban spaces of Asian big cities in many Asian films; and "concepts" such as Pan-Asianism, Orientalism, Nationalism and Third Cinema. The rise of Asian nations on the world stage has been coupled with a growing interest, both inside and outside Asia, of Asian culture, of which film is increasingly an indispensable component – this book provides a rich, insightful overview of what exactly constitutes Asian Cinema.
Award-winning cine-maVRicks Eric R. Williams, Carrie Love and Matt Love introduce virtual reality cinema (also known as 360° video or cine-VR) in this comprehensive guide filled with insider tips and tested techniques for writing, directing and producing effectively in the new medium. Join these veteran cine-VR storytellers as they break down fundamental concepts from traditional media to demonstrate how cine-VR can connect with audiences in new ways. Examples from their professional work are provided to illustrate basic, intermediate and advanced approaches to crafting modern story in this unique narrative space where there’s no screen to contain an image and no specific stage upon which to perform. Virtual Reality Cinema will prepare you to approach your own cine-VR projects via: Tips and techniques for writing, directing and producing bleeding-edge narrative cine-VR projects; More than a hundred photos and illustrations to explain complex concepts; Access to more than two hours of on-line cine-VR examples that you can download to watch on your own HMD; New techniques developed at Ohio University’s Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab, including how to work with actors to embrace Gravity and avoid the Persona Gap, how to develop stories with the Story Engagement Matrix and how to balance directorial control and audience agency in this new medium. This book is an absolute must read for any student of filmmaking, media production, transmedia storytelling and game design, as well as anyone already working in these industries that wants to understand the new challenges and opportunities of virtual reality cinema.
Flash Flaherty, the much-anticipated follow-up volume to The Flaherty: Decades in the Cause of Independent Cinema, offers a people's history of the world-renowned Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, an annual event where participants confront and reimagine the creative process surrounding multiple document/documentary forms and modes of the moving image. This collection, which includes a mosaic of personal recollections from attendees of the Flaherty Seminar over a span of more than 60 years, highlights many facets of the "Flaherty experience." The memories of the seminarians reveal how this independent film and media seminar has created a lively and sometimes cantankerous community within and beyond the institutionalized realm of American media culture. Editors Scott MacDonald and Patricia R. Zimmermann have curated a collective polyphonic account that moves freely between funny anecdotes, poetic impressions, critical considerations, poignant recollections, scholarly observations, and artistic insights. Together, the contributors to Flash Flaherty exemplify how the Flaherty Seminar propels shared insights, challenging debates, and actual change in the world of independent media.
David MacDougall is a pivotal figure in the development of ethnographic cinema and visual anthropology. As a filmmaker, he has directed in Africa, Australia, India, and Europe. His prize-winning films (many made jointly with his wife, Judith MacDougall) include The Wedding Camels, Lorang's Way, To Live with Herds, A Wife among Wives, Takeover, PhotoWallahs, and Tempus de Baristas. As a theorist, he articulates central issues in the relation of film to anthropology, and is one of the few documentary filmmakers who writes extensively on these concerns. The essays collected here address, for instance, the difference between films and written texts and between the position of the filmmaker and that of the anthropological writer. In fact, these works provide an overview of the history of visual anthropology, as well as commentaries on specific subjects, such as point-of-view and subjectivity, reflexivity, the use of subtitles, and the role of the cinema subject. Refreshingly free of jargon, each piece belongs very much to the tradition of the essay in its personal engagement with exploring difficult issues. The author ultimately disputes the view that ethnographic filmmaking is merely a visual form of anthropology, maintaining instead that it is a radical anthropological practice, which challenges many of the basic assumptions of the discipline of anthropology itself. Although influential among filmmakers and critics, some of these essays were published in small journals and have been until now difficult to find. The three longest pieces, including the title essay, are new.