Editorial NECSUS

NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies), one of the key organisations that co-established and continues to support NECSUS, is moving into its 12th year of existence. Founded in Berlin in February 2006, NECS has grown into a large network of media studies academics and researchers in and beyond Europe, many of whom met […]

Cinema, meteorology, and the erotics of weather

by Emil Leth Meilvang The birth of cinema is clouded in myth. Dramatised anecdotes speak of the mythical screening of Louis Lumière’s Le Repas de bébé (1895), this fragment of early film in which a baby is being fed in a windy, sunlit garden. The story goes that the properly captivating aspect of the fragment […]

The uncanny mediality of the photographic GIF

by Arild Fetveit Up on the mic repeating 2 words, over and over again … These 2 words, a little bit behind the beat. I mean just enough 2 turn u on … So over and over, she said the words till he could take no more … 2 words falling between the drops and […]

Interactive media and imperial subjects: Excavating the cinematic shooting gallery

by Michael Cowan Archaeologies of interactivity If media history has gained anything from the recent archaeological turn, it is perhaps a much-needed scepticism towards ideas of a digital ‘revolution’. Whether examining the ‘Victorian Internet’,[1] fin-de-siècle Skype,[2] the pre-history of mobile phones,[3] or early forms of interactive cinema, the archaeological approach can reveal that modes of […]

From mass psychology to media studies: Interview with Jaap van Ginneken on his Kurt Baschwitz biography

by Geert Lovink In Homo Deus, Yuval Harari states that the twentieth century was the age of the masses. According to Hariri, the issue of the masses has disappeared because armies no longer need millions of healthy soldiers and economies no longer employ millions of workers. As the danger – and power – of the […]

Providing evidence for a philosophical claim: The Act of Killing and the banality of evil

by Thomas E. Wartenberg[1] There has been an ongoing debate among philosophers and film theorists about whether films are capable of doing philosophy. The vast majority of the contributions to this debate have concentrated on narrative fiction films and the extent to which they are capable of producing something recognisable as philosophy.[2] This essay begins […]

The ghost is just a metaphor: Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, nineteenth-century female gothic, and the slasher

by Evangelia Kindinger A brief overview of American film and television since the 1990s affirms María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren’s conclusion: ‘It seems that ghosts are everywhere these days.’[1] With the release of Crimson Peak in 2015, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro did not only add another horror movie to his oeuvre,[2] but […]

Intertextuality, cybersubculture, and the creation of an alternative public space: ‘Danmu’ and film viewing on the Bilibili.com website, a case study

by Zhu Yeqi Introduction  As a prominent feature of the burgeoning video-share websites such as Bilibili.com in China, an online video commentary format called ‘Danmu’ – which literally means ‘bullet screen’ but can also be interpreted as a ‘barrage’ – has become highly popular. Through having viewers’ text commentary scroll across the screen and being […]

La Grande Bellezza: Adventures in transindividuality

by Elena del Río In Paolo Sorrentino’s HBO series The Young Pope, Pope Pius XIII (Jude Law) declares his aversion to the presence of tourists in Rome on the grounds that ‘they are just passing through’. By contrast, Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty, 2013) makes the tourist’s experience of ‘passing through’ the very […]

The journeys of a film phenomenologist: An interview with Vivian Sobchack on being and becoming

by Julian Hanich Introduction Vivian Sobchack, born in 1940 in New York City, is one of the most influential American film theorists of the last 25 years. At the beginning of the 1990s she was the main driving force behind the recuperation of phenomenology as a viable methodology in film studies with her book The […]

Editorial Necsus

From the early days of film studies, costumes have been analysed as an important element of the mise-en-scène and stardom, as they help shape identities and define subjectivities, crafting the stars. There is no question that costumes help create meaning, no less today than in the heyday of classical cinema. More recently, haute couture has […]

Statistic intersubjectivity: A phenomenology of television audiences

by Christian Ferencz-Flatz 
In the following I will first sketch out a phenomenological interpretation of Walter Benjamin’s reflections on film-viewership, which he considers to be symptomatic for contemporary perception in general, by focusing especially on the implicit theory of intersubjectivity that underpins them.

For a radical media archaeology: A conversation with Wolfgang Ernst

by Elodie A. Roy In his numerous writings on archives, technologies, and time media archaeologist Wolfgang Ernst indefatigably interrogates the ways in which technical and digital media do not only exist in time but produce temporalities – and temporealities – of their own.[1] This interview sheds light on media archaeology as a discipline emerging within […]

Taking stock: Two decades of teaching the history, theory, and practice of audiovisual film criticism

by Michael Witt Introduction Recent years have seen rapid growth in the use of the digital audiovisual essay in teaching and research, including in film and screen studies.[1] This phenomenon has been fuelled by a number of interrelated developments: easier access to copies of films; increased availability of domestic computers and digital editing software; the […]

The politics of spatiality in experimental nonfiction cinema: Jonathan Perel’s ‘Toponimia’

by Patrick Brian Smith A whole history remains to be written of spaces – which would at the same time be the history of powers – from the great strategies of geopolitics to the little tactics of the habitat. – Michel Foucault[1] We are just as much spatial as temporal beings … our existential spatiality […]