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 […]

From single male guest worker to Muslim: An archaeology of iterating archival footage on Dutch television

by Andrea Meuzelaar Introduction Over the course of more than 50 years Dutch television has generated an enormous amount of stories about Islamic immigration and has produced a collection of images that is still rapidly expanding. These stories and images are collected and preserved in the Institute of Sound and Vision, the Dutch national audiovisual […]

Even today there are people who think these harmless little books are dangerous: An interview with David Bordwell

by Malte Hagener Following the conversation with Richard Dyer featured in the Spring 2016 issue of NECSUS, we continue our series of interviews with key figures in the field of media studies. This time we turn to David Bordwell, one of the most prolific scholars in film studies, but also a controversial figure who was […]

For here there is no place that does not see you: ‘Minority Report’ and art as de/legitimisation

by Josef Früchtl (1) Rainer Maria Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo is probably one of the most famous poems in the German language, with its last lines being two of the most quoted by lovers of literature everywhere. In this lyrical report the torso no longer has a head. As museum visitors we can no […]

Editorial Necsus

In Autumn 2016 the notion of Home gained a new relevance. Globalisation, migration, and media seem more than ever entangled with growing insecurities about the safety of (the) home. Many of us fly over the world for work or as tourists, and we return home after a few days or a few weeks. Others desperately […]

Pleasure | Obvious | Queer: A conversation with Richard Dyer

by Catherine Grant and Jaap Kooijman How to introduce Richard Dyer? One could start by recognising that he is an academic star, as Su Holmes and Sean Redmond have done in their introduction to Framing Celebrity. Referring to Dyer’s 2006 SCMS keynote lecture, they write: [h]is entrance was greeted with ecstatic applause and he delivered […]