Temps mort: Speaking about Chantal Akerman (1950-2015)

by Eric de Kuyper and Annie van den Oever On 5 October 2015 the esteemed Belgium filmmaker Chantal Akerman passed away unexpectedly. Her sudden death created an outpouring of tributes in journals and blogs all over the world, full of sadness about the loss of an extraordinary  filmmaker who has been celebrated ever since she […]

Editorial Necsus

Vintage is everywhere. Ranging from vintage design to vintage cloths and vintage media, in our contemporary culture ‘the old rebranded as new’ and ‘the new rebranded as old’ are a striking phenomenon – but what kind of relationship to or longing for the past does ‘vintage’ indicate? Retro nostalgia and other memory practices that can […]

Agamben’s cinema: Psychology versus an ethical form of life

by Janet Harbord What does the work of Giorgio Agamben bring to an understanding of cinema? A political philosopher known predominantly for the ongoing project of works that comprise the Homo Sacer series,[1] Agamben also writes about cinema. However, the relationship between the political determination of his work and the essays on cinema is not […]

Dredging, drilling, and mapping television’s swamps: An interview with John Caldwell on the 20th anniversary of ‘Televisuality’

by Markus Stauff It has now been 20 years since John Caldwell’s Televisuality: Style, Crisis and Authority in American Television was published. With its combined attention to television’s aesthetic, economic, and technological aspects, it was a highly innovative book that questioned a great deal of conventional wisdom. The book’s central claim that, during the 1980s, […]

Richard Serra: Sculpture, television, and the status quo

by Francesco Spampinato Introduction Richard Serra emerged in the 1960s in association with minimalism and land art – two conceptual art movements that speculated on the potentialities of sculpture to affect the space (and therefore the context) in which the work of art is installed or for which it is specifically conceived. Similarly to other […]

Dancing in the sun: The musical as touristic hook in ‘Honeymoon’

by Lidia Merás and Sarah Wright Introduction In 1959, in his first film without Emeric Pressburger since the global success of their collaborative smash The Red Shoes (1948), Michael Powell released Honeymoon (Luna de miel), designed to be a ‘Spanish Red Shoes’. Although the film won the Technical Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival […]

Oppositional banality: Watching ordinary Muslims in ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’

by Jenifer Chao Introduction In the premiere episode of the Canadian situation comedy series Little Mosque on the Prairie (2007-2012) the character Joe, a white prairie farmer, wanders into the local Anglican parish hall to witness a group of Muslims praying and prostrating in unison. Alarmed, he stumbles out of the building to call the […]

In search of Godard’s ‘Sauve la vie (qui peut)’

by Michael Witt This article examines a little-known experimental compilation film that Jean-Luc Godard constructed and showed within the framework of a series of lectures on cinema history that he delivered in Rotterdam in 1980-1981.[1] In February 1981, during the 10th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Film International 1981),[2] his film Sauve qui […]

Disputing Rossellini: Three French perspectives

by James Harvey-Davitt In Film Fables[1] Jacques Rancière contests some deeply-held theoretical stances on a number of canonical auteurs. He claims these auteurs countered the soullessness of their industrial constraints through a shared act of ‘thwarting’: ‘to thwart its servitude, cinema … constructs dramaturgies that thwart its natural powers’.[2] In doing so he confronts attempts […]

Laughter and collective awareness: The cinema auditorium as public space

by Julian Hanich Introduction ‘[L]aughter allows the audience to become aware of itself.’ This brief statement by André Bazin uttered in passing in his second article on ‘Theater and Cinema’ harbors a number of thought-provoking ideas.[1] The main goal of my article will be to examine what Bazin’s sentence may imply for the collective experience […]

The documentary temptation: Fiction filmmakers and non-fiction forms

by Adrian Martin 1. Some directors flirt with it at the beginning of their careers and then quickly move on, never to return, like Jacques Rozier after Blue Jeans (1958) and Paparazzi (1964). Some dwell there secretly, making a spin-off of their better-known productions, like François Truffaut putting together a little poem about planes launching […]

Reconfiguring film studies through software cinema and procedural spectatorship

by Marina Hassapopoulou Introduction The increasing use of software and database aesthetics in film and video production has created hybrid modes of spectatorship by altering the dynamic between media production and reception. The reduction in the degree and compass of authorial control invites us to reconsider existing models of cinematic spectatorship and narration within new […]

Editorial Necsus

Perhaps no war has stirred the human imagination more deeply than the so-called ‘Great War’. From William Wellman’s Wings (1927) to Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory (1957), Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004), and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (2011), filmmakers have been reimagining the Great War in distinctly different yet captivating ways, profoundly […]

Representation or misrepresentation?: British media and Japanese popular culture

by Perry Hinton From the late 1980s to the early 21th century Japanese popular cultural rose from a cult interest to mainstream media in many Western countries, including the United Kingdom. Large numbers of Japanese comics (manga) and animated films (anime) were sold in English translations, gaining their own sections in British book and video […]

Representations of Madrid in the (post-)transition to democracy

by Vicente Rodriguez Ortega Introduction Historians date the beginning of the Transition to democracy in Spain in 1975 – the year of Franco’s death. However, there are multiple periodisations in regard to its end: the passing of the Constitution in 1978, the democratic election in 1979, the 1981 coup d’état, or 1982, the year in […]