Ambiguity and Film Criticism

This book defends an account of ambiguity which illuminates the aesthetic possibilities of film and the nature of film criticism.

Author: Hoi Lun Law

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030629458

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 188

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This book defends an account of ambiguity which illuminates the aesthetic possibilities of film and the nature of film criticism. Ambiguity typically describes the condition of multiple meanings. But we can find multiple meanings in what appears unambiguous to us. So, what makes ambiguity ambiguous? This study argues that a sense of uncertainty is vital to the concept. Ambiguity is what presses us to inquire into our puzzlement over a movie, to persistently ask “why is it as it is?” Notably, this account of the concept is also an account of its criticism. It recognises that a satisfying assessment of what is ambiguous involves both our reason and doubt; that is, reason and doubt can work together in our practice of reading. This book, then, considers ambiguity as a form of reasonable doubt, one that invites us to reflect on our critical efforts, rethinking the operation of film criticism.
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Bernardo Bertolucci

This book guides readers through the director's richly nuanced creative world in a series of interpretive essays that draw from philosophy and psychology as well as from literature, poetry, drama, and film criticism.

Author: Claretta Tonetti

Publisher: Macmillan Reference USA

ISBN: UOM:39015034928765

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 281

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In 1962, the year in which he directed his first film The Grim Reaper, Bernado Bertolucci published a book of poetry entitled In cerca del mistero (In Search of Mystery) - a title which characterizes his entire cinematic work. In this study, Claretta Tonetti recognizes that Bertolucci search for knowledge is never dogmatic, and that he never claims to have all the answers, aesthetically or otherwise. The open-ended quality of his films, based on his own admitted difficulty to finish, bears witness to this. Instead, Bertolucci allows the audience to take part in the director's creative process, one that - like life itself - is ever evolving.
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Postcolonial Film

The feeling of the Cahiers critics was clearly that the film's historico-political role in this respect is, or had become, a culpable one; and they linked that culpability to the film'sambiguity,” a notion evoked twice by Mondzain in ...

Author: Rebecca Weaver-Hightower

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134747276

Category: Art

Page: 316

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Postcolonial Film: History, Empire, Resistance examines films of the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries from postcolonial countries around the globe. In the mid twentieth century, the political reality of resistance and decolonization lead to the creation of dozens of new states, forming a backdrop to films of that period. Towards the century’s end and at the dawn of the new millennium, film continues to form a site for interrogating colonization and decolonization, though against a backdrop that is now more neo-colonial than colonial and more culturally imperial than imperial. This volume explores how individual films emerged from and commented on postcolonial spaces and the building and breaking down of the European empire. Each chapter is a case study examining how a particular film from a postcolonial nation emerges from and reflects that nation’s unique postcolonial situation. This analysis of one nation’s struggle with its coloniality allows each essay to investigate just what it means to be postcolonial.
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Stop Labelling Us

Queer cinema exists as a form of subversive storytelling, where ambiguity is utilized to tell non-normative narratives. Mainstream film criticism, however, finds itself ill-equipped to address the complexities of queer films.

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN: OCLC:1050339830

Category: Film criticism

Page: 56

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Queer cinema exists as a form of subversive storytelling, where ambiguity is utilized to tell non-normative narratives. Mainstream film criticism, however, finds itself ill-equipped to address the complexities of queer films. Film criticism seeks clarity in films that are intentionally ambiguous, and in doing so runs the risk of misrepresenting the film and its topics. Through the use of a case study, queer cinema is evaluated as a tool for developing mainstream criticism. XXY (2007) and El niño pez (2009), written and directed by Argentine filmmaker Lucía Puenzo, tell coming-of-age stories of queer youth. Their stories and narrative techniques can be a useful example of how film criticism could approach queer cinema. The lack of sufficient nuance in mainstream film criticism manifests in the assignment of pronouns and labelling of sexuality, as well as in misguided analysis of themes and ambiguous scenes. Queer cinema’s deviation from heteronormative, homonormative, and binary frameworks serves as an example of how mainstream film criticism could also approach queer narratives. The findings of this case study are discussed specific to their context, as well as in a transnational dialogue on how changes to film criticism could benefit all film genres. Film criticism should be encouraged to approach films uniquely, with the same level of nuance that queer films utilize. Anticipating the inclusion of more diverse narratives in mainstream movies in the future, this study considers the potential of flexible, generous, and ever-evolving film criticism.
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The Language and Style of Film Criticism

Indeed, itisthe ambiguity ofJeanne's gestures, actions, and responses– reflecting the ambiguity attending the decipherment of an Other's actions more generally – thatgivethe film its arresting dramatic tension, despiteits apparent ...

Author: Andrew Klevan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136728280

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 196

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The Language and Style of Film Criticism brings together original essays from an international range of academics and film critics highlighting the achievements, complexities and potential of film criticism. In recent years, in contrast to the theoretical, historical and cultural study of film, film criticism has been relatively marginalised, especially within the academy. This book highlights the distinctiveness of film criticism and addresses ways in which it can take a more central place within the academy and develop in dynamic ways outside it. The Language and Style of Film Criticism is essential reading for academics, teachers, students and journalists who wish to understand and appreciate the language and style of film criticism.
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Cinema and Painting

Structured Ambiguity in the Films of Eric Rohmer . ” Film Criticism , no . 2 ( 1976 ) : 130—36 . Westerback , Colin . “ The Marquise of 0. " Commonweal , 17 December 1976 , 817 . CHAPTER 4 Jean - Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou : Cinema as ...

Author: Angela Dalle Vacche

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292715838

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 303

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The visual image is the common denominator of cinema and painting, and indeed many filmmakers have used the imagery of paintings to shape or enrich the meaning of their films. In this discerning new approach to cinema studies, Angela Dalle Vacche discusses how the use of pictorial sources in film enables eight filmmakers to comment on the interplay between the arts, on the dialectic of word and image, on the relationship between artistic creativity and sexual difference, and on the tension between tradition and modernity. Specifically, Dalle Vacche explores Jean-Luc Godard's iconophobia (Pierrot Le Fou) and Andrei Tarkovsky's iconophilia (Andrei Rubleov), Kenji Mizoguchi's split allegiances between East and West (Five Women around Utamaro), Michelangelo Antonioni's melodramatic sensibility (Red Desert), Eric Rohmer's project to convey interiority through images (The Marquise of O), F. W. Murnau's debt to Romantic landscape painting (Nosferatu), Vincente Minnelli's affinities with American Abstract Expressionism (An American in Paris), and Alain Cavalier's use of still life and the close-up to explore the realms of mysticism and femininity (Thérèse). While addressing issues of influence and intentionality, Dalle Vacche concludes that intertextuality is central to an appreciation of the dialogical nature of the filmic medium, which, in appropriating or rejecting art history, defines itself in relation to national traditions and broadly shared visual cultures.
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The Ambiguous Allure of the West

its universalising assumption of a shared film historical reference point, what is at the same time noticeable about the connoisseur reception of world cinema is its reluctance to surrender the particularity of place. Its film criticism ...

Author: Rachel V. Harrison

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9781501719219

Category: History

Page: 320

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The Ambiguous Allure of the West examines the impact of Western imperialism on Thai cultural development from the 1850s to the present and highlights the value of postcolonial analysis for studying the ambiguities, inventions, and accommodations with the West that continue to enrich Thai culture. Since the mid-nineteenth century, Thais have adopted and adapted aspects of Western culture and practice in an ongoing relationship that may be characterized as semicolonial. As they have done so, the notions of what constitutes "Thainess" have been inflected by Western influence in complex and ambiguous ways, producing nuanced, hybridized Thai identities.The Ambiguous Allure of the West brings together Thai and Western scholars of history, anthropology, film, and literary and cultural studies to analyze how the protean Thai self has been shaped by the traces of the colonial Western Other. Thus, the book draws the study of Siam/Thailand into the critical field of postcolonial theory, expanding the potential of Thai Studies to contribute to wider debates in the region and in the disciplines of cultural studies and critical theory. The chapters in this book present the first sustained dialogue between Thai cultural studies and postcolonial analysis.By clarifying the distinctive position of semicolonial societies such as Thailand in the Western-dominated world order, this book bridges and integrates studies of former colonies with studies of the Asian societies that retained their political independence while being economically and culturally subordinated to Euro-American power.
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Devised and Directed by Mike Leigh

I go on to argue that this ambiguity is significant to how the film implicates the viewer in some of the problems raised in Meantime. However, my reading also runs against the grain of Carney's criticism of readings of Leigh (and film ...

Author: Bryan Cardinale-Powell

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781623565640

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 336

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Renowned for making films that are at once sly domestic satires and heartbreaking 'social realist' dramas, British writer-director Mike Leigh confronts his viewers with an un-romanticized dramatization of modern-day society in the hopes of inspiring them to strive for greater self-awareness and compassion for others. This collection features new, interdisciplinary essays that cover all phases of the BAFTA-award-winner's film career, from his early made-for-television film work to his theatrical releases, including Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993), Secrets & Lies (1996), Career Girls (1997), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010). With contributions from international scholars from a variety of fields, the essays in this collection cover individual films and the recurring themes and motifs in several films, such as representations of class and gender, and overt social commentary and political subtexts. Also covered are Leigh's visual stylizations and storytelling techniques ranging from explorations of the costume design to set design to the music and camerawork and editing; the collaborative process of 'devising and directing' a Mike Leigh film that involves character-building, world-construction, plotting, improvisations and script-writing; the process of funding and marketing for these seemingly 'uncommercial' projects, and a survey of Leigh's critical reception and the existing writing on his work.
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Projecting a Camera Language Games in Film Theory

8 This multiplicity will pose a prob- lem for persons writing about film or those reading film criticism. Nevertheless, what I wish to concentrate on is a different side of “ambiguity”: the fact that ambiguity may be convenient, ...

Author: Edward Branigan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781135379520

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 456

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In Projecting a Camera, film theorist Edward Branigan offers a groundbreaking approach to understanding film theory. Why, for example, does a camera move? What does a camera "know"? (And when does it know it?) What is the camera's relation to the subject during long static shots? What happens when the screen is blank? Through a wide-ranging engagement with Wittgenstein and theorists of film, he offers one of the most fully developed understandings of the ways in which the camera operates in film. With its thorough grounding in the philosophy of spectatorship and narrative, Projecting a Camera takes the study of film to a new level. With the care and precision that he brought to Narrative Comprehension and Film, Edward Branigan maps the ways in which we must understand the role of the camera, the meaning of the frame, the role of the spectator, and other key components of film-viewing. By analyzing how we think, discuss, and marvel about the films we see, Projecting a Camera, offers insights rich in implications for our understanding of film and film studies.
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From Fidelity to History

Film Adaptations as Cultural Events in the Twentieth Century Anne-Marie Scholz ... Instead, those critics who were preoccupied with the ambiguities of the film focused upon possible political motivations. Several times the film was ...

Author: Anne-Marie Scholz

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9780857457325

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 252

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Scholarly approaches to the relationship between literature and film, ranging from the traditional focus upon fidelity to more recent issues of intertextuality, all contain a significant blind spot: a lack of theoretical and methodological attention to adaptation as an historical and transnational phenomenon. This book argues for a historically informed approach to American popular culture that reconfigures the classically defined adaptation phenomenon as a form of transnational reception. Focusing on several case studies- including the films Sense and Sensibility (1995) and The Portrait of a Lady (1997), and the classics The Third Man (1949) and The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)-the author demonstrates the ways adapted literary works function as social and cultural events in history and how these become important sites of cultural negotiation and struggle.
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British Television and Film Culture in the 1950s

confusion and ambiguity which still surrounded the term 'sponsored' broadcasting, and the hostilities toward advertising which underpinned it. The cinema programme was still characterised by an ambiguous relationship with film criticism ...

Author: Su Holmes

Publisher: Intellect Books

ISBN: 9781841501215

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 271

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This book focuses on the emerging historical relations between British television and film culture in the 1950s. Drawing upon archival research, it does this by exploring the development of the early cinema programme on television - principally Current Release (BBC, 1952-3), Picture Parade (BBC, 1956) and Film Fanfare (ABC, 1956-7) - and argues that it was these texts which played the central role in the developing relations between the media. Particularly when it comes to Britain, the early co-existence of television and cinema has been seen as hostile and antagonistic, but in situating these programmes within the contexts of their institutional production, aesthetic construction and reception, the book aims to 'reconstruct' television's coverage of the cinema as crucial to the fabric of British film and television culture at the time. It demonstrates how the roles of cinema and television - as media industries and cultural forms, but crucially as sites of screen entertainment - effectively came together at this time in such a way that is unique to this decade.
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Humphrey Jennings

5 Rotha's criticism implies a debilitating ambiguity within A Diary for Timothy. ... 6 Other critics have followed a similar line, noting ambiguities within the film, which they cast as a failure of creative insight on Jennings' ...

Author: Keith Beattie

Publisher: Manchester University Press

ISBN: 9781847797278

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 192

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Humphrey Jennings has been described as the only real poet that British cinema has produced. His documentary films are remarkable records of Britain at peace and war, and his range of representational approaches transcended accepted notions of wartime propaganda and revised the strict codes of British documentary film of the 1930s and 1940s. Poet, propagandist, surrealist and documentary filmmaker – Jennings' work embodies an outstanding mix of startling apprehension, personal expression and representational innovation. This book carefully examines and expertly explains the central components of Jennings' most significant films, and considers the relevance of his filmmaking to British cinema and contemporary experience. Films analysed include Spare Time, Words for Battle, Listen to Britain, Fires Were Started, The Silent Village, A Diary for Timothy and Family Portrait.
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Perverse Desire and the Ambiguous Icon

It is in fact no accident that popular film criticism is primarily founded upon considerations of acting and verisimilitude, while most contemporary academic, theoretical film writing tends to shun major considerations of acting, ...

Author: Allen S. Weiss

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 0791421562

Category: Philosophy

Page: 158

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Perverse Desire and the Ambiguous Icon analyzes the limits of the applicability of psychoanalytic theory to aesthetic discourse, and in doing so expands the range of non-normative paradigms of spectatorial identification and sexual identity. These considerations are based on the epistemological premises that the ideal seldom coincides with the empirical, and that identification is always partial, fragmented, heterogeneous, mixed, such that total identification would be tantamount to delirium. The imagination is but the ephemera of partial objects torn from culture and history, the transgression by fragmentation of a contemporary cosmos all too unified and all too controlled to admit the most singular, and idiosyncratic, phantasms of our desires. Thus we must posit an aesthetics where theory and interpretation are juxtaposed to, or traced above, the effects of the passions, where a muscular contraction or spasm is worth as much as a concept. It is here, at the fragile limit between iconophilia and iconoclasm, that the ironies and exigencies of poetic justice reside.
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The Complete History of American Film Criticism

Then again, Crist never demonstrated the writing style, the impassioned crusader's approach to film criticism, ... ambiguity. “I have subscribed to the James Agee premise that film criticism is a conversation between moviegoers,” Crist ...

Author: Jerry Roberts

Publisher: Santa Monica Press

ISBN: 9781595809223

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 480

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The Complete History of American Film Criticism is a chronicle of the lives and work of the most influential film critics of the past 100 years. From the first movie review in the New York Times in 1896 through the Silent Era, the pre- and postwar years, the Film Generation of the 1960s, the Golden Age of the 1970s, and into the 21st century, critics have educated generations of discriminating moviegoers on the differences between good films and bad. They call attention to great directors, cinematographers, production designers, screenwriters, and actors, and shed light on their artistic visions and storytelling sensibilities. People interested in what the great film critics had to say have usually been shortchanged as to their backgrounds, and just why they are qualified to sit in judgment. Using mini-biographies, placed within a chronological framework, The Complete History of American Film Criticism is the biography of a profession whose cultural impact has left an indelible mark on the 20th century’s most significant art form.
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Rethinking Cultural Criticism

Finally, the analytical section looks at the practice of fan film criticism from three perspectives, all of them revolving around the affective ambiguity of this practice. This chapter thus proposes to move past the dichotomy of ...

Author: Nete Nørgaard Kristensen

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9789811574740

Category:

Page:

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Sure Seaters

... Film Theater , " Quarterly of Film , Radio and Television 10 ( Spring 1956 ) : 239-47 . i. Reading for Maximum Ambiguity 1. ... David Bordwell , " The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice , " Film Criticism 4 ( Fall 1979 ) : 6\.

Author: Barbara Wilinsky

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 0816635633

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 178

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By the end of the Second World War, a growing segment of the American filmgoing public was wearying of mainstream Hollywood films and began to seek out something different. In major cities and college towns across the country, art film theaters provided a venue for alternatives to the films playing in main-street movie palaces: British, foreign-language, and independent American films, as well as documentaries and revivals of Hollywood classics. A skeptical film industry dubbed such cinemas "sure seaters," convinced that patrons would have no trouble finding seats there. However, with the success of art films like Rossellini's Open City and Mackendrick's Tight Little Island, the meaning of the term "sure seater" changed and, by the end of the 1940s, reflected the frequency with which art house cinemas filled all their seats. Wilinsky examines the development of the theaters that introduced such challenging, personal, and artistic films as The Bicycle Thief and The Red Shoes to American audiences, and offers a more complete understanding of postwar popular culture and the often complicated relationship between art cinema and the commercial film industry that ultimately shaped both and resulted in today's vibrant film culture. -- from back cover.
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Film Criticism as Cultural Fantasy

... cinema in relation to European and American filmmaking is the first of many subsequent references by the French critics to le jeune cinéma australien – an appellation which , despite the ambiguity of its possible interpretation as a ...

Author: Andrew McGregor

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 3034300530

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 315

View: 792

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This book presents an unprecedented analysis of the dynamics of cultural representation and interpretation in film criticism. It examines how French critical reception of Australian cinema since the revival period of the 1970s has evolved as a narrative of perpetual discovery, and how a clear parallel can be drawn between French critics' reading of Australian film and their interpretation of an exotic Australian national identity. In French critical writing on Australian cinema, Australian identity is frequently defined in terms of extremes of cultural specificity and cultural anonymity. On the one hand, French critics construct a Euro-centric orientalist fantasy of Australia as not only a European Antipodes, but the antithesis of Europe. At the same time, French critics have tended to subordinate Australian cultural identity within the framework of a resented Anglo-American filmic and cultural hegemony. The book further explores this marginalisation by examining the influence of the French auteur paradigm, particularly in reference to the work of Jane Campion, as well as by discussing the increasingly problematic notion of national identity, and indeed national cinemas, within the universal framework of international film culture.
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Reframing Reality

The fact that the film presents the general ambiguity before moving on to the political one adds to the film's criticism of society by suggesting that the more dangerous political ambiguity naturally developed from the seemingly ...

Author: Alison Frank

Publisher: Intellect Books

ISBN: 9781783201686

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 192

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Marcel Duchamp’s urinal re-named ‘fountain’ and placed in an art gallery. The classic image that can be seen as a duck or a rabbit, depending on how you look at it. A random object that grabs your attention and, like a Freudian slip, sums up whatever’s on your mind. These are just a few examples of surrealist objects, items from everyday life that have something to tell us about the workings of the unconscious. In Reframing Reality, Alison Frank argues that the surrealist object offers a promising new way of understanding surrealism’s legacy in cinema. Early studies of surrealist cinema restricted themselves to the handful of films that received official approval from the surrealist group. More recent studies have looked more broadly at films that explore the unconscious as a theme. Reframing Reality is the first to use the specifically surrealist concept of the surrealist object to trace the influence of surrealism in a broader range of films. When objects to do more than just advance the storyline, or have a mysterious meaning that is never fully explained, they are imitating the form of the surrealist object. Reframing Reality finds surrealist objects in films by Luis Buñuel and Jan Švankmajer, who acknowledged the importance of surrealism in their work, but also in the films of René Clair, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the directors of the Czech New Wave, for whom surrealism was just one of many influences. By looking more closely at the role of objects in films, particularly those made during times of great change in the industry, we can gain a better understanding of both the legacy of surrealism in cinema and film language more generally.
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Film Criticism

For example , it reveals that the criterion for judging a work's " richness " has gradually shifted from searching for “ ambiguity " to seeking “ polysemy " to accepting “ indeterminacy ” ( 245 ) . Each shift toward acknowledging ...

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN: STANFORD:36105005589143

Category: Motion picture plays

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