Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno
Author: Miriam Bratu Hansen
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Performing Arts
"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
Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno
Author: Marian Bratu Hansen
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Performing Arts
Miriam Bratu Hansen brings to life an impressive archive of known less well-known materials and reveals surprising perspectives on canonical texts. Her analysis provides the contours of a theory of cinema and experience that speaks to questions being posed anew as moving-image culture evolves in response to digital technology.
This issue is dedicated to the thought and writing of Miriam Hansen, whose contributions broke ground in film history, film theory, and the politics of mass culture and the public sphere. The collection focuses on the areas in which she was most influential: early cinema, its reception, and the legacy of vernacular modernism, including essays touching on the concept's impact on contemporary thinking about Russian and Chinese cinemas. The issue also features extensive commentary on Hansen's pioneering book Cinema and Experience, expanding on the book's inquiry into the continuing legacy of the Frankfurt School.
In Fatih Akın’s Cinema and the New Sound of Europe, Berna Gueneli explores the transnational works of acclaimed Turkish-German filmmaker and auteur Fatih Akın. The first minority director in Germany to receive numerous national and international awards, Akın makes films that are informed by Europe’s past, provide cinematic imaginations about its present and future, and engage with public discourses on minorities and migration in Europe through his treatment and representation of a diverse, multiethnic, and multilingual European citizenry. Through detailed analyses of some of Akın’s key works—In July, Head-On, and The Edge of Heaven, among others—Gueneli identifies Akın’s unique stylistic use of multivalent sonic and visual components and multinational characters. She argues that the soundscapes of Akın’s films—including music and multiple languages, dialects, and accents—create an “aesthetic of heterogeneity” that envisions an expanded and integrated Europe and highlights the political nature of Akın’s decisions regarding casting, settings, and audio. At a time when belonging and identity in Europe is complicated by questions of race, ethnicity, religion, and citizenship, Gueneli demonstrates how Akın’s aesthetics intersect with politics to reshape notions of Europe, European cinema, and cinematic history.
Bringing theory and practice together, African Cinema and Human Rights argues that moving images have a significant role to play in advancing the causes of justice and fairness. The contributors to this volume identify three key ways in which film can achieve these goals: documenting human rights abuses and thereby supporting the claims of victims and goals of truth and reconciliation within larger communities; legitimating, and consequently solidifying, an expanded scope for human rights; and promoting the realization of social and economic rights. Including the voices of African scholars, scholar-filmmakers, African directors Jean-Marie Teno and Gaston Kaboré, and researchers whose work focuses on transnational cinema, this volume explores overall perspectives, and differences of perspective, pertaining to Africa, human rights, and human rights filmmaking alongside specific case studies of individual films and areas of human rights violations. With its interdisciplinary scope, attention to practitioners' self-understandings, broad perspectives, and particular case studies, African Cinema and Human Rights is a foundational text that offers questions, reflections, and evidence that help us to consider film's ideal role within the context of our ever-continuing struggle towards a more just global society.
From the cinema to the recording studio to public festival grounds, the range and sonic richness of Indian cultures can be heard across the subcontinent. Sound articulates communal difference and embodies specific identities for multiple publics. This diversity of sounds has been and continues to be crucial to the ideological construction of a unifying postcolonial Indian nation-state. Indian Sound Cultures, Indian Sound Citizenship addresses the multifaceted roles sound plays in Indian cultures and media, and enacts a sonic turn in South Asian Studies by understanding sound in its own social and cultural contexts. “Scapes, Sites, and Circulations” considers the spatial and circulatory ways in which sound “happens” in and around Indian sound cultures, including diasporic cultures. “Voice” emphasizes voices that embody a variety of struggles and ambiguities, particularly around gender and performance. Finally, “Cinema Sound” make specific arguments about film sound in the Indian context, from the earliest days of talkie technology to contemporary Hindi films and experimental art installations. Integrating interdisciplinary scholarship at the nexus of sound studies and South Asian Studies by questions of nation/nationalism, postcolonialism, cinema, and popular culture in India, Indian Sound Cultures, Indian Sound Citizenship offers fresh and sophisticated approaches to the sonic world of the subcontinent.
The growth of Indian film production, the significance of cinema in Indian society within and beyond India, and the rapid expansion of Indian cities and the urban lifestyle are closely linked phenomena. The relationship between cinema and modernity in the Indian context is both complex and multifaceted, and in this volume, some of the leading names in film and cultural studies explore its many dimensions. The introductory essay sets the parameters of the discussions to follow, analysing the interfaces between cinematic representation, globalization and city life. The essays range from discussions of urbanity and film language to realism and the Indian city in Bengali film of the 1940s; from the cultural resonances of popular Hindi film songs and the idea of the 'city' to realism and fantasy in cinematic representations of metropolitan Indian life; from cinematic aspects of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children to genre, narrative form and film style in contemporary Indian urban action films; from the complexities of female spectatorship for the urban vigilantism of Telugu heroine Vijayasanthi, to an analysis of the current primacy of 'Bollywood' in today's media-driven urban environment; and finally, to the cultural impact and influence of Indian films in diaspora communities in Fiji, Australia, Nigeria and South Africa. Dealing as it does with the intersection of vital contemporary cultural phenomena-cinema, the city, and the modern-these thought provoking essays are a valuable addition to current scholarship in the field.
Introduction: Siegfried Kracauer and the politics of film theory -- Metropolitan contact zones: Kracauer in New York -- Totalitarian propaganda -- Nazi cinema -- Freedom from fear? -- From Hitler to Caligari: spaces of Weimar cinema -- Authoritarian, totalitarian -- Reframing Caligari: the politics of cinema -- Theory of film and the subject of experience -- The curious humanist -- History and humanist subjectivity -- Epilogue: Siegfried Kracauer and the emergence of film studies
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.
The interdisciplinary study of theology and film requires a responsible engagement on the part of religious studies experts, biblical scholars and theologians, with film studies. Cinema Divinite first of all sets out various critical approaches to the study of film and theology such as formalism, expressionism, realism, textual analysis, contextual analysis, postmodern eclecticism, narrative criticism and cultural studies. The early chapters also look at the major concepts in films studies such as cinema spectatorship and the nature and application of film theory to theology.