Inke Arns on Mon, 07 Dec 1998 11:26:23 +0100

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Syndicate: Film-Philosophy review call

Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 10:11:46 +0000
From: F i l m - P h i l o s o p h y <>
Subject: Film-Philosophy review call

Please consider this review call for distribution on the Syndicate list.

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        f i l m - p h i l o s o p h y
                electronic salon

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        The following works have been received and need reviewers:

Geoff Andrew, _The 'Three Colours' Trilogy_ (1998)

John Thornton Caldwell, _Televisuality_ (1995)

Mary Carruthers, _The Craft of Thought_ (1998)

Sean Cubitt, _Digital Aesthetics_ (1998)

Donald, Friedberg and Marcus, eds., _Close-Up 1927-33_ (1998)

Lucy Fischer, _Sunrise_ (1998)

Sabine Hake, _The Cinema's Third Machine_ (1993)

Andrew Higson, ed., _Dissolving Views_ (1996)

Robert Hopkins, _Picture, Image and Experience_ (1998)

Frederic Jameson, _Signatures of the Visible_ (1992)

Douglas Kellner, _Media Culture_ (1995)

Kilborn and Izod, _An Introduction to Television Documentary_ (1997)

Robert Kolker, _Film, Form, and Culture_ (1998)

Scott MacDonald, _Avant-Garde Film_ (1995)

Adrian Martin, _Once Upon a Time in America_ (1998)

Laura Mulvey, _Fetishism and Curiosity_ (1996)

Derek Paget, _No Other Way to Tell It_ (1998)

Stephen Prince, _Savage Cinema_ (1998)

Kaja Silverman, _The Threshold of the Visible World_ (1996)

Silverman and Farocki, _Speaking About Godard_ (1998)

Peter Wollen, _Signs and Meaning in the Cinema_, expanded edition (1998)

        _Film-Philosophy_ also invites emails from those interested in
composing a review of the electronic journal issue:

Jim Roberts, ed., 'On the Film/Image', _Enculturation_,1998

        [Further details of all these publications below.]


If you would like to review one of these works then please respond as soon
as possible to:

Do not hit 'reply', or send to this list's address.
A brief statement of interest and experience will aid in the selection
Don't forget your postal address.

Length: 2-5,000 words
Deadline: 1-2 months after receipt of book
Reviews are simultaneously published on the email salon and website.


        Further details:

Geoff Andrew, _The 'Three Colours' Trilogy_ (London: British Film
Institute, 1998).
'In this highly personal appreciation of the trilogy, Geoff Andrew analyses
how Kieslowski used his command of the cinema to open up the inner lives of
his characters and to chart the way in which these lives are ruled by
unseen forces. For Andrew, the trilogy is a poignant, thrilling hymn to the
resilience of compassion in the face of adversity.'

John Thornton Caldwell, _Televisuality: Style, Crisis, and Authority in
American Television_ (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press,
'. . . demonstrates the cultural logic of stylistic exhibitionism in
everything from prestige 'boutique' series (_Northern Exposure_,
_thirtysomething_) and 'loss-leader' event-status programming (_War and
Rememberance_) to lower 'trash' and 'tabloid' forms (_Pee-Wee's Playhouse_,
Rock-and-Rollergames_, and reality series) . . . showing how technologies
are tied to aesthetics and ideology, Caldwell calls for 'desegregation' of
theory and practice in media scholarship and for an end to the willful
blindness of 'high theory''.

Mary Carruthers, _The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric, and the
Making of Images, 400-1200_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
'. . . examines medieval monastic meditation as a discipline for making
thoughts, and discusses its influence on literature, art, and architecture.
In a process akin to today's 'creative thinking', or 'cognition', this
discipline recognizes the essential roles of imagination and emotion in
meditation . . . this study emphasizes meditation as an act of literary
composition or invention, the techniques of which notably involved both
words and the making of mental 'pictures' for thinking and composing'.

Sean Cubitt, _Digital Aesthetics_ (London: Sage, 1998).
'This is the first full-length study to investigate the aesthetic nature
and purposes of computer culture in the contemporary world. It casts a cool
eye on cybertopians, tracing the globalisation of the new medium and
enquiring into the effects on subjectivity and sociality.'

James Donald, Anne Friedberg and Laura Marcus, eds., _Close-Up 1927-33:
Cinema and Modernity_ (London: Cassell, 1998).
'Between 1927 and 1933, the journal _Close-Up_ presented itself as 'the
only magazine devoted to film as an art' . . . The writing is theoretically
astute, politically incisive, open to ideas from psychoanalysis, and
passionately committed to a 'pure cinema' . . . The editors also show how
thinking about film shaped the contributions of women like H.D. and the
novelist Dorothy Richardson to a new literary aesthetic.'

Lucy Fischer, _Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans_ (London: British Film
Institute, 1998).
'. . . one of the most historically pivotal of all films. The first film
made in America by the celebrated German director F. W. Murnau, _Sunrise_
mediates between German expressionism and American melodrama, the
avant-garde and popular fiction, silent cinema and 'talkies' . . . This
book is a model of film analysis, which locates _Sunrise_ in a fascinating
range of historical, aesthetic and philosophical contexts.'

Sabine Hake, _The Cinema's Third Machine: Writing on Film in Germany
1907-1933_ (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1993).
'. . . reproduces a diversity of perspectives and the intensity of
controversies of early German film within the broad context of German
social and political history, from the aesthetic rapture of the first years
to the institutionalization of film by the national socialist state.'
Includes her essay: 'Toward a Philosophy of Film'.

Andrew Higson, ed., _Dissolving Views: Key Writings on British Cinema_
(London: Cassell, 1996).
'Charles Barr on Hitchcock's British films; Kathryn and Philip Dodd on
discourses of nation, gender and the documentary idea in the 1930s; Pam
Cook on Gainsborough costume dramas; John Ellis on film criticism of the
1940s; Sue Harper on women in post-war films; Andy Medhurst on _Victim_,
homosexuality and British cinema; Terry Lovell and Andrew Higson on the
British New Wave; Michael O'Pray on the English avant-garde; Colin MacCabe
on Derek Jarman; and Andrew Higson on heritage films . . . Tim Bergfelder
on the influence of German technicians on British cinema in the 1930s;
Sarita Malik on recent Black and Asian films; and Justine King on the
woman's film of the 1980s'.

Robert Hopkins, _Picture, Image and Experience: A Philosophical Inquiry_
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
'This book is about how pictures represent. Do they, like words, depend on
human conventions for their meaning, or do they exploit something else --
perhaps *looking like* what they represent? The problem is philosophical,
but it has also interested psychologists and art historians. Robert
Hopkin's study examines and criticizes the currently available answers to
this question before proposing and defending one of its own, and concludes
with an attempt to see what a proper understanding of picturing can tell us
about that deeply mysterious phenomenon, the visual imagination.'

Frederic Jameson, _Signatures of the Visible_ (New York and London:
Routledge, 1992).
'. . . can the film replace the novel as the predominant instrument for
exploring social reality? . . . Jameson questions the critical-utopian
potential of film in our commodified culture, where contests over value,
desire, and power increasingly take place in the realm of the visual. He
reads politics, class, allegory, magic realism, and 'the historical' in
such films as _Diva_, _The Shining_, _Dog Day Afternoon_, and works by
Syberberg, Hitchcock, and others.'

Douglas Kellner, _Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and Politics
Between the Modern and the Postmodern_ (New York and London: Routledge,
'. . . argues that media culture is now the dominant form of culture which
socializes us and provides materials for identity in terms of both social
reproduction and change . . . Criticizing social context, political
struggle, and the system of cultural production, Kellner develops a
multidimensional approach to cultural studies . . .'

Richard Kilborn and John Izod, _An Introduction to Television Documentary:
Confronting Reality_ (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press,
'What impact has television's growing commercialisation had on the type of
documentary broadcast? What has led to the introduction of an increasing
number of hydridised forms? These questions are addressed within an
examination of the role of institutions, documentary's 'special
relationship with the real and an insight into how audiences interpret the
documentaries they view.'

Robert Kolker, _Film, Form, and Culture_ (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
College, 1998).
'[The book] explains how film works and explores the interaction between
movies and the society of which they are part. [The CD-Rom] is the ideal
supplement to introduce readers to visual concepts that are hard to explain
in words alone. Through clips, stills and animation, the user is shown how
top directors have used the elements of editing and montage, shot
structure, point of view, mise-en-scene, lighting, camera movement, and

Scott MacDonald, _Avant-Garde Film_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
'The past thirty years have seen the proliferation of forms of independent
cinema that critique the conventions of mass-market commercial movies from
within the movie theater. This study examines fifteen of the most
suggestive and useful films from this tradition.'

Adrian Martin, _Once Upon a Time in America_ (London: British Film
Institute, 1998).
'As well as detailing the film's genesis, its production history, and its
different versions, this study considers _Once Upon a Time in America_
within the context of Leone's evolution as a grand cinema stylist. It
illuminates his themes, his method and his aesthetic, and judges his
enormous impact upon subsequent generations of film-makers the world over.'

Laura Mulvey, _Fetishism and Curiosity_ (London: British Film Institute;
Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1996).
'This collection contains her most recent writings, ranging from analyses
of _Xala_, _Citizen Kane_ and _Blue Velvet_ to an extended engagement with
the work of the American Indian artist Jimmie Durham and the feminist
photographer Cindy Sherman. The essays explore the concept of fetishism as
developed by Marx and Freud, and how it relates to the ways in which
artistic texts work.'

Derek Paget, _No Other Way to Tell It: Dramadoc/Docudrama on Television_
(Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1998).
'Combining the factual approach of documentary and the entertaining values
of drama, dramadoc/docudrama has featured in television schedules for over
forty years, and has often been the focus of controversy. Questions are
frequently asked about how the viewer is to judge between fact and fiction
in it, and whether is invades individuals' privacy.'

Stephen Prince, _Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent
Movies_ (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998).
'. . . Prince explains the rise of explicit violence in the American
cinema, its social effects, and the relation of contemporary ultraviolence
to the radical, humanistic filmmaking that Peckinpah practiced'.

Kaja Silverman, _The Threshold of the Visible World_ (New York and London:
Routledge, 1996).
'. . . provides a psychoanalytic examination of the field of vision. While
offering extended discussions of the gaze, the look, and the image,
Silverman is concerned above all else with establishing what it means to
see. She shows that our look is always impinged upon by our desires and our
anxieties, and mediated in complex ways by the representations which
surround us.'

Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki, _Speaking About Godard_ (New York and
London: New York University Press, 1998).
'. . . a lively set of conversations about Godard and his major films, from
_My Life to Live_ to _New Wave_ . . . get at the heart of his formal and
theoretical innovations, teasing out, with probity and grace, the ways in
which image and text inform one another throughout Godard's oeuvre'.

Peter Wollen, _Signs and Meaning in the Cinema_, expanded edition (London:
British Film Institute, 1998).
'. . . included in this volume is a series of articles, reprinted for the
first time, written by Wollen under the name of 'Lee Russell' in the 1960s
for the radical magazine, _New Left Review_. Concise and lucid auteurist
analyses, they consider the work of directors including Jean Renoir,
Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. In a new afterword, written for this
edition, Wollen reflects on developments in film theory and film-making
since publication of _Signs and Meaning in the Cinema_ [in 1969]'.

Jim Roberts, ed., 'On the Film/Image', _Enculturation: An E-Journal for
Cultural and Rhetorical Studies_, vol. 2 no. 1, 1998
Including articles such as 'Imagistic Information ', 'Georges Bataille and
the Visceral Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow', 'From Mouse to Mouse - Overcoming
Information ', '"Give me a body": Deleuze's Time Image and the Taxonomy of
the Body in the Work of Gabriele Leidloff', 'The Silence of the Limbs:
Critiquing Culture from a Heideggerian Understanding of the Work of Art ',
and 'Frames of Reference: Peter Greenaway, Derrida and the Restitution of


To my way of thinking the creation of film was as if meant for philosophy --
meant to reorient everything philosophy has said about reality and its
representation, about art and imitation, about greatness and
conventionality, about judgment and pleasure, about skepticism and
transcendence, about language and expression. Stanley Cavell

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