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Michele Barker

Abstract

In this article, I consider some of the aesthetic and temporal forces that give us the opportunity to rethink the relationship between movement and perception in cinema and new media practice. Following Bergson and Deleuze, I offer an idea of the moving image that considers how we can move with the image’s movement. Through a discussion of my own media arts practice, I suggest a new approach to the creation of images that create movement, one where we feel rather than see imperceptibility. Considered in relation to other artistic and scientific deployments of imperceptibility revealed in the use of slow motion in contemporary moving images, this “feeling” of movement summons a kind of time that is neither atemporal nor a subdivision of time but rather a time of moving with images.

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Editorial

Situating Screen Bodies

Brian Bergen-Aurand

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Falling Apart Together

On Viewing Ali Atassi’s Our Terrible Country from Beirut

Ira Allen

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Handover Bodies in a Feminist Frame

Two Hong Kong Women Filmmakers’ Perspectives on Sex after 1997

Gina Marchetti

Abstract

Hong Kong women have been taking up the camera to explore the changing nature of their identity. Linking the depiction of the gendered body with the demand for women’s rights as sexual citizens, several directors have examined changing attitudes toward women’s sexuality. Yau Ching, for example, interrogates the issues of sex work, the internet, and lesbian desire in Ho Yuk: Let’s Love Hong Kong (2002). Barbara Wong’s documentary, Women’s Private Parts (2001), however, uses the televisual talking head interview and observational camera to highlight the way women view their bodies within contemporary Chinese culture. By examining the common ground shared by these very different films, a vision of women’s sexuality emerges that highlights Hong Kong women’s struggle for full sexual citizenship.

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Objet A(ffect) and Che(www) Vuoi

The Fleshy Horror of the Unknowable Other in Spring and Honeymoon

Dewey Musante

Abstract

Leigh Janiak’s Honeymoon (2014) and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s Spring (2015) initially seem like two horror films birthed in the spirit of classical psychoanalytic film criticism. They deal with a monstrous female, a fearful, castrated male, and the “otherness” of sexual relationships. Through a close analysis of each film, however, I suggest in the following that both films “think” through problems of the gendered other, sexual politics, and cinematic affect outside the bounds of contemporary psychoanalytic or affect theory. By suggesting and analyzing two neologisms that blend the insights of psychoanalytic and affective film theory—objet a(ffect) and che(www) vuoi—I argue that both films not only complicate typical readings of horror films “about” gender and sex, but that each film performs its own type of philosophical thought about gender and “otherness” through its very form and content.

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Linda Howell, Ryan Bell, Laura Helen Marks, Jennifer L. Lieberman, and Joseph Christopher Schaub

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Transitions Within Queer North African Cinema

Nouri Bouzid, Abdellah Taïa, and the Transnational Tourist

Walter S. Temple

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Before and After Ghostcatching

Animation, Primitivism, and the Choreography of Vitality

Heather Warren-Crow

Abstract

Primitivism gathers together several hegemonic lines of thinking about otherness as a function of underdevelopment vis-à-vis the Western, white male subject. This article presents an analysis of the animated dance video Ghostcatching (Bill T. Jones, Paul Kaiser, Shelley Eshkar, 1999) that offers a framework for understanding the piece’s thoughtful relationship to the history of primitivism in animation. Positioning the dancing body and the motion-capture apparatus at the center of understandings of the supposedly pre-rational and uncivilized, I argue that Ghostcatching is an expert commentary on animation’s long-standing investment in notions of human origins and development. Ghostcatching and related animations (including its stereoscopic 3-D reworking, After Ghostcatching; Betty Boop cartoons of the 1930s; the Dancing Baby meme; and work by media artist Ian Cheng) provide a lens for examining technologies and discourses of motion capture, revealing the economy of vitality through which the energy of raced, infantilized, and animalized bodies are circulated.

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Editorial

Screening Vulnerability

Brian Bergen-Aurand

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On Shock Therapy

Modernist Aesthetics and American Underground Film

William Solomon

Abstract

This article tracks various twentieth-century figural appropriations—in the realm of artistic theory and practice—of a controversial method of treating the mentally ill. In the first section, I revisit Walter Benjamin’s canonical speculation on the importance of a shock aesthetic, underscoring the functional imperatives informing his model. For him, shock was the aesthetic cornerstone of cultural undertakings designed to enable persons to inhabit urban-industrial modernity in a socially empowered fashion. In the second section, I apply this notion to two products of the American underground: Marie Menken’s Go! Go! Go! (1962–1964) and Jonas Mekas’s Walden (1969). Here, my argument is that it was in experimental film that the purposefulness or “mission” that Benjamin detected in Charles Baudelaire’s poetry was realized. I then conclude with some reflections on the pertinence of the model in question to two related avant-garde cinematic endeavors: Stan Vanderbeek’s collage works and Ken Jacobs’s Nervous System performances.