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The Feel-Good Film

Genre Features and Emotional Rewards

Keyvan Sarkhosh and Winfried Menninghaus

Abstract

In film criticism, “feel-good films” are widely dismissed as intellectually undemanding and sentimental entertainment. This study identifies key characteristics, emotional effects, and aesthetic qualities of feel-good films from the audience's perspective. Although the feel-good film does not appear to be a genre in its own right, it is more than just a rather vague category. Romantic comedy films with a substantial share of drama are shown to be the most prototypical feel-good genre blend. Fairy-tale likeness and perceived lightness were indicated as key characteristics of these films. Yet for all their focus on happiness and relaxation, the emotional trajectories also involve serious conflicts and are experienced as profoundly moving. Moreover, preferences for feel-good films differ greatly, depending on gender and age.

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Keyvan Sarkhosh and Winfried Menninghaus

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Jonathan G. Katz

Abstract

The pioneering French doctor Françoise Entz Légey (1876-1935) devoted her career in Algeria and Morocco to women's healthcare. Much acclaimed in her lifetime, and remembered today largely for her two books on Moroccan folklore, Légey established in Marrakesh a maternity hospital and a milk dispensary. She also embarked on a plan to instruct “modern” midwives to replace indigenous matrones and sages-femmes, known in Arabic as qablas. While Protectorate policy afforded opportunities to European women physicians like Légey, it simultaneously undermined the authority of indigenous Moroccan women healthcare providers. Efforts by Légey and other European physicians to supplant indigenous medicine with biomedicine ultimately contributed to the landscape of medical pluralism that prevails today. Moreover, European medicine disproportionately attracted the Jewish minority and further contributed to Jewish alienation from the Muslim majority.

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Thierry Groensteen

Abstract

Thierry Groensteen's memoir recalls the intellectual ferment of colloquia held at Cerisy-la-Salle in Normandy, subsequently the venue for two conferences organised by Groensteen himself. The first, the ground-breaking Bande dessinée, récit et modernité [Comics, Narrative and Modernity] in 1987, was a key moment in the history of the theorisation of comics as art form. Groensteen's own presentation explored the threshold of narrativity in comics, and other noteworthy contributions included those of the philosopher Henri Van Lier and Marc Avelot, whose reading of Martin Vaughn-James's La Cage rescued this masterpiece from obscurity. This conference also laid the foundations for the Oubapo movement, the production of comics under constraint, whose later development Groensteen chronicles. The second, ‘La Transécriture’, in 1993, was an early exploration of comics as part of a cross-media environment.

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Healing through Heritage?

The Repatriation of Human Remains from European Collections as Potential Sites of Reconciliation

Carsten Wergin

This Forum contribution builds on the ethnographic engagement with restitution projects as places of transcultural encounter. Based on data collected in 2019 during repatriation ceremonies in Berlin and Leipzig, I show how a responsibility for human remains that was shared between European museums and Australian Indigenous custodians set in motion processes of healing, both among Indigenous groups and those working with these collections in Europe. I further argue that ethnographic museums change in these processes from supposedly passive exhibition spaces to spaces of socio-critical engagement. Finally, I explore the decolonial potential of such collaborative engagements with heritage within and beyond European borders that are motivated by provenance research and repatriation practices.

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Amy Reid

Cultural heritage in Cyprus has been a contentious issue throughout the island’s tumultuous history. The official partition of the island in 1974, after years of conflict between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, has resulted in the destruction and neglect of heritage sites on both sides of the Cypriot ‘border’. However, in recent years there has been an increase in organisations that aim to use heritage as a tool to unite both communities. This contribution examines the work of one such organisation, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus (TCCH).

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Illegible Allegations

Navigating the Meanings of Rape in Colonial Algeria

Sarah Ghabrial

Abstract

Laws that shield men from punishment if they marry their victims are so ubiquitous that their genesis is impossible to identify. Rather than attempting to trace the colonial or pre-colonial “origins” of so-called marry-your-rapist laws in Algeria, this article examines particular moments within this thick history. It posits that Algerian colonial courts were sites of confrontation, misrecognition, and occasional confluence between local remedies for unlawful sex and modern legal conceptions of rape inextricable from medicalized methods of detection. Algerian litigants approached French courts in rape cases demanding forms of redress based in vernacular ontologies of equitable restitution and social cohesion. In turn, colonial authorities inferred equivalences between indigenous normative codes, Islamic textual prescriptions, and the French Code Pénal that reshaped the legal and social meaning of rape.

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Carl Plantinga and Malcolm Turvey

Friends and colleagues of Stephen Prince were shocked and saddened to learn of his death at the age of sixty-five on 30 December 2020 in Blacksburg, Virginia, after a brief illness. Steve was a good friend to many, a prolific scholar with a deep love of cinema, a beloved teacher, a trusted and valued colleague, and a generous mentor to younger scholars.

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Ann Miller

Abstract

In this interview, the Brighton-based comics artist Hannah Berry discuses her current role as Comics Laureate, which has included the commissioning of a survey into the conditions of work of comics artists in the United Kingdom and has demonstrated the financial hardship that most of them endure. She also talks about the importance of mentoring, organising work around childcare, and how she came to produce a weekly strip for the New Statesman. The interview then focuses on Berry's three published graphic novels, touching on the influence of films, the tension between storytelling and play with the codes of the medium, the use of gutters and text as elements in a horror story, comics as a corrective to fake news, and the political research that underlies satire.

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This interview with Paul Schrader, conducted by Todd Berliner, took place on 19 June 2020 as part of the annual meeting of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI). It has been edited and condensed for clarity. We are grateful to Mr. Schrader for his participation and permission to publish this transcription, to Professor Berliner for conducting the interview, and to Professor Carl Plantinga for organizing it.