This article examines Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation as a creative enterprise that opens up new ideas about documentary film and insights into working with new media. It considers how the making of this film worked as a prosthetic aspect to the filmmaker's identity and stability. In examining the interplay of sound, image, and written text, I note how Tarnation develops an artistic meditation on a number of important topics: the representation of trauma, the abstract and formal means of expressing the fragility of survival, the damage to memory and to identity that family dys-function causes, the technical demands of creating narratives of broken and contested lives. The material in the film and its mode of composition from the perspective of psychoanalytic studies of mourning, gay performance and identity, gender dysphoria and its relation to loss, and artistic projects as acts of healing are also considered.
J. Brandon Colvin
People are bad at recognizing liars. Data culled from several psychological experiments demonstrates that even the most well trained individuals – government agents, police officers, and so on – can barely succeed at a 50 percent rate. Lying and deception, however, are fundamental narrative elements in several film genres – particularly the detective film and the female gothic, genres that peaked in popularity in 1940s Hollywood. Considering their real-life lack of proficiency, how do viewers successfully spot deception in such films? Drawing on findings from a handful of experiments, this article brings cognitive psychological concepts to bear on two 1940s films: Out of the Past (1947) and Secret Beyond the Door (1948). The article claims that filmmakers, particularly actors, exaggerate, simplify, and emphasize deception cues to selectively achieve narrative clarification or revelation. This process reveals not only how viewers recognize deception, but how actors stylize real-life behavior in service of narrative and aesthetic priorities.
Beyond the Kuleshov Effect
theory, perhaps as a reflection of what first intrigued us about the medium, and even though editors and filmmakers most likely do not presuppose inexpressive performances when referring to the Kuleshov effect as “the single most important concept to
Jeff Smith, Dominic Topp, Jason Gendler, and Francesco Sticchi
single case study. The book's first chapter goes on to examine a typical, if not especially common, listening situation: characters attending a performance of concert music. For Biancorosso, such scenes represent a paradigm of active auditory attention
Notes on the Ethics of Observational Documentary
sprawling mansion in the Hamptons, Grey Gardens presents a series of intimate and at times discomfiting views of their private lives. As Edie Beale and her daughter talk and bicker about the past, they carry out acts of performance: singing, dressing up
In order to get a fine-grained understanding of the functions of performer expressiveness in filmic narratives, it is necessary to pay attention to how we conceptualize emotions. One of the problems in studying film performances is that looking only
Embodiment Technologies in Science/Fiction
; Humanization of the Digital Film scholar Lisa Purse discusses the “digitization of the human” with reference to Scott Balcerzak's work on performance capture, in contrast to making motion-capture digital effects appear more realistic by “humanizing the
the acting of Ivan Mozzhukhin, who is today best known for his putatively “blank” expression in Kuleshov’s editing experiments. Riis’s rich analysis of Mozzhukhin’s performances counters this erroneous legacy with which the actor has been saddled. The
Edited by Stephen Prince
“best performance” or lists that one can find online of the top fifty horror films or top films in other genres suggest that a consensus of informed opinion underlies the rankings. Pascal Wallisch and Jake Alden Whritner provide an empirical study of the
of view that Smith ascribes to me. Writing about the philosophy of dance, McFee holds that what matters for the latter are the kinds of human capacities exercised in executing and appreciating dance performance. The evidence for such capacities, he