remains: criticism is a practice, a sort of performance, a way of perceiving and experiencing the work from a subjective point of view. This is increasingly true today, and despite the concerns raised on the effects of the web on criticism, critics such
On What We Can Learn
Laura T. Di Summa
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
responses; and (2) Castelvetro cases. (1) Unreflective aesthetic responses . Someone listens to a recording of a recent performance of Erik Satie’s (1890) piano composition, Gnossienne No. 2 . This person happens to know that Satie’s score includes no
experiential encounter with other sorts of artworks, one instance is as good as another—“a copy of” Moby Dick , “a performance of” Hamlet , “a rendition of” “Summertime,” “a screening of” Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955). These works are of the
seems hardly worth passing on, we will assess their performance accordingly: the engagement can be strongly negative, even oppositional. But in successful cases we see that tellers wanted to pass something on, and we engage with that motive, with the way