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Wyatt Moss-Wellington

Cognitive dissonance provides a model for understanding how we experience film texts as profound. This article looks at the ways in which filmmakers might motivate or exploit the pleasure of resolving familiar narrative dissonance to inspire emotions associated with profundity, sublimity, or transcendence. David Lynch scholarship provides a primary case study in the conflation of cognitive dissonance and transcendence, however it is contended that moral obligations to rape and trauma victims are sublimated in the process. Alternative moral dissonances across a range of different cinematic modes are subsequently addressed. Comparative analysis of vigilantism in American revenge and “social cleansing” films, Ken Loach’s social realism, Richard Linklater’s Bernie (2011), and John Sayles’s Lone Star (1996) permits an exploration of variability in filmic dissonance and narrative comprehension, as well as alternative approaches to filmmaking ethics and responsibility. The article concludes with suggestions for an applied ethics extended from cognitive film theory.

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Steven Shaviro

André Bazin and Roland Barthes both theorize a cinematic realism based on the indexical ability of the photographic image (the ability of the image to indicate an original object). How are their arguments affected by the advent of digital, nonindexical cinematic technologies? The article considers how a nonindexical realism might be possible, by looking at three recent films: Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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Timothy Shary

Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film, photographs by Matt Lankes, texts by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, and Matt Lankes. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2014. 200 pp. ISBN 978-1-4773-0541-6 (pb)