This article questions the standard history being constructed about the adoption of digital cinematography in commercial cinema, a narrative whose broad assumptions resonate with industry professionals, including cinematographers. Digital image acquisition is frequently taken to be motivated by an industrial push to cut production costs, which impinges on the creative autonomy of film artists. This perception overlooks parts of Hollywood's current business model concerning production values and theatrical exhibition that will sustain film cinematography in the foreseeable future. These findings then lead the article to address filmmakers and critics who fear that photorealist aesthetics will be supplanted by digital images that possess a different visual signature. Prognostications that the digital look will replace that of film as the norm appear inaccurate.
Aki Kaurismäki's feature-length fictional films are often discussed as a stylistically homogenous group. Because critics have looked for similarities, they have neglected differences among the films. This article tests prevailing arguments about the cinematographic style of Kaurismäki's films in a quantitative analysis of shot lengths, camera movements, reverse angles, point of view shots, and shot scales. The analysis indicates significant similarities and changes among the films and differentiates between notable stylistic trends. The results of the study complicate existing claims about Kaurismäki's style. Mismatches between impression and fact are explained by analyzing the parts of Kaurismäki's style that “stand out” and the reasons why they do so.
Kibbutz Yakum as a Case Study
Amir Har-Gil and Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler
Architecture and landscape constitute key aspects of fictional realistic drama in film and television. In fictional films whose plots take place on Israeli kibbutzim, on-site cinematography is a central means of achieving a realistic and dramatic portrayal of the communal settlement and its social space. In this article, we investigate five productions filmed on location at Kibbutz Yakum. We argue that these filmic representations of architecture and landscape reify the image of the kibbutz as an introverted society that denies individuals their privacy and upholds the centrality and presence of community. By comparing the actual sites with their presentation in films, we show that the physical space of the kibbutz was filmed selectively in a manner that immortalizes its communal, 'classical' image, which in reality no longer exists. The kibbutz's transformation from a communal to a privatized society is purposely veiled in these films, preserving the kibbutz's established image.
Can the authorial contribution of the individual cinematographer to classical, narrative-based film be identified and attributed? This article addresses this specific question, but the specific case of the cinematographer must acknowledge the wider debates about film authorship. The article examines contemporary attitudes to coauthorship in film, highlighting the fact that, in terms of cinematography, most commentators still defer to directors when discussing the creation of meaning within images. While examining the works of Gregg Toland and William Wyler, the article evaluates authorial attribution by means of a comparison between the films they made together and the films they made separately. In order to do this, the article defines a method for establishing authorship within the film image. Toland is a prime historical example of a cinematographer whose authorial contribution has been severely underestimated in the pursuit of glorifying the directors he worked with (Orson Welles, John Ford, and William Wyler).
Parastoo Alaeddini, Philip Cowan and Agustín Zarzosa
Davide Caputo, Polanski and Perception: The Psychology of Seeing and the Cinema of Roman Polanski
Patrick Keating, ed., Cinematography
Linda Williams, On “The Wire”
Teresa Hoefert de Turégano
French efforts in lobbying for a “cultural exception” in world trade agreements have attracted much attention. Less noticed have been the long-standing French attempts to support the film production of individuals from around the world, for whom making films in their countries of origin is difficult for economic, political, and social reasons. One of France’s areas of predilection for such cinematographic support has been francophone sub-Saharan Africa, specifically countries that were once former colonies. Shortly after most African countries in the region became independent, France created the Ministry of Cooperation and Development to administer relations with the African states; an important part of French support consisted of helping develop cinematographic production.
A Burgeoning Field of Research
Since the 1890s early film pioneers used their cinematographic oeuvre for educational and informative purposes. As a result not only did film production companies regard schools as a lucrative emerging market, but progressive teachers also welcomed this new resource for teaching and learning. Soon a professional infrastructure was created and included several teachers’ associations, film catalogues, journals, and conferences dealing with educational films and their use in teaching and the education sector.
Moebius' Trajectory through Buenos Aires
Moebius (1996) is the first cinematographic production of the “Universidad del Cine” of Buenos Aires. It is the collective project of forty-five film students under the general direction of Gustavo Mosquera. The film narrates the mysterious disappearance of a subway train along the last addition to its underground network: the “línea perimetral.” In search for answers, a topologist named Daniel Pratt initiates an allegorical journey into Moebius, a subway trajectory that is timeless but includes all times. This article explores the role of Moebius' subway as a metaphor to understand the urban. Drawing from Buenos Aires' urban history this filmic analysis ties the Subte to Buenos Aires' processes of capital accumulation and unveils the fissures of its modern spaces.
Adapting Feature Films into French-Language Comics Serials during the Post-war Years
This article focuses on the relatively little-known editorial context of children’s French-language comics serials at a time when they constituted the main distribution channel of the bande dessinée medium (before the album became the dominant format), from the immediate post-war years to the mid-1950s. I examine the importance given to the adaptation of films into bande dessinée by studying the editorial strategy to which this practice of adaptation contributes (focusing on the magazine L’Intrépide [The daredevil], which, at the time, specialised in adaptation) and the narrative and figurative aspects of the adapters’ approaches. I show in particular how bandes dessinées are inscribed in genres that structure the periodical publications, where these were previously established in the cinematographic domain such as the swashbuckler and the western. The processes of condensation or amplification of the narrative, as well as the use of the feuilleton, are at the centre of the case studies.
Or, The Art of Affection in Nicolette Krebitz’s Wild
Wild tells the story of an intelligent and sensitive young woman who lives quite a boring life caught in routines in a German city. The accidental encounter with a wild wolf changes her life forever. What is interesting about the film is the way in which it tends to blur the line that typically separates animal and human life by highlighting the process of mutual affection. According to the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, affection induces bodily transformations, which take place on a precognitive level of perception. By way of various cinematographic techniques, Wild is aesthetically able to both reflect on and perform such transformations, presenting them as a motif and a form of spectatorship at one and the same time.