January 27th, Tom Gunning and Travis Preston – Fantômas: Revenge of the Image (A Preview)

Please join us on Friday, January 27th at 10AM in LOGAN 201 [Please note alternative location] for our second Winter Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This week we are delighted to welcome Tom Gunning, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and Art History & Travis Preston, Dean of Theater at The California Institute of the Arts. Our guests this week are gracing us with a sneak preview of their collaborative theater project, “Fantômas: Revenge of the Image.”

Reading materials, courtesy of Tom Gunning, are entirely optional this week, but include a talk delivered on Fantômas and an outline of the project itself. As always, please do not distribute these without permission. The link is here.

Please email either Katerina Korola [katerinakorola@uchicago.edu] or Dave Burnham [burnham@uchicago.edu] for the password.

Refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Your coordinators,

Katerina Korola and Dave Burnham

 


Fantômas – Revenge of the Image: a Preview
Film historian Tom Gunning and theater director Travis Preston, Dean of Theater at The California Institute of the Arts, working through The Center for New Performance, have over the last five years been collaborating on a theatrical piece based on the figure of French serial literature and films, Fantômas, the phantom bandit and urban terrorist.

Scheduled to premiere this coming October at a theater festival in China, the work involves an experimental approach to the zone between theater and cinema, employing a mobile seating unit to create a transforming imagistic space. All the texts (primarily based in French symbolist and surrealist works) will be spoken by one voice, while a group of actors (including Mirjana Jokovic, known most prominently for her work in the films of Emir Kusturica) interact in and expanded field, mediated by a mobile view, framed through an aperture.  Themes of violence and terror explore the figure of Fantômas and the roots of urban terror from the French serial to the Master criminals of the Weimar era.

January 20, 2016 – Shannon Tarbell

Please join us on Friday, January 20th at 10AM in Cobb 311 for the our first Winter Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This time, we welcome Shannon Tarbell, PhD Candidate in Cinema and Media Studies. Shannon will be presenting a chapter of her dissertation titled “Visual Conversation in Late Silent / Early Sound Film.”

Shannon’s paper is available for download here.

Please email either Katerina Korola [katerinakorola@uchicago.edu] or Dave Burnham [burnham@uchicago.edu] for the password.

Refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Your coordinators,

Katerina Korola and Dave Burnham

_________________________________________________________________________________

“Visual Conversation in Late Silent/Early Sound Film”

This paper, a draft of a dissertation chapter, considers two early masterpieces of synchronized sound, Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927) and Lonesome (Paul Fejos, 1928) in order to show how each film presents key scenes of dialogue, or visual conversation, with special effects that reveal rather than conceal the ordinariness of these conversations. In both of the films studied in this chapter, the ordinary occurs not simply in the sense of telling a story about regular, common people, but precisely in moments of perceiving the ordinary as momentarily strange or extraordinary. The films are therefore revelatory of the ordinary as Stanley Cavell describes it.

 

Shannon Tarbell is a PhD candidate in the department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. She holds an M.A. in Film and Media Studies from Emory University. Her dissertation, “Small Talk: Film Dialogue and the Ordinary,” explores film dialogue’s integral yet often critically and theoretically neglected place in narrative cinema as a function of its ordinariness.