June 9th, 2017 – Takuya Tsunoda

Please join us on Friday, June 9th at 10:30AM in Cobb 311 for the sixth, and final, Spring Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This week we’re looking forward to welcoming Dr. Takuya Tsunoda, Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Takuya will be presenting an article in progress, titled “Radical or Clinical: Hani Susumu, Nouvelle Vague in Japan and the Ontogeny of Cinema.”

Dr. Tsunoda’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

 


Radical or Clinical: Hani Susumu, Nouvelle Vague in Japan and the Ontogeny of Cinema

This essay focuses on Hani Susumu and his complex status, namely, one of the champions of the Japanese New Wave who has thus far been sidelined in the Japanese film history of the period. Tracing and analyzing the historical trajectory of Hani’s filmmaking principles and practices (primarily at Iwanami Productions), this study reconsiders the genealogy of the postwar cinematic modernism. To be more specific, I argue that Hani’s films solicit an inclusive participation in a ‘film-making’ reenactment of its own evolutionary path, not an exclusive commitment to a revolutionary break with the cinema of the past. Hani’s conception of the medium as a “processive” – in Hani’s own term – apparatus called for a retrogressive move against the concurrent drive for a commitment to progressive radicalism, or a form of media activism deeply tied with a crucial theoretical mode of defining new cinema of the 1960s as a “political act.” Reflecting upon further analyses of Iwanami’s preceding educational film and Hani’s shorts, I draw on an ontogenetic perspective that relates such retrogressive and (quasi-)atavistic praxis to the crucial root of the new cinema movement as well as to the reflexive vision fostered by postwar audio-visual pedagogy in Japan.

 

Takuya TSUNODA is a Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He has book chapters and an article forthcoming on Iwanami Productions, Japanese television documentaries from the 1970s, industrial film in Japan, and the Japanese director IMAMURA Shohei. His current research centers on the history and theory of audio-visual education and its relation to the new cinemas of the 1960s.

June 2nd 2017 – Matt Hubbell

Please join us on Friday, June 2nd at 10:30AM in Cobb 311 for the fifth Spring Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This week we welcome Matt Hubbell, PhD Candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Matt will be presenting a chapter of his dissertation, Acting After the New Wave: The Political Aesthetics of Performance in France, 1968-1981. The chapter is titled “Exemplary Gestures, Revolutionary Postures, and the Forms of Rupture: Embodying History in the Shadow of ‘68.”

Matt’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

 


Exemplary Gestures, Revolutionary Postures, and the Forms of Rupture: Embodying History in the Shadow of ‘68

The first chapter of my dissertation focuses on a group of films and images produced in the months surrounding the events of May 1968 in France.  In particular, I examine the ways in which these works – including a fiction film made immediately prior to the May events, a famous photograph taken during a demonstration in May, and a short documentary film made in June, as the strikes and protests are subsiding – aim to create or capture bodily gestures that have an exemplary relationship to their historical moment.  While looking at these works in relation to theories of gesture produced by Bertolt Brecht, Vilem Flusser, and Giorgio Agamben, the chapter focuses on the act of posing in order to think about the relationship of gesture and image.  In addition, I argue that the idea of gesture – recently very fashionable in media studies – should be supplemented by a concept of posture, and that this concept can help us to understand the way that these works respond to the complex political and representational challenges of their particular historical moment.

Matt Hubbell is a PhD candidate in the department of Cinema and Media Studies.  His work focuses on post-war French film, cinematic figurations of history, and the place of performance, gesture, and the body in moving images.  He is currently working on his dissertation, “Acting After the New Wave: The Political Aesthetics of Performance in France, 1968-1981.”

May 26th, 2017 – Nicole Erin Morse

Please join us on Friday, May 26th at 10:30AM in Cobb 311 for the fourth Spring Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This week we’re excited to welcome Nicole Morse, PhD Candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Nicole will be presenting a chapter of their dissertation on selfie aesthetics, titled “Because of You, I Know that I Exist”: Doubling in Selfie Aesthetics.”

Nicole’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

 


Because of You, I Know that I Exist”: Doubling in Selfie Aesthetics.

This chapter section analyzes doubling as an aesthetic strategy in Claude Cahun’s “self portraits” and argues that doubling is an important aesthetic strategy in selfies, through close readings of selfies by Reina Gossett and Vivek Shraya.

Nicole Erin Morse is a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies, writing a dissertation on selfie aesthetics. Nicole’s research on gender and race in porn, reality television, and art television has been published in Porn Studies, Feminist Media Studies, and Jump Cut.

May 12th, 2017 – Jordan Schonig

Please join us on Friday, May 12th at 10:30AM in Cobb 311 for the third Spring Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This week we welcome Jordan Schonig, PhD Candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Jordan will be presenting the introduction to his dissertation on cinematic motion and film theory, titled “Cinema’s Motion Forms.

Jordan’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

 


Cinema’s Motion Forms challenges the common assumption that the photographic moving image automatically reproduces the natural perception of motion. This assumption undergirds many basic ideas throughout film theory, from claims about the inherent realism of the cinematic image to analogies between the moving camera and human locomotion. Against this, I argue that the movement of the image produces its own logics of experience, which become manifest in particular structures of movement unique to the inscription of motion. By describing and analyzing these structures, what I call cinema’s motion forms, I am able not only to better understand the aesthetic possibilities of cinematic motion but also to rework central debates in film theory. Each chapter shows how a film theoretical assumption depends on a restricted understanding of cinematic motion, and how paying attention to a particular form of motion can produce new theoretical models.

 

Jordan Schonig is a sixth-year PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. His dissertation, Cinema’s Motion Forms: Inscribed Motion and the Problems of Film Theory, rethinks central debates in film theory by examining the phenomenology of cinematic motion. He is broadly interested in the intersections between philosophical aesthetics and film theory, phenomenological approaches to film studies, and genealogies of modernism in film and the other arts.

March 3rd, 2017 – Pedro Noel Doreste

Please join us on Friday, March 3rd at 10AM in Cobb 311 for our final Winter Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This time, we welcome Pedro Noel Doreste, PhD Student in Cinema and Media Studies. Pedro will be presenting an article draft titled “Revolutionary Exceptions: Reception of The Godfather Films in Cuba.

Pedro’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

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“Revolutionary Exceptions: Reception of The Godfather Films in Cuba”

The paper revisits the conditions under which Cuba illicitly acquired and widely exhibited Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather I and later II in the 1970s. After having previously banned American media in the years directly following the Revolution, the Cuban Film Institute surprisingly saw fit to exhibit a Hollywood picture under the constraints of the blockade and at the height of the Cold War in the mid-1970s. To justify breaking with the self-imposed boycott of contemporary Hollywood films—then considered anti-intellectual in nature and incompatible with revolutionary ideals—Cuban cultural workers endeavored to construct a unified hermeneutics among their readers that understood the Mafia as a singularly American problem and the Godfather films as faithful representations of this phenomenon. Blurring the boundaries between private enterprise, organized crime, and the U.S. government, the films would become two of the most popular ever to be screened in the island. The reception of The Godfather films indicates that piracy would also become a point of pride and willful misinterpretation a manner of active resistance to cultural imperialism. The purpose of this study is to identify the sites of exchange, discourse, or even mutual infiltration by two competing, ideologically incompatible cultures, and speculate further as to the role of criticism in determining why certain pieces of media thrive where they do not belong.