Saturday, September 17, 2022

Film Studies Resources: September 17, 2022

Almaric, Matthieu and Vicky Kreps. "Hold Me Tight." Film At Lincoln Center Podcast (September 8, 2022) ["Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, Bergman Island) gives another riveting performance as Clarisse, a woman on the run from her family for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. Widely renowned as an actor but less well-known here for his equally impressive work behind the camera, Mathieu Amalric’s sixth feature directorial outing—his most ambitious to date—is a virtuosic, daringly fluid portrait of one woman’s fractured psyche. Alternating between Clarisse’s adventures on the road and her abandoned husband Marc (Arieh Worthalter) as he struggles to take care of their children at home, Amalric’s film keeps viewers uncertain as to the reality of what they’re seeing until the final moments of this richly rewarding, moving, and unpredictable portrait of grief."]

Borden, Carol. "Flux Gourmet (UK 2022)." Monstrous Industry (September 13, 2022) ["Flux Gourmet contains many of Strickland’s pre-occupations: the creation of art; presenting one’s work to an audience; the line between popular art and fine / avant garde art; attempting to access senses that are hard to access through film–here, smell, taste, and a somatic sense of gastric pressure; “Eurosleaze” and “Eurotrash” film, including a nice reference to Danger: Diabolik (1968); almost operatic fashion; and, of course, soundscapes and sound design. It’s all presented in Strickland’s lush, polished visuals; warm, saturated colors; and deep, mesmerizing sound design much of which is created by Strickland’s Sonic Catering Band."]

Crim, Brian and Lia Paradis. "Who Can You Trust?" New Books in Popular Culture (September 7, 2022) ["Can you imagine living in a society that is ostensibly a democracy but secret forces are working behind the scenes to manipulate events? What if our intelligence agencies run amok with no oversight? What if the president is a criminal and would do anything to stay in power? These sound like current events, but they were major preoccupations during the 1970s in the wake of Watergate and congressional hearings about CIA and FBI abuses. Hollywood responded by dramatizing the unfettered power of what some like to call “the deep state” in three films we cover this episode - The Parallax View (1974), The Three Days of the Condor (1975), and All The President’s Men (1976). Each features protagonists unraveling conspiracies at the heart of our national security state, but is exposing the truth enough?"]

Kiang, Jessica. "TÁR: a sly, scabrous symphony." (September 2, 2022) ["Cate Blanchett is mesmerising as a monstrous orchestra conductor in Todd Field’s latest masterpiece, one of the most grippingly brilliant films of the year."]

Mooney, Shannon. "Sticking to the Script: Constructions of Sonic Whiteness in Get Out and Sorry to Bother You." Supernatural Studies 7.2 (131-154) ["This article places Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) into conversation with Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You (2018) in order to explore how both films represent whiteness as a penetrative sonic force that can be both heard and recognized. I explore how these two films challenge the popular notion that whiteness, unlike Blackness, is an empty and neutral signifier; instead, these films present whiteness as a racial category that possesses distinct sonic registers. Through their engagements with neoslavery, minstrelsy, and racial passing, these films parody the ways that Blackness has become socially and culturally constructed as “sounding” a certain way, and instead depict whiteness as something that can be aurally recognized and imitated. Through probing at their constructions of sonic whiteness, both Get Out and Sorry to Bother You problematize how popular audiences have been trained to hear (as well as see) race and respond to a longer history of the racialization of sound."]

Nolan, Amy. "The Sunken Place and the 'Electronic Elsewhere' of Jordan Peele’s Get Out." Supernatural Studies 7.2 (2022) ["One of the most compelling uses of analog technology in contemporary horror thus far is Jordan Peele’s use of the television as reflection of and portal to the Sunken Place in Get Out (2017). From the time that the television was invented, the combination of sound and image has magnified the ghostly possibilities of reproduction. According to Jeffrey Sconce, “the paradox of visible, seemingly material worlds trapped in a box in the living room and yet conjured out of nothing more than electricity and air, [wherein] the ‘electronic elsewhere’ generated by television was thus more palpable and yet every bit as phantasmic the occult empires of previous media’” (126). Peele shows us the “electronic elsewhere” by connecting the Sunken Place to the analog television set as a signifier of protagonist Chris Washington’s repressed memory of his mother’s death. The television becomes an extension of the national nightmare and personal trauma that overshadow Chris’s adult life. Get Out is a distinctive, twenty-first century story, yet it draws from earlier horror films that focus on humanity’s relationship with technology."]

Pritz, Alex. "The Territory." Film School Radio (August 18, 2022) ["In his debut feature documentary THE TERRITORY Alex Pritz provides an immersive look at the tireless fight of the Amazon’s Indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers. With awe-inspiring cinematography showcasing the titular landscape and richly textured sound design, the film takes audiences deep into the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau community and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land. Partially shot by the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, THE TERRITORY relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risks their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth. Director Alex Pritz joins us for a informative conversation on the importance that he placed an even-handed approach to conveying the disparate strands of a complex story whose outcome will have a profound impact on the indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, the region surrounding the Amazon rainforest and planet Earth."]

"Pulse." Horror Vanguard #222 (September 6, 2022) [Movie description: "Two groups of people discover evidence that suggests spirits may be trying to invade the human world through the Internet."]

Sweedler, Milo. "Art, activism, sales calls, and slave labor: Dialectics in Sorry to Bother You." Jump Cut #61 (Fall 2022) ["Boots Riley’s debut film, Sorry to Bother You (2018), is one of the great anti-capitalist films of the early twenty-first century. Although Riley characterizes the movie as “an absurdist dark comedy with magical realism and science fiction,” which it is, the film also provides one of the most clear-sighted accounts of grassroots class struggle to appear in mainstream North American narrative cinema in decades (“Beautiful Clutter”). As witty, playful, and delightfully quirky as it is, Riley’s tale of an ethically compromised telemarketer, his artist-activist girlfriend, and the labor organizer that unionizes their workplace sheds brilliant light on the class struggle today. I analyze here two different kinds of dialectics that Riley uses in telling his story of class conflict in an alternate present-day Oakland, California. One the one hand, a narrative technique used repeatedly in the film is dialectical in the Ancient Greek sense of staging a debate between interlocutors holding different points of view. On the other hand, numerous scenes in the film set up a contradiction that the movie momentarily resolves, often in unexpected ways, before introducing a new element that complicates the resolved contradiction. If, as Karl Marx argued more than 150 years ago, “What constitutes dialectical movement is the coexistence of two contradictory sides, their conflict and their fusion,” Sorry to Bother You is dialectical in this way, too (Poverty of Philosophy 108). This article examines how these two dialectics shape Riley’s class-conscious film."]

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