2014/2 – #War

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 24
  • Article
    Editorial Necsus
    NECSUS Editorial Board (2014) , S. 1-4
  • Article
    The din of gunfire: Rethinking the role of sound in World War II newsreels
    Shpolberg, Masha (2014) , S. 113-129
    French film historian Laurent Véray has famously called World War I ‘the first media war of the twentieth century’. Newsreels, which first appeared in 1910, brought the war to movie theaters across Europe and the U.S., screening combat for those on the ‘home front’. However, while the audience could see the action it could not hear it – sometimes only live music would accompany the movements of the troops. The arrival of sound newsreels in 1929 radically transformed moviegoers’ experiences of the news, and, by necessity, of armed conflict. Drawing on examples of World War II newsreels from British Pathé’s archive that was recently made available online, this article seeks to delineate the logic governing the combination of voice-over commentary, music, sound effects, and field-recorded sound, and argues that it can be traced directly to the treatment of sound in the ‘Great War’ fiction films of the preceding decade.
  • Article
    Photographed by the Earth: War and media in light of nuclear events
    Pringle, Thomas (2014) , S. 131-154
    This article charts a media historical relation between radiation and celluloid film, ranging from the downwind 1956 production of The Conqueror to early scientific imaging practices, war photography, war documentaries, military industrial film, and contemporary artists working on radiation aesthetics. Posing the collection as a diagnostic media ecology, this article argues that the valuable evidence provided by the environmental metadata stored in celluloid film is the product of ecological warfare and violence. By turning to the material sciences for a better understanding of how nuclear weapons affect media on large spatial and temporal scales we gain a parallax view to how photographic practices – defined as the aesthetic exchange of light and energy – occur autonomously within our ecology, although some of these forces are mobilised in deadly and imperceptible ways. By demonstrating that non-human agencies released by Cold War energy policies have contaminated military industrial and commercial film archives alike, this article asserts that nuclear testing and warfare have contributed to a global condition of test-subjectivity that can be evidenced by diagnostic media ecology.
  • Article
    Kilts, tanks, and aeroplanes: Scotland, cinema, and the First World War
    Archibald, David; Vélez-Serna, María (2014) , S. 155-175
    This article charts commercial cinema’s role in promoting the war effort in Scotland during the First World War, outlining three aspects of the relationship between cinema and the war as observed in Scottish non-fiction short films produced between 1914 and 1918. The existing practice of local topical filmmaking, made or commissioned by cinema managers, created a particular form of engagement between cinema and war that was substantially different from the national newsreels or official films. The article offers an analysis of surviving short ‘topicals’ produced and exhibited in Scotland, which combine images of local military marches with kilted soldiers and enthusiastic onlookers and were designed to lure the assembled crowds back into the cinema to see themselves onscreen. Synthesising textual analysis with a historical account of the films’ production context, the article examines the films’ reliance on the romanticised militarism of the Highland soldier and the novelty appeal of mobilisation and armament, sidelining the growing industrial unrest and anti-war activities that led to the birth of the term ‘Red Clydeside’. The article then explores how, following the British state’s embracing of film propaganda post-1916, local cinema companies such as Green’s Film Service produced films in direct support of the war effort, for example Patriotic Porkers (1918, for the Ministry of Food). Through their production and exhibition practice exhibitors mediated the international conflict to present it to local audiences as an appealing spectacle, but also mobilised cinema’s position in Scottish communities to advance ideological and practical aspects of the war effort, including recruitment, refugee support, and fundraising.
  • Article
    Shell shock cinema: A discussion with Anton Kaes
    Pitassio, Francesco (2014) , S. 177-188
  • Review
    Haunted by participatory culture
    Hillrichs, Rainer (2014) , S. 189-195
  • Review
    Female celebrity and ageing in the limelight and under the microscope
    Wright, Julie Lobalzo (2014) , S. 195-202
  • Review
    Film festival management and programming
    de Cuir Jr, Greg (2014) , S. 202-207
  • Review
    Cinema, postmedia, and resolutions
    Valente, Donatella (2014) , S. 207-215
  • Article
    Reconfiguring film studies through software cinema and procedural spectatorship
    Hassapopoulou, Marina (2014) , S. 21-42
    The increasing use of software and database aesthetics in film and video production has created hybrid modes of spectatorship by altering the dynamic between media production and reception. Software-generated narratives (pre-programmed databases that create films through random selection and combination of discrete audio, visual, and/or textual tracks) remove the viewer from the actual algorithmic process, drawing his/her attention instead on interactions between hardware and software. Here, the element of unpredictability that is part of cinematic pleasure lies in the recombination of discrete elements (audio, visuals, subtitles, and so on) and the unexpected ways in which the software stitches those elements together. The subsequent reduction in the degree and compass of authorial control invites us to reconsider existing frameworks of spectatorship and narration within new contexts of mobility, performance, and databases. In this article I consider Soft Cinema films (Lev Manovich, Andreas Kratky, et al., 2003) as prototypical software-driven examples of this shift in viewing conditions and reception contexts. I argue that, despite its emerging and changing techniques and aesthetics, software-generated cinema retains one of the primitive socio-pedagogical functions of the cinema: training audiences to receive and buffer contemporary medial sensations. Just as early cinema prepared audiences and worked as a buffer for shocks of technological and industrial modernity, software cinema trains the viewer in new modes of film spectatorship and new modes of narrative and affective subjectivity that correspond to the hypertextual ways in which we interact with digital technologies. These viewing modes create a new form of procedural spectatorship that has been evident since the first pioneering experiments in generative cinema and a form that is, nonetheless, not entirely detached from existing theoretical paradigms of cinematic spectatorship and the development of the cinematic medium.
  • Review
    Minds, bodies, and hearts: Flare London LGBT Film Festival 2014
    Galt, Rosalind; Schoonover, Karl (2014) , S. 217-224
  • Review
    A spiritual journey in Bill Viola’s art
    Marcheschi, Elena (2014) , S. 245-251
  • Review
    LEVIATHAN: From sensory ethnography to gallery film
    Wahlberg, Malin (2014) , S. 251-258
  • Article
    Found found found
    de Bruyn, Dirk (2014) , S. 259-260
    Through time-lapse and pixilated animation, recorded on the run through Serbia, Europe, international air travel through Australasia, and including recordings at the 2013 Christmas Markets in Dusseldorf, this short roaming personal narrative contemplates our current pre-occupation with mobile technologies and the concomitant reshaping of everyday life and public space. It features one extreme response to technological and political change: Alex Jones’ Infowars radio program. The film suggests surveillance, metamorphosed from avant-garde and minimalist cinema, as the ‘new norm’, and witnesses the new stasis that hypermobility institutes globally and the florid thinking it elicits.
  • Article
    Smells like Armageddon day – Dreamlike settings and magnified trash
    Lammer, Laura (2014) , S. 261-262
    The images of Gregg Araki’s “Teen apocalypse trilogy” seem to scream at you. For my audiovisual essay I decided to look at the environment the characters of his movies inhabit. Namely: signs and Tv screens in the background and unreal looking rooms. In the second part I decided to “come closer” and take a look at the (almost fetishized) objects that are presented to the viewer in close-ups. A lot of screen time is devoted to junk food, cigarettes or toys. A theme which connects all three movies as well as my essay is the idea that the world is going to end. The characters who are often lethargic and bored, talk about aids, the destruction of the planet and the apocalypse in general. All three movies are like a time capsule for 90’s aesthetics. Araki’s style got more extreme over the years.
  • Article
    Laughter and collective awareness: The cinema auditorium as public space
    Hanich, Julian (2014) , S. 43-62
    This article looks at how the collective experience of laughter in the movie theater is related to the idea of the cinema as a public space. Through the non-verbal expression of laughter the audience ‘constructs’ a public space the viewers may not have been aware of to the same degree prior to the collective public expression. Moreover, the public space created through laughter allows for an expedient type of monitoring: inappropriate laughter may be exposed in front of others. With viewers who laugh approvingly about racist violence or misogynist jokes, we can easily lay bare the ethical implications.
  • Article
    The documentary temptation: Fiction filmmakers and non-fiction forms
    Martin, Adrian (2014) , S. 5-20
    This essay addresses the ‘documentary temptation’ for filmmakers more usually associated with fiction: an encounter with reality – whether rendered in minimalist, observational, cinéma-vérité, or conventional reportage formats – that comes on an initial, primary level without artifice, pretence, contrivance, or the industrial and aesthetic machinery of narrative cinema. The notion of such a ‘return to zero’ is critically explored with reference to directors including Jean Eustache, James Benning, Martin Scorsese, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Wim Wenders, and Stan Brakhage.