Film and Risk
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Wayne State University Press
I am grateful to Cheung Tit Leung for meticulous help with the preparation of the manuscript for publication and for research assistance. Martine Beugnet, Carol Hart, Jimmy Choi, Emily Yueh Yu Yeh, Richard Freadman, Peter Schepelern, Niels Bjørn, Darrel Davis, and David Bordwell all...
Introduction: The Film Phenomenon and How Risk Pervades It
Th e language of risk is common coin these days, informing virtually all areas of our lives. Parent/teacher discussions, whether in Asia or the West, make reference to learner profiles, and these often include the idea of being a “risk taker.” Th us, for example, a child may be encouraged proudly...
Flamboyant Risk Taking: Why Some Filmmakers Embrace Avoidable and Excessive Risks
While many scholarly books and articles devoted to fi lm make passing reference to risk, no attempt has been made systematically to explore filmmaking as a process involving the actual taking of risks as well as the depiction of risk taking. As a mostly cost-intensive, collaborative activity that...
True Stories of Risk Inadvertence
A troubling feature of our lives is the apparent pervasiveness of risk. So risky is life that individuals could not possibly keep track of all the risks they run. Nor do they necessarily care all that much about the ones they do identify, save for those somehow discovered to be, for a time, particularly...
Spectatorship and Risk
Cinematic fictions often depict characters who face a remarkable variety of natural and otherworldly dangers, such as attacks by aliens, dinosaurs, zombies, killer puppets, and swarms of insects. Th e risk of physical injury and death is the staple of the horror, crime, war, and action genres, while...
Stunt Workers and Spectacle: Ethnography of Physical Risk in Hollywood and Hong Kong
This essay examines physical risk in the commercial film industries of Hollywood and Hong Kong. Many of the films that emerge from commercial industries and garner profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars are composed of spectacular images of action...
The Canary in the Gemeinschaft? Disability, Film, and the Jewish Question
In the nineteenth century, canaries were taken into British mines to detect the potential risk to humans of methane gas, which is odorless but lethal. The sensitivity of this small, delicate bird to an invisible but deadly substance meant that if it died, a risk was present that humans would not...
Accented Filmmaking and Risk Taking in the Age of Postcolonial Militancy, Terrorism, Globalization, Wars, Oppression, and Occupation
Accented filmmaking by exilic, diasporic, and ethnic filmmakers inherently involves taking risks, risks that sometimes are integrated into the film’s narrative and style and often provide the focus for the film’s extratextual material in the form of a filmmaker’s biography, interviews with the filmmaker...
Multinational Casts and Epistemic Risk: The Case of Pan-Asian Cinema
In Chen Kaige’s The Promise (2005), Asian audiences see odd interactions among a multinational cast, free from language barriers and unbound by national identities. Set in a mythic space, the film depicts the entangled romances of the slave Kunlun (played by Korean actor...
The Financial and Economic Risks of Film Production
would generally be accepted as self-evident that the film industry provides a very unstable environment for the development of a coherent investment strategy. Indeed, realistic investors in film production should expect their returns to be in the form of reflected glamour and kudos, rather than in...
Motion Picture Finance and Risk in the United States
Financing commercial motion pictures by its nature involves risk. Such risk is of a different order from that which is intrinsic to the calculations behind whether or not to make a commercial film, such as the strength of the screenplay, the ability of the director, the appeal of the stars, and so...
Encouraging Artistic Risk Taking through Film Policy: The Case of New Danish Screen
Making a feature film is a costly affair. As a filmmaker you are constantly confronted with the economic realities of realizing your creative vision, as you have to persuade a number of people to risk their money on your project. Artistic self-expression or risk taking are rarely the top priority in the...
After the Decisive Moment: Moving beyond Photojournalism’s High-Risk Mode
Since the early years of the new 35 mm photojournalism in the late 1930s, a dominant visual mode of depiction has gradually developed that privileges close-up shots of action and interaction, particularly when reporting from conflict zones. Specific historical conditions such as technological change...
Chance and Change
Our understanding of abstract concepts is often inflected through working with them in the rough-and-tumble of concrete experience. Arriving in Maputo, Mozambique, in November 1990, just after the feature film...
Film and the Environment: Risk Offscreen