We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Taking Place

Location and the Moving Image

John David Rhodes

Publication Year: 2011

Taking Place argues that the relation between geographical location and the moving image is fundamental and that place grounds our experience of film and media. Its original essays analyze film, television, video, and installation art from diverse national and transnational contexts to rethink both the study of moving images and the theorization of place. Through its unprecedented—and at times even obsessive— attention to actual places, this volume traces the tensions between the global and the local, the universal and the particular, that inhere in contemporary debates on global cinema, television, art, and media.

Contributors: Rosalind Galt, U of Sussex; Frances Guerin, U of Kent; Ji-hoon Kim; Hugh S. Manon, Clark U; Ara Osterweil, McGill U; Brian Price, U of Toronto; Linda Robinson, U of Wisconsin–Whitewater; Michael Siegel; Noa Steimatsky, U of Chicago; Meghan Sutherland, U of Toronto; Mark W. Turner, Kings College London; Aurora Wallace, New York U; Charles Wolfe, U of California, Santa Barbara.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press


pdf iconDownload PDF (88.0 KB)
p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (199.0 KB)
pp. 2-5


pdf iconDownload PDF (41.5 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more

Introduction: The Matter of Places

pdf iconDownload PDF (145.1 KB)
pp. vii-xxix

Toward the end of his Theory of Film, Siegfried Kracauer writes some of the most explicitly humanist passages to be found in the book, a book whose subtitle is, we should remember, The Redemption of Physical Reality. In the final chapter, under the subheading “Moments of Everyday Life,” Kracauer wonders if the “small units”...

Part I. Cinematic Style and the Places of Modernity

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.2 KB)
pp. 1-33

read more

1. From Venice to the Valley: California Slapstick and the Keaton Comedy Short

pdf iconDownload PDF (1000.6 KB)
pp. 3-30

“California slapstick,” Jay Leyda’s label for screen comedy that emerged with the migration of the American motion picture industry to the West Coast in the 1910s, succinctly evokes the distinctive topography and comic physicality of the film genre Buster Keaton inherited when he gained control of his own production company...

read more

2. The Eclipse of Place: Rome’s EUR from Rossellini to Antonioni

pdf iconDownload PDF (253.9 KB)
pp. 31-54

I want to begin this essay with a description of a place—a building, really—found in a curious travel book called A Time in Rome, written by the novelist Elizabeth Bowen and published in 1960. Bowen’s itinerary takes in the usual sites—Forum, fountains, Quirinal—but also many things that the polite mid-century female tourist...

read more

3. Tales of Times Square: Sexploitation’s Secret History of Place

pdf iconDownload PDF (266.2 KB)
pp. 55-76

American sexploitation cinema of the 1960s has long been associated with the environment of the mythically seedy grind house theater, its blazing marquees and lurid come-ons pasted on one-sheets at theater front, beckoning unsuspecting passersby. Though sexploitation films were shot and their production companies...

read more

4. Derek Jarman in the Docklands: The Last of England and Thatcher’s London

pdf iconDownload PDF (201.0 KB)
pp. 77-97

In spring 1986, Derek Jarman directed The Queen Is Dead, three linked music promos for the zeitgeist Manchester indie band The Smiths. This cinematic triptych for the songs “The Queen Is Dead,” “There’s a Light That Never Goes Out,” and “Panic” captures something of both the band’s and Jarman’s deeply felt...

Part II. Place as Index of Cinema

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.2 KB)
pp. 99-131

read more

5. The Cinecittà Refugee Camp, 1944–50

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.2 MB)
pp. 101-131

The conversion of one of Europe’s largest movie studios, Cinecittà, to a refugee camp has always seemed an odd footnote to the chronicles of Italian cinema. However, as one recognizes its material and historical vicissitudes, its true magnitude, the duration of its existence, and the broader social and political forces that governed...

read more

6. Right Here in Mason City: The Music Man and Small-Town Nostalgia

pdf iconDownload PDF (209.6 KB)
pp. 133-156

It was just as if the movie had come to life, as if they were actually experiencing the thrill Professor Harold Hill sang about when “Gilmore, Liberatti, Pat Conway, the Great Creatore, W. C. Handy, and John Philip Sousa all came to town on the same historic day!”1 This sunny Tuesday was the high point, some might say, of...

read more

7. When the Set Becomes Permanent: The Spatial Reconfiguration of Hollywood North

pdf iconDownload PDF (374.8 KB)
pp. 157-180

At Rosco Digital Imaging’s Toronto location, one of the many providers of backdrops of skyline scenes used in film and television productions, there are several scenic views of Manhattan available, including a financial district, an Upper East Side, and a view of the island from Brooklyn Heights, each under various lighting...

read more

8. The Last Place on Earth? Allegories of Deplacialization in Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie

pdf iconDownload PDF (278.9 KB)
pp. 181-208

In 1969, Dennis Hopper’s independently produced Easy Rider captured the counterculture’s pulse beyond the wildest dreams of the studios. Exploiting the techniques that had defined underground cinema in New York for the previous decade, Easy Rider represented the countercultural lifestyle as a perceptual euphoria...

Part III. Geopolitical Displacements

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.2 KB)
pp. 209-241

read more

9. The Nonplace of Argento: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Roman Urban History

pdf iconDownload PDF (237.5 KB)
pp. 211-231

Early in his debut film L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo ( The Bird with the Crystal Plumagee; 1970), Dario Argento presents the following scene: Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante), an American writer living in Rome, while out for an uneventful nighttime walk on an empty street in the modern Flaminio district, witnesses a struggle...

read more

10. The Placement of Shadows: What’s Inside William Kentridge’s Black Box/Chambre Noire?

pdf iconDownload PDF (254.9 KB)
pp. 233-253

In the relatively small, but critically substantial, work on William Kentridge’s films, installations, theatrical sets, drawings, and sculptures, the emphasis has often been on questions of process, movement, ephemerality, and transformation. Critics have focused on Kentridge’s signature transformations of darkness into light,...

read more

11. Into the “Imaginary” and “Real” Place: Stan Douglas’s Site-Specific Film and Video Projection

pdf iconDownload PDF (181.5 KB)
pp. 255-276

In the terrain of contemporary art, the projection of film and video in the gallery is a popular means of combining an image, a viewing subject, and a space. The term projection refers to the transfer of images—those made of light but not identical to it in their final figuration—onto the surfaces that embody them. This...

read more

12. Doing Away with Words: Synaesthetic Dislocations in Okinawa and Hong Kong

pdf iconDownload PDF (246.6 KB)
pp. 277-295

Across his work as a cinematographer, photographer, and director, Christopher Doyle’s images seem to work against claims on materiality. His color-saturated cinematography for directors like Zhang Yimou, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, and Wong Kar-wai is more decorative than realist, and its abstracted style often focuses attention...

Part IV. (Not) Being There

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.2 KB)
pp. 297-329

read more

13. Moving through Images

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.8 KB)
pp. 299-316

This essay takes up as a theoretical problem a use of cinema with which we are all familiar and about which one rarely speaks, namely, moving—not what happens when an image moves but when we do. It is a question concerning the use we make of images of a place that we do not yet know in its livable potential, neither in its...

read more

14. Living Dead Spaces: The Desire for the Local in the Films of George Romero

pdf iconDownload PDF (390.5 KB)
pp. 317-337

This essay theorizes the structure and function of localness in cinema, examining the split viewership that results when films embrace marginal, relatively unknown real spaces as a backdrop for fictional narrative. Drawing on Jacques Lacan’s discussion of anamorphosis, especially the idea that spectatorial engagement depends...

read more

15. On the Grounds of Television

pdf iconDownload PDF (146.6 KB)
pp. 339-361

Since the medium of television emerged in the United States more than half a century ago, it has almost invariably been understood as a form of displacement. When we see a place on television, we are most often somewhere else—at home instead of at the ball game, at a bar in the United States instead of at the Olympics...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (51.8 KB)
pp. 363-395

We would like to thank, first and foremost, the contributors to this volume, all of whom have been exceedingly patient as this collection has made its slow way to publication. Apart from their patience, we want to thank them for the ingenious ways in which they responded to the collection’s preoccupations. We also offer...


pdf iconDownload PDF (71.5 KB)
pp. 365-367


pdf iconDownload PDF (550.4 KB)
pp. 369-376

E-ISBN-13: 9780816678341
E-ISBN-10: 0816678340
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816665174

Page Count: 392
Publication Year: 2011