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The phenomenon of risk has been seriously neglected in connection with the study of film, yet many of those who write about film seem to have intuitions about how various forms of risk-taking shape aspects of the filmmaking or film-viewing process. Film and Risk fills this gap as editor Mette Hjort and interdisciplinary contributors discuss film’s relation to all types of risk. Bringing together scholars from philosophy, anthropology, film studies, economics, and cultural studies, as well as experts from the fields of law, filmmaking, and photojournalism, this volume discusses risk from multiple intriguing angles. In thirteen chapters, contributors consider concrete risks (e.g., stunts or financial decisions); theoretical aesthetic and artistic risks (e.g., filmmakers who incorporate excessive hazards into their films); and the real-world jeopardy spectators might put themselves in when viewing films. The first three chapters tackle the conceptual terrain that is relevant to understanding risk in film. The next three chapters focus on risk as it pertains to the practice of filmmaking. Subsequent chapters deal with economic risk and the role that risk has in the development of film’s institutional landscape. The scholarship in this collection is impressive, boasting some of the top writers in their respective fields. Through the contributors’ clear and thorough discussions, this cohesive but diverse collection shows that risk arises in many different areas that tend to be thought of as central to film studies. Scholars of film studies will appreciate this daring and inventive collection, and readers with a general interest in film studies will enjoy its accessible style.
Theodore Roosevelt to Walt Disney
Since the late 1950s Stan Brakhage has been in the forefront of independent filmmaking. His body of work — some seventy hours — is one of the largest of any filmmaker in the history of cinema, and one of the most diverse. Probably the most widely quoted experimental filmmaker in history, his films typify the independent cinema.
Until now, despite well-deserved acclaim, there has been no comprehensive study of Brakhage’s oeuvre. The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition fills this void. R. Bruce Elder delineates the aesthetic parallels between Brakhage’s films and a broad spectrum of American art from the 1920s through the 1960s.
This book is certain to stir the passions of those interested in artistic critique and interpretation in its broadest terms.
Ground Stone Tools from Franchthi Cave, Fascicle 14, Excavations at Franchthi Cave, Greece
Despite their ubiquitous presence among prehistoric remains in Greece, ground stone tools have yet to attract the same kind of attention as have other categories of archaeological material, such as pottery or lithics. Flexible Stones provides a detailed analysis of the material discovered during the excavations at Franchthi Cave, Peloponnese, Greece. Approximately 500 tools, the raw material used for their manufacture, as well as the byproducts of such manufacture were found. Most of this collection comes from the Neolithic component of the site -- including a small number of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic cases -- with a large number of the studied tools indicating multiple uses. Anna Stroulia sees the multifunctional character of these tools as a conscious choice that reflects a flexible attitude of tool makers and users toward tools and raw materials. A CD-Rom with 209 additional plates is included.
British Gardens in India
Like their penchant for clubs, cricket, and hunting, the planting of English gardens by the British in India reflected an understandable need on the part of expatriates to replicate home as much as possible in an alien environment. In Flora's Empire, Eugenia W. Herbert argues that more than simple nostalgia or homesickness lay at the root of this "garden imperialism," however. Drawing on a wealth of period illustrations and personal accounts, many of them little known, she traces the significance of gardens in the long history of British relations with the subcontinent. To British eyes, she demonstrates, India was an untamed land that needed the visible stamp of civilization that gardens in their many guises could convey.
Colonial gardens changed over time, from the "garden houses" of eighteenth-century nabobs modeled on English country estates to the herbaceous borders, gravel walks, and well-trimmed lawns of Victorian civil servants. As the British extended their rule, they found that hill stations like Simla offered an ideal retreat from the unbearable heat of the plains and a place to coax English flowers into bloom. Furthermore, India was part of the global network of botanical exploration and collecting that gathered up the world's plants for transport to great imperial centers such as Kew. And it is through colonial gardens that one may track the evolution of imperial ideas of governance. Every Government House and Residency was carefully landscaped to reflect current ideals of an ordered society. At Independence in 1947 the British left behind a lasting legacy in their gardens, one still reflected in the design of parks and information technology campuses and in the horticultural practices of home gardeners who continue to send away to England for seeds.
On Destructive Spectatorship
Can looking at disaster and mass death destroy us? Forgetting Lot's Wife provides a theory and a fragmentary history of destructive spectatorship in the twentieth century. Its subject is the notion that the sight of historical catastrophe can destroy the spectator. The fragments of this history all lead back to the story of Lot's wife: looking back at the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, she turns into a pillar of salt. This biblical story of punishment and transformation, a nexus of sexuality, sight, and cities, becomes the template for the modern fear that looking back at disaster might petrify the spectator. Although rarely articulated directly,this idea remains powerful in our culture. This book traces some of its aesthetic, theoretical, and ethical consequences. Harries traces the figure of Lot's wife across media. In extended engagements with examples from twentieth-century theater, film, and painting, he focuses on the theatrical theory of Antonin Artaud, a series of American films, and paintings by Anselm Kiefer. These examples all return to the story of Lot's wife as a way to think about modern predicaments of the spectator. On the one hand, the sometimes veiled figure of Lot's wife allows these artists to picture the desire to destroy the spectator; on the other, she stands as a sign of the potential danger to the spectator. These works, that is, enact critiques of the very desire that inspires them.The book closes with an extended meditation on September 11, criticizing the notion that we should have been destroyed by witnessing the events of that day.
Vol. 27 (2012) through current issue
The National Trust's Forum Journal is a quarterly publication featuring in-depth articles on preservation issues. It includes timely, comprehensive pieces, often organized around a specific theme, about preservation issues of interest to a wide range of preservationists working across the country.
Photography and Memory in Contemporary Installation Art
While earlier theorists held up "experience" as the defining character of installation art, few people have had the opportunity to walk through celebrated installation pieces from the past. Instead, installation art of the past is known through archival photographs that limit, define, and frame the experience of the viewer. McTighe argues that the rise of photographic-based theories of perception and experience, coupled with the inherent closeness of installation art to the field of photography, had a profound impact on the very nature of installation art, leading to a flood of photography- and film-based installations. With its close readings of specific works, Framed Spaces will appeal to art historians and theorists across a broad spectrum of the visual arts.
Fou Lei and Huang Binhong
This book documents in letters, photos, and paintings a special friendship between two highly creative individuals who helped shape Chinese culture in the twentieth century — the revered traditional painter Huang Binhong (1865–1955) and the young, cosmopolitan critic and translator Fou Lei (1908–66). As one of China's oldest and most distinguished artists in the 1940s and 1950s, Huang Binhong was committed to artistic continuity and reinvigoration of brush-and-ink painting. Fou Lei was a child of the New Culture Movement which repudiated many literati traditions, but reached out to Huang Binhong to discuss the possibilities for contemporary Chinese art amid the tides of war and Communist dictates of socialist realism as the guiding priority for cultural workers. Both were cultural mediators and translators of ideas and cultural expressions. Both had deep appreciation of the common origins of calligraphy and painting, rendering complex feelings with brush and ink. Their intimate artistic conversations over more than a decade depict their alienation and uncertainty amid China's turbulent cultural politics.
The Visual and Popular Cultures of the Spanish-American War of 1898
The American people overwhelmingly supported the nation’s entry into the Spanish-American War of 1898, which led to U.S. imperial expansion into the Caribbean and Pacific. In this book, Bonnie M. Miller explores the basis of that support, showing how the nation’s leading media makers—editorialists, cartoonists, filmmakers, photographers, and stage performers—captured the public’s interest in the Cuban crisis with heart-rending depictions of Cuban civilians, particularly women, brutalized by bloodthirsty Spanish pirates. Although media campaigns initially advocated for the United States to step in to rescue Cuba from the horrors of colonial oppression, the war ended just months later with the U.S. acquisition of Spain’s remaining empire, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. President William McKinley heeded the call for war, with the American people behind him, and then proceeded to use the conflict to further his foreign policy agenda of expanding U.S. interests in the Caribbean and Far East. Miller examines the shifting media portrayals of U.S. actions for the duration of the conflict, from liberation to conquest. She shows how the media capitalized on the public’s thirst for drama, action, and spectacle and adapted to emerging imperial possibilities. Growing resistance to American imperialism by the war’s end unraveled the consensus in support of U.S policy abroad and produced a rich debate that found expression in American visual and popular culture.